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The Tears of Elios: (Extended Edition) (The Elgean Chronicles Book 1) Kindle Edition
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|Length: 311 pages||Word Wise: Enabled||Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled|
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Top Customer Reviews
Before I begin this review, I want to state clearly in accordance with the FTC's new rules that I received an Advanced Readers Copy of this directly from the author in exchange for an honest review. No other compensation or consideration has been given.
Shape Shifters have two rules: Rule #1 is Don't let the humans know you exist. Rule #2 is If a human finds out about you, silence them.
Ranealya is a shape-shifter who follows the rules, and has outlived the rest of her race because of it. The ruler of the lands where she lives is bent on destroying all non-humans, and that includes Ranealya. Then, the unthinkable happens. A human saves her life.
Gregor finds a wounded shape-shifter and takes her home to heal her wounds and allow her safety. It's also a chance to study a shape-shifter up close. Ranealya causes him discomfort in many ways, not the least of which is the attraction he feels for her. Though he is the King's cousin, is he willing to risk it all to save the shape-shifters life?
The Tears of Elois is a wonderfully complex story of not one but two couples.
Kira is the magician assistant to Master Tyrrus, who has been training her to use her magic wisely. They find themselves hurled into Gregor and Raneayla's world when the Azekborn, the King's assassins nearly capture them as they flee. Master Tyrrus has been a spy for the Resistance and helping other races to go to safety through a portal created by Kira. Is it infatuation she feels for Galean, the elf leader of the Resistance or is it something more?
Galean is an elf, who loves his sister Ranealya, but sometimes, it can be hard having a sister who is a shape-shifter, leading a mismatched band of refugees, and trying to keep everyone fed and alive. Kira brings out new feelings in him. Is she his Ruhisha, his soul mate, or is she only a passing fling?
How Ms. McHugh managed to weave together a story of not one but two couples and give them all more than enough length and breadth is beyond me. That's why she is the award winning writer, and I am not. A master story-teller, Crista McHugh takes you into both couples worlds, lives, and thoughts and you enjoy every moment of it. More action, magic, elves, dwarves and a few surprises along the way as they seek to reclaim the seven Tears of Elois in order to save the Kingdom from the tyrannical ruler will leave you breathless yet again.
We learn enough of each person and each couple to feel a definite pull for them as individuals and as couples. We share their anger, sorrow, and joy in each mind racing, page turning event crafted by the author.
I highly recommend this read and yes, again, another of Ms. McHugh's books gains the elusive KEEPER shelf from me. Along with receiving a 5-star rating on the oft asked for 1 to 5-star rating that I prefer not to use as a normal occurrence. Ms. McHugh's writing again shows us that independently published books can and many are of high quality and carefully edited. (Again, I found only one editing mistake, a misused word, where a was used, but of was the word that would have made the sentence understandable without a second and third read of it. I have found literally dozens in N.Y. Published books, so this is a huge plus to Ms. McHugh and her editor.)
At first I was not sure how I would feel following the two romances, but both were very compelling and wove together brilliantly. Every step through the story I was able to see my surroundings and I felt strongly about the four main characters and cared about what happened to them.
The roughness of Ranealya's personality was softened by the reading of the passages involving Kira. Both very different women but both strong in their love for their men.
I would definitely recommend picking up Tears of Elios.
Okay, first the good: This is a great story. It kept me reading to the end because I wanted to know what would happen. The vast majority of characters are well developed, you feel for each of them and can relate to them and root for them. You get invested in what happens to them and you want them to succeed. The world building is also great. I could see the different places very clearly in my mind and it made reading this story very engaging.
Now the bad: The writing is not bad, but not great either. There were some typos, wrong words used in a sentence, small stuff. The bigger issue for me was that there were parts of this story that sounded like someone else had written them. They were awkward, didn't flow very well, and made me roll my eyes a lot. One of these is when Galen and Kira go out on their first adventure and he starts to realize he has feelings for her. It sounds completely out of character with the cool elf, even making allowances for him discovering love for the first time. Thankfully, that part was short, otherwise I would have thrown the book (which would suck since it's an eBook and I'd have had to throw my entire Kindle).
Another issue was the forced mysteries. You know how you read something mentioned in a book that you're not familiar with and later on it gets explained? It was like that, but just frustrating. It would have helped to have some of these things explained when mentioned. Instead of "Oooh, I wonder what this will turn out to be," I was thinking , "Wait, what do you mean?? Why should I even care?... Oh, that's why... =/ meh." Also, the great mystery of the shape shifters. If I remember correctly, the book began with Ranealya being the "last of her kind" and people were talking about their origin and where they all went, and there was something she was thinking about her people being cast out or something like that. I figured the king had a special vendetta against shapeshifters. By the end it turns out she was and always would be the ONLY one of her kind. What?? Did the author forget the first half of her book? And she is one of the main characters! Either I misunderstood something, or this wasn't very well thought out at all.
Lastly, the bad guy. The entire force driving this plot, the evil king who was causing all these tragedies, wasn't developed at all. He was just some random evil guy out for more power. No motive, no history of anything beyond he is king, and king wants more power. He showed up exactly twice. First in a vague conversation with Gregor and his cousin when he almost discovered the shapeshifter, and then in the great battle at the end. He might as well been a ghost. What sucks is that he could have been more developed into a freaking terrifying force and instead he just fell flat.
BUT, in the end, this is still a great story at its core and I don't regret having read it. I will be reading the next book in this series when it comes out because it's worth the read. If you can overlook the flaws, that is. Without them, this would be a solid 5-star book but with them, the writing falls short of that, so I give it a good 3.
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