#1 Shattered Promises

Main Characters:

Gemma – a girl who turns out to have a star hidden inside her.  She is also a keeper, even though she didn’t know it.  And, until the beginning of the book (which is her senior year in college) she has never had any emotion.  Apparently, if she remains emotionless a portal will stay shut; if the portal is opened the world will be flooded with Death Walkers who will end the world.  Gemma also turns out to be a Foreseer.

Alex Avery – a Keeper.  Charged with protecting the star.  There is some sort of electrical current between Gemma and Alex (not just a pull, but an actual electrical current).  He knows a lot about what is going on, but we (and Gemma) only learn it in pieces.

Aislin – Alex’s sister.  She also has wicca magic.  One of the things she can do is use crystals to transport people.

Stephan Avery – Alex’s and Aislin’s father.  He is out to keep the power of the star locked in Gemma.

Nicholas – a Foreseer, who appears to have history with Alex.  Part Faerie.  He comes for Gemma after she has a vision in the crystal ball.

Dyvinius – leader of the Foreseers.

Marco and Sophia – Gemma’s grandparents (not sure if they really are her Grandparents or not).  Keepers who Gemma is sent to live with after her mother disappears and they have the power to detach Gemma’s emotions from her soul.

Laylen – a former Keeper.  Now a vampire.  Looks like there was something between he and Aislin.  He knew Jocelyn (although he is said to only be a few years older so how well, and the fact that he thinks Gemma looks so much like Jocelyn, well, I question).  He was turned three years before the events in the book and has been out of touch with the keepers since.  He is immortal, has a level of control over his blood lust, and has the ability to manipulate emotions.

Demetrius – leader of the death Walkers and the person who wants to use the power of the star to open the portal.  We don’t meet him, we just hear about him.

Death Walkers  – creatures that look like the walking dead and use the cold to kill.  They also make everything around them cold.  They can breath the Chill of Death on people and it’s lethal.

Jocelyn – Gemma’s mother.

Adessa – a witch in Las Vegas.

Mirages – fake persons, they take any form.

Locations: Laramie, Las Vegas, the Crystal City

Main Premise:  Gemma has never felt anything in her entire life.  Even though she was raised by her grandparents because her mother died.  All of a sudden on day, in her senior year of college, she begins to feel things. Then she meets Alex and Aislin and she is drawn to Alex.  Turns out, there was a fallen star and it was hidden inside her mother while her mother was pregnant – so the star is in Gemma.  People are after the star; the Death Walkers want to open a portal to turn the world into a giant land of ice.  Alex and his fellow Keepers are supposed to keep the star safe.  Gemma knew nothing of this and Alex often only tells her half truths.  The Death Walkers find Gemma and they end up on the run.

Alex’s father, Stephan, seems to be with the Death Walkers and he is looking to make sure that Gemma never feels anything (because apparently this keeps the star safe).  He will do this even if he has to turn Gemma into a mindless empty body.

How it ended:  Alex managed to not suck all Gemma’s memories with the memory stone that Stephan wanted him to use and turn her into a vegetable.  Somehow.  Stephan admitted he was behind Jocelyn’s disappearance and is a controlling freak who appears to be leading the Death Walkers.  He also wants Alex to just do as Stephan wants.  Gemma wakes up in Las Vegas, memories still intact.  Alex is there, asking to be allowed to explain.

Other Important Things to Remember for Later:

Dyvinius made Alex promos that Gemma would return to be trained as a Foreseer and there is some consequence if that promise is broken.  We have no idea who Gemma’s father is.  Abilities like foreseeing are usually heredity.  The sword of immortality is supposed to be able to kill everything, even immortals.  The Water Faeries take people they catch tot he Underworld, which is a prison, where they are tortured until they go insane and then the Queen of the Dead has the person killed.

Review:

Crap on a cracker.  There are 3 (and a half) more of this stinking series.  I just finished Shattered Promises (the first in the Shattered Promises series) by Jessica Sorensen.  shattered promisesAnd there are more in this series – more than I think I can deal with.  At least based on the first three-quarters of the first book.

Let me start of by saying that the Fallen Angel series by Jessica Sorensen has been on my “to be read” book shelf for a long while.  I have never gotten around to it.  And now, I may never bother.  I didn’t realize at first that this is an “adulating” of the YA series.  But if this is any indication as to the quality of the YA series, I cringe.

