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34 of 35 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Loved it!
What I loved about this book was the representation of the characters. Especially how the main character, Keegan, matures through out the story. There's romance, war, and supernatural all thrown in to make this incredible story. I was hooked from the first chapter,i'm hoping and waiting for a sequel.
I would highly recommend it to everyone of all ages looking for a...
Published on June 15, 2011 by Brenda Flores

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88 of 96 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars A novel of several great strengths, and a couple annoying weak points
Coexist, the first novel in a planned series, and an outright first novel ever by Julia Crane, is a paranormal romance with an Irish flair. It's a tale of elves and love and destiny, the struggle between light and dark, and the consequences of war. And yes, part of the novel - a very important part, by the way - does take place in Ireland, though the main setting is the...
Published on July 12, 2011 by Craig Hansen


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88 of 96 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars A novel of several great strengths, and a couple annoying weak points, July 12, 2011
By 
Craig Hansen (Portland, OR USA) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Coexist (Keegan's Chronicles Series Book 1) (Kindle Edition)
Coexist, the first novel in a planned series, and an outright first novel ever by Julia Crane, is a paranormal romance with an Irish flair. It's a tale of elves and love and destiny, the struggle between light and dark, and the consequences of war. And yes, part of the novel - a very important part, by the way - does take place in Ireland, though the main setting is the US.

The main characters Coexist is concerned with are Keegan, a sixteen-year-old elf, and her intended mate, Rourk, who's a bit older than her. Emphasizing romance, Julia Crane's elves are more human-like than one might expect, appearing normal enough to blend in with human society. Sure, they are shorter than other humans, but they don't have a green skin-tone or twelve-inch-tall pointed ears or anything like that.

Crane's conceit is that elves are unusually attractive, which makes great fodder for a romance novel, of course. And also, Crane's elves share a trait in common with some old-world cultures: their mates are pre-selected for them, almost from birth, and are guaranteed to invoke in each other the proper amount of love and romantic chemistry.

But they aren't allowed to meet until they are eighteen.

Different elves handle this sense of destiny in slightly different ways. Keegan has decided to use her youth to date a few human boys, though never seriously, just for fun and as a way to kill time waiting to meet her intended mate.

Rourk, on the other hand, has done no such dating, preferring to focus himself entirely on waiting for his intended mate. Given that he is a warrior, he uses a fair amount of his "spare energy" in combat training.

An interesting supporting character is Thaddeus, Keegan's young brother, who despite being very, very young, is the most gifted elven seer of the current elven generation. And there's a need for him because... a great battle is coming between the light elves and the dark elves.

And it's coming sooner than anyone can imagine.

Tossing complications into the mix are a couple interesting twists: first, for reasons that are murky, Thaddeus has told Keegan the name of her intended. This complicates the natural flow of elven mating because whenever an elf thinks of the name of his or her intended, the other notices... to the point that they can track them down if it seems they are in danger. And like any teenage elven girl with the opportunity, she turns over the name of her intended, Rourk, in her mind quite often, a disconcerting situation for him.

The other complication is that Thaddeus has had a vision of the coming war, and it's set to happen on Keegan's birthday ... and to end with her death.

Interested yet?

I know I was.

Rising above the average level of most entries in the paranormal romance series genre, Crane's novel stands out because, although part of a series, the tale she weaves has a clear and satisfying sense of a complete tale; it has a beginning, an intriguing middle, and a clear sense of resolution to the current circumstances.

While the novel leaves room for new adventures to take place, there's a clear sense that something big happened, there was a cost to it, and the status quo has been affected, by the end of the novel.

Too many novels, especially first novels in general, and particularly first novels in a series, lack that sense of a complete story being told; they spend time setting things up, then end the novel at a certain word length leaving readers hanging... and sometimes frustrated.

But that is not the case with Coexist; Crane's tale is well crafted and delivers a solid standalone story even though it exists as the initial entry in a promised series.

Crane's skill at plotting and character development are admirable, and honestly not as common as one might wish among first novelists. Crane has those things down ... in spades.

Yet there are flaws to Coexist as well. The most notable is the book's uneven editing. While none of the mistakes are big deals, there are enough of them that it can become distracting. The book's credited editor, Cheryl Bradshaw, needed to spend a bit more time nabbing typos, as well as looking for missed words, wrong words, and punctuation use; the simple, copy-editing stuff.

