Other Reviewers: Goodreads
For full disclosure, I was given this book for review by the publisher for an honest review.
I had only read one other book by Amber Kell, Attracting Anthony. For that Goodreads’ review go here. At the time, I was not that impressed with the novel, but there was something about the author’s writing that made me want to try another book.
When I came across this synopsis, it struck me as interesting, after all, who doesn’t love a story about an under-dog who finds out he is special? In the end, I was glad I read the book.
Elijah Trention is one disappointment to most people in his life: father, brother, and instructors. Then comes the day when he saves a class from danger and everyone looks at him in awe. Devin Stewartson has had his eye on Elijah for a long time, but never had the nerve to ask him out. When he finally does, will Elijah accept his friendship or will his past keep him away?
Eli’s perspective is someone with whom we can relate. He has low self-esteem, mostly because of his father’s lack of love and respect. He is not an overachiever like his brother, in fact, he is behind in much of his studies, never even matching his peers. We discover more reasoning behind this later on, but I do not want to spoil the suspense here.
His father eyed Eli, approval in his gold gaze. After years of seeking his dad’s attention, he now wished the man would just go away. He certainly had no desire to supplant his brother’s spot in his father’s affections. Those two deserved each other. Power seeking and ruthless, the two men had the same goals in life — taking whatever they could get and stepping on as many people as necessary to get there. Eli wanted nothing to do with them.
Now that Eli has all of this great power, he must learn how to control it and keep friends around him that will support him, not use him.
Devin is a character that I assume is in the other three books of the A Wizard’s Touch series. Early on we see Elijah’s view of Devin:
Besides, there was a perk to the class, in the form of Devin Stewartson. The sexy man sat two rows ahead of Eli and to the right. Eli spent a great deal of time ignoring the professor and staring at the gorgeous triplet. It just wasn’t fair that there were three of them. He’d heard around campus that Dan had bonded with a fire wizard and Dean was straight — that left Devin a his only option. Not that it mattered — he’d always been attracted to Devin more than his brothers. Devin’s upbeat personality pulled at Eli. Maybe because Eli didn’t have a bubbly personality, Devin’s charm called him.
I liked Devin, while he appeared to be popular and had a steady family, even he had questions about getting a partner and a successful relationship.
I enjoyed the dialogue in this book. It’s a short novel, at 115 pages, so the author needs to be able to get us into the story quickly. Early on we see how great Porter and Eli’s friendship is:
Porter put a hand on each of Eli’s shoulders and looked him square in the eyes. “You’ll be fine. If anyone messes with you, you call upon your legion of dead.”
Eli laughed, “So far my legion consists of a single dead assistant teacher who I don’t think is going to do anything other than help me with my studies.”
“Well, legions should be functional,” Porter said in a practical tone. “Maybe you can build them up as soon as you can figure out which ones are dead.”
Porter is a great secondary character and I wished we had more time with him.
What Could be Better:
Because this is such a short book, there is very little time for getting in-depth character development. This is book 4 in a series, so I an only assume that at least with Devin, we might have already learned about him as a secondary character.
Remember the phrase, “show” don’t “tell”, when dealing with writing? Because this book is so short, the author compressed the development to “tell” rather than “show”. From the writing that we see, I believe that the author has the writing skill to be more verbose. I hope that in other series we get to see more developed world, plots, and characters. I can tell by the writing of this story that Amber Kell is capable of writing a more lengthy novel. I would love to read a longer book Amber Kell.
Overall, I enjoyed this book. It was a very fast read and was great for reading on my flight to a conference. But, that being said, there was not that much deep thinking. So I give it Three Stars for a score. I did like this book enough that I will go back and read the previous three in the series.