by Becca Mills
Amazon Digital Services
Pub. Date: April 2, 2012
Book received from: Author (Huge thanks to the awesome Ms. Mills for printing out a special bound copy for me!)
Genre: New Adult, Urban fantasy
Cover: Perfect for the story- and very pretty, yet subtle. (update: It is actually now a finalist of the Bookplex Book Cover Contest)
Characters: Complex and well-realized
Worth the read? Absolutely
“A lot of what happened to me could be categorized as ‘my fault’ or ‘just the way things are.’ Even the many cruelties I’d experienced and observed were the result of individuals acting according to their overt natures.”
When Beth Ryder, a 20-something with a love of print photography, begins to see strange creatures while developing her images she feels she has finally gone completely crazy. That is, until everything in her life changes overnight as she discovers the truth about the world in which she has always lived. Prone to panic attacks from a young age, Beth has never felt comfortable in her life, and when she begins to learn more about a world with multiple, converging planes of existence, people with special powers, and beings not of this world, she begins to understand why she has always felt anxious. The question is: will she be able to figure out just how powerful she is meant to be and stay one step ahead of those who wish to stop her?
Becca Mills has created an urban fantasy for the demographic between YA and Adult, being newly-dubbed ‘New Adult’. With some of the topic matter being for an older audience than YA, and focused less on the romance than most adult, Nolander is a perfect fit for the twenty-something crowd. Mills has written a very complex, intricately-woven story with multiple characters, while never leaving the reader with the feeling of being overwhelmed by it all.
It is difficult to discuss Nolander without giving away too much of the story, and spoilers really would not do it justice anyway. This is a story that has so much going on that you really have to pay attention, and will be unable to put it down once you start. Just when you think it is all figured out, another well-placed twist comes into play. The character development is top-notch, as well, with each one adding more depth to the story and the world being created. Even the prehistoric god-like beast known as Ghosteater is able to add a very unique perspective to the world and what it has become.
One of the things that I appreciated very much is that there is sexual tension between some of the characters, but there are no romantic entanglements that overshadow the story itself. While Beth shows interest in other characters, she never lets it cloud her judgment in the end. We are able to see her grow from a panic-ridden, anxious young woman into a sure-of-herself heroine, while learning who she can trust along the way.
This is among the best of the urban fantasy genre, and it is a wonder why a major publisher has yet to pick it up. Mills has given us such a dynamic world with vibrant characters and multiple plot lines that really bring it all to life. With so many characters, there are endless directions and possibilities for this series to take- not to mention the huge cliffhanger. At the last page, I actually found myself yelling at the book in disbelief that the author ended it in such a way. However, the result is in her favor, because I have no choice but to read the next one. The problem now truly is the wait- and my patience is already beginning to fray.
‘Nolander’ can be purchased at Amazon.com. (Right now, it is only $3.99, or FREE for Amazon Prime Members)
For more about Becca Mills, go to her website here.
[This review is also, or will be, published at LLBook Review]