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Under the Influence
My newest project started, as it always does, with a little author research. After trips to Blount's
website, twitter, and wee bit of Wikipedia, I could easily tell I was going to connect with this
Our author is a teacher with a passion for YA Fantasy novels? Yes, Grishma, we are going to get
along very well.
The first thing to grab my attention, almost immediately, was a brilliant combining of worlds. I
don’t just mean the fictional world of Necoh with our own, but also two separate fantasy
readerships. Had I jumped into every fantasy lovers’ dream, where the teenage characters from
Hunger Games and Twilight were joining forces with the creatures of Narnia?
While I was intrigued by this, I was officially drawn into the story when Ryder, our novel’s hero,
refers to the drunks at a teenage house party as “vile.” If we are going to demean the barely
there problems of drunk teenagers and get into an actual storyline with real hardships, then I am
absolutely, positively going to keep reading.
Ryder is living in our world under false pretenses chasing down Grishma, a beast from Necoh
who destroyed his family and continues to terrorize those around him. Through a series of dire
and most unusual events, he accidentally transports our female heroine, Brooklyn, to Necoh.
She’s understandably confused but catches on quickly. Yes, this girl is pretty smart. From the
beginning, she second guesses Ryder is an exchange student from Denmark because he doesn’t
have blonde hair and blue eyes. Only a few chapters later, she is referred to as a brave, young
Thank you, strong, female character. We still have a lot of repair to do from Twilight.
Quests and ambitions fill the remainder of the novel—journeying to rescue Ryder’s mother and
sister, struggling to return Brooklyn while convincing everyone that she is not their lost
princess, and attempting to destroy Grishma once and for all.
I only have one complaint, and it’s more a complaint-lette if you will. The language, especially
towards the beginning of the novel, definitely targets an older audience. It’s barely an issue as
ultimately I fell for this story. A younger audience seems eliminated when, truth be told, I
believe they would enjoy it.
The best thing I learned upon finishing this novel is the fact that yes, there is a sequel. It’s called
Ayla, and I’ve already downloaded it on my Kindle.
What’s next, you might ask? Another series? A movie? I guess we’ll have to wait and see!
Books and Wands Official Verdict:
Better than Twilight. Short enough to be a nice slice of fantasy. A keeper!
The Necoh Saga:
Book 3: Solutus coming soon...
You can get your copy of Grishma and Ayla at Amazon. We'll all have to wait for Book 3 to go
You can also get more information about the author here.