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Book Review: “Blind Sight: Through the Eyes of Aniela Dawson” by Eliabeth Hawthorne

A blind girl drawing is abnormal even on the magical island of Edaion where leaves brush themselves into piles in the middle of the night. As an immigrant, Leocardo is not biased by accepted rules of magic and determines that Odette’s drawings are premonitions. Aniela grew up with magic and knows premonitions are impossible. She determines Odette is a medium channeling voiceless spirits.
In this volume: While Aniela tries to escape a lifestyle where obligations take priority over friendships, she befriends Odette, a blind girl with the ability to draw. Almost immediately, concerns and questions arise as Aniela suspects that Odette’s gift is far stronger than any seen before.  In the middle of family turmoil and a complicated romantic relationship with Odette’s brother, Aniela faces the realization that helping her comatose friend means disobeying her mother, something she has never done before.  (from Goodreads)

So, here we are, moving forward with a book review of the second novel of “Blind Sight”.  (For additional information, please visit my blog post from yesterday, March 20, 2012).   As with the first novel, the author gifted me with a free copy, in exchange for an impartial review.  To briefly recap,  this novel actually consisted of two books, both entitled “Blind Sight”, but each told through the perspective of a different main character; “Through the Eyes of Leocardo Reyes” by Ermisenda Alvarez and “Through the Eyes of Aniela Dawson” by  Eliabeth Hawthorne.  A compilation effort of the two authors, combining even their names as:  Ermilia.  The plot line of both books is the same, the telling of the story written through the vision of different main characters.  Today’s book is written through the eyes of Aniela Dawson.

The first comment I will make is that these two books are very different.  I expected sameness, and most surprisingly, got difference – not necessarily a bad thing!   The authors mentioned that the order in which the books were to be read was “Reader’s Choice”.   I would not agree with that comment.  Had I read this book first, Aniela’s perspective, I would have been puzzled by the storyline.  If I had not read Leocardo’s perspective first, I may not have felt so positive about the mystery aspect.  Without Leocardo’s influence, Aniela herself seems a little lost.   The two storylines are quite divergent, sometimes leaving me knowing I had read the scene before….., but I could not quite recognize from where… In Aniela’s view, the role of secondary characters is much smaller than in Leocardo’s view.  And in Aniela’s story, the romance aspect gets more play.

author Eliabeth Hawthorne

Personally, I preferred Leocardo’s version of the plot line, and at times wished the two perspectives  – Leocardo’s and Aniela’s – were blended as one book.  This would give me immediate gratification of how both parties were feeling – but I did not have the forward thinking vision with which these two authors are gifted.

One comment on the third main character – Odette, Leocardo’s younger sister, the blind girl spoken of in the Goodreads book summation.  Odette does have a major role in this single plot line, and in both books joins Leocardo and Aniela together.  But, does  Odette’s character ‘need’ to be blind?  Maybe….. but, maybe not.  I am still mulling that concept over in my mind.  You will have to read both books, then give that some thought.  A great discussion looms on the horizon!

I encourage you to leave a comment on this post, as one random commenter will receive a $5.00 Visa Gift Card, from the authors, Ermisenda Alvarez and Eliabeth Hawthorne. 

So, readers, where is today’s Joy?  For me,  the Joy is found in the innovative thinking of these two novelists, who challenged themselves to tackle a new writing style.

Choose Joy! 

