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YA, Paranormal Romance/Fantasy, 205 pages, self-published
- Series: clearly the first in a series, but I couldn't find any information about the second book.
- Pub date: July 4th 2011
- Disclosure: Received a review copy from the author. Thanks!
In the ever present dusk of Inbetween, Kara Hart wakes up dirty and alone with the memory of a girl named Dylan. She remembers meeting Dylan and how her heart beat when Dylan touched her face, but nothing else. When Kara is sent to Demitar, the evil ruler of Inbetween, the truth is revealed. She is Dylan's Guardian and neither of them are who they thought they were.The Long...
Set in a darker version our own world, Morning Rising follows Kara as she tries to save Dylan from Demitar's clutches. She is given three days to find Dylan and get her out of Inbetween before she belongs to Demitar forever. Memories must be regained and powers restored if they have a chance of escaping. Each memory and sighting of Dylan helps Kara remember the love they once shared. If only she can help Dylan remember before it's too late.
As one of the few YA book bloggers I know who accepts self-published novels for review, my inbox is regularly swamped with requests--mostly high fantasy novels and paranormal romance, most of which I turn down. When I received a request for this book--a lesbian paranormal romance high fantasy novel--I surprised myself by saying yes. I didn't know when I'd get around to it, I told the author. I've got a lot to read. So imagine my surprise when one day last week I had nothing to read when I found my Nook full of expired NetGalley copies...and this book. So I read it.
And, surprising myself again: I really enjoyed it.
The book opens with our heroine Kara escaping into an alleyway after a particularly nasty encounter with her mother's nasty boyfriend, where she meets cigarette-smoking femme fatale bad girl Dylan. It's love at first sight for Kara, but as their story in flashbacks is slowly told, Dylan can't seem to look past her self-destructive tendencies long enough to notice Kara as anything other than a convenient friend to have while sober. Kara knows there's something terribly wrong with Dylan's new sleazy dealer, but little does she know that he's really a denizen of the Inbetween--a land between the the magical world and our own. Turns out Dylan is a princess caught in the middle of a fairy war, and Kara is her inbetween--a magical guardian in love with her charge. With both their human and fairy memories robbed, the two must find each other and escape Inbetween within three days--or else.
It's a fantastically original adventure, with the bizarre city of Inbetween acting as one of the more gorgeous fantasy settings I've seen lately. Sure, it's full of romance and adventure cliches, but Boyette manages to put just enough of a spin on most of them that it still feels fresh and exciting.
My biggest problem with this novel was the editing. It was full of typos and small errors that could have been easily fixed by a professional editor, and it would have polished Morning Rising up enough that it could more easily reach the wider audience it deserves. The story also falters somewhat in the ending, with a few too many gotcha! moments and deux ex machina for comfort.
Still, it's nice to find a novel that reminds me of the role self-publishing in the grand scheme of storytelling: as a sandbox for new ideas and voices that might not fit so easily into the mainstream. It's only 99 cents for the Nook or Kindle, and for 53,000 words of adventure, it's worth it.
...and the Short:
A fun, rollicking adventure-romance that's in need of a good editing, but still well worth the 99-cent price. Boyette is an exciting and fresh new voice, and I can't wait to see what she does next.
The Final Word: Liked it.