Saturday, January 11, 2014

Book Review: Echos Of Balance by Cally Ryanne

Echoes of Balance (The Ways Trilogy, #1) 

Category/genre:  Young Adult/Fantasy

My star rating: 5/5

Goodreads blurb:  For Chloe Moraine, fighting wild bears– and the occasional vampire– is a better pastime than the tediousness of keeping the universe in balance. But balancing is the family business. It comes with being one of the last in the ancient line of Naimei.
So when the impending return of the Original Demons threatens global harmony, Chloe is obligated to help. Even when that means the dull-as-dirt task of following a human girl who “might be involved, maybe,” instead of the thrilling hunt she craves.
With their powerful magic and ancient Ways, Chloe’s family is unconcerned, certain they’ll quickly fix the imbalance while she’s preoccupied with human high school. But when the Ways start to fail, the threat becomes more serious, and the only person that seems to know anything is a debonair vampire with an offer to help.
If Chloe chooses to trust him, and the darker side of the supernatural he represents, she’ll betray her family and risk losing them, and herself, in the process. But if he’s right, he may just be their only chance to stop the return of the Originals and save the world.
Maybe high school won’t be so boring after all.

THE RAVE-WORTHY: First off, let me just say that I did something with this book that I have never done before.  I bought it with out even reading the blurb because I was so turned-on by the cover.  The artist(s) over at Reuts Publishing really know what they are doing, I mean LOOK at that cover!!  Luckily, the story provided as much nourishment for my mind as the cover did for my eyes.  I've been trying really hard to do these reviews with out spoilers, this one will be difficult because I loved it so much I just want to tell you everything, but I will try to be good.  I was so relieved that this was not just another vampire story and I was kind of afraid it would be.  Chloe introduces you to a world filled with familiar (and some not so familiar) paranormal creatures seamlessly coexisting both with each other and with humans.  I found it refreshing that the vampires, shifters, even demons still have a grip on their humanity with out it being a big, dramatic struggle.  The exciting journey that you take with Chloe is enhanced with simple, convincing dialogue and astounding character development that doesn't rely on a romance to move the story along.  My favorite part was that the MC isn't who I necessarily believed to be the real heroine in this book (there are two more books to come in this series I believe, so Chloe will have her chance) but rather she is solely responsible for pushing the leading lady into her role.  For me, Aurelia was the one deserving of the "hero" award.  I mean, who else could say they could face being suddenly thrown into a world of magical creatures who are shouting about impending doom without missing a beat?  

THE GRUMBLE-WORTHY: It was really, really hard to find something to grumble about but I suppose if I must list something it would have to be the lack of originality when it came to the vampires.  Reminiscent of Twilight (yes, I am a proud fan of the books..the movies are another story but lets move on) and even True Blood, Cally's vampires are super fast and at their strongest and most chaotic when they are first turned.  I might've liked to have seen a different side of the sharp-toothed fellas.

WHAT WILL STICK WITH ME: This is a debut author? Seriously??  Cally should be proud of herself, and I'd venture to say that she is an author to keep your eye on.  Reuts, you should be proud of yourselves, as well, for recognizing her talent.  Kudos to all of you.

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