So I just finished reading The Day of First Sun, and I've got a review for you guys as well as an interview. Can you see what (hopefully) unique thing I did with my review below? No? Well, just read on, and I'll reveal what I did at the end of this post if you haven't figured it out by then.
And this review is an honest one, meaning that I've written about all aspects of the story, both good and bad. I know that being part of the tour could make me a bit biased and hesitant to write about negative points of the book, but I tried to be as honest as possible inspite of this.
Okay, if you write a novel that involves mystery and action, a deadly situation is a MUST in my book. And I am glad to say that Day of the First Sun doesn't just have one, but multiple scenes like this. These are what keeps the story going amd keep readers hanging on their seats, and I am glad that this story delivered this.
Oh, skipping straight to the end, are we? ;) Well, I have to say, the ending gave me mixed feelings. On one hand, it was bittersweet, and just plain sorrowful. On the other, it was a bit too abrupt for my taste. But then again, it was also a bit of a happy ending; an ending full of peace an acceptance. But overall? The majority of me says it was awesome.
Yummy Heroes and Yucky Baddies
Heh, so I admit, the heading might sound a tad bit funny. (Hey, don't blame me! "Y" is a surprisingly rare letter!) But anyway, in spite of said funny heading, it is still 100% percent true. I loved that Sheryl made the good guys GOOD and the bad guys BAD. None of those "I'm in the middle" or "I'm a bad guy who really wants to be good but I just CAN'T!" crap. The heroes in this books are truly kickass, and you can't help but despise the bad guys as well! And speaking of bad guys, I LOVE how the vampires are the bad guys in this book. I'm just so sick of those books which made them the good guys, the guys which we're supposed to root for. Finally, Sheryl dares to do the different and make them the villain. And I love her for that.
So the names were a mixture of creative, genius, and well... to be honest, just plain funny. No, I don't mean the character names, but rather the titles. Well, its actually just the title "Wizard Guard" that kinda makes me want to laugh. I don't know why! I think that's just me though. But then again, I really like the name Tartarus for the prison, so I guess that balances things out. :D
Fascinating Paranormal Elements
Okay, I've gotta say, this book is filled with paranormal goodness! Witches, warlocks, vampires, and a whole lot more! I suppose I have read some books like that, but all have been strictly YA. It was interesting to read it from an adult book's point of view, and it's nice to see that it's just as enjoyable.
I have to admit, the book had a slow pace at first, which almost made me put it down. It was only later that things exploded. Once the mystery's introduced, Annie and her partner scramble to search for the truth in a race against the clock. They hunt for suspects, search for evidence, and put themselves in peril, and there went away all the dull moments!
Every paranormal and urban fantasy book has its own legends on how things came to be, and this book is no exception. I just love the cool mythology in this one! It has its own important dates, powerful beings and sacred places which were essential in this book. They were pretty much well though out, and no doubt needed a lot of imagination and creativity!
Well, the whole boring overused FBI routine just got spiced up. It was really interesting on how Sheryl just presented a murder case at first, but then things get a whole lot more complicated. The book was like a mystery within a mystery! There isn't just murder- there's blackmail, betrayal, treachery, and a whole lot of hidden agendas.
I liked Annie as the main character. She was likeable- not too tough, but not wimpy either. She wasn't perfect, but on the contrary, she was flawed as well. And that's what I'm looking for. While I couldn't really connect with her, I still liked her. I think that if the story was written from her POV, the connection could have been easier, like in the epilogue of the book.
Well, this was my only real issue with the book. The bad guy- well, not really the ultimate bad guy, more of the mole, really- was revealed in the second chapter. I think I would have liked it better if it was kept a mystery until the very end, so that I would have kept guessing along as well. Discovering the identity of traitors could be really huge turning points in a book, and I'm kinda disappointed that this wasn't the case in this one.
Well, this book wasn't one of those saucy, steamy romance novels, and for that I am thankful. The romance was brief, but in spite of that, sweet. I just wish the story elaborated a bit more on Annie and Cham's relationship, because while it was there, those moments felt a bit too lacking. But like I said, Annie and Cham are so sweet together. :)
Oh yeah, FBI meets Harry Potter. Or something like that. But I've gotta say, the idea of a magical form of FBI is beyond cool. While some parts just felt a bit too unbelievable, most were pretty well done, so I enjoyed it.
