I’m doing my first blog tour here and featuring Marissa Carmel’s novel iFeel. I know what many of you are thinking – Daniel, you write historical alternate history with a decidedly non-magical flair, what are you thinking? – Well first, I wanted to review something different, and two, just because I write that now doesn’t mean I always write that. Plus, I enjoy reading a variety of novels, so this one was a good pick for me.
Alivyanna Christianni is one of those people with too much emotion and too little control. As she slides between one near-breakdown to the next, fate throws a new wrench into her otherwise isolated and lonely life. As though she needs a new problem. Liv is being hunted by a spirit walker, a big-old-nasty thing that enjoys sucking souls out of people for food and fun. After a terrifyingly near-death attack, she meets her savior and protector, Justinian, or Justice. As Justice tries to get Liv to realize who and what she really is, she fights her own battles on the inside, waging between love, hatred, disgust, and acceptance, leading up to an excellent stopping point for the next novel in the series.
The Good: The novel was quick and had little downtime, the scenes were well described and the world was both involved and believable. The characters are realistic, even if the story behind them is somewhat supernatural. I’ll admit, I figured, for a while, that vampires would feature prominently into this story. But they don’t, barely being a blip on the radar screen. I really liked the Seraphs, semi-angelic humans who are supernatural and have gifts, as well as the involvement of other types of supernaturals. Too often we focus on one type in a story, when mythology and history are full of many, many different types of supernatural entities.
The Bad: There are times when you go “what just happened?” and you go back to reread and it still doesn’t make sense. The flow throws you out and you get confused. Also, some of the sayings the author uses are just… Here’s a good example “It was like an A/B conversation she could C into.” Liv’s mind is sarcastic, but it’s a tad bit overdone in this aspect. Oh, I admit I also didn’t really like how some words were emphasized like THIS but in completely different font. Maybe I’m a finicky reader, but little things like that detract from a story’s experience. Liv is never really the master of her emotions and lets them lead her around by the nose, but that’s what happens when you are an Empath and that’s your skill, so I can’t fault her for it.
Overall: Good story, engaging. Definitely for the fans of supernatural books and shows. People Who enjoyed Vampire Diaries or Twilight will enjoy this book, but don’t read it expecting vampires, and Liv at least has some capacity to think for herself when she isn’t overwhelmed by emotions. 3 1/2 stars in my book.