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Rebirth Paperback – September 13, 2011
The Amazon Book Review
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About the Author
Bets Davies began writing novels at nine when she decided to write the adventures of her My Little Ponies. At twelve, she finished the book and at fifteen she stopped editing it and wrote a new novel. At the University of Michigan she turned her narration to mainstream fiction before graduating with Creative Writing/Literature and Psychology degrees with high honors. At Mills College, she focused on memoir and poetry and received a Master of Fine Arts with high honors. However, she could not turn her back on her first love forever, and returned to fantasy with new knowledge and skills. She currently lives in Ann Arbor, Michigan with her two dogs and a macaw. She is saving money to buy her own bassoon.
Top customer reviews
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The story is very entertaining. I loved the banter between Gavin, Topher and Amber, Gavin's sister. These are three people who know each other very well and are well-matched. In fact, Gavin and Topher's love story was my favourite element in the book. It's more than Gavin and Topher discovering that they truly love each other romantically instead of as best friends, it's also about Gavin's coming to terms with the fact that indeed he is gay and that it's okay to follow his heart. The story is complicated by their back story, which consists of many near hits and misses, but I love how Gavin picks himself up and just decides he's going to go for it in the end.
The villain of the piece is also an interesting character. She's evil, killing people left, right and centre to get at their life force, to replenish her own power. But at the same time, she's pitiable and in a way, being a mum, I do understand her fervent wish to find or create a way to cure her daughter and to return her to life. My worst nightmare is something happening to Emma or B2, I think I'd go to the ends of the earth to keep them safe, healthy and sane. On the other hand, I'd hope I wouldn't lose my sanity in the process and I certainly wouldn't go to the lengths Annie goes to, but I do understand the impulse. I liked that Davies acknowledges this, by having Gavin and Jobi doubt the fact they need to flee from Annie, when they find out that she only wants to get Jobi back to heal her daughter. It's a natural reaction, and one that will most probably be echoed by most readers, but it's an emotional reaction and one that needs to be rationalised away, in this case by Topher, who points out that Annie is a stone-cold killer and that whatever her goal is her means are wrong and deadly.
So I found Rebirth an entertaining read and a sweet love story, but the book did have its flaws. What flaws? Well, first of all there were some pretty explicit scenes in there that stood out, but not in a good way. The book had read as a YA novel until the sex scenes. Now, I don't consider myself a prude, I usually don't blink at sex in my books - I love Jacqueline Carey's Kushiel's Legacy books - but I just hadn't expected them and certainly not in the detailed way they were described. Secondly, I found the character of Jobi, the ancient Celt, hard to parse. She picks up the language too quickly and uses modern speech patterns that didn't fit in my head. I expected her to have far more cultural confusion than she did, not just in how she views the world, but also in how she reacts to our modern sensibilities. The only cases in which this was very clear, was her inability to understand our fear of death and her somewhat reflexive disapproval of homosexuality. The latter is resolved by the end of the book, when she's come to accept Topher and Gavin's relationship. Lastly, and this maybe a little nitpicky, but there were some copy-editing mistakes, which jumped off of the page for me. It's a bit of a bugbear for me, so perhaps not totally fair to mention it, but I think typos and transposition of letters, at least, are unnecessary.
Despite its flaws, I had a lot of fun with Rebirth. If you don't mind a few graphic sex scenes and you're looking for a fun read with some interesting themes, Rebirth could be the book for you.
The book was sent to me for review by the author.