Of Gaea (Of Legacies #1)
Published: 20th March, 2013
Genre: Urban Fantasy
Age: Young Adult
From: Girls *Heart* Books Tour
Her choice will change the world.
She hated the wheelchair. Hated the way it made her feel less than what she was. Most of all she hated not being able to do all the things she used to. Ari had been a track and field star, an archery champion and an Eskrima pro. Now she was confined to a wheelchair slowly dying inside from its restraints.
Medical science wasn’t working. The tests, the drugs, the therapies were all useless and a waste of time. She was tired of wasting her time; she was tired of failure. It was time to look away from the obvious and try something unconventional.
Nothing was ever free and that included miracles. Abruptly, Ari finds herself tangled in a web of lies, questioning everything she’s ever known as truth. Never had she believed she’d be thrown headfirst into a world of good and evil, magic and Gods.
Trapped in the middle of a war she had never known existed both parties demanded her allegiance. Ari was a catalyst that could change all the rules of the Earth. But when the time comes to make a choice will she be strong enough to know right from wrong?
“I’m twenty years old.” Leonidas said quietly. “And I am destined to die before my next birthday. You understand why I have no enthusiasm for hurrying that along.”
“Come on.” Sasha grabbed the handles of the wheelchair and drew Ari back. “He’s not worth your anger.”
“Can I at least have the runes? I’ll get someone else to help, but I need the other runes.” Ari begged. Pride was no longer an option. Her one chance was slipping through her fingers. She could feel tears welling up in her eyes. She wouldn’t just give up. “Please. You may not care at all, and I really don’t care if you do or not. But, please, don’t condemn me to this wheelchair for the rest of my life. Please?”
“Sasha.” Leonidas slowly righted himself. He wanted to ignore her pain. Wanted to pretend it didn’t matter. His ghosts, however, wouldn’t let him. His words were slow and resigned. “You’ll need to pick her up. Her chair cannot go where we need to go. Put it there,” he gestured next to the archway, “out of the walkway and follow me.”
Sasha parked the wheelchair and carefully slid his arms under Ari. He was always very careful with her. Spun glass, was what she reminded him of, though, recently that glass was lined with steel. He waited for Ari to grab her notebooks and nod at him in confirmation before righting slowly and letting her adjust comfortably once upright.
Leonidas watched bemused, but said nothing. It wasn’t his place to say anything, and if he had it would no doubt have met with defensiveness from Ari. While he wasn’t above being argumentative, he wanted them out. It hurt to look at them for too long. Their unit was too solid and it pained him.
Leonidas had been right about the wheelchair. The hall behind the curtain was barely wide enough for them to walk. There was no way a wheelchair could have been navigated through. All the doors were closed so Ari could only guess at what was behind them.
At the end of the hall, Leonidas pushed on a tile in the wall. The panel slid open to reveal an elevator. It was just as brightly lit as the main gallery which made the ride down a little more tolerable. Ari had no idea how far down they went before the elevator dinged to a stop.
When the doors opened there were books as far as the eyes could see. They disappeared into the shadows. There were no windows and the lights were dim. Several of them flickered, dangerously close to blowing out. It made the entire room look like something out of a horror movie.
“Charming.” Sasha quipped. “Do you keep your coffin down here, too?”
What I liked: I loved the setting of the story and the way everything came together by the end. Ari is a strong character who has to overcome very bad odds after an accident that leaves her in a wheelchair, though it takes a while to figure out what that accident was. There’s always interesting twist to the story, characters who are not who they say they are or characters who we had no idea about. The dream aspects were really interesting as well, and the action was done fantastically in such a compelling way that I read it from beginning to end almost without pause in five hours! Everything that went into the story was compelling and the secrets that get revealed were ones that made me want to turn the pages faster to keep reading, but slow down at the same time to savor what’s happening at the same time! We get the sense that not all is as it seems from the beginning but we discover things with Ari little by little as she finds out more about the people who surround her and where she comes from. Damia and Sasha are characters who stood out even when they weren’t in the scenes, I was always waiting for them to show back up because they interested me quite a lot by the time the story began to pick up.
What I didn’t liked: I didn’t feel like in the beginning I clicked with the book, I was rather confused by what’s happening, why the people had such strange names, and why a guy was called Sasha. Seriously for several pages I though Sasha was a girl because I didn’t know his actual name, which only gets mentioned once and it threw me for a loop for quite a while since I thought the masculine pronoun was a typo or there was another character who was a guy who’s name I missed. I would have liked to know his actual name earlier, it would have helped. Damia was too run-of-the-mill bad, I wanted a better reason for her to be angry with Ari than the ones given. The POV also switched unexpectedly while I was reading and it would throw me off initially but I learned to just go with it after a bit.
Overall Review: I loved this book, and though I read Victoria Escober’s book Peerless first and was blown away by everything in that book, I knew I had to bring my expectations lower since this was the author’s first book. I’m glad I did because it allowed this book to blow me away as well, and even though I didn’t love the beginning of this book I loved the rest of the book and I’m still loving this authors writing. Seriously, the author’s writing is fantastic and her stories are amazing! With characters who surprise, twist that you don’t see coming, and an amazing plot this book is something everyone should read if they can get into it! The ending is explosive and parts of this book can leave you with some feels, especially during the final battle.
Recommend?: Highly. This book is wonderfully written with a plot that can and will leave you wanting more when you reach the end!
