Review: Renhala by Amy Joy Lutchen (Blog Tour & Giveaway)

Posted May 15th, 2013 in Blog Tour, book review, Giveaway / 15 comments

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Renhala

Renhala Series, #1

by Amy Joy Lutchen


Publisher: Self-Published (Sept. 2012)
Genre: Fantasy, Urban Fantasy, Adult
Format: eBook (406 pages)
Source: Blog Tour Host
Purchase: Amazon | Barnes & Noble 
Rating: ★★★☆☆ (3 stars)

Summary
Kailey Rooke, timid accountant, dedicated to philanthropic work, finds herself spiraling into a deep depression after she suffers a horrifyingly odd and humiliating assault, to only discover more of these freakish assaults occurring across the globe.

A chance discovery leads Kailey to a meeting with elderly Gunthreon, actual master of persuasion. Gunthreon, who seems to know too much of Kailey’s history for her liking, opens Kailey’s eyes to a coexisting realm she never knew existed: Renhala, while entrusting her with the knowledge of her newfound power as karmelean, serving as a beacon to the Higher Ones. Kailey slowly starts revealing new talents, and Gunthreon is fascinated with what she starts achieving.

She soon discovers that Renhala is in danger, and this danger has been leaking into her own realm. As she uncovers secrets within herself, and attempts to toughen up, she fuses with an unlikely band of fellow travelers (including a dragon, woodsprite, six-hundred-pound greble, her faithful female canine companion, and a “giver”), falls into an unexpected love triangle, deals with her sexy and flirtatious best friend’s “issues,” and finds the courage to master a new deadly weapon.

On her mission to save Renhala, Kailey will find herself running from life-threatening disasters, such as greble Tartarin, who likes to remind Kailey that when he catches her, he plans on eating her brains with ice cream; she’ll run from the deadly meeples: small cute bunnies with talons and an undeniable thirst for imposing self-destruction on others. Kailey will also run into the possibility that a centuries-old Renhalan rumor is true, that advanced technology existing in Kailey’s realm shortens all life spans.

As blood is shed and puzzles near completion, Kailey pulls from deep within herself, conjuring up mystical qualities that enable her to astonish as once predicted at her birth, but despite the newfound strength, Kailey will discover that monsters not only come in ugly packages, but can be easily disguised as those she has come to love and trust.

At A Glance
Renhala was an odd one for me. The first part was sooo boring, but once things picked up, I was amazed at the vivid imagery and world Lutchen came up with.

The Good
What Renhala offers is amazing fantasy elements and a fantastical world. I don’t think I have ever read a book with such creative descriptions of creatures and surroundings. Even when something seemed impossible, Lutchem made it feel possible. In Renhala you meet wood spirits who look like mini people, vicious bunny creatures, pixies who can transform into anyone, cat people, and a big, stinky monster thing with a protective and kind personality. And this is only skimming the surface of all the creatures in this book.

This is an adventure type book, so be ready for thrill ride. While recovering from a brutal attack, Kailey learns that she is has an important part in saving the mystical world of crazy creatures that she is connected too. She is almost killed a million times, but Kailey has a great group of friends who are there with her every step of the way. The start of this book broke my heart. I can’t even imagine what Kailey went through when she was being attacked. The memories of the incident haunt her throughout the book. But Kailey grows stronger through her journeys and with the support of her friends. I respected Kailey for taking on such daunting tasks even when she was just learning her powers. I had fun finding out who she really was and how important she was to saving the realm of Renhala.

The love interests were actually pretty fun. Conner is both sweet and passionate. Kailey  and him hit is off right away but he gets easily jealous of Ladimer and throws fits sometimes. I thought his pouting was kind of cute. But Ladimer really caught my eye. He is such a mystery. He means more to Kailey then even Kailey knows. His history is complicated and his powers are amazing. There is something very special between Ladimer and Kailey but it seems like something is always holding them back. I really don’t know who I want Kailey to end up with.

The secondary characters were just as interesting as the rest: Bu, the large, smelly other realm creature with the heart of gold. Kioto, Kailey’s trusty dog. And Gunthreon, the leader of the ragtag crew of travelers. They all made this book more fun to read.

Really, it comes down to the creativity factor. This book is so creative in it’s world, history, and characters it’s hard for any book to compete. There are so many elements in Renhala that it was almost too much but also just perfect. I also loved the bad guys. I can’t say who they all are because it would give a lot away, but some are right under our noses the whole time. The writing was good and the magical feel just gave it enough spice to keep me reading.

The Bad
Renhala was too long and dragged on forever. I was so bored in the beginning. I’d say a little under half way it started picking up, but still it slowed down in certain spots. I found myself putting this book down a lot. Much could have been cut out and this book would have been the stronger for it.

Some of the dialogue and the characters got very crony. I would laugh at how cheesy things got sometimes.

The Snuggly
Love triangle alert. It actually wasn’t too bad. I liked both men and I understood Kailey’s struggle to choose. And though some hot kisses and more (sexual situations) were shared, I found the romance started to lag the last 1/3 of the book. I wouldn’t have minded the lack of romance at the end if the beginning and middle didn’t set the precedence of romance being so prominent.

Final Thoughts
I did like Renhala, it just took some time for me to get into it. This book could have been better with a good trimming. But the vivid magical elements made everything not seem as bad. I would recommend this book to people who love fantasy books.

Quotes
At this level, I can see that the fog is about a foot off the ground, so I get on my hands and knees to see if I can see anything. And I do see something–something that could possibly be very big feet, yards in front of me, but I have trouble wrapping my mind around the concept. When I squint, I see three feet–not two, but three brown, dirty, hairy feet, with toenails the size of bear claws.

Now I can hear it clearly.

“Kailey, Kailey, come and play with me. Kailey, Kailey, come and slay with me.”

Author Bio
Born in Chicago, Illinois, a few days prior to watching her first movie, at a drive-in theater. Yes, drive-in theater. And yes, her mother believed she was possessed by the devil after said first movie.

Grew up in the Chicagoland area and graduated from the University of Illinois, Champaign-Urbana, where she simply became a number, but decided it was a good number.

Loves cooking (mostly candy-cooking), gardening (putting holes in the ground for perennials, DONE!), designing and constructing jewelry (everything from silversmithing to lampworking), and living with her wonderful husband, two children, black Labrador, and frog—and maybe even the chipmunk family that likes to destroy her aforementioned perennials.

Also hopes that you enjoy her writings, and won’t criticize her for her aversion of eating things in multiples of three.

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15 Responses to “Review: Renhala by Amy Joy Lutchen (Blog Tour & Giveaway)”

  1. Alicia Batista

    Amazing giveaway! I also reviewed this book in exchange for my honest opinion for the author. I enjoyed it as well, but felt the same as you did. It did feel like it dragged on at parts, but was still good an entertaining after if got flowing!

  2. kimbacaffeinate

    Sometimes the beginnings drag as the world building is set up but I am delighted this picked up for you, that the Love triangle wasn’t too bad and Conner sounds delightful, wonderful review!

  3. Jaclyn Canada

    LOL Viscous bunny creatures?? That sounds fun. With all the creativity and the fact that the love triangle actually has boys that you can’t decide between it definitely could have made for a good read. Thank you so much for sharing and the giveaway 😀 Jaclyn @ JC’s Book Haven.

  4. BookLady

    What an exciting book! Love urban fantasy and will be putting this book on my TBR list. Thanks for the great giveaway.

  5. Jovon Tucker

    RENHALA sounds exciting, exciting, and exciting, lol! Romance, powers, realms, I love it!

    I love how you break down your reviews and everything!

    Thanks again for another great giveaway!

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