Monday, 19 August 2013

Book Review: The Beholder by Ivan Amberlake

Worlds of Light and Darkness are about to clash. And Jason will be in the thick of it.

In Asunción, Minsk and Sydney, people die under mysterious circumstances. Each branded with an arcane sign, they are pieces of a jigsaw puzzle. When more people are missing, with similar signs appearing in and around their homes, Jason, an average New Yorker, realizes the victims are a riddle addressed to him.

He is the final piece.

Emily appears, the most beautiful woman with extraordinary powers and startling amber eyes, and tells Jason that powers dormant within him are about to wake. In the world of Light- and Darksighted, he is the only person who can prevent Darkness from enslaving the world. He is the Beholder whose advent has been awaited for many years.

Setting out on a journey with Emily, Jason discovers many improbable things like Sight, Soulfusion, the Hall of Refuge, but the greatest surprise arrives the moment he sees Emily and finds real love.

Where can I but this book? 

FREE at Smashwords! 

FREE at B&N! 

My review:
*I was given a free copy of this book by the author via Goodreads in exchange for an honest review*

This book was unlike anything I have read before. It has subtle elements of urban fantasy, fantasy, paranormal, science fiction and thriller. It is impossible to decide where it fits and for that reason I think it should have a wide appeal. You don't have to be a big fan of any of these genres to enjoy the ride and that is pretty unique..I think I'd go 3.5 stars on this one if I could.

Jason's violent nightmares are causing him physical and mental pain and his world is turned upside when he discovers that he is gifted in the paranormal way. Being the key to survival against the dark shadows that seek to destroy him and humanity is scary when he doesn't even know his own powers. Trying to protect his friends and learn from the girl he is falling for complicates his life even further as he tries to help his allies fight their deadly enemy.

So what was good about it? Firstly, the language use is excellent-I cannot believe that the author does not have English as his first language! That is quite a gift to have and I was seriously impressed by it. The use of words is perfect for the plot and each situation. There are flowing descriptions that aren't too complicated, world building without huge info dumps, simple storytelling that carries you along and a plot that is always moving forward. The story is totally different featuring battles between gifted individuals using light and dark energy as weapons, which was a clever concept and worked well. The characters are all interesting but there is no attempt to tell you everything about them. I'm guessing that will happen over the course of the series. The love story part never detracts from the main plot and there are no sex scenes. Nice to see a lack of swearing as well.

I found it a little difficult to follow a couple of bits where energy was being described but I don't think that was down to the author, more down to my brain going blank when I'm presented with the science stuff! I never was a science nerd and it's a reason I struggle with science fiction. I think most readers will follow it much better than I did, to be honest. For me, there could perhaps have been a bit less about his feelings for Emily (and her frequently mentioned amber eyes), though to be fair, their relationship is mentioned in the book description and it is a minor niggle.

Overall I did enjoy the book and I recommend it to fans of pretty much every genre!
star rating photo: 35 star rating 3-5-stars.jpg

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