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Monday, November 12, 2012

Review/Giveaway: Five by Christie Rich

Title: Five
Series: Elemental Emnity Book 1
Author: Christie Rich
Format: Ebook provided for review
Published: August 2011
Tour: Yes, Dark Mind Book Tours

Rayla Tate’s life is about to turn vertical…again. As if it wasn’t bad enough her mother disappeared under questionable circumstances leaving Rayla to be raised by her aunt in a horrendously small town. Her overprotective guardian is determined to ruin Rayla’s life. She refuses to let Rayla out of her sight or out of the state. Provincial living might be what her aunt demands of her purposely sheltered niece; but, Rayla has other ideas. In a desperate attempt to follow her dreams she flees the safety of her home and runs away to college with her best friend toward a bright future in the art world.
However, excitement over her newfound freedom turns into terror when she is chased by a mysterious stranger on her way to school. When his motorcycle suddenly morphs into a fire-breathing pegasus, Rayla questions her sanity. Worse, the man riding next to her stirs a burning desire in her soul she has never known or could have ever imagined. Using all the will she owns, she manages to resist the compulsion she feels; yet, as he disappears into the night, she is certain he hasn't gone far. 

Rayla quickly dismisses the encounter to her overactive imagination. She is determined to settle into her new life, yet the images and feelings of that night still haunt her. To make matters worse, her aunt seems to be in on the act, insisting that Rayla will soon be hunted by a pack of fae lords for a power over the elements she never knew she possessed—a power that could change the world. Quicker than she ever thought possible, she finds herself surrounded by stunning men that all seem determined to win her heart. Why does she feel drawn to each one of them? More importantly, what dark power do they hold over her? Rayla must quickly learn to fend off these beautiful and seductive pursuers using whatever means necessary or find herself lost to the fae world forever.

I am kind of on the fence about this book.  On one hand I really loved the storyline and the characters, but on the other hand there were some elements that I really don't get into that much.  Five is very much about fae and fairytales and all of the magic that goes with it. For my own personal tastes, I could have had a bit more fae, and a bit less fairytale. Here’s what I mean: 

Onyx black Pegasus: Awwwwesome. Trolls that steal things and no one can see them: meh. Fae lords who all want to claim you and make you their own: Awwwwwesome. Crystalcastles and beautiful alternate dimensions: beautiful, but not quite my "thing"!

Now, of course, some people dig trolls and fairy kingdoms. And while it is not exactly my thing, the descriptions were absolutely beautiful and magical. And I did catch myself kind of holding my breath wishing I could see a picture of this beautiful fairyland. Maybe the issue I had with the book is it was a bit more on the ‘Y’ side of YA than the ‘A’ side. 

Even with those things, it was a really good story. Rayla is an intriguing character who has been lied to her entire life, and then she finds out the truth just a bit too late. She’s informed that she has Elemental powers, but they don’t become active until she bonds with a lord. Meanwhile she is trying to stay away from the lords because they want to absorb some of her power during the bonding.  She has kind of a feminist view on the whole situation, while most Elementals are eager to bond and mate with lords.  I would have really liked to see her learn more about her actual self, more than the fae – but I imagine that will come up in upcoming books. From the little bit you do get to see of her power, it sounds pretty cool.

There were a lot of characters in this book to keep up with. Some of them I really liked quite a bit, like Zach, Rayla’s new sort of boyfriend. He very much seems to be the strong, protective type that I love to see.  Some were really interesting and I wanted to learn more, like the Waynebrothers. They were quite interesting and had some very deep secrets.  And some I just didn’t connect with at all, like Cassie, Rayla’s best friend. At first I was really on board with Cassie, but as time went on I started to sway away, and by the end I was totally off Team Cassie.  She seemed to be in a book all her own, and not really the friend to Rayla that she claimed to be.  However, she did aide her in getting away from Aunt Grace, so she does get points for that.

The story was fast paced and had a lot of action. Things kept changing and morphing, and I was entertained through nearly the whole story. The high point to it all, for me,  was Rayla, who took her life into her own hands right from the start. I really admired her strong and independent attitude and enjoyed getting to know her. 

I think readers of YA Fantasy will really dig this story. If you love fae and all that goes with, then this is surely for you. I hope you get a chance to read (and enjoy!) it soon!

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Author Bio

I grew up daydreaming about fairytales, and my love for discovering new worlds has never died. I am not one of those writers who always knew I would write. I thought that was what other people did until one day a few years ago, I took a challenge from a friend and typed my first words. My journey has been wonderful, and I cannot imagine a day where I would ever give up writing now. My love for reading is what fueled my imagination in the first place and still does. When I am not writing or reading, I am enjoying family time with my husband and two children. We live in a quiet community under the Wellsville mountains in Utah, and I am so thankful for the rich life I have been blessed with.

Book's Links:

Barnes & Noble | Smashwords | Createspace

Do you want to read Five?  Here's your chance!  For the giveaway, Christie is offering one e-copy of Dark Matter (Book 2) and one e-copy of Genesis (Book 3) to one winner, open Internationally, 
Ends 11-16-12 

Five (Book 1 in the Elemental Emnity Series) is free on Smashwords and Barnes & Noble, so go grab your copy and enter the giveaway for your chance to win Book 2 & 3!

a Rafflecopter giveaway