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Eyes Like Blue Fire (Broken Edges) (Volume 1) Paperback – April 5, 2013
"Children of Blood and Bone"
Tomi Adeyemi conjures a stunning world of dark magic and danger in her West African-inspired fantasy debut. Learn more
About the Author
A longtime fan of horror and fantasy Ms. Lyons writes character driven novels that while influenced by her darker interests, can also be heavily laced with fantasy, romance, history and magic. Amanda M. Lyons has lived her whole life in rural Ohio where she lives with her fiance and two children. Eyes Like Blue Fire is her first novel.Wendy Won't Go, a novelette is forthcoming from J. Ellington Ashton Press and she's currently at work on Apocrypha a short horror collection with Robert Edward Lyons II.
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Top customer reviews
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Eyes Like Blue Fire is a decent idea in need of an editor. It's a story of love, loss, love again, revenge, demons, zombies, and most of all vampires.
Sounds good, right? Well, maybe.
Katja is a vampire, whose sire, Anton, leaves her. She wanders aimlessly until she meets Raven Nightshade, who looks almost exactly like Anton, while she looks almost exactly like Raven's lost love Kathryn.
Meanwhile, Anton made other vampires before he got to Katja, and one of them, Marie, is evil, evil, evil. She wants to destroy Anton's legacy, and ruin all the happiness of his one other surviving fledgling, Katja.
And she also manages to make life awful for several generations of Raven's family, just because.
All this comes to a head as vampire must battle vampire, and the fate of a whiny poet stands in the balance.
The review part:
I've never been comfortable with reviews that are snarky, or attempt to score points at the author's expense to make the reviewer look clever.
So with that said, this book objectively shouldn't have been published in its current form. It should have either been given to a professional editor, or to several trusted beta-readers that would be truthful, and critical.
If that had happened, then almost every issue I had with the construction of this story might have been addressed. There are point-of-view switches in the middle of paragraphs, the story shifts from past to present-tense at will, and there are numerous grammatical and spelling errors.
Even these stylistic errors might be forgiven if not for the biggest, most glaring problem - there is no thought at all given to the consistency of the characters, or the plot itself. The plot moves forward, and whatever needs to happen to fulfill whatever is happening in a given moment, or is necessary to feed what happens next - happens. Characters who've spent half a chapter brooding over their own inadequacies suddenly become strong and confident. Vampires aren't affected by crucifixes, unless they are, and then they're not again. Minor characters are introduced, only to have major significance much later, as the connections get too incestuous and convoluted for their own good. There's an entire scene with a completely new vampire about two-thirds of the way through, who happens to have summoned a massive snake-woman thing. It's referred to exactly one time after that. The male lead is the most consistent character in the whole plot, and that's because he only has four reactions: screaming, fainting, brooding, and gagging.
I wanted to give this story a real chance, and I wanted to like it - and there are several really nicely turned set-pieces, such as a zombie attack, and the first time Raven's ex turns up in a nightmare (though constant repetition of the same scene dulls its impact), as well as a really, really nasty bit of business that answers the question, "When a previously sexy dead woman feels a certain need in her worm-infested body, what is she to do?" Its yuck, but it's creative.
Hopefully the author will keep writing, because there is a great creative spark there, but she needs to enlist some help on the proofreading of the next book in this series. (Oh - it's a series.)
There has been a lot of time invested in the development of the characters in this book. The Author describes in great detail the emotions, feelings and thoughts of the main female lead, in an effort to create a link/bond between the character and the reader. There is a lot of back story for the main lead also, which helps explain her current circumstances and the motivation for doing the things she does. Not the same can be said for the male lead, he is full of angst and intricacies that make him not a very lovable character at all; he really reminded me of a teenager who declares all too often that the world doesn't understand what he's going through. In a sense this is true, as we don't understand his particular lifestyle, what may have helped him would have been the Author giving him as much attention to detail as she did the female lead. Other characters in the novel seemed to appear for no obvious reason and then leave just as quickly. Even though some of their involvement in the plot was explained at a later date, it still made their sudden appearance seemed a mite contrived. The character I enjoyed the most in the novel was the villain, unfortunately she didn't appear until about a third of the way through the book. She was, as all good villains should be, malicious, vindictive and violent.
The full history of a main character, and the time taken to build a world, is something I usually enjoy in a book (the sweeping epic), but for one of this length it was not needed, along with the all too frequent flashbacks. But again, if this is something you enjoy in your reads, you won't be disappointed in this one as it delivers in all three areas.
The novel also contains a lot of descriptive scene setting, again in an attempt to draw the reader into the world between the novels pages. For some this may be too much description and not enough dialogue, but I actually liked this aspect of the book, along with the fight scenes, as I am not a lover of the `chatty' novel. However, the amount of descriptiveness in the book has a tendency to slow the plot down, and it's not a fast paced building plot to begin with.
After reading the summary I was interested enough to want to read the whole book, and it did start off with such promise. However, the formatting on both my Kindle for iPad and for PC was diabolical. There were sentences cut off halfway through, and being turned into paragraphs; chapter numbers appeared in a seemingly random way and, it was very rare for one to appear in the intended spot. This really interfered in my enjoyment of the novel, and actually made carrying on to the end a painful task. As I have said, in a previous review though, I will not put a book aside completely unfinished as I feel that is more of an insult to the Author than a mediocre review.
Would I recommend this to others? Yes, especially to the fans of The Twilight series and Vampire Diaries lovers, it is right up their street. If you are looking for something vampiric along the lines of Anne Rice, I would steer clear, this is not for you. I would actually classify this as a nice little book for YA readers.
If not for the formatting debacle, and the inconsistencies in the appearance and development of some characters, I feel I would have really enjoyed this book. As it is though, I wasn't made to care enough for the lead to make me want to read any of the other novels in this series.
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