Tag Archives: Winter

Winter in the Soul by Jennifer Novotney

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Trailer: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IX5yYhX7lwQ

Release Date: July 15, 2014

 

Giveaway:

includes 5 autographed posters and 5 keychains

Link:
http://www.rafflecopter.com/rafl/display/d3e9353/

The Story:

In a world divided by power and greed, seventeen-year-old Lilika harbors an intense desire to return to Winter in the Soul, the place her family left to escape the darkness that was manifesting from a coldness of the soul.

When she meets Talon, their connection is evident right from the start, and together they travel through the Black Kingdom to recover Lilika’s stolen locket. And in search of an answer to the mystery behind Winter in the Soul.

Lilika holds the key to stopping the darkness from spreading. The fate of their world lies in her hands. Will she stop the Black Kingdom before its darkness overtakes them all, or will they succumb to the darkness that is spreading across the land?

 

The Quick Review:
Winter in the Soul is good story not to be judged by its cover. The cover doesn’t reveal much, but the story is a great adventure-high fantasy, with magic becoming a focal point toward the end. I really, really liked the story line, it is fresh take in the high fantasy/magic genre. The second half of the story read at way too quick a pace.

The main characters are 13-14 years old. The story feel more geared in the juvenile age range (8-12yrs) rather than the young adult genre (13-16yrs.) I think young readers just getting into high fantasy will really enjoy this book. This book hits the juvenile reading level right on the mark.

The Longer Review:

Jennifer Novotney puts a fresh take into high fantasy. The region/town naming convention is based on seasons. The magic system introduced has the potential to be beautifully simple or very complex in later books. Either or, the magic did not feel typical to previous stories I have read. I feel like Winter in the Soul is only scratching the surface on magic and this series could really “blossom” into it. Some pun intended there 🙂

The relationship between Lilika and Talon starts quick, but seems appropriate. Talon is pure chivalry. I like his character and we got to know some about him, but i want to know more and get a little more into his character. Lilika is flighty and is a doer before she is a thinker. Best way to describe her personality, is “on a whim.” She is curious and brave, and her personality shows off well start to finish. She wants to be responsible, but her actions are often misguided and create much of the adventure of the story.

The story started off with good detail and set up. Lilika is introduced and immediately finds the locket, she goes to school and does chores and we get a decent feel for her. She accompanies her father to the market in the town of Summer Harvest, about a half days carriage ride away. Talon, the other main character, is introduced at his home, an inn in summer harvest. We get some background to him and his story. Some detail aside, they get to the market for trading day and then shortly after that the story slams on the gas pedal from there till the end.

The book is 130 pages according to my e-reader. I think the story needed another 100 pages of minor details; segues and transitions and minor and background details. The second half of the story felt like an outline of the major events taking place in a bigger story. I wanted more ‘in between’ content to link things together and provide some continuity.

The first 11 of the 21 chapters were paced well and had good detail; the second half of the book is those 100 pages need to be added. Take chapters 12-13, 11 pages total, as an example. I felt like 6 major story events happened in these 11 pages, pretty much a major event every page and a half. The very end met the same speed up, where I though the culmination of the story spanned too few pages.

My other critique is there were a few inconsistencies and some unanswered questions for me on the reader end; most of these stem back to the fast pace and my want of more minor detail. An example would be how far is Winter in the Soul from Summer Harvest? The characters walk there over the course of those 11 pages, which indicates it is very close, and Lilika and Talon do not rest or eat along the way. Everyone speaks as if it is a hard place to get to, and I got the impression it was far away. The rest of my questions come with the ending chapters, so I will omit them to not to be a spoiler.

Conclusion:
I’m curious to see what towns lie past the few we were introduced in book one, since there are only 4 seasons, and three have been used. I also want to learn more about the magic. How are the protectors of the lockets bound to them, the extents of magic use in WITS, and so on?

The point is, I’m curious and want to know more. I hope there is a second book at some point, as he ending to this one suggests. Big things could happen and would be exciting to read.

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Author Bio:

Jennifer Novotney was born in Burbank, California and lived in Los Angeles for most of her life until settling in North Eastern Pennsylvania with her husband and daughter. She attended California State University, earning a bachelors degree in journalism, and Northern Arizona University, earning a masters degree in English. After college, she spent several years writing and teaching, including at Pennsylvania State University.

