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This is a light romantic science fiction with some paranormal overtones. (Remember that one man's magic is another man's science!). I believe it works on all those levels. The romance isn't overpowering and made logical sense in a way. The science fiction part was easy to digest and the paranormal parts, though pretty extensive were quite acceptable since we are dealing with aliens and not present day humans.
The plot is rather simple but done quite well. I do wish there had not been a prolog, though, as it took much of the suspense away. Instead of wondering who Kate and Michael were, the readers wonder when someone will tell them the truth.
I was drawn to Michael and then to Kate from the start: I empathized with them; I understood them; I wanted them to be my friends. I also rather liked Edgar and was completely taken by Darya. There were other characters intended for audience appeal, I suppose, but none of them spoke to me. In fact, I only liked Alrick in his role as professor and once the affinity was lost, I never regained it.
I do have one pet peeve, with this story, TV dramas, movies, and other books. Rant begins: Why, oh, why when the hero has a chance to kill or totally disable his opponent doesn't he do it and be done with it? If the author needs to have the evil doer escape, be creative. Don't make your hero a pansy! This book is full of places where I couldn't understand the withholding of deadly force and one place where Michael KILLS two people but lets the evil one live. Oh come on! Okay rant is over.
I truly liked the book and found it fun to read. I would recommend it to anyone looking for a fun to read, light romantic science fiction. One more thing, the Amazon description seems to make this book out to be similar to Allen Dean Foster's Myth Adventures series. It is not. It is much more serious.
Which would be OK but it never quite jelled for me and the 'science' seemed an untidy mechanism to kick start the story and get the protagonists together (or back together? Read the Prologue and you'll immediately get the picture). In that regard it's like an Edgar Rice Burroughs preamble to get the duck out of water characters into the milieu, amped up for the Higgs boson generation.
But this is a boy-meets-girl story and all the rest is window dressing, so like Burnard's Enemy Within, do not buy this unless you like romance novels.
Apart from that, the dialogue felt stilted and the characters too accepting and passive, esp. given the circumstances of being lobbed into a new and crazy world which is clearly governed by the laws of fantasy.
Indeed, everyone was too perfectly made-up, in the characterisation sense, to grab my attention. The emotional issues they grapple with are trite and their ability to respond cleanly and correctly to every situation got a bit boring. There was very little tension of impending failure or even personal distress and the story arc was more straight line than curved.
Plus, a lot of the preamble in the first couple of chapters made no real sense, and I don't mean that you did not know enough yet about the plot or people - it literally made no sense with regards why things were happening.
I'm not sure who the ideal audience is for this. I'd suggest young and female, but the inclusion of the sci-fi elements, however light, would possibly turn them off. And if you like sci-fi, the romance (and perhaps fantasy) elements will likely turn you off...as they did me, I really found this a bit boring, to be honest and it was page-by-page slog to work through it.
Beth gave to:
by J.M. Dattilo (Goodreads Author)
read in February, 2011 my rating:
edit my review
"I had not read a sci-fi book since a few years after they were popular in the 1960's (Andre Norton etc). In fact, as I have gone to the library looking for something to read, I have avoided considering sci-fi. I read this becasue I have known the authors a long time and wanted the chance to see their product of several year's work. My reading was disjointed with starts & stops interrupting the reading. Reading it in fewer uninterrupted sessions would have been a better way to enjoy the book without forgetting complex happenings.
WOW! The pace was fast as a film with film type heros, romance and adventure. I felt returned to the days of Superman but as a person who had ventured out into space. My interpretation was stretched by the magic of doors that vanished and time that went back and forth; it was baffled by the vulnerability of the people who could use their "aura" but then used guns too.
I loved the concept of an aura and the bubble like protection one could put over one's castle to keep it from harm. I'd like to have those capabilities myself.(less)"