Review: Imogen’s Journey Ups the Action and the Stakes

515lgq7ukal(Review first appeared at Goodreads)

 

Imogen’s Journey picks up pretty much right where Imogen’s Secret left off. Imogen is still committed to her mission – to return to the planet her parents are from and rescue her dad and Leo (Tarik). Araz is with her and is committed to helping her and protecting her, although he is still loyal to his own government and not aligned with the ‘traitors’ Imogen is descended from.

She’s soon transported through space to a strange new-to-her world and learns she may already be too late to save her father. Leo’s life still hangs in the balance and she is determined to do whatever she can to keep him from being convicted and executed.

There are a lot of moving parts in this story. The reader gets more insight from different leaders on Holis and the story splits to follow different characters who are separated but key to the story.

Tanastra Thut maintains a narrative (the way he did in Book 1) through the historic accounts related to Holis. This ensures the reader has a full awareness of the background, and the way the history of the Holankind is being reshaped. The malicious intentions may not be readily clear to the various members of the resistance or others, like Imoge, Araz and Leo, who are involved, but a close reader will start to have a pretty good idea where the story is going from the clues.

I tore through this book at lightning speed and started it as soon as I’d finished the first book in the trilogy. There are a couple of minor niggle points. There’s a consistency issue (in one place it says it took 500 years to get Holis habitable, and in another place it says it took 300 years). There are a couple of typos, a couple of extra words. I said with book 1 that in a lesser read, a couple of technical details might have mattered more, and I did receive a review copy through The Book Club reviewer’s group, so these issues may have been resolved in the published version.

Even so, there’s nothing here to keep anyone from fully immersing themselves in this compelling, action-packed story. The author has a chance to show off her world-building skills by taking most of the action off of Earth and creating a vibrant planet of people, some of whom you easily fall in love with, while underscoring the potential threat the manipulative Holans who are in control pose to the universe.

The only complaint I have upon finishing is that I want the third book now. I’m desperate to see how my favorite Holans are doing, and with a ticking clock hanging over Araz’s head and an impossible choice he has to make, the future for all of Earth and Holis hangs in the balance. I can’t wait to see how the author is going to tie things up in book 3.

Check out my interview with the author and review of book 1.

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Review: Imogen’s Secret Hits it out of the Solar System

51jg7gt99tl(Review first appeared at Goodreads)

 

Imogen Reiner has a difficult life. Her mom has been in a coma for ten years and her dad is gone. She’s been guided by her grandfather for years to exercise caution and conceal some of her unusual traits from her friends at school and suspects there are a lot of things she doesn’t know.

When her granddad sends someone to live with her and train her and a mysterious stranger arrives at her college and seems to see things about her that most humans can’t, Imogen is caught between conflicting emotions and fear. She has to struggle to figure out who to trust while coming to terms with truths about herself that have been kept from her all her life, such as her ability to read chroma (colors that betray a person’s feelings and level of honesty) and where she’s really from.

I received a review copy through The Book Club’s reviewer group and am so glad that I did. There are a few minor things (verb tense consistency, one or two typos). In a lesser read those tiny points might have stood out more.

As is, the concept for this story is so compelling that the reader is swept up in the story, turning pages late into the night, desperate to find out what happens next. The parts of the story that center on Imogen are intense and compelling, and as a cast of supporting characters is fleshed out her world becomes very real for the reader.

There are sections intended to provide backstory, and while this is done in a way that ultimately intersects authentically with Imogen directly, I wasn’t completely certain the reader needed all of the details, but that’s more of a question of taste. Of course, I was invested in Imogen’s story, and the intersecting history stepped away from directly focusing on that, so I did find myself reading on to get back to her.

I’ve had to cut off my top recommendations for 2018 and start building a list for 2019, but had I read this a few weeks ago there is no doubt it would have been on my 2018 list and my 2019 list starts with this book firmly on top. It is worth every cent and if you love a good action/adventure/sci fi story with some romance this should rise right to the top of your TBR pile.

Check out my interview with the author here and my review of book 2 in the series here.