Aside from the state of the proofing job, however, the book only had one other, rather minor, weakness. While the book bubbles along for the first three-quarters of the way, toward then end, and especially when the climactic war sequence between the light and dark elves take place, Crane seems to rush the pace of the novel's most important scenes.

Clocking in at approximately 41,500 words, Coexist veers closer to "novella/short novel" length than to the length of a standard novel. Had the author slowed the pace down and handled the climactic scenes by letting them play out more dramatically and less in summary, the book could easily have swelled to 50,000 words or more and been even more satisfying than it already is.

While a deeply satisfying read with engaging characters and an excellent plot, all of which draw me toward looking forward to the second installment, those are my only areas of hesitation on Coexist. The proofing element is easily fixable; the brevity and summary nature of the climactic scenes, well... those aren't bad, they're just not living up to potential because they're a bit rushed.

Overall, none of this puts me off Crane or the Keegan Chronicles series, which I'll be looking foreword to more installments of. There's more strong points than weak points, and considering it's a first novel, represents a decent, if not quite spectacular, debut.

Considering her strong sense of story and plotting ability, I'll be back for Book 2 when it's released.
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34 of 35 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Loved it!, June 15, 2011
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This review is from: Coexist (Keegan's Chronicles Series Book 1) (Kindle Edition)
What I loved about this book was the representation of the characters. Especially how the main character, Keegan, matures through out the story. There's romance, war, and supernatural all thrown in to make this incredible story. I was hooked from the first chapter,i'm hoping and waiting for a sequel.
I would highly recommend it to everyone of all ages looking for a good read!

- Brenda
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42 of 50 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Is it Possible to be Worse than Absolutely Horrible?, December 2, 2011
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This book had great promise from reading the description, however, the book itself was just sad. First of all, I read the 1 one star review there was when I bought this, but then disregarded it because there were so many good reviews. What a mistake. Seriously, are those people crazy? This was not good literature! The main character was spoiled, bratty, obnoxious, shallow, kind of a hoe-bag (for lack of a better term) and just generally immature. When her father told her that there was a war that could decide the fate of her race and that he was chosen to lead them into battle and her 12 year old brother would save them all, she was just like "alright, can I go to my room now?" I was shocked by her casual reaction and kind of disappointed that she had no purpose in the "final battle." The main character should always be a major player!

Okay, so I completely loved the idea of elves in modern day times, and especially the idea of light elves fighting a war against dark elves, however this novel does it laughably. The war was like a weekend at a camp ground and the actual fighting was just sad. Everyone just flies to Ireland, sets up tents and waits for the fighting to beginning. And when it does begin, it's just everyone slashing at everyone else. Nothing too exciting. Then at night they just hang out and eat cake like hundreds of their race didn't just die. Oh, and of course it makes perfect sense that everyone at Keegan's school is also a creature of the light and because a shape-shifter who can read minds, they're all going to show up, right?

*Sigh* The only redeeming quality of this book was the love interest. Rourk was SO great. He was caring, protective, loving, brave, a great warrior--basically all the things a good love interest should be these days, and yet he had to be stuck with Keegan for the rest of his life? Poor unfortunate soul! I loved everything about him (he was honestly the ONE reason I stuck with it to the end) and I felt that the cliffhanger was very upsetting, both because I felt so sorry for Rourk and because it was an attempt at a gripping suspense filled sentence, but it just wasn't.

Final thoughts? Keegan was a weak, annoying character who seemed more childish than your average 10 year-old. Rourk was awesome, but the book was so bad that it might be worth missing him just to save yourself the hours it would take to read this. I am so upset that I spent 3 dollars on this, as it was one of the least enjoyable books I've read in a long time. The writing was all over the place and not very well developed, and the dialogue was just painful to read.

To conclude, take my advice and don't read this. I didn't listen to the one person that read this who actually has a sense of good literature, and I seriously wish I had, because then I would have 3 more dollars and a few precious hours of my life back.
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17 of 21 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars A Huge Disaster, July 11, 2012
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This review is from: Coexist (Keegan's Chronicles Series Book 1) (Kindle Edition)
Originally posted on my blog: [...]

I'm glad Coexist was only 150 pages; I was about to get a headache reading this horrifically insipid novel. Note: there are spoilers in this review.

