Kyra’s star ratings:
Story and characters: ****
General premise and inspiration: *****
Writing mechanics: ***
ebook formatting: ** (may not be the author’s fault, but I found the formatting in this ebook distracting – all dialogue in block quotes, could not change font face)
(I received a free copy of this book for the purpose of giving an honest review.)
“Desires” is the story of a young woman, Elean, who is the mortal manifestation of the Goddess Brighid, and the two young men, Liam and James, who are her best friends and protectors. Early on, in desperate circumstances, she is forced to choose one to be her husband. I could never quite get over the feeling that under duress she chose the wrong one, which only added to the poignancy of the love story. The other one is still in the picture, and they both remain devoted to her through thick and thin. The novel is based on Irish folklore and mythology, which provides a rich foundation for the story and which I found interesting.
The characters are likeable and engaging, although I did find myself wanting to smack Elean a few times (for insisting on sneaking out by herself even when she knew from hard experience that it was dangerous and even though the people who cared about her kept warning her not to, and also when she stayed mad at someone for over a month just because they took measures to make sure she did something that she desperately needed to do.) This reaction to a character is usually when I stop reading a novel, but I really wanted to see how the story turned out. Plus, I generally have that reaction to teenage characters acting like teenagers (don’t get me wrong, I love teenagers, my offspring include a current teenager and a former teenager) so I try not to let myself be prejudiced by it.
I also didn’t understand why, when one character came under an evil influence and became a threat to Elean, the whole clan full of warriors who were presumably loyal to her didn’t stand up and defend her. They knew this one character had become dangerous, but no one besides Elean, her nurse, and her warrior were willing to step up and protect her.
And finally, well, I hate it when that happens to a character at the end! *cry* Even though I did see it coming.
The book is very nicely illustrated. However, I found all the dialogue being set into block quotes distracting and disruptive to the flow of the story. (I don’t know if it was the author’s choice to do it this way or the book formatter’s choice.) The book could also use a close edit to clarify and smooth out the writing and to fix some grammar and punctuation problems.
Overall, though, “Desires” is an emotional, engaging novel. I think teens especially will appreciate the characters and the love story (although there is some sexual content that may make it inappropriate for younger teens), and anyone who’s interested in Irish folklore and mythology will enjoy the setting and story premise.