Now for the Rating...
Dum dum dum... 4 stars! The Day of First Sun surprised me. This was the first adult urban fantasy book I've read, and I'm pleased to say that I enjoyed it. True, I still prefer YA, but it was an enjoyable read all the same. And one of my favorite thing about the book is that it was a clean read. These kinds of books are slowly dwindling in number, and I am thankful for this book for being one. A really good debut!
Please enjoy this excerpt from the urban fantasy novel, The Day of First Sun. Then read on to learn how you can win huge prizes as part of this blog tour, including $450 in Amazon gift cards, a Kindle Fire, and 5 autographed copies of the book.
Sturtagaard chose not to speak, though it was he who had called for the meeting. They both checked their watches and realized they had been sitting across from him for ten minutes, watching him sniff the air. If he wanted to play this, they would play along at least for a little while longer, though both were tired of the leering. As the vampire sniffed again, Cham finally figured out why.
"You know, you called us. We really don't have anything to say to you, so if you're just playing games, we're happy to leave. I've got other, more important things to do than watch you sniff and leer," Cham finally said, and stood up.
Sturtagaard smiled as he watched Cham open the door because he much preferred dealing with Annie, but when she stood up, too, he realized he'd overplayed his hand.
"If I talk, my employer will have me staked. I'd like some assurance that you won't do the same," he said rather quickly, before they left.
They turned and looked at him, both rolling their eyes.
"I'll have you staked if you don't talk," replied Cham, as he stood by the door.
"You're out of options if you ever hope to get out of here again," Annie said calmly, focusing on his face.
Sturtagaard squirmed a little in his seat, as Annie's expression was somewhat disquieting and unemotional. He looked at Cham, whose face was expressionless, and then back to Annie, who hadn't moved a muscle. The vampire sighed.
"You heard right. I was hired to create a zombie army to overthrow the Wizard Council," Sturtagaard said. His voice remained steady and calm with resignation.
"Who wants to overthrow the Council?" asked Cham, his hand still clutching the door.
"My employer. I've told you, I don't know who he is. I always dealt with his associate. He'd show up, leave notes, or send others with messages. I've never contacted him." He looked from one to the other, but they both remained stony and detached. "Come on, now. I can't give you information I don't have." Sturtagaard was charming.
Annie rolled her eyes again. "You really don't have any idea who the employer is?" she asked with sarcasm.
"Really, I don't," he said.
"So you're building an army of the dead. How long did you have to get this done?" Annie took out her phone and pulled out her calendar.
"He wanted it ready for September first."
Annie looked up with a grimace, and Cham looked surprised. She didn't need to mark the date on her calendar or research its significance, though neither could figure out why a zombie army had to be created for that day, the Day of First Sun. It was a very powerful and ancient day for good magic.
"So, your employer wants an army of the dead on that day? Why?" Cham asked in a flat, emotionless voice.
"He's a black wizard. What do you think he wants? He wants to overthrow the Council, take over the world, practice magic in the open. You know, the typical magical fantasy." Sturtagaard grinned because he believed that would benefit the entire supernatural world.
"Wipe the smirk off your face, Sturtagaard. Having free reign won't be as good as you think, with all the angry mobs, torches, and stakes through the heart."
Annie smirked at Cham, who shook his head and laughed. He waited to compose himself before looking back at the vampire.
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About the book: A vampire, a rogue wizard and an army of soulless zombies are par for the course for Annie Pearce and Bobby “Cham” Chamsky of the Wizard’s Guard. But when the non-magical princess, Amelie of Amborix, is murdered by magical means, a deeper plot unfolds. Get it on Amazon.
Okay, so I posted an interview with Sheryl Steins here yesterday, if you're interested. Oh, and I almost forgot! Still didn't catch what I did with my review? Scroll up and start reading the headings again, this time focusing on the first letter. Caught it? ;) It was pretty fun, although a bit difficult, to do! :D And please remember to VOTE FOR ME HERE!
Jen @ Midnight Book Thief
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