Saturday, October 15, 2011

The Price of Gold by Alison Palmer

Alison Palmer has a knack for pulling a reader into a story and keeping their interest all the way through to the very last sentence. The Price of Gold is such a novel, and it kept me going page after page. Admittedly, I know very little of Egyptian mythology, but learned a great deal while reading The Price of Gold.

An engaging story of two teenagers, Cassie and Met, I felt drawn into Cassie's life more than I had anticipated. She is a very sympathetic character and one I wanted to understand better. Her ingenious way of staying alive, surviving against all odds, made her a loveable person, almost real . . . to me. I ached with Cassie, felt hunger with Cassie, and craved someone to care about me, as Cassie does throughout the story.

Met, the dominant male in The Price of Gold, is the descendant of the ancient Pharoahs and a fascinating example of an Egyptian legend in the flesh. His ability to change from human to bird form I found completely absorbed by, and his interest in Cassie, while bordering on stalking in the beginning, soon revealed something far more worthwhile . . . a budding romance and an eternal compassion for a beautiful girl who wanted nothing more than to be loved and respected, which Met does admirably.

While their relationship starts out a little rocky, mostly because Cassie doesn't seem to trust anyone (understandably so), it soon grows much stronger and steadier, until Cassie discovers Met's secret quite accidentally. Then, she is thrown into a nose dive, and is torn between wanting Met in her life and knowing she doesn't belong in his.

An intriguing tale from start to finish, I read the entire book twice before writing the review and found it equally as fascinating the second time through. Alison's strengths lie in POV, visualization and her keen ability to keep the reader's attention page after page.

While I enjoyed The Price of Gold, it has one serious flaw: it was not well-edited. There were numerous typo errors, which stopped the flow of the story, a problem which Alison will, hopefully, correct with future issues.

Monday, August 22, 2011

All That Was Promised, by Vickie Hall

All That Was Promised by Vickie Hall brought me quickly through its front page to 1847 in Cardiff, Glamorgan, Wales. I was immediately interested in this LDS novel because my grandparents were from Llantrisant, Glamorgan, Wales. The backdrop has always fascinated me, which only added to my being "hooked" by Vickie's engrossing tale of conversion and persecution in and around Cardiff. Vickie weaves a beautiful story of love and betrayal within the pages of her book, along with backstory from the point of view of many of her characters. The reader empathizes with the Latter Day Saints plight, struggles as they struggle, rejoices as they rejoice, fear as they fear . . . .

Not only does Vickie have the ability to catch my interest, but she kept that interest in the engaging tale in All That Was Promised. I found danger, humor, concern, anger, laughter, compassion and a multitude of other feelings as she captivated me at each new turn in the road.

Richard and Leah Kenyon are the main characters: a young Methodist minister and his wife, who had already known disappointment and bereavement in the loss of their unborn children. It seemed as though the very gates of hell had opened up its wide mouth to consume them, yet they came through the Refiner's fire with conviction and spirit.

Add to the Kenyon's fiery storms a deranged brother (and his evil wife), a niece caught up in a terrible drama, a missionary whose family suffers tragedy of their own, a barmaid who ultimately cleaves unto the truth of the Gospel of Jesus Christ, a deluded murderer who would kill all "Mormons" if given the opportunity, and you have All That Was Promised . . . an engaging story that doesn't let you up from its absorbing pages until the very last word is spilled out.

Would I recommend the book to others? Yes, it was a tale that needed to be told . . . in a beautiful country, the county of my own ancestors.

That said, please be aware that the book is seriously flawed with a multitude of POV changes within each scene, something its editor(s) should have pounced on from the very first page.