Prophecy

Prophecy

This review is brought to you as part of the Release Day Book Blast for Prophecy, hosted by Tasty Book Tours.

Prophecy was written by multi-genre author Julie Anne Lindsey and first published in 2014. It is a paranormal romance which centres on a young woman’s growing attraction to a demigod. Prophecy is the first novel of the Calypso series, though at the time of writing this review no further instalments have been announced.

Following a messy break-up with her unfaithful boyfriend, Callie has become one of the least popular girls in her school. Although her friends Allison and Justin stand by her, everyone else believes her ex’s vicious lies about her. The bullying has left Callie distrustful of men, undesiring of any relationship and wanting to focus on earning a swimming scholarship so that she can move away from her small home town.

Things change when a family moves into the creepy Hale House next door. The mansion has a turbulent past, filled with suicides and rumours of curses, yet the family who have moved there seem relatively normal. Their two sons – Liam and Oliver – even start attending Callie’s school.

However, this normalcy does not last long. When Callie is attacked at a party, Liam comes rushing to her rescue. It turns out that he is a Viking – an ancient demigod warrior – who has been sent to her hometown because the Fates have prophecised that a new Viking will rise to lead his clan to greatness. Liam believes that the prophecy concerns Justin but unfortunately rival clans have come to the same conclusion and are closing in to ensure that it never comes to pass. Suddenly, Callie’s town is not so sleepy any more. She knows that she needs to find some way to protect both Justin and Liam before the escalating violence begins to take its toll on her loved ones.

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Prophecy has an interesting concept as it’s rare to find an novel that embraces all mythology as being true. Most fantasy settings will choose one (e.g. Norse) and stick to it but in Callie’s world all of the gods exist side by side. While this does raise a few questions (such as why there are numerous deities that supposedly govern the same aspects) which are not really addressed within the story, it does give the novel a unique edge and add an extra depth to its mythos.

The Vikings in the story are also unlike any entity I’ve ever seen in a paranormal romance, as they blend magic and modern attitudes rather neatly. Although I did frequently want Callie to deck certain characters as the spouted their philosophy of male dominance over women, this did effectively show how their order’s beliefs were rooted in the past and had remained unchanged for centuries.

The only thing that gave me pause about the paranormal aspects was the use of the name “Vikings”. As this term is used to describe an actual group of people in history, I was left slightly confused. Is the insinuation that all Vikings were demigods? If this is the case, what were they known as pre-Viking times (as the demigods within the story were the children of Greek gods)? I apologise if I missed the explanation within the text but it was just something that I felt needed further clarification.

My biggest problem with the story was its pacing. While I actually rather enjoyed the paranormal elements of the novel, these did not appear in the text until halfway through. Until this point, the story was just full of teen angst – largely one girl that was obsessed with boys and another who, hurt by a bad experience, was trying to gently let down a childhood friend who had obvious feelings for her. While not badly written, this half of the novel just lacked anything original. There was nothing that made it stand out amongst other teen contemporary romances. It was only curiosity regarding the beheading mentioned in the blurb that kept me going. While the second half of the novel moved a lot faster, I found it quite difficult to reach this part.

In terms of characters, I actually did like Callie a lot. She had a strength of character which is often sorely missing from heroines in novels of this type. While she was not feisty, she did know how to stand up for herself and even fought back against assailants rather than wait for Liam to rescue her every time. For the most part of the story, she remained a very strong, capable and (most importantly) likable protagonist.

My only gripes with Callie’s character came towards the end of the story. I’m not going to spoil the twists of the climax for you here but I’ll just say that the revelations about Callie that appeared over the last few chapters did cause her to veer a little into Mary-Sue territory. There is a delicate line between creating a believably strong female lead and creating one built entirely of strengths with no negative characteristic and I just felt that Callie leaned a little too far the wrong way. I hope that my fears will come to nothing when I review the sequel but I have a horrible feeling that Callie is just going to wind up as too powerful a character in the long run.

The secondary cast were also particularly strong within the story, with notable characters being Allison, Justin and Callie’s mother, all of whom showed noticeably different personalities and surprising depth which caused me to care about them almost as much as Callie. While I did find some of the extended cast to be incredibly unlikable, primarily due to their Stone Age attitude to womans’ rights, on the whole Lindsey manage to make me root for her characters and genuinely hope that no harm would come to them.

So, to conclude, Prophecy is a very strong start to the series which is only really let down by its incredibly slow first half and whiff of the Mary-Sue around its protagonist. It is, however, worth sticking with as the second half of the story brings a unique fantasy concept and a wonderfully strong cast, leaving me very curious as to how the story will develop in book two.

Prophecy can be purchased as an eBook on Amazon.co.uk

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3 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. gaele
    Oct 06, 2014 @ 13:19:48

    Thank you for participating! ~~ Gaele (for Lisa)

    Reply

  2. Trackback: Elsker | Arkham Reviews

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