I don't do book reviews that often, and I'm such a picky reader that it's hard to really wow me with a book. I blame this on my mother, who took me to the library when I was a little tiny sprout, and allowed me to check out upwards of fifty books at a time. Then when we'd get home, I'd sit myself down and take book after book out of the scratchy woven satchel with the tan leather (or vinyl, I don't remember) handles, and read until I was done. It wasn't uncommon for me to read for hours and hours. Other kids' parents had to beg them to read. I got in trouble for not doing things I should have been doing because I had my nose in a book. My parents were justified. Sometimes I'd feel an eerie stillness around me, then look up to see my family watching me read.
Apparently I'm an expressive reader.
All my years of poring over and inhaling books taught me to recognize plot elements without thinking. The result of this is that I am rarely surprised at many plot "twists." I can usually see things happening from a mile away. Not much surprises me.
I love to be surprised.
So, I was very pleasantly surprised to find an author whose books made me feel, laugh (she has a great sense of humor), cry and feel like I was on a journey of discovery throughout the pages. When I read books by this author, I know I'm in a good storyteller's hands, and I can sit back and enjoy the ride. So, I'd like to introduce you to, instead of a single book, one of my favorite authors.
I met Karen Hoover at the 2010 LDS Storymakers Conference, a fantastic place to meet fellow writers with similar values. Karen taught one of the classes, and I loved her presentation. When I got the chance to read her first book, The Sapphire Flute, I was hooked and flew through those pages as fast as I could.
Once I'd read The Sapphire Flute, I couldn't wait for Karen to finish the next installment, The Armor of Light. Usually a second book isn't as good as the first in a series, but I think The Armor of Light may even be better! My favorite part of Karen's writing style is the little touches of description that feel as good as gulping an icy glass of water on a hot summer day. The plot twists and new ideas make me do a mental fist-pump, a "Yeah, that's what I'm talkin' bout."
If you haven't liked fantasy before, give Karen's books a try. If you do like fantasy, you'll find more to like about it.
Karen has become a dear friend, but I'm still in awe of her writing skills--she's a fantastic storyteller. If you like original stories with depth to the characters and cool twists along the way without having to resort to graphic violence, sex, or language, I highly recommend Karen's books.
You can find her stories in e-book at Smashwords, and paper or e-book at Amazon and Barnes and Noble. Karen has some Christmas specials going on through December 31st! Go to her blog here for e-book specials, and here for paper book specials, as well as a list of books available through Createspace. I got to read her latest book, Two Souls are Better than One (The Misadventures of a Teenage Wizard) in the beginning stages, and was so captivated that I'm going to purchase it to put on the e-readers my eleven-year-old son and I are getting for Christmas so I can enjoy it in the final version. (Watch for an upcoming review on that book!)
So, if you like clean fantasy with unusual plot twist and cool magic, I highly recommend books by author Karen E. Hoover!