Sunday, December 2

Renhala, a review, an interview and a giveaway

I will share with you today my review of Renhala by Amy Joy Lutchen, an interview with this amazing author and a giveaway (well actually the author has been very generous and is giving away two different prices). But first my review:

Amy Joy Lutchen

Publication Date: September 27, 2012
Finish Date: November 27, 2012
Format: e-book
Source: copy for review

From Goodreads (contains small spoilers): 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.
Lately I have been reading many books that are quite short and fast paced, I love those kind of books, because I can start a book finish it and then quickly start another book. I didn't realize that sometimes I miss reading books that are a bit longer. When I started this book I was wondering whether to start it now or not, as it was quite long (430 e-book pages). I ended up just starting it and quickly I forgot the number of pages and immensed myself in the world of Renhala.

The book starts off slow paced and a bit confusing. I was actually wondering whether to continue it or not, because I was sure something supernatural was mentioned in the blurb and well I didn't see any hint of that in the first 50 pages. And then suddenly things start making sense, the supernatural is introduced and I was sucked into this story. The story is awesome, it's a bout Kailey and about friendship and love. About good and evil and grey. And so much more.

The characters are loveable! I couldn't wait to read more about them and I especially liked Kailey, she is such a strong girl, but also so normal at times. A few other favourites are: Lupa, Bu, Jenna, Kioto, Greer and Ladimir. Kailey meets so many interesting and nice creatures and I couldn't help but like them all, they all have these characteristics that make them unique. Although I wouldn't mind spending more time reading about all of them and learning more about them. I think the author did an awesome job creating a whole cast of likeable characters.

The evil characters were not as easy to like and I thought it was difficult to really get why they acted like they did. I would've liked a bit more insight in way they did these evil things and who they are.

The world building is also done briliantly. Although after finishing the book I still have so many questions. The author describes the world perfectly, not too much details, but enough to get a good sense of how this world looks. I also loved all the originaly touches, like the life pond and the strange creatures like the Grebles, the Meeples and the Mooncats. I do think that one book is just too less to get to know all of the world and I am would like to learn more about this amazing world.

To conclude: a great story, slower paced and longer than what I usually read, but I loved it! The only minpoints are the fact that the beginning is quite slow and I didn't get a good idea why the evil characters acted like they did. The story was original and interesting, the characters were likeable and the world building was done really well. The story was longer then what I usually read, but I only wished it was even longer, because I already miss reading about Kailey and Renhala.


Now a bit more information about the author:
Was born in Chicago and slept in a dresser drawer for the first few weeks of my life, marking me as a future claustrophobe.

I studied at the University of Illinois, Champaign-Urbana (man I grew up quick), where I became a number, but decided it was a good number.

I now write in my spare time as I eat snacks, making sure they are not in multiples of three. That number makes me nervous.

And had the opportunity to do an interview with this amazing author, here it is:

Interview with Amy Joy Lutchen about Renhala

How did you come up with the idea for this story? Renhala started as a single piece of paper littered with a hodgepodge of written fears and tragic events from my life—things that were haunting me, things that I just couldn’t get past. You see, years prior to me writing down these events, I suffered a horrible assault by the hands of a total stranger and it was eating me alive. Simple things like meeting eyes with someone new or watching an attack scene on television kept driving me into dark corners inside my mind.

But one day, out of the blue, on a train ride home from work, I gathered my strength and flipped that same stupid piece of paper over and began writing more words, different words. As the magic began flowing freely from my fingertips, and Renhala was becoming more and more concrete, my destiny was changed forever. I finally felt better about myself—felt better about life—for I was shaping future events. And the characters that emerged were exactly the healing friends I needed.

I like the world building in Renhala, it’s really like there exists a whole different world and I like all the details about the animals and creatures that live there. How did you come up with the world of Renhala and all the details about who live there? As with so many other books, several characters could possibly represent people I know, perhaps. *wink wink* And then others originated from conversations I had with my little boys. Their minds are treasure troves!! Talk with any child about some imaginary creature and you are bound to hear some really off-the-wall genius. Try it.

Which characteristics does Kailey share with yourself? Her love of tea! SERIOUSLY, it’s unnatural. And I was actually born with a head of red hair. Yeah, look at my pic—you’d never know it, eh? On a really serious note, if you’ve read the first interview question, you may guess that Kailey represents my fear of the unknown. But that’s ok with me, because she also represents the power to gather the strength needed to face that unknown, and beat the crap out of it.

In this book the characters hardly have ever time to relax. I would like to know what Ladimir, Conner, Gunthreon, Lupa and Jenna would do in their spare time. Jenna: Besides sitting somewhere eating dungworms or the like, she most likely is selling iPods to some shady Renhalan individuals. Conner: Most likely working out. How do you think he maintains that godforsaken physique? Gunthreon and Lupa: Can be found cuddling in Gunthreon’s home theatre set-up, eating gourmet, head-sized apple and cream cheese tarts baked by Lupa. Ladimer: Truly, I don’t think he really ever relaxes. He may appear suave and carefree at times, but he’s really too hell bent on keeping his promise to Kailey’s mother.

Kailey has two men who are obviously in love with her, but the romance isn’t the focus of the story. I would like to know who she would choose? HaHa! Good question, but it doesn’t mean I’ll answer it! All I can say is that Conner gives Kailey the foundation to stabilize her soul, but Ladimer is the fire that keeps her feet moving. Do you like how I dodged that one?

I loved reading about Kailey and Renhala and am actually sad that I finished the book already. Are you going to write a sequel? I am so excited to be working on book two of the series! It’s a bit darker, and yes, much shorter—but no less exciting! I love writing it. There’s more original material that may or may not have fallen from the mouths of babes :)

Amy was kind enough to offer two things for give away. One is an e-book copy of Renhala! Yes after hearing me gush about this book I am sure you would like to have your own copy now :p. And secondly you have the change to win a necklace which Amy maked herself based on a necklace in the series (and I am so not going to spoil which necklace it is). Two pictures of the necklace are below:

Want a change to win one of these two awesome prices? Enter the rafflecopter below
  a Rafflecopter giveaway



  1. Sounds like an amazing book. Looks like I have a nice long book in my Very near future. I can't wait to be emerged into the realm of Renhala!! And even more so get to meat all of the interesting sounding characters. Thank you for the great review.

  2. It definitely sounds like something I want to read, like you said there story seems to be really original I surely want to give it try.

  3. The originality of the story seems to be so cool and makes it a nice story to run away from the common things.

  4. I definitely would love to read this book. I read something a bit similar before, and I enjoyed it. It's a bit different from what I usually read, but I like the idea of it.


  5. i like the cover...ring and blood..sounds a good book :)


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