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Char :)

Thursday, 30 May 2013

***Review*** Red Desert Rain (Earth Angel #1) by Ruth Ellen Parlour

A thrilling adventure hosting an array of heroes and heroines you can’t help but fall in love with. Earth Angel is a high fantasy book aimed at young adults.

Eardesha is protected by the twelve Gods and their Earth Angels. Fighting against her destiny as an Earth Angel, Faith is returning to the temple for her lover who she had to leave behind. Gabrielle, a criminal, escapes from prison only to be guided back by the God’s to help Faith stop a war.

Threatened by invasion from the Krieger, Eardesha’s military trains convicted criminals into a brutal and disposable army. Gabrielle and Faith discover a power the Gods have kept secret for thousands of years, a secret that would change the future of Eardesha, and use it to stop the war.

I'm Choosing This Because:

Well simply: The author asked me to. How could I say no? However I can see a typo in the blurb. I hate typos. I get you're an indie author but that should spur you on to be better than traditionally published authors. Who cares if they have more funds to do what they want with? You should aim to make your book just as good. Anyway, slight rant there. I think you can see that it puts me off. However, I said I'd read it and I'll give it a fair chance. Another confusing thing about this is it has 2 names. In the email I was told it was called "Earth Angel" but the Smashwords link I received led me to "Red Desert Rain" so I'm reviewing this as what my copy is.

Judging a Book By Its Cover:

Umm... The two different titles have different covers so I'm not entirely sure how to go about this. Shall I say a few words about each? Yes Char, I think that's a good idea. Okay, so now that I've established that let's do this.

Earth Angel Cover - Well it's brown. Very brown. Not a colour I'm used to seeing on a book cover. I have many coloured covers but not brown. Not that I can see anyway. I suppose it works since the title is "Earth Angel" and it has a certain earthiness about it. The focal point is a circle that's in sections and in each section is a shape. While it's an intriguing concept it's not very eye-catching. On a positive note I do love the font. It's very old looking but still clear to read. Overall it's a cover that I'd definitely just walk past if I saw it.

Red Desert Rain Cover - Out of the two covers this is definitely the one that I prefer. It's still brown, but this is a darker shade. Which would normally have me saying the opposite. However the thing I really like is the central focus. It's a sort of weird creature type thing. Meh, but the colours are really pretty and stand out, giving me a reason to actually stop and take notice of what I'm seeing. The title font has changed slightly. I prefer the one used in "Earth Angel", it's more readable.

I guess that overall I'm saying that while both covers are very different to what I normally go for. I'm positive that I wouldn't buy either book based on the cover though. Sorry!

Pricing the (Possible) Awesomeness:

Okay so this is available on Amazon for 77p. I'm going to let you in on a little secret though. I got my copy for free. Off Smashwords. And Smashwords is better because once you've bought you can use a number of formats. I tend to go for PDF so I can read on my laptop. There's no physical version of this though but free on Smashwords so who cares? 

This is going to be a difficult book for me to review. Simply because it's not my normal genre of reading and I'm not sure if that held me back in any way. The PDF is only 143 pages so I thought I'd be finished quickly, this took me nearly a week to read. However, I will still review and review honestly. So sit back because I think this review is going to be a long one. (I don't mean that in a rude way. This is already nearly 750 words long.)

I'm going to start with a positive. Something I really liked about "Red Desert Rain" was the descriptiveness of the scenes. I could really picture all the different landscapes that the different characters encountered. The time that the author spent describing the scenes genuinely set my imagination on fire. This made me feel passion for the story which I can't help but feel was a solid idea at the heart of it. I'd personally leave this as a stand alone. Too many books are a series nowadays and it had the perfect standalone ending. (Just saying, I'm not trying to spoil things.)

Despite the descriptive scenes I did have more than a spot of trouble actually immersing myself into the plot. I think it's a mixture of this being a slow burner plot wise (As you all know I tend to like action-packed stories because they pull me in and make me want to join the characters.) and the fact that I did keep noticing little spelling and grammar issues. I saw one word spelt two different ways. Slightly disconcerting to say the least. I do think this would benefit from a quick look over by a professional who could just make the story a bit easier for people to read. As for the pacing, this was told in split POV and the converging of the stories felt slightly weird as the big action sequence was pretty much happening by the time we were fully together and the showdown had been coming about for quite a large portion of the book.

As a reader I would've appreciated more background on the history of the hybrids. We'd be given descriptions of lots of different animal/human hybrids yet there wasn't a proper explanation of how they came to be, just a brief "the Gods blessed them while they were in the womb." type thing. That's great and everything but with so much description surrounding other aspects of the book I'd expect the same attention to detail on this. I'm only pointing this out because the idea interested me but I didn't fully understand and I'd really like to.

Gabrielle - Now she's the girl our story starts with. She plays a small but integral role in the story. I can't really comment on her because I saw so little of her. The only reason I'm bringing her up is because I wanted to see more of her. It seems silly to give an inconsequential character such a huge part of the story. Well it does to me anyway.

Zenovia - Most of the story follows her. I'm not sure why as she's just to the periphery of most of the action. I think I'd have much preferred if the bulk of the story was from Faith's POV. However back to Zenovia, she's a soppy character and pretty much instantly becomes hung up on a guy she can't have. This annoys me, the story didn't need an almost love story in there. it was irrelevant. I don't want to be on a constant downer though, there is some growth from her but I personally didn't find it to be enough to like her.

Emz - Rabbit hybrid, which is part of why I wanted to know more about them. Even though there was a description of Emz I genuinely had a hard time picturing her as anything other than like Bugs Bunny. I don't think that's what the author was going for if I'm completely honest. My main problem with Emz is that she does absolutely nothing to stand up for herself. She allows herself to be defined by her fear and relies way too heavily on her friend Dogga to protect her. I hate the idea of females in books being incapable of doing things for themselves. I don't know how she managed it but I liked her less than I liked Zenovia... and I really wasn't a fan of hers.

Overall this is a slow-paced but highly detailed fantasy story. I genuinely appreciate the sheer amount of imagination it must take to put together a story of this genre I don't think it's for me. I really struggled to get into the story properly. I felt detached from the action and that wall is something I don't enjoy having in a story.

the final 10% of the book really pulled it back for me and got me excited otherwise this would have been 2.5 stars. I think that if you're into YA fantasy this might be right up your street. Some interesting thoughts and ideas are raised and the description of scenery really is incredible. 

I just want to thank Ruth Ellen Parlour for asking me to review this and I'm sorry that this wasn't for me. 


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