Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Reviews: The World Among Us, Murderous Regrets & Moon Spirit by Beth Ann Masarik

Here are the reviews for a full length novel and two short stories by Beth Ann Masarik who will be here on tour with us tomorrow!

The World Among Us: Prince of Darkness

Goodreads Description:
In The World Among Us, Hades, the god of the Underworld, plots to take over the world, and remove Gaia, the head Deity, from power. In order to do so, he plots against his own son, Damien, and cons him into killing his soul mate, the beautiful goddess of the moon, Selene.

Hades does so, because Gaia is his natural enemy, and Selene is her favorite grandchild. He thinks that by killing off Gaia’s favorite grandchild, he will weaken her. With Selene out of the way, Hades then moves in on the Creatures of the Night. He wants to kill off their leader, Jason Aysel.

Jason is the go-between person between worlds, and another person that Gaia highly regards. Hades manipulates and cons Jason’s best friend, Leon Greene, into murdering him, by offering him Jason’s position as his reward. Because of these actions, a war is to take place on earth between the gods and other Creatures of the Night.

During this time, Selene is reincarnated, and kept hidden as a secret weapon to win the war against Hades. In order to win the war of wars, the gods and some of the demons will have to fight together, and learn to co-operate with each other.

Will the Titans and Olympians be able to set aside their differences, and take back the world from Hades? Or is the world as we know it, doomed to fall under Dark Shadows, forever?

Genre: Urban Fantasy/PNR

Rating:  *   *

My Review:

I really wanted to like this book. The premise for this book is fabulous, but the execution is quite flawed. I love the idea of an urban fantasy combined with Greek mythology. The story of the son of Hades being soul mates with Selene, Greek goddess of the moon, is something I want to read.

Unfortunately this book just did not work for me. A story editor is needed to help the author flesh out her characters, develop believable dialog and fix plot holes. This could be a great book.

Characters: An amazing cast of Greek gods and goddesses; I liked both Selene and Damien though they were both underdeveloped and I didn't form much an attachment to them. The best characters were Gaia and Emily. Emily is an especially underused character. Rewriting the story from her perspective could possibly transform this novel.

Verbiage: Conversations between characters seemed unnatural and often their words and actions would jump drastically, in a way that went beyond mere moodiness. Selene's husband is murdered and she has an agitated conversation with Damien, but giggles during part of it. The author also used trite phrases and blocks of description in her story-telling.

Plot: The plot holes are what really hurt this book. I had so many questions. Why is Damien a vampire? It did not seem as if all the demons are vampires and if they are, it would have helped to have that explained. If Hades could send Damien to purgatory as he threatened, why didn't he do that when Damien left? If Gaia is "hiding" Selene on earth, how is it no one acts like it's a secret? Why does Hades use Leon when he really isn't needed? If Damien can teleport, why does he drive to the accident site? And so on.

This book has so much potential. The very end was most interesting to me and I wanted to know what happened next. Sadly, I don't know that I am curious enough to read the next book in this series.

Murderous Regrets

Goodreads Description:
Murderous Regrets is a short story inspired by The World Among Us by Beth Ann Masarik. In The World Among Us, Hades, the god of the Underworld, plots to take over the world, and remove Gaia, the head Deity, from power. In order to do so, he plots against his own son, Damien, and cons him into killing his soul mate, the beautiful goddess of the moon, Selene.

Genre: Urban Fantasy

Rating:   *

My Review:

This very short story is something to be read after reading the main book. It is an interview with Leon a werewolf who is tricked into killing his best friend, Jason, a wizard and leader of the magical community on Earth.

I have a lot of questions about the plot. The magically community is supposed to be secret. Why does this reporter know of it all? Elise goes to hug Leon when he enters her office, but calls him Mr. Greene later on. Doesn't anyone in the newspaper office think it odd that Leon's guards are dressed so strangely? The guards don't think the Elsie will tell anyone of their world; for what other purpose could they think she's interviewing him?

Moon Spirit

Goodreads Description:

Raul Blackoak's world is tossed upside down one evening when he stumbles upon a damsel in distress. What he wasn't expecting was that his life would be changed forever by her. Because he risks his own life to save her, he is caught between two worlds; the world to which he belongs, and the human world. Will he be able to balance being in both worlds? Or will he have to give up one to be happily ever after in the other?

Genre: Urban Fantasy/PNR

Rating:  * *

My Review:

This is a better developed short story than Murderous Regrets and again should be read after the main book. The writing is better here than in The World Among Us, though still struggles with plot issues.

Raoul is part of a werewolf pack tasked with protecting humanity. Though I understand the need for him to be defeated by Lucan to bring in Damien, a good werewolf verses vampire brawl would've been a great start and would bring some needed toughness to Raoul as our hero. I liked Kylie and thought she showed some fortitude (though again I felt she was underdeveloped as a character and some of her dialog/actions seemed at odds with itself). This romance could be a great novella if properly developed, but, as is, falls short for me.

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