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Friday, 8 March 2013

*** Review*** After Realm by Renee Travis

On the Back of the Book

Hellebella is not your average teenager. She is a demon princess from the underworld. She does, however, have teenager tendencies. She is outspoken, blunt, funny and rebellious. When a final act of rebellion sends her father into a rage, he sends her off to the North American School of Paranormal Princes-sing where he hopes she can learn to become a proper young lady and do something constructive with her life.

Not the only princess being sent away to the NASPP, Hellebella meets a lively bunch of girls from different paranormal kingdoms, including fairies, a vampire and shape-shifters. But not everything is light and happy at school. The girls find themselves entranced by a secret and mysterious club in another realm. There, they are forced to dance every night, and if they do not the consequences are dire.

Helle, as her new friends call her, must find a way to break them free of the spell holding them hostage, figure out WHO is behind the malicious magic and struggle with her own love for her best friend’s brother. Hopefully she can save them in time, before they become ghosts powerless to stop the magic from harming someone else.

Pre Read Thoughts

I’m choosing this because:

Since I seem to be on a roll when it comes to enjoying my review requests I decided to have a read of another one! (I have a bit of a pile! I’m in demand. Remember if you’re an author and you think I’ll like your book you can email me.) The things that drew me to this were the synopsis and the fact that it’s a fairytale retelling of the 12 Dancing Princesses. Retellings are definitely something that interest me. The way people choose to twist the stories to make them fit a more modern setting is amazing – unless they’ve done a bad job... then it’s all *sad face* *cries in corner*

Judging a book by its cover:

The cover – oh dear God do not get me started... okay, review layout, if you insist but you may regret it. It’s awful! It doesn’t fit the synopsis of the book at all. It’s the kind of cover I run away from screaming. It looks so cheap and looks so indie (I love some indie covers; you’ve seen me rave about how pretty they are). It makes me worry about what’s inside. If you can’t afford someone making you a cover, please download a free graphics programme and learn how to use it! Spend time on your cover; it’s what people see first.

Pricing the (possible) awesomeness:

The price of this is 77p for Kindle, it’s a complete bargain!! Even if you don’t like the story it costs little more than a chocolate bar! Since I can’t eat chocolate maybe I should buy more 77p books... anyway off topic. I’ve noticed that there’s also a paperback available for £4.74 so if you like paper, you’re covered!

Post Read Thoughts

I enjoyed this more than I thought I would. This was such an easy read that I finished it in less than 24 hours! I breezed through this and found myself losing track of time, (I’m not joking, Mischief and Tiny nearly starved! Well dinner was 10 mins late but you know what cats are like!) I enjoyed how Ms Travis made the retelling work and I totally didn’t see where the story was going which is always a good thing, so credit where it’s due. I did notice a few error when it came to spelling and grammar but they were few and didn’t take away from the story. My only real complaint about the book is that I felt too much time was wasted describing the outfits of 8 girls!! I don’t really care, give me a general idea, let my imagination take some of the strain!

Due to the amount of princesses I’m going to do my character breakdowns in pairs otherwise I’m going to be here all week.

Hellebella & Lilith – Hellebella is our MC and the book is from her POV. I did like her but had issues with how obsessed she was with her horns (not a euphemism!) and what a wonderful demon she is. Lilith is her new found BFF ad she’s a vampire, a rubbish vampire if what we’re led to believe is true. She’s quiet and spineless and there wasn’t really enough personality there for me to judge her. I thought she was a bit goody goody.

Cali & Sabine – These girls are were-creatures - Cali a wolf and Sabine a cat. They’re also having a secret lesbian relationship which is one of the more obvious plot threads. It’s not really touched on and the girls don’t get beyond hand holding in the view of other characters. I actually really liked these two and would’ve liked to know more about them both. I love shifters so this pair were right up my street!

Mikado & Taylor – Mikado is an earth witch and Taylor’s a goblin. I wasn’t really a fan of either of these but from what there was of them in the book they seemed genuinely nice. That’s pretty much all I have to say about these two.

Raven & Roxana – These two are princesses in the sense that they’re spoilt and have never been told the word ‘no’ in fact I doubt they know what it even means. They’re both snobby, but as the book went on I found myself warming to Raven, I found that I thought that Roxana was beyond redemption. She was horrible to everyone and really did nothing to put that straight in my head. I think they need their heads banging together and their designer clothes taken away because I really don’t care how much Prada and Gucci they have.

Overall I did enjoy this, despite my character rages and the overly descriptive outfits. The writing is decent and aside from the few mistakes I mentioned in paragraph one, easy to read. I also found this to be an incredibly speedy read. The retelling adds a whole new level of fairytale with the addition of the paranormal twist of our Princesses. I also like how this wasn’t dragged out , although I’d like some other retellings from Renee Travis.

My Rating

4 Stars – This is a classic tale of don’t judge a book by its cover. The story inside is actually really good though it had a few niggles for me. I think this is well worth reading and I look forward to hopefully seeing other books from this author.

A Final Note

I’d just like to thank Renee Travis for providing me with a review copy of this. My views have been altered in no way and I think more people need to read and review this. 

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