My Rating: 4.7/5
Of Sparta (Of Legacies #2)
Published: 22nd February, 2014
Genre: Urban Fantasy
Age: Young Adult
From: Girls *Heart* Books Tour
She was the strongest of Gaea’s Servants. Miera had been trained from childhood to be Faithful always to the Goddess. She had been taught with Faith they would always be protected. She had never wavered from that course. She hadn’t counted on the consequences of that choice.
As Ariadne’s birthday draws closer darkness closes in on Sparta. Monsters, both Tainted and Pure alike, were vying for pieces of their island. Doubt and fear grew like pestilence. Death was unavoidable.
Sparta sat on the brink, but of what Miera wasn’t certain. There was no record, no precedence for her to consult. There were no living patrons of the Goddess to seek council from. She only had instinct and Faith. If she could not maintain the balance Sparta would fall before Gaea’s return.
How did the lost lead the people out of darkness?
“High Patriarch! High Patriarch!” A page boy ran through the halls screaming.
“Calm yourself boy.” Thalia grabbed his arm. “What’s wrong?”
He pointed out the windows. Black smoke billowed towards the sky. “The corn is on fire. I was commanded to come fetch you before it reaches the cotton.”
“Go get the horses ready,” Miera gave an apologetic look to Sasha and Nasya. “I must go.”
“I go with you,” Thalia stepped to Miera’s side. “I have sworn it Miera.” She added before Miera could protest.
Miera nodded and turned to Sasha, “continue down this hall…”
“What is all this noise?” Leonidas strolled down the hall.
“Never mind.” Miera squeezed Sasha’s arm as she passed. To Leonidas she said, “I must go, Sasha needs to talk to you.”
She ran as fast as she could out to the waiting horses. A car might be faster in any other circumstance but depending on where the field was burning it wouldn’t have been convenient. Thalia boosted her up then took to her own mount and they raced from the South gate of the city.
The smoke was thick and blowing in their faces with the north wind as they got closer. There were people running towards and running away from the fire. Most of them were running away. But Miera saw the gleam of precious metals on arms and heads as they raced by. The Envoys and the Thaumaturges were trying to get there as well.
There was no visible fire. Smoke billowed out of a perfectly spherical circle the size of a football field. It wasn’t trying to spread. This was something else. Miera felt it a second too late.
“Ambush!” Miera wheeled her horse even as dozens of wolves howled and formed from the black smoke. Thalia jerked her horse between Miera and the black predators. Their gleaming red eyes were unnerving.
“Get out of here!” Thalia shouted at her drawing her swords.
“I’m not leaving you,” Miera replied even as the wolves lunged.
“In Gaea’s name!” Thalia caught two of them on her blades even as Miera called down lightning. The smoke still billowed and seemed to thicken making it impossible to see through. Even more impossible with them swirling around in it.
Miera heard the cries of the Envoys and Thaumaturges that had caught up with them and felt the draw on Gaea as their training kicked in and they fought back. For a brief moment it felt like they were winning. Even though the numbers were impossibly stacked.
Then the smoke parted for a second and Miera saw a man dressed all in black with billowing black hair and endless black eyes. Crows flew about him and Miera tried to count their number before the smoke closed again. She had counted enough for death.
What I liked: I loved Miera, from the beginning of the book I enjoyed her. She showed from the first chapter that she is a strong character who would not be told what she is allowed to do. We learn her story, because as things unfold over in America with Ari, things are happening in Sparta that could change many things on its own. The hierarchy was complex and well thought out, it made me happy to see how much thought had gone into making the hierarchy. It wasn’t simple, but rather complex and had interesting rules that were tradition to the Pantheon’s. The minor characters were ever interesting, and you could see that some of them would play a bigger role in the story. Especially Thalia, she became a very important part of the story for much of the book because of Miera. Her role was very important, and I was very sad to see her not be more of a part of the story than she was. Her death does set many things into motion both in Sparta and in America with Ari, which gives her an impact in both books. Also, everything on that cover is important, but it’s also incredibly gorgeous. This author has some really gorgeous covers for this series so far.
What I didn’t like: I felt that some parts were rather rushed, that they could have been better if they were longer, especially the battles. I just didn’t jump on it because the battles were lacking and there wasn’t as much action in those parts as I was hoping. Miera is a trained warrior, and though she is “balanced” and hold a strong faith in Gaea, I just felt like she would have been more of a warrior than she was shown to be.
Overall Review: While I didn’t enjoy some parts of the book, the complexity and the roles all the characters played in what happens in Sparta were quite large and some of the characters impacted both of the books. The writing was still something that drew you in and kept you turning the pages, but everything was more certain because of the first chapter on what would happen and who would be surviving in a sense.
Recommend?: Yes! I really enjoyed it and it’s a wonderful continuation of the series! I’m really excited to see what’s in store for book three, Of Chaos! Makes you wonder what’s going to be happening with that title, doesn’t it?
My Rating: 4.6/5
About the Author
Born in Fort Lauderdale, Florida, but with the ability to claim eight states as home; Victoria Escobar writes fiction from her current home in New York. She writes whatever comes to mind and because of such has a variety of genres written including Young Adult, New Adult, Paranormal, Urban Fantasy, and Contemporary Fiction.
In spare time if not with family, and friends Victoria enjoys curling up with a book from a favorite author with music playing. If not reading or writing she spends time drawing, sketching, crocheting, or some other random art project. She enjoys staying busy, but most of all enjoys staying creative.
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Review by Bri