Plot:
There was no point to this story: Keegan spent 80 pages talking about her perfect, spoiled life, then spent 30 pages talking about her and Rourk's insta-love. Oh hey, this doesn't look long enough to be a novel, so let's throw in 40 pages about a random, rushed war that again succeeded to focus on Keegan. Sure, there was a tiny twist slipped in at the end, but you need something to keep this dull series going...I seriously hope the author has something more up her sleeve than (spoiler alert!) how to keep the uninspiring insta-love between Rourk and Keegan going.

Characters:
I think Rachel's being nice. The protagonist (Keegan) made me want to gag! She is so rich and pretty, and has boys, friends and a perfect family, she's so very spoiled! It's really hard to connect with and like a character who has it all. And she barely even participates in the Great war! You expect me to sympathize with her predicament? Even the protagonist feels like a two-dimensional character.
The male characters could have been much better developed. Instead of talking about Keegan shopping, the pages could have been better spent developing Thaddeus' character or training for the war.

Romanciness:
Okay, I know they are each other's "chosen" and therefore, just the sight of the other is supposed to drive them crazy, but that doesn't make it any easier for the reader to swallow the insta-love. Not just that, the author stressed the importance of chosens not meeting before they're of age, but she never tells you why... Keegan and Rourk were doing fine. I agree with Rachel though, it's not fair for one person to have to follow his chosen mate around whenever she just thinks about it. I mean, what if Rourk was showering (or worse) when Keegan thought of him? How annoying!

Ending:
I do NOT like the resolution. The dark and light elves have been at war for thousands of years, and suddenly, (spoiler alert!) a twelve-year-old warrior-seer talks to the dark side's leader and they decide to make peace and protect the humans? Seems to me like wishful thinking, maybe what might happen in a Power Rangers episode. Maybe if the author had spent more time with Thaddeus' character since he was the dude who could save the elves from extinction. He should have been the protagonist of the story, not Keegan. Even more, one can assume the second book will be full of a love triangle, which might be the second worst thing after insta-love.

I received a complimentary copy of this book from the author in exchange for an honest review.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Amazingly Breathtaking, June 16, 2012
This review is from: Coexist (Keegan's Chronicles Series Book 1) (Kindle Edition)
I really loved this book, not just because of the flawless storyline, or the realistic characters, or even the mystical setting. The mood of the entire story was happy, never really overdramaticizing anything that didn't need to be. Keegan is an innocent, fashion-loving compassionate young elf who wants to meet her true love, but knows how important it is to save the elven race. Her parents are not spoiling her, they care about everything that goes on in the story. Then there is her little brother, whose name I can't spell. He is possibly my favorite character because he knows so much, and quotes the 48 Laws of Power a few times, keeping him significant. Some people say that the battle seemed rushed through, and I agree. But if that part wasn't sped through, you wouldn't have really understood the evles quite as much. Even though there are warriors, the elves in this story want peace and harmony between each and every creature. It seems as thouh they are only truly fighting out of nessecity. All in all, I would reccomend this book to anyone who is feeling down, because the entire story is truly uplifting.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Fun Story, November 9, 2011
By 
Sheri (United States) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
On the surface, Keegan is your typical 16-year-old girl. She spends her time hanging out with her friends, shopping, texting and dating. But Keegan is an elf. She is really living a secret life, trying to fit in with the humans, all the while just passing the time until she turns 18 so she can meet her chosen mate.

I liked this book. I thought this was a fun story. I liked that we got to meet both Keegan and Rourk and see the story from both of their point of views even though they did not get to meet right away. I thought the plot made a great story. The characters were fun and overall likeable. This is the first story I have read focusing on elves, and I liked the elfin world that the author created.

One thing I really did not like about this book was the overall length. The book was short, and it just felt too rushed. I would have loved to see the main characters been given more depth. Some of the supporting characters, such as Anna and Donald, seemed almost a passing thought. You get their point of view very quickly one or two times in the story, and that is really all you get to see of them. It would have been nice to have a little more background on them as well. There were too many scenes that also felt too rushed, and I would have liked to have them elaborated on as well.

The other thing that bothered me was the very quick changes in point of view. There was no transition between the thoughts of one person to the next. Sometimes I would have to actually back up a couple of sentences as I was reading because all of the sudden I realized that the point of view had changed, and then changed again, without warning.

