Thursday, June 27, 2013

REVIEW: Valley of Darkness by A.B. Whelan

Valley of Darkness
by A.B. Whelan

What if we were not alone in the universe?
What if your boyfriend was a supernatural alien?
What if you had to choose between two worlds?

After months of amazing adventures and secrecy, Molly and Victor find peace in each other’s arms. Adam’s memory has been erased. The secret of the Arkanians is safe. Life couldn’t be more perfect.

But Molly is robbed of her short-lived happiness when a devastating tragedy strikes her family, shattering her entire existence. Faced with a terrifying future, she feels that there is nothing left for her on Earth but an insensitive aunt and her little brother, while Arkana promises a place where she might find happiness and purpose again.

Victor tries to convince Molly to move to his village in Arkana, where they can live together in secret. But Molly refuses to live in the shadows. She wants to be a Sentinel and join the fight against the Terrakas. But getting into the Academy requires more than a pretty face.

REVIEW: Valley of Darkness
Once again, AB Whelan captivates me with her storytelling.  I loved this book.  Actually, I love this whole story.  AB has a way with words.  Now, I’ve seen some reviewers on Goodreads complain about her way with words because English is her second language.  But for me, part of what makes her storytelling so appealing is the way she strings those words together.  Her writer’s voice is totally unique and I love it.

I just completely adore this series.  Everything about it appeals to me.  I love the new world she builds on the alien planet Arkana, I love Victor – he’s totally swoon-worthy!  I love Molly because she’s flawed, but yet she had a very strict moral upbringing.  One that should probably stifle her a bit, make her a little resentful. But that’s not how she sees it.  She respects her dad, so she tries very hard to respect his rules.  

In this book, she’s breaking a lot of rules.  She’s willfully lying about what she’s doing on the weekends, she’s seeing Victor, pretty seriously.  And even though it remains innocent, she’s starting to give some thought to progressing into a more serious relationship with him.  I loved this growing up aspect to Molly. This book is truly a coming-of-age story.

One thing I think is absolutely BRILLIANT about this world-building is the time difference between worlds.  I didn’t bring it up properly in the last book review for Fields of Elysium, maybe because I was a bit skeptical, but this time I have to point out that it’s very, very clever. In fact, this is what sets up all the conflict in this book.  You see, Molly and Victor can’t just go about their merry ways, enjoying each other on the weekends and pretending that no difficult choices must be made.  Because Victor will age five times faster than Molly and pretty soon this will not be good.

Valley of Darkness is all about making the tough choices. Sigh, I can’t say much more without spoilers, but this is an exceptional storyline and if I had a teenage daughter, I’d be pushing this series big time.  It’s a good book for kids who enjoy a paranormal romance but aren’t ready for the “new adult” books that are just all over the place right now.

This book has not even been released yet and I’m already aching for the second half.

Fields of Elysium by A.B. Whelan

How can love mend a heart full of hate?

Small town girl, Molly Bennett, moves to Los Angeles where she becomes an outsider while attending Beverly Hills High School. It seems life cannot be any more dreadful. Then one day after school, something magical happens. On a secluded hike in the Hollywood Hills, Molly chases her disobedient mutt and only friend into a hidden cavern. She stumbles upon a strange glimmering gateway that transports her to Arkana, a planet that is the cradle of an advanced human race.
There, teenagers navigate amazing flying vehicles, compete in perilous games for glory, and possess supernatural powers. While Molly tries to wrap her mind around this unbelievable discovery, she meets the alluring and mysterious Victor Sorren. He is a Sentinel Apprentice, whose hatred toward people from Earth is beyond understanding. Yet every time Victor unpredictably saves Molly's life, his heart draws closer to hers, no matter how much he tries to fight against it. It further complicates things that their growing friendship is strictly forbidden. Earth people are prohibited in Arkana, yet Molly continues to cross through the portal to Arkana to see Victor. Torn between their double lives, they go down a dangerous path, from where there is no return and multiple endings.

Fields of Elysium is a suspenseful, romantic tale full of forbidden secrets, unimaginable danger, deception, and the never-ending fight for true love.


"The novel's take on otherworldly travel is a compelling one, and the romantic plot will likely appeal to Twilight fans." - Kirkus Reviews

"I expected a good love story with a paranormal twist. I got so much more. I think you should take the chance and read it. Let this book take you on the adventure, fall in love." - Young Adult and Teen Readers

"Fields of Elysium is a fabulous read. ... Whelan paints her faith into the fabric of her story with deft, light brushstrokes, making her work accessible to all, no matter their spiritual beliefs or background." - Readers Favorite

"I escaped into this fantasy world, author, A.B.Whelan, created and I didn’t want Molly to go. From detailed descriptions, to sweet romance, and to all the twist and turns in the story, it had me captivated from page one." - Mary Ting, author of the Crossroads Saga

"Whelan's writing is very vivid and descriptive. It's more formal than the average YA novel, but I enjoyed the lyrical and mesmerizing quality to it. I thought the overall story read like a fairy tale--very sweet." - Megan Thomason, author of Daynight.

Author A.B. Whelan

A.B.Whelan is a Hungarian born, American writer. She currently lives with her husband and two children in Southern California.

While growing up in a wealthy Eastern European family, she had a chance to travel Europe. Later as an adult, she visited Africa and the Middle East and lived in Ecuador and in Crete.

No comments:

Post a Comment

Leave your thoughts below...I love hearing from readers.