Danielle Belwater's lyrical style of writing is quite beautiful. Nate and Cora's young love draws you in with her evocative story-telling tone. The paranormal elements of darkness and danger blend in with the very normal feelings and reactions of young people fighting for their love. The ending is unpredictable and I enjoyed the different route this book took me on from what I was first expecting. My favourite thing about Danielle's writing is how warm her tone is, you really do feel what her characters are feeling and find yourself emotionally attached to them. A sensual read that tugged at my heart.
Erlanis Chronicles, 1
Nathaniel West’s mother is dead, his father a lost cause. Anger has become a way of life, until he meets and falls in love with Cora Ewell. Only Cora has a secret, one that could kill them both.
An age old dark magic resurfaces and it becomes a race against time for Cora and Nate to find the long buried secrets to saving everyone they love and each other.
After a near fatal accident leaves Nate in limbo, he must find a way to get through to Cora before time runs out and she is forced into life eternal with the evil wizard, Elias Stafford.
14+ for adult situations
I felt insignificant among the forest of tall, needle-like trees. Tree roots, covered in a thick green moss, erupted from the ground like long twisted fingers. A fine dewy mist hung low to the ground and rays of sunlight speared through the dense canopy. The path that had brought me to this point had now become nothing but a trail of crushed leaves and forest litter.
Which direction had I come from? Trees, mist, and fog enveloped me. My throat constricted. I needed to get out of there. I searched for my footprints to head back the way I’d come. I found them straightaway and was about to make for home when I felt a curious prickle on the back of my neck—that weird sense that someone was watching me. While I couldn’t see anything out of the ordinary, my instincts told me something or someone had entered my little bubble of personal space. There was a familiar scent in the air, out of place in this earthy forest, the sweet perfume of roses.
I stood motionless, willing the entity out of its hiding spot. A movement, a blur, the rustling of leaves, then nothing. This place was messing with my head and I’d been here less than five minutes. Convinced my brain was playing tricks, I took one last look over my shoulder, then trekked back into the forest, not sure whether that was the right direction.
A flash of red whipped between two trees in front of me, stopping me in my tracks. I pressed my palms into my eyes. When I let go, tiny white flecks danced around my vision like fireflies. After a moment, my eyes regained their focus, but not before I stumbled, tripped over a tree root, and fell squarely on my arse. Something uncomfortable dug greedily into my thigh. I pushed the huge rock away and rubbed my leg furiously, knowing that was going to leave a bruise. Great.
The ground was cold and hard and dampness seeped through the seat of my shorts. I rolled to one side, ready to push myself back to my feet, but what I saw stole the air from my lungs and I fell back to earth with a thud.
Was it a girl or an angel? Surely, normal girls didn’t glow like that? I lay on the hard ground, transfixed and completely unable to move. Watching me from a short distance away was the most beautiful girl I’d ever seen in my life.
What a pleasant surprise this was. Not having read any teenage stories since - well, since I was a teenager, I really didn't expect to be taken on such a journey. The characters gripped me immediately and I couldn't put it down. Well done Danielle Belwater on such a terrific first novel. Can't wait to read more.
General: I loved that this was a male dominated world (in terms of POV). I always like new/less done things and I feel like in romance when novels pick one POV it's normally female. Having a male narrator only really set the book off right for me and got me involved right away. The writing itself flowed well from scene to scene and the pacing was perfect from start to finish. The strongest element in this book were the emotional connections that were so beautifully drawn out. I didn't connect as well with Cora because of the external POV but I was so drawn to Nate. You could so easily feel what he was suffering, both in the past with his father and the present. Then there were the plot twists. All were wonderfully done, unexpected and made perfect sense. I loved the darker elements in the story because I felt it really pushed it one step past a traditional YA romance. I can't wait to move onto the next book and see where it takes me, as the ending is almost a cliffhanger and certainly left me dying for more. Characters: Cora- Cora was a delightedly dark character. I loved that we saw her through Nate's eyes because it was a testament to how emotions can color the view we have on a person. She was mysterious and intriguing. She felt believable although I would love some more time with her in future novels. Nate- Nate is the strongest YA male character I have ever read in a book 1. He had it all, gut wrenching sorrow, beautiful love and a broken home trying to heal. It was so easy to fall into love this guy and the way he faced his destiny was wonderful. I know he will only continue to grow and impress.
A great read - innovative story line, fast paced, engaging, surprising and clever. And so exciting to invest in the characters knowing that there are more tales to come! Highly recommended!!!
What a great story! The beautifully written debut by this author captured my imagination with her vivid imagery and well-drawn characters. I loved reading a book written from a male POV and found Nate to be a really endearing character. I felt for him and his struggle with losing his mother and trying to make a new life, and rooted for his relationship with Cora. There were a few twists and turns, all unpredictable which is the sign of a skilled storyteller. There's hints of something darker coming in the next book and I can't wait to read more of Nate's and Cora's story. I'd recommend this to anyone who wants to read a well-written YA romance with an original plot.