Thursday 26 September 2013

Book Review - Endless

Author: Amanda Gray
Genres: Fantasy | Young Adult
Release Date: 8th October 2013
Publishers: Month9Books
No. Pages: 384
Source: Review Copy - Month9Books
Buy From: Amazon | Book Depository | Barnes and Noble | Waterstones
Jenny Kramer knows she isn't normal. After all, not everybody can see the past lives of people around them. When she befriends Ben Daulton, resident new boy, the pair stumbles on an old music box with instructions for 'mesmerization' and discover they may have more in common than they thought.

Like a past life.

Using the instructions in the music box, Ben and Jenny share a dream that transports them to Romanov Russia and leads them to believe they have been there together before. But they weren't alone. Nikolai, the mysterious young man Jenny has been seeing in her own dreams was there, too. When Nikolai appears next door, Jenny is forced to acknowledge that he has traveled through time and space to find her. Doing so means he has defied the laws of time, and the Order, an ominous organization tasked with keeping people in the correct time, is determined to send him back. While Ben, Jenny and Nikolai race against the clock - and the Order - the trio discovers a link that joins them in life - and beyond death.

I'd like to first start off by thanking the author Amanda Gray for a digital arc copy of this book via NetGalley, my first ever digital arc copy of anything, and I thoroughly enjoyed being one of the may chosen to review it. It's only with much sadness that I didn't actually get out of the book what I feel the author put in, but I'll get to that later.

First, I'd like to congratulate the publishers and designers on, possibly the most beautiful cover I've seen these year. I feel that the cover's design goes so well with the story within, especially that of the cold and wintery feel you get from looking at it. The beautiful clip art style details top and tailing the title and on each of the chapter starting pages was also a lovely touch, and I feel that all these details, even that of the girl on the front looking and feeling lost all came together to create a breathtaking cover, which truthfully, was one of the two reasons I wanted to give this book a go. Once again, I had a case of 'I want it because it's pretty' which feels a little stupid considering I don't have a physical copy to look at, and I probably never will. Of course, the other reason I decided I wanted to give this book a go was that it was free, and I absolutely love anything that's free.

Plot wise, I feel that Endless just wasn't my thing at all. I struggled a lot with the fact most of it was based strongly on Russian and history and a family called the Romanov's, and while this was covered quickly on the synopsis, I didn't think it was going to be a huge disadvantage to not know much about it while reading. Turns out I was wrong, and while I could have done research both during and after reading, I don't think it would have made much of an improvement on my own personal enjoyment from reading Endless. While I did also like the idea of time travel and the whole romantic, if you can call it that, aspect of doing anything for the one you love and 'belong' with, I just couldn't take to the plot, or the characters very much at all. One of the biggest problems I had was just how Ms Gray seemed to try and paint over (pardon the pun) the insta-love she created between our main protagonist and potential love interest by creating a twist that meant they were in fact long lost lovers. I just couldn't get past this aspect through all 269 pages of my copy.

Yet, even though I had a lot of other problems with this book other than those I've already mentioned, I did however enjoy the character development between our main protagonist and another character, who may or may not look like a love interest depending how you interpret the story. Both of these characters became more confident with themselves and risked a large number of things for the two people they both cared for most, and I liked this feature. Another aspect I was pretty happy about was the way the author included a lot of 21st century family issues that people go through, especially that of abusive family members and deaths of close family members. These good points however just weren't enough for me to balance out the negatives, yet I do believe that in the right readers hands, this book could be beautiful and from the writing format and feeling I got, it could also be a beautiful series, just one I shan't be continuing with.

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