I also am going to  note that while reading books is like eating or watching movies in that one person’s favorite can be another person’s most despised, it is still funny to see how diametrically opposed some people can be about the same book.  Goodreads has this book sitting at an average 4 stars and the reviews are polarizing.  People gush over it with enough sugar, hearts and flowers to make Willy Wonka stroke out and other people despise it like it came from the depths of the worst circle of Hell.  It’s kind of amusing.

Me, I am somewhere in the middle.  The idea is pretty good, the execution… for most of the book I was amused by how awful the writing style is.  I often felt like I was reading a telegraph.  You know, the way they get read out loud:  “Joe not coming STOP Mother ill STOP  Will send word soon STOP”.  i6-20bThen, all of a sudden, things got significantly less awful (note I didn’t say they got good – just merely not awful).   I am wondering how close to the YA this adult adaption is.  Did the author take the YA and merely adjust setting and some dialogue to make it more adult (which wouldn’t surprise me since some of the writing is so clunky it reminds me of the way a high school student will take something out of an encyclopedia and just use synonyms to recreate almost the exact same sentence in substance even though they are technically using different words)?  Or did some of the plot get reworked too?  I can’t say since I haven’t read the YA version, but I have my suspicions.  Here’s an example of some of the odd word choices that has caused me to think these things, the text reads “I’m conquered with the compulsion” but I wonder if it the YA version didn’t basically say “I was overwhelmed by the desire to”.  The “conquered compulsion” is clumsy and clunky and not fun to read.  Not to mention, I am not entirely convinced that grammatically it means what I think the author intended it to mean.  There were a number of other examples like this:  “conclusively reside on my eyes”; “my vision resurfaces”; “attention is magnetized toward me”.  Interestingly, I didn’t notice as many towards the end. Maybe I just became immune by then though.

Believe it or not, the writing style isn’t the biggest issue for me.  I think it is the hot-and-cold of both characters.  Alex seems that way (maybe he’s a long lost cousin of Edward Cullen?) but Gemma does too.  They seem to both be easily pissed off, they throw temper tantrums like a 5-year old, and they are generally annoying characters.  Then, two seconds later they are fawning for each other.  Never mind the fact that Gemma talks like a robot (although Mr. Data, a robot with no feelings didn’t even talk this way) and is super inconsistent.  I thought she had never felt any emotion, at least we are hammered over the head with this again and again – but at the beginning of chapter 2 she talks about feeling happiness for the first time.  So which is it?  And giving me, as an explanation, that simply never having any human contact with her grandparent’s kept her from having emotion?  Like she never bumped into anyone at school (Mr. Data had more human contact apparently)?Crusher_Data_dancing The explanation of the spell makes much more sense, but then why would she need to never have contact with her grandparents?  It’s weird and feels like a stretch.  Things like this were just hard to take.

I am also perplexed by the super bold warning about the content on goodreads.  Is this because the author tends to write YA stuff?  Because I have read plenty that is way steamier than this and there are no such warnings on those book entires.  And, for the most part, this wasn’t the steamiest or sexiest.  It was borderline – twelve chapters in and the “adult” was  nothing more than a few trips to second base.  There is a single scene later on that is a little more racy, but it is tame compared to others of this genre.  So, if you are looking for that kind of excitement, this isn’t the place, despite the indication to the contrary from goodreads’ synopsis.

Then there is the fact that this book has so many pieces that seem like copies of other books – Mr. Gaiman might be flattered that someone read his stuff and likes it enough to be inspired (stardusthmmm… people after a fallen star for its power… can we say Stardust, anyone? Which I absolutely adore by the way, so there are really big shoes to fill and very high standards to live up to by drawing inspiration from Mr. Neil Gaiman), but as a reader, it made it feel stale.  The Death Walkers and the cold – can we say dementors? c05--the-dementorAlex’s behavior – again, Edward Cullen?  Jocelyn and Stephan – and reminders of Joeclyn and Valentine Morgenstern?  There are more, but I think you can see my point.

The redeeming qualities came at the end.  The twists were predictable, but at least some action started and it felt like the plot was moving forward.  The writing got less choppy and easier to read. The Leyland character seems to be interesting and the mystery of Jocelyn is still out there and there is promise that this could be intriguing.

The other redeeming quality – as of the moment – amazon had it offered as an ebook for FREE.  Yep.  So I didn’t waste a dime on it.  Although, I am curious as to what happens next so I will be spending money on the next one (but I guess that is part of the point of the free first installments…!).

All in all, this could have been a lot better, but I guess it could have been worse too.  I know, isn’t that a glowing review for a book about something as bright as a fallen star?

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