This review is a part of a author hosted blog tour. Ms Arielle sent me a copy of her book to review. Thank you Ms. Arielle, I enjoyed the South African adventure. Be sure to enter the giveaway at the bottom of the post, hosted by the author.
Release Date: June 5, 2013
Genre: Fantasy, AA Fiction
Review Date: October 11, 2013
Rating: 4 bookmarks
Synopsis Sure, Kay’s parents didn’t think twice about sending her to therapy.
After all, Kay fully believes that she just narrowly escaped an explosion, watched a handsome co-ed walk through fire for her—oh, and that she battled an extremely skilled foe to the death—all before her 10 AM class!
They’re just dreams of course, but when this talented NYU student wins a coveted trip to South Africa, she soon finds out the truth—that everything her parents TRIED to convince her wasn’t real actually lies HIDDEN deep in a jungle Kay once assumed was paradise.
Now, if Kay can survive the hand-to-hand combat and the one with the ivory dagger who wishes her death, Kay may just get the answers that unlock her dreams. Kay might even fall in love. On the other hand, our brave girl may get an answer to something she never wanted to know the answer TO:
What happens… when you die.
Disclaimer: I received this book as a courtesy of the author in exchange for an honest review.
Let's start with the end shall we? I'm not sure what to make of it. I was kind of taken aback by it. I was really hoping for happy ending after all the drama that poor Kay had been through during her time in South Africa. Instead we got a cliff hanger of sorts. One that made you go “Hmm". Maybe that's where the title ties in. Kay seems to be a phoenix rising at the end of the book. Clearly there's going to be a second book to explain what becomes of Kay.
Now back to the beginning of things. The story starts on in New York, where we learn about Kay, her summer romance with Callum and her upcoming internship in Africa. Once she arrives in her new destination, things go left very quickly. Kay is kidnapped, then rescued, she finds a new life, a new family, new responsibilities.
Although I really I enjoyed the story, I do feel that some of the transitions between Kay's narrating in the present then giving us glimpses into the past needed a tad more finesse. Especially in the first 50 pages or so. Once I got into the rhythm of the authors writing style I didn't have as many problems identifying when the story flashbacks began or ended.
Now on to the characters. I adore Kay. She's strong, kind, and always tries to do the right thing. She's not perfect, which makes her relatable. You'll find yourself rooting for her the whole time. I like Callum and I like him with Kay. They had a true love affair that blossomed quickly and lasted a lifetime. When Kay left the country after breaking up with him I felt really bad for them both. I was really hoping that he would come back into the picture. Which he did eventually did, just in time. I wish that there was a bit more explanation as to why Kay was seeing Callum die in her dreams. I sort of felt that once the story got going in Africa, her dreams concerning Callum were sort of left behind.
The people of Ipharadisi really took Kay in and her life there was almost like a fairy tale. Her sisters Zania and Tuki, her grandfather, even her quasi love interest Erec, all added depth to the adventure. To read about that sort of culture and the dynamic where a village has to Queen was very interesting and entertaining.
I really enjoyed the story. I hope to be able to read the second book when it comes out, as I would love to find out what happens next. I recommend this book for those looking to read a multicultural book, or even a book in an exotic location.