A fascinating world and story that left me wanting more (minor spoilers),
June 21, 2013
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This review is from: The Chronicles of Koa: Netherworld (Kindle Edition)The Chronicles of Koa focuses on the journey of Koa, a female, half vampire living in the human world with her guardian Halston, a "perfect man" of unique and mysterious powers to an underworld of evil and danger. From the beginning, it's clear that there will certainly be surprises as Koa has abilities that makes her character very different; for instance, in combat, she effortlessly wields a huge sword that detects evil and she can be exposed to direct sunlight.. In a recurring theme, the author seems to play with the reader, taking your stereotypes of what is accepted about the rules of vampires and other fantastical creatures but presenting something different.
I thoroughly enjoyed Koa, the character. She is depicted as a strong and powerful protagonist, but one with flaws. She is frequently impulsive throughout the novel and quick to anger both, somewhat anti-thematic to the calm, cool grace that most vampires are associated with. But she exhibits feistiness and self-resolve as her past is slowly revealed. You learn that even what Koa herself knows is not all there is to her life and situation. In this sense, I felt that Netherworld was a bit of an origin story that seem to be all the rage in superhero movies these days. The main character is just starting to learn about her powers and how to use them in her surroundings.
The supporting cast that Koa and Halston meet in their travels is the other strength of the author's writing. I found several of the characters genuinely interesting and am anxiously awaiting their continuing roles in the next book. The others are a very eclectic mix and have their own background and abilities which I hope are expanded on in the future.
There are some light romance themes throughout as well. But to be clear, the story is NOT anything like the fluffy young adult drivel of a certain goopy all too long vampire movie series. This is a character driven adventure in a rich and detailed world which the protagonist learns about her past as we the readers do. Her self discovery changes her perspective on the few friends she has and we share in those moments of confusion and enlightenment as she struggles to figure out herself and her past.
Bottom line: this is an engrossing read that ends all too soon. A book that is part dark fantasy, part adventure with colorful and creative personalities throughout; think less Twilight Saga and more Arya Stark meets Ocean 11.
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