Patricia

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Book Review: “Blind Sight: Through the Eyes of Leocardo Reyes” by Ermisenda Alvarez

A blind girl drawing is abnormal even on the magical island of Edaion where leaves brush themselves into piles in the middle of the night. As an immigrant, Leocardo is not biased by accepted rules of magic and determines that Odette’s drawings are premonitions. Aniela grew up with magic and knows premonitions are impossible. She determines Odette is a medium channeling voiceless spirits.
In this volume: Snatched out of their life in Spain, Leocardo and his blind sister Odette find themselves on an island with no recollection of the trip. After foiled attempts to escape, Odette’s strange behavior gets worse. Even after learning the island has bestowed magic upon them both, Leocardo faces the possibility his sister is having a mental break down.  Just as he thinks he is settled in, job and romantic life stable, Odette disappears.  (from Goodreads)

My first introduction to “Blind Sight” indicated the novel could be considered as Paranormal, and was definitely a Fantasy/Urban Fantasy storyline.  As my regular readers know, this category is outside of my “normal range” for both reading and reviewing.  But, when I read the Goodreads’, and others’, synopsis, it seemed that it would be more like a Mystery Novel with a Fantasy edge.  So, with that in mind, I accepted Ermisenda Alvarez’s request to participate in the Book Blog Tour, and she kindly gifted me with a free copy, in exchange for an impartial review.  I then learned that this novel actually consisted of two books: both entitled “Blind Sight”, but each told through the perspective of a different main character; “Through the Eyes of Leocardo Reyes” and “Through the Eyes of Aniela Dawson”.   And, the Aniela Dawson perspective was written by a second author:  Eliabeth Hawthorne.  In fact, it was a compilation effort of the two authors, combining even their names as:  Ermilia.  Ok, now I was hooked.  I will not jump the gun, and say this never happened before, but it was certainly unique to me as a reader.  But, I am getting a little sidetracked, and will return to the matter at hand; and offer my review of “Blind Sight:  Through the Eyes of Leocardo Reyes”.

One of the great features of this book is the element of surprise.  This began in the Prologue, right through to the last chapter, in fact, to the last page.  As I read, I found myself frequently puzzled, and asking “How did we get here??”, or “Did I miss something?”, or simply “What? What happened?”.   For the most part this was a positive feature of the novel, and one of the reasons it could be classified as a Mystery Novel.  The author very cleverly keeps the reader’s full attention, and keeps the fast pace of the novel.  I was concerned that as a Fantasy Novel, the storyline would be bogged down by descriptions.  No need to worry about that – nothing that I got bogged down in!  However, I will qualify my comments by saying that at times a little more description would have been welcome, especially with respect to character description.  Minor characters sometimes arrived without filling the reader in on who they were.  This bothered me, until I realized that in some instances, these characters left as quickly as they had arrived.  Nevertheless, I did catch myself flipping pages back, (which is not an easy thing to do using an online eReader program!), trying to find out where characters had come from.  In most, if not all of the cases, I think it was just a case of missing information, not an intentional holding back by the author. 

author Ermisenda Alvarez

There is an element of romance in this novel, which I found brought a gentler focus to the overall storyline.  That gentler focus, coupled with the light fantasy plotline made this book much more enjoyable than I had expected.  My concern of facing a typical Young Adult Paranormal Fantasy was completely unfounded.  In fact, if anything, I would say that this novel left me wondering if other light fantasy novels were out there!  One of the aspects that appealed to me was the element of a sixth sense – rather than ‘fantastical’ elements.  This sixth sense tone also fitted in with the gentler focus of the overall storyline. 

The characters in the novel, both the main characters and the secondary ones, are all quite likeable.  Even those portrayed as having an edge, or being a little outside the law, were enjoyable to read about.  I think that is a sign of clever writing techniques, as well as who the character was within the story. 

The end of this book was……. Well, actually, you will need to find that out yourself….!! 

Tomorrow, I will post my review of the second book, told from the perspective of the character Aniela Dawson, and fit the two novels together as one. 

I encourage you to leave a comment on this post, as one random commenter will receive a $5.00 Visa Gift Card, from the authors, Ermisenda Alvarez and Eliabeth Hawthorne. 

So, readers, where will the Joy be found in this review?  Well, for me, the Joy awaits you at the end of the final chapter of “Blind Sight:  Through the Eyes of Leocardo Reyes”!!  The Joy of Surprise! 

Choose Joy! 

Patricia

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