Overall, I liked this story; I just wanted more of it.
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18 of 24 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Weak Plot, Even Weaker Main Character, October 18, 2011
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This review is from: Coexist (Keegan's Chronicles Series Book 1) (Kindle Edition)
This book had potential. It started out fairly strong and while my immediate impression was that Keegan was a spoiled brat, I had hope that she would mature and grow. Unfortunately, my hopes were in vain. Throughout the book I couldn't believe that Keegan was 16, much less the main character. She acted like a 12 year old at best. Her obnoxious dialouge, her relationships with friends and family, and even her romance with Ruork was immature and grating. However,I really enjoyed learning more about Ruork and her parents-they were all solid characters that kept my attention. I felt like Ruork deserved much more than Keegan and it annoyed me that she was his chosen because she was so vain and silly.

I wish that I could say my biggest problem with the book was Keegan but it isn't. The plot started out at a great pace but then, like so many other unpublished authors, the info dumps began. In awkward moments information would be dumped out and then the plot would bumble on. The "war" was laughable. They all flew out there like they were going to a family reunion, pitched tents, and then began battling. Keegan even sleeps in the morning of the battle and later in the day eats birthday cake and thinks about her brand new Jeep in the driveway. Really? As her chosen, and entire family are battling for their lives she is skipping around camp thinking about her birthday?
Finally, what really made the book unbearable was the weak ending. The ending was too quick and ridiculous. The war is suddenly over and I was left wondering what the entire point was to begin with. I wish the book had been free because I wasted my money.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Worth a look, March 18, 2012
By 
Delia (New England USA) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Coexist (Keegan's Chronicles Series Book 1) (Kindle Edition)
Alright I have to say I don't really know what to think about this book. I downloaded it off of Amazon because the synopsis sounded pretty good and the cover is beautiful. As far as the storyline goes it it pretty interesting.

Keegan is a teenage Elf, living in the human world. As she tries to go about a normal life her family is preparing for the war to end all wars. It seems light elves and dark elves are going to battle each other until one side is no more. Added to this is the fact that Keegan's brother can see the future and has seen Keegan dead.

The problem I had with this book is that Keegan seemed a little self centered. Worrying about clothes and boys when everyone around her is worried about extinction. The story line seemed to flow naturally at first, but then a little too fast towards the end. This is supposed to be a great battle and I think it took a chapter or two, I guess I'm to used to George R.R. Martins taking 300 pages to describe a battle. I did try to take into account that this is a YA and truthfully it was still a pretty interesting story. I will probably pick up the next book, just to see what happens.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Book Review, November 5, 2011
By 
This review is from: Coexist (Keegan's Chronicles Series Book 1) (Kindle Edition)
I'm going to try a different approach on this review cause truly I'm not quite sure if I liked the book or not.
PROS
1. All the Characters are believable well balanced and can stand out on their own.
2. The plot is really really good.
3. The book keeps a steady rhythm.
4. The main couple is really cute and endearing.
5. The Elf world depicted on the book is very interesting.
6. It left me curious as to where the story is going.
CONS.
1. The way the main conflict on the story got solved seemed too easy.
2. Some of the characters lacked of background.
3. The twist at the end of the story left me feeling unsettled.
4. I was left with lots of unanswered questions.

As you guys can see there are a lot more of pros. than cons. To this story, I'm not saying is a bad book, I'm just saying that it left me conflicted but curious at the same time.

I adored Rourk and the whole premise of having a chosen one, which you know no matter what will make you happy, is attractive to say the least. At the same time I felt Rourk was being tortured practically the whole book and when he found solace he was tortured once again; but then again that could be a mayor plot from the author and maybe just maybe she's planning some grand outcome for him.

I can't say a thing about Donald, cause I don't know a thing about him, see what I mean with the background missing on some chars.? But I guess those things are going to be clarified on the next book, which I'll def. be buying.
Keegan I loved, she is cute and funny and normal, well as normal as an Elf living among humans can be. She has a loving family and an endless support system with family and friends.

I really enjoyed the Narrative of the book it was an easy and relaxing read.
All in all I liked the book I just wasn't trapped by it, but I'll be checking for the next one on the series, that's for sure.
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12 of 16 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Seemed rushed and disjointed but a good concept, June 21, 2011
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This review is from: Coexist (Keegan's Chronicles Series Book 1) (Kindle Edition)
Keegan lives like a human being, but she is really an elf. She has the main elf power of invisibility and the inner eye. And she is very excited to meet her life mate when she comes to age. In elf society a life mate is chosen for you but you can not see your life mate until you are the age of 18. Life mates are cloaked from each other till the youngest turns 18 and they know nothing about each other not even there name. But Keegan's situation is special, her brother Thaddeus, a seer, has told Keegan her life mates name: Rourk. Now she constantly thinks of Rourk's name.

