Hi! So way back in September, I signed up over at 2 Book Lovers Reviews for a neat feature they’ve just begun – the Spread the Word Virtual Book Blog Tours! The first ever winner of the free blog tour is Eva Vanrell, author of The Butterfly Crest, and this is my leg of her tour, in which I’ll be reviewing her debut novel. This also marks the first of (hopefully) many more book reviews I’ll be putting up here, mainly of the indie variety. Now, let’s talk about The Butterfly Crest. (SPOILER FREE!)
First, a quick synopsis/excerpt:
Elena Vicens is an associate at a law firm, leading a pretty regular life. As a child, she lived in Japan until the untimely death of her parents. She was taken in by her mother’s best friend, Cataline, and raised in the states for the rest of her life. She’s going about her everyday life when she’s notified by a bank in Japan that her mother left her an inheritance, almost two decades after her parents’ deaths. Almost overnight, her world is turned upside down as she’s forced to go to Japan and face a past filled with pain and a cursed inheritance. Along the way, she’s sucked into the middle of a way among the gods of various mythologies – from Japanese to Greek and everything in between.
The Butterfly Crest is a great read. Beautifully written with exquisite imagery and attention to detail, it sucks you right in until the very end, immersing you into a world both familiar and strange. I’ll admit, I had some trouble with it at first, but that’s just personal preference for brevity. The author’s description of the scenery and creatures really puts you right into the scene with Elena, and that’s not a quality many authors have. A few times she ran the risk of over-description (if that’s a thing), but she always balanced the scenery with witty banter or internal dialogue. I can’t get enough of Elena’s conversations with the strange beings around her – most of all the antagonistically friendly gods that help her (I’m looking at you, Galen and Bryce) – and all the dialog really does come across as natural, going a long way in the character development department for me.
Elena is a great protagonist: well-developed, strong, and yet vulnerable and capable of asking for help. Eiry is the perfect leading man: caring, protective, but willing to concede to Elena and not falling to the “Edward Cullen” type of male character. Not only are the two main characters very well-written and developed, but the entire supporting cast – from the most minor demon to the larger gods – were well-researched, developed, and given personalities. Eva Vanrell does an incredible job of juggling a large number of characters without letting any of them feel flat. A few examples: Bryce, Galen, and Gavin. Without risking spoilers, they’re on the peripheral for most of the story, not extremely central characters, and yet their personalities come through in every gesture, every word, so that, while not as expounded upon as the two main characters, they feel just as real. The same can be said for any of the other minor characters. From their descriptions to their dialogue – they are supremely vivid and alive.
Just like the characters, the plot was complex, intricate, and compelling. The deeper the author drew me into the story and the world around Elena, the more questions popped into my head, mirroring Elena’s own thought process and experience as she did her best to navigate what was now her life. The mythology behind Elena’s situation is creative and inventive – completely inspired! Every twist and turn, while unexpected, made complete sense, and as the story went on, everything fell in place like puzzle pieces. It’s such a great story, I really cannot wait until the sequel! And, although I already own a digital copy, I might be investing in a paperback – just because I can.
Conclusion: I highly recommend this book to anyone who’s into any kind of mythology. It’s an epic fantasy that reads and feels like a mix between the epic poems of old (Iliad, Odyssey) and some current globe-trotter novels (The Da Vinci Code). I can’t wait to see what’s in store next for Elena – an anticipation I haven’t felt since Harry Potter.
Coincidentally, today is also the day The Butterfly Crest gets released in paperback. Click here to order a copy – you won’t regret it!
About the Author:
Author. Attorney. New Orleanian. Lover of Cherry Ring Pops. Confirmed Japanophile. Dreamer. Sometimes Obsessive. Blunt to a Fault. Wishful-Thinker. Tea and Anime Compulsive. Diehard.
I live in New Orleans with my husband, two cats and a Japanese maple. 😉
In the beginning of 2011, I took a blind leap of faith to pursue what I loved most. The result of that journey is my debut novel, The Butterfly Crest. I am currently working on Book Two of the series, so please stay tuned. Feel free to follow me on Facebook, Twitter, and Pinterest. To receive exclusive updates on my latest news, sneak peeks and special promotions, sign up now on Eva’s List!
Check out Eva Vanrell and more info on The Butterfly Crest at the following links:
First prize – A signed paperback copy of the Butterfly Crest
Second prize – a $15 Amazon gift card
As always, think happy thoughts!