Book Review: Fractured Soul by Rachel McClellan

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Fractured SoulFractured Soul
Fractured Light #2
Rachel McClellan
Sweetwater Books/Cedar Fort, February 2013
ISBN 978-1-4621-1180-0
Hardcover

From the publisher—

Llona will do whatever it takes to protect her newfound friends and home, but the dark plot that is threatening Lucent Academy, a school that’s supposed to be a safe place for Auras, may be too powerful for even Llona to defeat.

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Sometimes readers, including me, approach a book that’s self-published or published by a small press with a certain amount of skepticism or even trepidation. That’s because there is so much dreck out there these days and finding the gems is not easy. Allow me to set your mind at rest—this is no schlock put out by a writer wannabe toiling away in her parent’s basement. Well, Rachel McClellan could be toiling away in a basement for all I know but I’m pretty sure it doesn’t belong to her parents 😉 Anyway, there is much to love in this book and very little to be snooty about.

First, the construction. The author can write and she also has a very good editor. Grammar is good, typos are minimal, the language flows as it should and the ebook conversion (I read an e-ARC) is close to flawless, including some handwritten passages. The only hiccup is that, on occasion, two voices speak in the same paragraph. This occurs infrequently enough that I feel safe in saying it’s one of those ebook glitches that happen sometimes, not because the author and/or her editor don’t know better.

Then there’s the story. I have not read the first book and, most of the time, it doesn’t matter. That’s the case here; while I obviously don’t have the details of what went on in that book, the author offers just enough information that I felt up to speed very quickly. You should be aware, though, that spoilers of the first book are inevitable so don’t go getting a mad on with Ms. McClellan if you choose to start with this second book.

I really like this storyline, one of the most creative I’ve seen. A school for Auras and Furies with a side of Lizens? Very, very cool. I also like that this is not a school with a bunch of evil adults all bent on misusing the powers these girls possess. The author’s character development is strong and I really felt a connection with the main players, especially the four girls, Christian and Liam. Even Jake, whom we never actually see, is fleshed out enough to truly understand the bond between him and Llona. Oh, and thank you, Ms. McClellan, for painting the Vykens as the nasty, bloodthirsty, powerhungry creatures they are, not a sparkle in sight.

A note here—Fractured Soul is billed as a young adult paranormal romance but it also falls solidly into the mystery/suspense genre with the questions of who is behind the dark activities, what is the intent, will the good guys figure things out in time? Llona also shows herself to be a pretty decent lead detective (not to mention being kickbutt in general).

Are some things predictable? Yes. It was not hard to figure out who the ultimate bad guy was as soon as I met him and there were a few other events that were no surprise. There were also some “oh, cool!” moments (Arik and Aaron? Love ’em!) and the motivations of some of the characters were in doubt until at least 4/5 of the way through. On the other hand, the ending is truly heartbreaking and, yet, still left me with a desire to know what comes next. I’ll be looking forward to Fractured Truth coming out a year from now and, in the meantime, I’ll get my fix by reading the first book, Fractured Light.

 

Reviewed by Lelia Taylor, February 2013.

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Purchase Links:

Amazon
Barnes & Noble

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About the Author

Rachel McClellanRachel McClellan was born and raised in Idaho, a place secretly known for its supernatural creatures. When she’s not in her writing lair, she’s partying with her husband and four crazy, yet lovable, children. Rachel’s love for storytelling began as a child when the moon first possessed the night. For when the lights went out, her imagination painted a whole new world. And what a scary world it was…

Social Media links:

Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/AuthorRachelMcClellan

Website: www.RachelMcClellan.com

Twitter: @RachelMcClellan

Blog: http://blackbirdinmywindow.blogspot.com

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