Every time Keegan thinks of Rourk's name, he gets a mental picture of where Keegan is. At first it was easy for him to ignore it but now every time she thinks of his name he must go and find her and see what she is doing. He knows what she looks like, but he doesn't know her name. And she doesn't know what he looks like all she knows is his name.

Everything seems simple and everyday for Keegan until her and her friends go to a new age fair and Keegan encounters a dark elf. When she tells her parents what happens, her parents get all panic stricken and inform Keegan that things have been happening that she hadn't known about, and now it is time for her to know!

The story for me feels a bit off, disjointed. There are paragraphs just placed in places that don't go along with the previous paragraph just so that specific thing can be referenced later on. Things happen too quickly and things that don't need to be described are, when big events are not described enough. The concept is interesting and different but it doesn't fully flow well in my opinion.

*********Spoilers below*******

There are many things that bothered me in this novel to make me give it three stars. When Keegan tells her parents about the dark elf she sees at the new age fair they get all scared. They inform her about the war that has been going on since the beginning of time shielded from human eyes and her father is the chosen one. And now the time is growing near and her family must prepare all because she saw a dark elf at a fair. No other back story other than that. No reason why the father is the chosen one. Also, the parents get all mad that she went to the new age fair because that is where you run into dark fairies. Well...later on it is known that there are creatures everywhere. So, why couldn't she had seen a dark fairy at starbucks?

Thaddeus, Keegan's brother, is this big important seer/warrior. And he is not allowed to interfere with fate. So he doesn't tell his sister about something bad that happens but it is okay for him to interfere and tell Keegan Rourks name so he could help her in a time of need? It is also told he is the prophecy child, but there is no backstory to that. How did he become the prophecy child what is the prophecy?

Thing don't go together well, don't seem to mesh well. There is a point where she just learns about the war that is happening, her father is the chosen one, and she goes up to her room to read text messages and swoon over guys. Or Keegan can walk briskly to her favorite starbucks or think about walking to a party with her friends from her house. But at the same time she lives on a 70 acre lot with farmland everywhere and a long windy driveway.

There are conversations not needed, for instant she talks to a friend about helping with english later and then that is all it isn't talked about again, just that bit of conversation for no reason. Then there are paragraphs that are just placed there that don't go with the rest of the page. There is a brief paragraph where Donald is talking to Keegan but she was too busy thinking of Ireland and he bolts...the only reason that is there is to set up a scene later on where he is in Ireland helping with the fight. But the paragraph just seems to float there disjointed from the rest of the story.

The romance is rushed and annoying. Before they even say hi or one word to each other they are lip locked and everyone is cheering and clapping. They don't even know each other, they have barely met before and just because they are chosen for each other it is okay to kiss right away? And everyone cheering? Why would they care? There is so much emphasis put on Keegan like she is a Queen or something but no reason why. Everyone is dying but everything still goes on, but when it happens to her the world stops and no one can move except her loved ones. Or no on talks until she wakes up. How is she any different than anyone else?

Things conflict as well. It is mentioned many times that partners are cloaked from each other till 18 but Keegan's mother tells a story about how Keegan's mother and father met before they were 18 and destined to be together.

Small things that bother me: Rourk kills a human just because he is foddling Keegan after she was crowd surfing. The battle scenes are very rushed and there is this sentence where Keegan decides to check out the battle for the first time, sees a friend get hurt, runs to rescue him, and "kills a couple men before she made it" like no biggie it is an everyday thing. Or Keegan wants know know why they don't telport and her mom says "your father likes to get frequent flyer points" well that doesn't make sense because you only need frequent flyer points to get free mileage...which you don't need if you are telporting it is a weak answer that doesn't really answer the question.

This book just needed to be thought out better, more details where needed to help the story line and plot. Places felt rushed and disjointed. Didn't run together smoothly. But, it was a very interesting concept. I enjoyed the connection between Rourk and Keegan how she thought of his name and he could see her that was neat.
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