Indies on PJV. Review: Renhala by Amy Joy Lutchen

PJV Quickie:

An epic fantasy that takes the reader into a new and creative world. Full of action, romance, and heartbreak. Renhala was a surprising read that kept me coming back to it, and exciting me.

renhalaTitle: Renhala
Author: Amy Joy Lutchen
Published: Sept. 27th, 2012
Genre: EPIC Urban Fantasy
Source: Author Provided
Blurb: Kailey Rooke, timid accountant, dedicated to philanthropic work, finds herself spiraling into a deep depression after she suffers a horrifyingly odd and humiliating assault, to only discover more of these freakish assaults occurring across the globe.

A chance discovery leads Kailey to a meeting with elderly Gunthreon, actual master of persuasion. Gunthreon, who seems to know too much of Kailey’s history for her liking, opens Kailey’s eyes to a coexisting realm she never knew existed: Renhala, while entrusting her with the knowledge of her newfound power as karmelean, serving as a beacon to the Higher Ones. Kailey slowly starts revealing new talents, and Gunthreon is fascinated with what she starts achieving.

She soon discovers that Renhala is in danger, and this danger has been leaking into her own realm. As she uncovers secrets within herself, and attempts to toughen up, she fuses with an unlikely band of fellow travelers (including a dragon, woodsprite, six-hundred-pound greble, her faithful female canine companion, and a “giver”), falls into an unexpected love triangle, deals with her sexy and flirtatious best friend’s “issues,” and finds the courage to master a new deadly weapon.

On her mission to save Renhala, Kailey will find herself running from life-threatening disasters, such as greble Tartarin, who likes to remind Kailey that when he catches her, he plans on eating her brains with ice cream; she’ll run from the deadly meeples: small cute bunnies with talons and an undeniable thirst for imposing self-destruction on others. Kailey will also run into the possibility that a centuries-old Renhalan rumor is true, that advanced technology existing in Kailey’s realm shortens all life spans.

As blood is shed and puzzles near completion, Kailey pulls from deep within herself, conjuring up mystical qualities that enable her to astonish as once predicted at her birth, but despite the newfound strength, Kailey will discover that monsters not only come in ugly packages, but can be easily disguised as those she has come to love and trust.

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Lori’s Thoughts:

Kailey is living her life day to day. Then she is attacked by something. Something hideous. Something that is not from Earth. This book follows the aftermath of her attack. Kailey learns that sometimes not is every thing or everyone is who or what they seem to be on the surface. She learns that she is strong, and capable. She learns that her family is  a lot bigger and more varied then she could have ever imagined. She learns she has special powers and that she is Karma. She joins the fight to bring balance back to her world and Renhala.

Blunt honesty: Renhala was a tough book for me to get into. The world building is complex here guys and gals. It’s labeled Urban Fantasy but the complexity is like that of a regular old Epic Fantasy. Fantasy is not one of my favorite genres. I like it but I don’t love it.

To be even more honest: Once I hit 30% I was hooked and in LOVE with this story. The characters were awesome, and interesting. There are two drool worthy guys, a kick butt heroine, a sage leader and lots and lots of comedic relief.  Action, suspense and possibly even the kitchen are all thrown into the mix, making this story one amazing captivating story that I just could not leave alone. I kept waiting, pacing, hiding to read the next page, the next chapter. I stayed up until 1 am knowing full well I had to work in the morning. I lost sleep for these characters.

The creatures in this book are creepy and creative. Three legged brown fury guys that stink like rotten eggs. Sprites, pixies, dragons all exist with their own special twist. My personal favorite are the Giant fury bunnies. They are gruesome and remorseless killers. After Kailey witnesses brutality at the hands of the bunny she loses it:

This sucks. I think I’m going to throw up,” I say as I bend over dry-heaving. “I’m never watching Bugs Bunny again, ever.

Yeah, I totally loved Kailey’s twisted sense of humor. She and I could be really good friends. Speaking of friends, Kailey’s best friend Amber. Yeah, why was she ever friends with her. The things that come out of this girls mouth made me want to slap my kindle. But Kailey being the good person she is (after all she is Karma) she usually just brushes off Amber’s badattiude with an ‘Oh that’s Amber” excuse. UGH!!!!  In one instance Amber is telling Kailey about how she thwarted a mugger with the pepper spray that Kailey had given her earlier in the night.

‘…See what happens when you fight back?’ There’s a long pause.

It’s very obviously a stab at Kailey for not being able to fight off her attacker. By this time I had really had it with Kailey’s so called friend Amber, after this I just wanted a furry bunny to come rip her head off.

Kailey has no shortage of real friends though. From her mentor Gunthreon, to the two hotties in her life Conner and Ladimer, and a Grebel named Bu, a woodsprite named Jenna and several others. I have to say that the romance in this book is very much backseat to the other troubles in our heroines life, and I am ok with that. She really had a lot on her plate so it was refreshing that she had two guys Conner and Ladimer willing to help her along and be there for her. She enjoys both of their company and by the end of the book I still have no idea which one is the right fit for her.

The ending…what. was. that? Oh I needed more, and this book was long, but by the end I was so hooked I wanted it to keep going. I cannot wait to read the next installment. Thank you Ms. Lutchen for the wild ride with some amazing characters.

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