Friday, 4 May 2012

Review of DEAD RADIANCE by T.G Ayer

Author: T. G Ayer
Source: Downloaded at publishers freebie event. Later asked by author for review.
Publish Date: February 25th 2012

I hereby award this book 5 wings!

I first saw this beautiful book when somebody tweeted a link to the publishers freebie event. I fell instantly in love with the cover and blurb, I knew it was something I needed to download. 
I haven't read anything about Valkyries and am not even all that familiar with the Norse Mythology, so this really caught my attention.

I am so glad I got this book when I did. It was so captivating. I enjoyed every second, from the first word I was sucked into a world I was unfamiliar with but could feel unfolding around me as time went by. 
I can honestly say, this is one of my favourite books and I simply cannot wait for the next book, DEAD EMBERS to be published. You can guarantee I will be downloading it as soon as Tee hits 'publish'. 

So what's the book all about? Sit back, get comfortable and I will tell you (in a non 'spoilery' way, of course).

Bryn Halbrook lives in the town of Craven. It's the most recent in a string of foster homes. This time, her foster mother, Ms Custer is different from the others. From the start she makes Bryn feel welcome, like a real part of the family, even insisting she should called her Mom. She's a sweet woman with a broad smile and a good heart. It's here Bryn feels most at home, with her foster siblings; Brody and Simon. 

But even feeling a sense of peace from being in good care cannot help Bryn feel better about the glow. 

She'd seen the glow since she was a child, but never understood what it meant. The first time she saw it happen in Craven, Aimee Carter ended up dying from Cancer. The next time, her best friend Joshua died in a car accident. An accident Bryn feels guilty for as she was also in the car.

After Joshua's death, people treat her like a social pariah, silently blaming her for the death of the beautiful boy they all knew and loved. What they don't know is, they could never make her feel worse than she makes herself feel. It constantly runs through her head that she too should be dead. The impact threw her from the car, straight into a street lamp. Something that would have crushed a normal persons spine. But not Bryn. That's because she's not normal.

She doesn't know yet what's so different about her. All she knows is that when she sees the glow around people, what some people call an Aura, it gradually gets brighter until they die. 

It isn't until the mysterious arrival of another foster child that Bryn begins to slowly uncover the truth. Something she had only thought of in mythological terms was about to become Bryn's reality.

Aidan is the newest addition to Ms Custer's care. He rides in on a motorbike like the proverbial bad-boy. Long black hair that glistens as he removes his helmet...
Gorgeous and intriguing, he gets right under Bryn's skin, sets her pulse racing in a way no other boy can.

At school, the Headteacher tasks Bryn with showing Aidan around. She can't help but be annoyed at this. She shows him to his classes, hoping to get away from him as quickly as possible. Is it because just being near him sets her heart racing and makes her breathing quicken? His hair, his eyes, the way he looks at her...

At this point, I won't share any more about their encounters, I will fast forward a little in time, in order that you find out those things for yourself.

It's when Bryn decides to entrust her biggest secret to Aidan that he packs up and skips town. Great, just what she needed. The one person who knows about the glow has just disappeared on her without even saying goodbye. So much for trust. Now what is she to do?

Upon inspecting Aidan's room to see that he really has packed it all up and gone, Bryn discovers a book that will change her life forever.

Again, I won't spoil things for you so I'll fast forward a little more....

As events unfold, the FBI turn up at Ms Custer's home, looking for Bryn.  But Ms Custer tells them she ran away after having her heart broken. Bryn hears snippets of the conversation and stays hidden in the broom closet. (Bear with me, I'm trying to remove spoilers as I go)
The FBI finally leave, resigned to the fact that Bryn is not home and may never come back. 
Bryn sneaks outside to watch the FBI leave, to make sure they really are gone. But then a strong arm grabs her from behind...

When she awakens, she's unsure of her surroundings. She's no longer at Ms Custer's home. In fact, she's no longer in Craven. She's in Asgard. (But how she discovers this is up to you to read & find out for yourself)

Upon her discovery that Asgard isn't just a place of myth, but a real place - where she also discovers people and things that are also not just confined to Norse Mythology, Bryn has a hard time trying to come to terms with it all. But that isn't the biggest shock life has in store for her... 

There are a lot of events that really begin to unfold for Bryn. Not only is the stuff of mythology real, she's an intrinsical part of it all. She stands on the threshold of the biggest, most eventful journey of her life. About to discover that she has a destiny much different to how she thought her life would go. Will she find her purpose in life? A place where she can finally belong?

The answers to these questions lie within the pages of one of the best books I have read to date.

Having never read anything by T. G Ayer before, I was unsure what to expect from DEAD RADIANCE. I sure didn't expect the impact it would have on me.
Tee is an amazing author. I love the way she describes everything so beautifully and explains things so fully you feel as though you are actually a part of the story. She weaves a spell on you so that you get sucked in from the first word - with a fast-paced, well plotted story where myth and real life collide - a beautiful debut novel by an author you can expect many more amazing things from. 

I fell for Aidan, big time. I have to say, I really have a thing about the bad boys. Aidan is up there among my favourite book boy crushes. He has a sad story that made me feel so sorry for him (Yes, I admit I cried).

Bryn is one of my all time favourite female MC's. She's witty and sarcastic. She's tougher than she looks and has an inner strength - an inner core, that I really admire. The way in which she handled all that was thrown at her, she really hit the ground running. Bryn is beautiful inside and out and I really routed for her throughout all the trials and tribulations she faced. It just goes to show that the girl who starts off life as the under-dog really can come out on top.

Thank you Tee for introducing me to one of the most interesting, entertaining casts of characters. Bryn, Aidan, Sigrun, Turi, Odin - even Freya and Astrid. There are some wonders to be discovered on the journey that you undertake when you open this book.

To purchase DEAD RADIANCE for yourself:

I'll be having a giveaway of a signed paperback, a replica of Bryn's amber necklace & some bookmarks. Stay tuned in a few weeks time.

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