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Review of Chosen by Jolea M. Harrison

Review of Chosen by Jolea M. HarrisonChosen by Jolea M. Harrison
Series: Guardians of the World #1
on June 28th, 2011
Genres: Fantasy
Pages: 293


Dynan Telaerin finds himself on a corpse-strewn hillside, uncertain if he's dead or alive, charged with saving his ancestor, the most powerful telepath to ever exist. Dynan has telepathic powers of his own, only he doesn't know how to use them. With monsters and minions hunting him down, the demon's lair isn't the place to learn anything - except how to run and how to hide. Will courage alone be enough to face the greatest evil to exist? Will he lose his soul to save everyone else?

The running starts, and doesn't stop to the end of this action packed adventure of a young man coming to terms with his life while he's barely a spirit, through horrors he thought existed only in dreams.

This is a tough one for me to review. There was a lot I liked about it, but I wanted … more.

First off, I think this was well written. It all flowed nicely, and the pacing was great. The book was a quick read with each page urging you to the next. I was pleasantly surprised.

The reason for my conflict is partly because based on my reading preferences I shouldn’t have liked this book. I don’t pick up young adult because the characters are usually super whiny or just plain annoying. Don’t get me started on all the love triangles that ruin young adult books. I didn’t realize the characters were young when I downloaded this. However, they were well written. Certainly they had a youthful flair, but not in the normal “Why me?” voice. And bless Harrison, she kept out love triangles. But not only was this YA, it also had some sci-fi elements woven into the story. (And if you remember I usually struggle with sci-fi.) Honestly, I wish there weren’t. The mesh never really seemed to work for me, but luckily it wasn’t a focus of any part of the story so it never distracted from the plot.

My other reason I didn’t fall in love was the twins’ relationship. I love siblings in books. Seriously love it. I wish there were more, and it was a major reason I started reading this book. They are close and extremely involved with each other, but we never really see that close relationship. We’re told, and only a handful of examples are shown, and none really give me that deep connection that’s supposed to be there. Now, this is the first book, so perhaps that will happen more in the next one, but it felt a bit lacking for me.

Despite this, I did enjoy both brothers. They had unique voices. Matter of fact, I liked all the PoV’s we were given. The characters were developed barely enough to keep me interested, and it left me wanting more. I kept wanting to explore their inner thoughts just a bit longer than the author.

As for the world, it was interesting enough for a reader like me that doesn’t get super excited over complicated worlds. I enjoyed that I got enough details thrown in here and there to grow the scenes and history, but none of it bogged down the flow of the story.

What I loved most was the setting. One character gets stuck in a purgatory/hell-like setting. Don’t worry, I won’t tell you if he/she actually died or if his,her soul is merely sent there while his/her body is alive. The gory setting is awesome. And it is gory. Harrison does a good job setting up suspense, and those scenes where our character is hunted are pretty awesome. It makes it a fast read.

Besides my complaint about the brothers lacking a showing relationship, I must say the climax in purgatory had me very confused. I might have read it too quick, but I never felt very grounded in the scene. Matter of fact, there were a few scenes that left me floating without a good visual, while others were painted wonderfully.

Overall, I might be wishy-washy on this, but I think it’s a good, fast read, especially for those who like a bit of demon/hell activity and some gore.

About Jolea M. Harrison

In 8th grade, author Jolea M. Harrison was required to write a 5-page essay on a person from history that she admired. She wrote 40, got an A and her teacher, Mrs. Miller was so impressed, gave her extra, extra credit. After reading The Lord of the Rings, the fantasy bug bit, which was then complicated by her immediate love of Star Wars and other works of science fiction. Not paying attention to genre barriers, Jolea set out to write the story she wanted to, combining these two genres in an enticing and unique way, producing 8 novels in the Guardians of the Word series. They are Chosen, Myth, Telepath, Legend, Union, Seer, Adept, King.

Her other interests are teaching in the field of special education, and maintaining her Civil War era home. On a recent fact finding mission about the house, she discovered the name of a young soldier who died there while being cared for by a field doctor. She has two children who firmly believe in ghosts.

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