Book Review: Aurelious Forty by Dianna Beirne

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Title: Aurelious Forty
Series: Aurelious Forty, Volume One

Author: Dianna Beirne
Publication Date: December 12, 2014
Genres: Dark Fantasy, Young Adult



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Aurelious FortyAurelious Forty
Aurelious Forty, Volume One
Dianna Beirne
Dianna Beirne, December 2014
ISBN 978-0986327100
Trade Paperback

From the author—

Aurelious Forty has led a lonely, troubled life. He stays disconnected from the world around him with no family and no friends. He lives merely to exist…to survive.

Aurelious’ life changes in an instant when an impulsive decision forces him to abandon everything he has ever known. Choosing to follow strangers into a new world, he discovers he was born with a gift so strong, so unique; it could give him the power to change humanity.

But the shadows of his childhood are long and dark and run through every fiber of his soul. Can Aurelious break the chains of his past and use his gift for good? Or will the nightmare of his tormentors set him on a path of revenge so fierce it could destroy us all?

Here we have a young man who’s a true loner, just a few steps shy of being a hermit. He doesn’t want to be away from all people as hermits do. In fact, he is entranced by people and always wants to observe them and write about them on his treasured laptop; what he doesn’t want is to know people, to have them in his life in real form, to engage with them in any way. His lack of connection with others might lead one to think that he’s anti-social and perhaps he is but one should not make the mistake that he suffers from Antisocial Personality Disorder. Far from it. He doesn’t want to harm us nor does he have a disregard for our well-being. He just doesn’t want to know us.

Unfortunately, or maybe fortunately, for Aurelious, his armor is about to be pierced when he meets Brekwyn and Anira. His life takes a turn he could never have anticipated and he enters a world he could never have imagined. Too bad it’s not going to be all peaches and cream.

When I first saw this book, I was reluctant to read it because of the description. I like fantastical stories and those with paranormal elements, even the ones that just mess with my mind but, before I go into it, I want to know at least a little something about what’s going to happen. I don’t need a lot of detail—in fact, I dislike the descriptions that go on and on, just give me a couple of hints—but give me something, please. Ms. Beirne doesn’t really offer much but there was just a little something, a tug, that made me want to at least dip my toe into these waters and I’m so very glad I did.

I can’t really say much more about Aurelious or his tale because it would be chockful of spoilers so let me just say this: take a leap into the unknown and you’ll be surprised and, even with a massive cliffhanger, you’ll come away feeling good about this boy 😉

Reviewed by Lelia Taylor, August 2015.

A Deeper Look at a Main
Character: Aurelious Forty

Aurelious is, at times, a bit of an enigma. He is a very emotional character and while he shares his emotional experiences with the reader, he tries desperately to hide them from the characters that he interacts with on the page. He is typically unsuccessful in masking his own emotions from those around him though he’s generally unaware of how unsuccessful he is because he’s fairly self-absorbed, at least in the beginning of the book. Enigma.

There is a lot to love in Aurelious but he makes you work at loving him, he doesn’t give it right away. There are times when you might think it’s easier to dislike him but then he draws you in and you’re reminded of what he endured as a child and you’re proud of how far he’s come.

Although he is the main character and the one telling us his story, he isn’t the hero. He is really more of a sidekick who has to learn from the hero and finds himself fumbling along the way, a lot. He fumbles so much that he makes the hero a little less heroic for a minute. But, when he starts to look outside of himself, when he starts to connect with and care for the people around him, when he shows us how much he changes and overcomes, then he does become a little bit more of a hero himself. Or at least makes us question how a hero could be defined.

Aurelious Forty struggles. He learns. He grows. He changes . He is an imperfect character, just like the rest of us. And, in his imperfection, he is worthy of being loved, just like the rest of us. As the person who created him, I must confess, I hope people will embrace his flaws and love him.


About the Author

Dianna BeirneDianna Beirne lives in a fantasy world. Okay not really, but part of her wishes she did and, since that’s technically impossible, she writes about fantasy worlds instead. Her first Young Adult novel entitled Aurelious Forty; Volume One quickly turned into her first Young Adult series with the addition of Aurelious Forty; Volume Two and, Aurelious Forty; Volume Three.

When not writing, she’s generally daydreaming which morphs into wondering if that last daydream could turn into a book. She has also recently discovered podcasts but doesn’t exactly understand what they are or why they’re different from regular radio shows. So it’s safe to assume that her next book won’t be about a podcast. Instead she’ll just keep listening to the ones that she finds that hilarious because laughing is one of her favorite pastimes and she finds way too many things funny!

Prior to dedicating her time to writing, Dianna taught under graduate and graduate courses about using literacy in the elementary, middle, and high school classroom. She has a Bachelor’s degree in Elementary Education, a Master’s degree in Literacy and a Doctorate in Education specializing in Curriculum and Teaching.

Dianna lives in New York and is the grateful mother of a son whom she misses terribly when he is away at college.

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