ALORA by Megan Linski
Published by: Gryfyn Publishing on 12-29-2014
Genre: YA – Paranormal/Fantasy
For hundreds of years, Alora has been queen. Ruling over the most remote regions of Michigan’s Upper Peninsula, she spends her summers riding upon a wild stallion, her winters as a winged wolf, never aging, forever at an eternal sixteen.
This is what it means to be an Anmortal.
Centuries pass until the arrival of something new in the woods, a small boy named August. Alora watches through the years as the child grows into a young man. Slowly she finds herself falling for him, unable to tame her wild heart. Madly in love, she ignores the fact that humans and Anmortals can never be together…a mortal cannot love a creature that lives forever.
Distracted by romance, Alora doesn’t notice that there is a monster lurking in the shadows, a hunter who is determined to make Alora his prize. With no time left to run and no way out, Alora is about to make the most challenging decision of her life. What’s more important…her true love, or her freedom?
The story starts as a light, fanciful tale as Alora flits around in her selfish, magical world of being an Anmortal. But as the years progress, she starts feeling seeds of loneliness and doubt. Is she the only Annortal left? Is the Windcomer real, or just a myth? And if he is real, will he devour her too? Megan does a wonderful job depicting the world that Alora lives in. I really enjoyed the winter seasons, when she would turn into her winged-wolf form. Megan’s descriptions of how Alora feels while in her wolf-form makes you feel a part of her as she’s soaring over the tree tops, hungry for prey.
Then she runs across August, and her life is changed forever. August is a small boy when Alora first meets him, but as the years pass, she finds herself drawn to the human boy. I really didn’t quite get what she saw in August, I couldn’t connect with him at all. He has a wishy-washy personality, sorta like a Charlie Brown. His personality changed, depending on the people he surrounded himself with. I also didn’t like the relationship between him & his mother, and then at the end, his mother and father get back together again. Too fairy tale for me.
When this story turned dark, and Alora found herself stuck in her wolf-form, I got upset and put this story away for awhile. I don’t know what I was expecting, but it struck a nerve in me. So good job, Megan. You made me feel an emotional response to the plight of your character. I also liked the interplay between Alora and Windcomer. I wasn’t really sure what Windcomer’s motives were. Did he really want to devour her, or was he in love with her? Their relationship was oddly appealing to me. Once I got past the dark-side of Alora, and she grew to realize what her destiny was, the rest of the story was pretty predictable.
Here are my major points of contention. Even though this is a fantasy world, the author still has to follow laws of physics. How could Tanglemane pass through the briar patch in front of Alora’s cave, when August couldn’t? Windcomer wreaked havoc in the woods, flattening trees as he went. Why didn’t any humans notice him, or for that matter, that Alora never aged? When Alora, August and Claret are fighting Windomer on the island, how could Claret climb back down a steep cliff with a severely injured leg. After Alora and August climbed up that steep cliff, there was suddenly a small boat, next to Claret’s head. How did they get it back down the cliff? These types of implausible actions caused me to jump out of the story.
In spite of the above, I did enjoy the story and recommend it for anyone who loves fairy tales with a HEA. I give it 4 feathers.
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