superhero

Colorworld

Colorworld
Publisher:
Published: December 24, 2013
They said they'd cure her allergies. They lied. They've been looking for her. Every kid dreams of having super powers. And now Wendy has the power to give them. Wen knows what love looks like. Since her mom died over a year ago, she’s seen it every day on her orphaned younger brother’s face. Wen’s made good on her promise to her mom that she’d take care of Ezra, even quitting her carefree party-girl ways to become a hard-working college student so she can provide for him. Wen knows what love feels like, too. Because when she touches people, she feels what they do. “Uniquely perceptive” is what her mom called it, and Wen’s not going to argue; she doesn’t know any different. But an energy therapy study changes not only what Wen knows about her unusual gift; it also changes her. Now, instead of feeling emotions, her touch brings death to others. No one is safe around her, especially Ezra. (*Intended for 16 and up.)

Reviewed by Awesome Indies Assessor
April 10, 2014

Four stars

Colorworld is a refreshing paranormal romance about intelligent and witty characters. It follows Wendy, a nineteen year old gifted with enhanced senses who is struggling to provide for herself and younger brother. After undergoing hypnosis to earn some extra cash, she discovers that her senses have not only improved exponentially; but she has also evolved lethal skin and can now kill people just by touching them. Needless to say, this changes her life dramatically; she moves to a top secret compound and is introduced to techniques of ‘hypno-touch therapy’ to learn to control her abilities. On this journey, she falls for the rather dashing, ever-honest Gabe.

Wendy’s exploration of her enhanced senses coupled with an emotion radar, death touch and ability to see another plane of existence make for an engaging story. The Colourworld and techniques of ‘hypno-touch’ had a well-explained internal logic that I wanted to know more about. Ms Kelly has expanded on the esoteric ideas of coloured auras and energy manipulation healing techniques like reiki to make Wendy’s powers seem plausible even in today’s world.

Her relationship with Gabe was beautifully crafted with all of the intensity and frustration that comes with two lovers not being able to touch. I found their banter very entertaining and definitely fell a little bit in love with Gabe. His seduction technique of broadcasting his emotions loudly at Wendy so she became completely immersed in them was an ingenious way of creating intimacy. At times, however, I felt that these scenes were overlong and too frequent, and I found myself impatient for answers about Wendy’s powers and family.

It was very refreshing to read about such witty, intelligent and believable characters. Wendy’s priorities were realistic and she was very pragmatic even in the face of her sudden supernatural abilities. Too often in paranormal novels a character simply ups and leaves their real world responsibilities without a second thought. Her brother Ezra was a great comic relief and played an active role in the plot rather than just being her ‘responsibility’ to be escaped.

I had been hoping for more information on how to control her powers by the end of the book. I feel the majority of the plot was regarding Wendy’s relationship to Gabe and exploring her abilities, not actually learning control of them. The ending satisfactorily ties up the action and hints at answers to come. In general it’s a great read.

 

Shadow on the Wall

Shadow on the Wall
Recai Osman: Muslim, philosopher, billionaire and Superhero? Controversial and daring, Shadow on the Wall details the transformation of Recai Osman from complicated man to Superhero. Forced to witness the cruelty of the Morality Police in his home city of Elih, Turkey, Recai is called upon by the power of the desert to be the vehicle of change. Does he have the strength to answer Allah’s call or will his dark past and self doubt stand in his way? Pulling on his faith in Allah, the friendship of a Jewish father-figure and a deeply held belief that his people deserve better, Recai Osman must become The SandStorm. In the tradition of books by Margaret Atwood and Salman Rushdie, Shadow on the Wall tackles issues of religion, gender, corruption and the basic human condition. Beautiful and challenging, this is not a book to miss.

INCEPTIO

Inceptio
York, present day, alternate timeline. Karen Brown, angry and frightened after surviving a kidnap attempt, has a harsh choice – being eliminated by government enforcer Jeffery Renschman or fleeing to mysterious Roma Nova, her dead mother’s homeland in Europe. Founded sixteen centuries ago by Roman exiles and ruled by women, Roma Nova gives Karen safety, at a price, and a ready-made family in a strange culture she often struggles with. Just as she’s finding her feet, a shocking discovery about her new lover, special forces officer Conrad Tellus, isolates her. And the enforcer, Renschman, is stalking her in her new home and nearly kills her. Recovering, she is desperate to find out why this Renschman is hunting her so viciously. Unable to rely on anybody else, she undergoes intensive training, develops fighting skills and becomes an undercover cop. But crazy with bitterness at his past failures, Renschman sets a trap for her, knowing she has no choice but to spring it… “Grips like a vice – a writer to watch out for.” – Adrian Magson author of the Harry Tate spy thrillers. “Breathtaking action, suspense, political intrigue… Inceptio is a tour de force!” – Russell Whitfield, author of Gladiatrix and Roma Victrix

Reviewed 

Inceptio by Alison Morton take place on an alternate earth where the political boundaries are different, and Europe boasts an extra country created by those who escaped the persecution of pagans when the Roman Empire became Christian. It’s a matriarchal society and the people speak Latin, but other than that it could be any small European country.

The story begins in the Eastern United States when Karen Brown finds herself in the sights of a man who wants to kill her. Why? She isn’t exactly sure, but it has something to do with her receiving an inheritance on her next birthday and some political concerns about her taking over the family business. She discovers that the freedom and safety she took for granted in the EUS is a lie and ends up being rescued by her mother’s family, who whisk her away to this little European country where she starts a new life. The killer finds a way to follow her and, despite repeatedly being foiled, like all the best bad guys, he just keeps on coming back.

The story is basically one of a woman who, after a close escape from a traumatic interaction with a killer, vows never to be a victim again, and she does what is required to make that a reality. Karen’s life goes through many different phases so much so that the second half of the book bears little resemblance to the first, but a common thread runs through it all, a tenacious killer and a love interest.

Apart from the killer, the characters are reasonably well-drawn, but Karen’s transformation from a helpless victim into a highly-skilled special ops cop who succeeds at everything she does is too quick to be entirely believable for this reviewer, and the story stretches believability in other ways as well: Why didn’t grandmother contact Karen earlier? Why didn’t the EUS try a more subtle approach with Karen to start with? The questions around the killer’s motives are answered at the end of the book, and had more depth been given to his personality throughout the story, we might have felt some sympathy for him and found his scenes more solid.

It’s an interesting story and reads well, despite the plot issues. If you’re looking for a story of self-empowerment, then you’ll likely enjoy it. I’d be interested to read the sequel.

And I love the cover.

It just scrapes into the 4 star bracket.