Monday, April 1, 2013
Review:Weeping for Raven by Mel Kinder
This book is a real surprise.
I've been avoiding this one hoping Mel would put it on sale or maybe offer it free. Not that it's all that expensive; it's just a bit more than I pay for new author e-books. Plus I wasn't absolutely certain about the genre. And, I have all these other books here in my kindle that I haven't read yet.
After reading a number of reviews- they all are pretty favorable- some are rather short and not real helpful- but the ones that took time to demonstrate they read the book left some great impressions to entice me.
I wasn't disappointed.
We start out with a bit of mystery with someone in a garden of flowers and trees who is wondering how they got there. The last they knew they were asleep in bed. So this could be a dream or she could be sleepwalking. The dream theory is enhanced by the fact that her hair is the wrong color.
Then we move to a normal setting and for a while it's a question of; is this just another teen angst story. It takes only a few pages to get past and thankfully the author gets us into the real story.
There is a great need for background though, I think. That's my theory. Gwen Penn lives with her grandparents. She's getting ready to chose a college. She's limiting herself because she is certain her grandparents need her near. During the admission process she meets Mick whose nickname is Mimic-because of a stutter problem. Gwen feels a slight connection to Mimic but because she has kept to herself recently she tries to keep it out of her mind. She is affected enough to design her class schedule around his.
Gwen's mother has been institutionalized because she's not all there. This is something we learn as things go. I must confess I honestly can't remember what happened with her father if it was mentioned. I'll have to read this again soon. She has lost her best friend, Baylee in an accident. All of this is important because Gwen's about to question her sanity soon. And, I can't help but wonder about what might really be afflicting her mother.
This ordinary life is created to contrast the world where the story will really take place. Rook Dresden- through a twist of fate- will happen across a young woman collapsed in a garden. This is Gwen who will find that she's not only in someone else body but she's in some rather strange world.
Rook has a lot of strange similarities in his life. He's lost his mother in an accident and his sister Raven is in a coma and his father is institutionalized because he blames himself for his wife's and daughter's condition.
Despite herself Gwen has an immediate and intense connection to Rook; her initial thoughts are [quote]...cute is trouble. Cute got people into trouble. Partly to blame for over occupancy at the animal shelters. It weakened good judgement. [/quote]In this world Gwens senses seem to be heightened and with the relentless nature of Rook; she won't be able to rely on her good judgement.
While trying to pretend nothing is wrong with her Gwen slowly learns that this world is very different from hers. People are nocturnal. Cars don't have wheels because they fly. There are no restaurants and no banks. They don't eat but feed off the energy of a dark sun. They have magical abilities. And, partially because of the heightened sense, Gwen thinks its a paradise.
Strangely one constant in both worlds is her cat-the one in the new world looks just like her's - it has a different name while her's was called Whinny this one is Chester. This is something she finds out at the same time as she finds out that its Alex Murdock whose body she inhabits.
This story is like sliders with a quantum leap twist.
This is when things get really interesting-like that old curse.
Cat, a friend of Alexa's, shows up to inform Gwen that she knows about her and that Alexa had been experimenting with a drug to induce a condition they refer to as a Wardlow. Wardlows are a supposed epidemic that wipes away a persons soul replacing it with a beast. Alexa was trying to prove that that theory was wrong by inducing the condition. The big problem is that Cat was supposed to have been there to prevent Gwen from interfacing with anyone. Gwen was never meant to meet Rook. And there are people who hunt Wardlows -the hunters from the world of the unseen- and beings who detect them, the TAS the all seeing. When the all seeing find a wardlow they send the hunters to hunt them and because there is no cure for their condition they are executed.
Okay, so I might be going too far here and I don't mean to spoil things so I better stop. There are still a lot of layers to this story I haven't touched anyway.
Gwen who has otherwise isolated herself from friendship is the type of person who can't easily lie to others and now she finds herself in a position where she needs to lie to keep alive. Just when she thought she could make friends she finds that she can't trust anyone. And, she has no idea what Alexa might be doing with her own real life back in her world.
This is an exciting almost paranormal romance blended with science fiction and some elements of fantasy with the potential to throw in a bit of horror. Even Gwen thinks jokingly over the curiosity of what genre she would be; when Rook compares her to an interesting book. She wonders if it would be Horror? or Science Fiction.
No mater what of the many genre above if you like any of those you'll love this. And even though it promises to be a serial of some sort the ending is satisfying enough to make you yearn for the next book.