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Haven Lost (The Dragon's Brood Cycle Book 1) Kindle Edition
|Length: 461 pages||Word Wise: Enabled||Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled|
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Sixteen-year-old Emily Haven is the star of her hockey team at Lindsey High. She believes her success comes from an innate ability to see the future right before scoring a goal. Hockey is her first love and her escape from her chaotic, deteriorating life with her drug addicted mother and her mother’s live in, drunk of a boyfriend. The day she misses a shot that she knew without doubt she would make, is the day everything changes. She begins to see a dirty boy in torn clothing looking out of reflections at her. When disaster strikes, she runs towards her vision and away from her school, hockey team and life. Waking up in a new land, she finds herself torn between two factions in the middle of a rebellion she knows nothing about.
I really liked the setting in this book. Emily is pulled into a different world and I love discovering the rules of a world different than our own. She quickly becomes a candidate to be a Sorceress’s apprentice and meets other girls with special abilities like her own. The magic in this world seems to be organically based. There were no fireballs in sight, but lots of growing vines like in Sleeping Beauty. Josh De Lioncourt includes a unique race, a humanoid lizard man, who is starting a family with a human woman. This was a great dynamic because they dealt with prejudice and misconceptions from the world around them. It gave me great hope for the future books. I would love to see more of this race of people. The whole story moves fast and builds on itself well. I spent the whole book wondering what would happen to Emily next.
That being said, I found the ending a little disappointing. Josh De Lioncourt does a wonderful job world building. He made me interested and curious about the unique world and history. The entire book made me want more. Then at the end, I felt like the twist didn’t live up to the story he had written. A good twist makes me look back over what I’ve read and suddenly all the broken pieces fit together into a solid picture. That ‘AHA’ moment where I realize, if I were a smarter reader, I might have known. This book I felt that the twist didn’t fit with the story. Instead of ‘AHA!’, my reaction was more like ‘….what the…?’ Instead of ending up satisfied, I was more confused. I definitely felt like I missed something and I still don’t know what.
However, all that being said, I still think you should give this book a read. I’m looking forward to the next book that comes out soon. I want to know what happens to Emily next and see where this story goes next. Plus, I’m still hopeful that Emily might travel to Garret (the Lizardman’s) homeland. They need to find help to win the war somewhere!
Despite all its fantastic elements, Haven Lost felt real to me. When I say this, I refer to the characters, who were, I believe, very carefully and painstakingly conceived. To give a vague example, there was something a character did that I didn’t like, but at no point did I think that was because of bad writing. I felt that the character was simply dealing with a situation differently than I would have, which is perfectly normal. Ultimately there wasn’t a single character I didn’t like for one reason or another. Each was unique, and that’s quite respectable.
I won’t say too much about the villain in the book, but I will say this. There is what I like to call a legitimate creepy factor surrounding the antagonist, and it’s that creepiness that truly made the villain for me. I detected some Stephen King inspiration in the incredible detail used when describing the things this villain was doing, and that’s a huge compliment coming from me, whose favorite author just happens to be King.
That attention to detail thrives throughout the book. Everything from the wondrous locations the characters visit, all the way to the combat, is very richly described and easy to imagine. It’s easy to get lost in Lost Haven’s world.
That, though, is why this review is titled as it is. When you open this book, Haven Lost, you’ll find within it a haven of a different sort. A wonderful, magical, not always nice world that you can escape into for a while. The small gripes I had were quickly effectively explained away by the author, leaving me with essentially nothing to complain about. I loved this book, and look forward to its sequel even as I try to imagine just what might be in for our heroes next.
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