On a very positive note, I absolutely adore this cover. It is ethereal and menacing and simply beautiful in its design. It was about halfway through the story when I finally kind of understood its meaning. LOVE IT!
Now, onto the story.
I had actually passed this book up the first time I was given a chance to sign up for a possible review spot. Not because I had no interest in it, mind you, but because my schedule of books was currently full up at the time. So it was with a huge smile on my face when I was finally faced with this book a second time. I immediately snatched it up then, because I didn't want it to slip away again.
The world this author this has created wonderful and almost awe-inspiring in its brilliance. I absolutely loved Elosia. It just oozed mystery and fantasy and just...there are no words for it. I want to know so much more about this world. I want someone to paint this world so I can hang it on my wall, that's how much I love it.
As for the characters, I did like them, but there were times where I tired of some of them. Halen, the subject of most of this story, and around whose life this story pretty well bases, is a strong character. But only when it suits her. Throughout most of the book she just wants things to go back to normal. She wants to run away, thinking she can abandon the destiny that has been laid for her. And while yes, I admit, the people around her were mainly wanting her to save their own skins and she was their only hope, as far as they could tell at least, she still seemed a bit...I don't know the right word...too apprehensive for my taste. I can understand the circumstances were not ideal and everything was happening a bit too fast, and a little bit of denial is a given at first, but she had been coddled a bit too much by her mother. And by that, I mean, her mother allowed herself to run from her problems, and she continued to do so when Halen was informed of her fate to save the three realms, so that was all Halen basically knew, and so she did it herself. I guess I shouldn't fault her for that small chink in her personality, but it just bothered me a bit too much for my liking.
Other than that, I think the rest of the characters were okay. They were all likeable, especially Tage, I loved her. She was cool. The one character that confused me was Halen's sister, the sister she never knew about. While it wasn't the character herself which confused me, it was the way in which the other characters talked about her. I can understand believing in whether she was dead or not dead, but one of the characters just suddenly changed his adamant thoughts about her being not dead to a sudden declaration of her being dead almost near the book's end. I was just thinking on it and was gonna change my statement and say nevermind, that I understood the situation regarding this change, but after much deliberation, I still don't understand.
The story itself just felt unnecessary. I mean, the whole point of the story was to defeat a bad guy, and while I expected him to have a bigger role if this is to be a trilogy, he doesn't. Well, in a way, he does, which I still don't understand the ending, but the whole final battle was a bit anticlimactic for me. And there was not really a clear transition into a second book. Yes, the last few pages hinted at more, but I kind of wished for an event that would leave me breathless and pining like a jilted lover for the second book. And anyway, the build-up to the final battle, Halen's training and all that, seemed to fast for me. I kind of wish there was more to this first novel, because it just felt incomplete. The beginning was great, perfect even, but at some point that perfection waned and it felt like the rest of the story was a bit rushed. I think that with a better execution, this first book could be the basis for a phenomenal series.
I will be reading the second book when it comes out, because I want to know more about this third realm that is talked about in this book, the one that has been blocked by fire this entire time, but I kind of wish I could feel more toward it instead of just a slight curiosity of future events.