There are many reasons to choose a book. Sometimes it is an intriguing cover or title. Other times the decision is swayed by a helpful clerk at a bookshop, or by his cat, Martha. Martha purrs louder when approaching the Elmore Leonard section. I have bought 5 based on her reviews.
I chose Emerald Destiny, because I have gotten to know the author a bit. Allie Burke recently released the second book, in the Enchanter series, Violet Midnight. Having read some short pieces, and judged her to be extraordinary; I decided to pick up both books. Of course, I chose to get the Kindle versions, because I am completely addicted to my Kindle app on the ipad. Emerald Destiny is available in print too.
I give her high marks for the cover, which Ms. Burke designed.
The story is a finely crafted introduction to Evan, his father Christian, and his love since he was six years old, Abby. Abby has a twin brother Daniel and they share much. We meet Jane and other people in their circle, but the main focus is on Evan and Abby. Her characters have various powers, but we only get a glimpse of their scope. The first book is about the minds of the characters and how the animosity, between the families, came about. It is an age old story, of start crossed lovers, but Ms. Burke’s deft touch and imagination, makes it feel fresh. I should be clear; I don’t care for the paranormal romance genre. I don’t like it at all. What I do love is a rich tapestry of words. When a writer compels me to care about characters, it doesn’t matter what they are doing, I want to watch.
Perhaps the most enjoyable part for me, was how the character Christian, comes to an important realization. I don’t want to say more than that, lest I ruin the fun for anyone who should give this series a chance, but it rang true. There is tension between the families, but it isn’t overdone. Ms. Burke doesn’t feel the need to go over the top with the angst. It is more nuanced than the tired formula of, hate + vengeance + blind + being unreasonable + overly dramatic = chase scene and gun play, drivel, which TV and Movie romance seems to deem necessary. There is tension, but it is reasonable.
In a series, I want to have questions left unanswered. Ms. Burke has me wondering about the characters to come. They are out there, beyond the ones we meet in Emerald Destiny, but what do they think of the romance between Evan and Abby? I guess I will just have to start reading to find out.
I give it 5 out of 5 stars, for great writing, beautifully crafted dialogue, and finely rendered scenes. I still don’t care for the genre, but I will read Allie Burke, for as long as she wishes to write.