Series: AVRA-K #1
Published by Self Published on March 23rd 2011
Genres: paranormal, young adult
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Her mom is dead.
Ghosts follow her around.
Her best friend is an elephant.
And she’s about to meet the biggest game changer of all: a boy. With a secret.
When circus-dwelling Gemma Flannery learns she will be attending public school for the first time in her seventeen years, little does she know that fitting in with her 12th-grade classmates will be the least of her concerns. A pro at hiding her knack for seeing the dead (“shades”), Gemma is grieving the recent suicide of her mentally ill mother, a process eased by the introduction of her first real love interest, the charming and painfully handsome Henry Dmitri, who is harboring his own collection of dangerous secrets. Together, they will be presented with a frightening challenge: to assume their roles as heirs to a 3000-year-old magical text, the AVRAKEDAVRA, a book the über-rich, sleight-of-being master Lucian Dmitri would do anything to get his hands on. As each terrifying layer in her new reality melts away, Gemma unearths truths that her quiet, nomadic life with the Cinzio Traveling Players is not at all what she’d always cherished. Gemma and Henry must rely on each other to stop Lucian’s diabolical plotting that will bring the world to its tired, scab-riddled knees, and are sent on the flight of their young lives, to save themselves, their families, and the world from the darkest kind of destruction.
First, let’s talk about what I loved. Amazing characters, awesome setting, and a believable plot. The balance of the three was perfect. I couldn’t honestly say that it was character-driven or plot-driven, because the balance was so well done. I loved Gemma, Ash, and Marlene, but my favorite character by far was Irwin. I would’ve loved to have someone like Irwin looking out for me in my life. I wasn’t really a Henry fan at the beginning but he grew on me by the end. He was just too sweet to Gemma. I like a little bit of bad boy in my men. I was more of an Ash fan..but Jen took care of that for me as well. I can’t reveal how or why without revealing spoilers, and I try to keep my reviews as spoiler-free as I can.
I love circuses. I know they are bad for the animals, I just think they make great book settings. Water For Elephants anyone? And I love elephants. I can’t believe major publishers passed on this novel. It was fantastic. But I’m glad you went and published it anyway Jen. This is a book you can be proud of. And Lucian made such a great villain. One of the creepiest villains I’ve encountered this year so far.
I’d like to talk quickly about what I didn’t like. And I say quickly, because there isn’t much. Truthfully, I just felt like the plot could’ve been tightened up just a bit more. There were a few parts in the book where I felt the action dragged a little bit. There weren’t any specific scenes I would’ve removed or anything, I just felt sometimes maybe the author went into too much detail. It was a bit wordy in places. But honestly, even though I thought that could’ve been improved upon, the writing was beautiful and it flowed so well.
Basically I’m just dying to read the next one. I’ve been told it’s an action movie on paper. I hope certain characters redeem themselves, but that is doubtful. This is one series I will be continuing. Guys, this is a self-published novel. It is available for purchase on Amazon in ebook form. But you need to get it. It’s fantabulous.