Website: www.jennifernovotney.com

Twitter: www.twitter.com/jennovotney

Facebook: www.facebook.com/jen.novotney

Links:

Add to Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/20869515-winter-in-the-soul

Anaiah Press: http://www.anaiahpress.com

iTunes: https://itunes.apple.com/us/book/winter-in-the-soul/id898049246?mt=11

Amazon: http://amzn.com/B00LT8DMV6

B&N: STILL WAITING

Kobo:http://www.kobobooks.com/search/search.html?q=Winter+in+the+Soul

iTunes: STILL WAITING

Smashwords: https://www.smashwords.com/books/view/452937

Giveaway:

includes 5 autographed posters and 5 keychains

Link:
http://www.rafflecopter.com/rafl/display/d3e9353/

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COVER REVEAL: Winter in the Soul by Jennifer Novotney

The first cover reveal for Zero2fiction! Jenn Novotney’s first Novel Winter in the Soul. Check back here for a review and release date!

Displaying winter in the soul 1600x2400.png

Story:

In a world divided by power and greed, seventeen-year-old Lilika harbors an intense desire to return to Winter in the Soul, the place her family left to escape the darkness that was manifesting from a coldness of the soul.

Displaying JennNovotney.jpg

Author Jenn Novotney

When she meets Talon, their connection is evident right from the start, and together they travel through the Black Kingdom to recover Lilika’s stolen locket. And in search of an answer to the mystery behind Winter in the Soul.


Lilika holds the key to stopping the darkness from spreading. The fate of their world lies in her hands. Will she stop the Black Kingdom before its darkness overtakes them all, or will they succumb to the darkness that is spreading across the land?

Author Bio:

Jennifer Novotney was born in Burbank, California and lived in Los Angeles for most of her life until settling in North Eastern Pennsylvania with her husband and daughter. She attended California State University, earning a bachelors degree in journalism, and Northern Arizona University, earning a masters degree in English. After college, she spent several years writing and teaching, including at Pennsylvania State University.

Website: www.jennifernovotney.com

Twitter: www.twitter.com/jennovotney

Facebook: www.facebook.com/jen.novotney

 

Links:

Add to Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/20869515-winter-in-the-soul

Anaiah Press: http://www.anaiahpress.com

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Leven Thumps and the Gateway to Foo – Review

 Three Gold Stars / Five

The short:

This series has the potential to be great. A story that is filled with imaginative ideas and excellent humor, but lacking in execution.  Obert Skye creates a unique and original world, filled with items, beings, and ideas that do not simple rehash concepts you have heard before.  Obert Skye focuses his writing on all things Foo, but does not add enough depth to the characters and ideas that originate from the earthly side of the story, which is where most of the story takes place.

This story has tons of potential and a lot of good aspects, and I really wanted to love it. But too many aspects missed their marks, leaving the story feeling too underdeveloped.

The Long:

Skye’s world of Foo is very original. It is a fantastic place where dreams live. Traveling there happens at mismatched street corners when the temperature is divisible by 7 and there are shooting stars over head; not just through an old tree or something that has done before. Ideas such as this are a breath of fresh air.

Skye has a knack for writing humor. Candy that makes your face move around you body, and candy that apologizes for its flavor as you eat it, are just some of the hilarious and creative ideas you find throughout the story.

Leven Thumps, the main character, seems to get pulled along through the story by the other characters. After witnessing magical black goo, Clover the sycophant, and Winter freezing things, he still decides that he doesn’t believe anything and tries to go back to his utterly horrible life as a neglected nephew.  He tries to back out of the idea of getting to Foo too many times, and stubbornly forces himself to disbelieve that it is all real. I got tired of his character very quickly.

Skye’s writing leads us to believe that every adult human is evil, neglectful, obese, abusive, oppressive, lazy, and hateful. Winters mother has a dead end job, eats way too much, and treats Winter like a bad habit. Leven’s Aunt and Uncle make him do all the chores and have him live on the porch, and blame him for every problem in their lives. They resemble even more over the top versions of The Dursley’s from Harry Potter. All the teachers at Leven’s school are fat, cowards, self-righteous, hate children, or are a combination of those things. All the adults were too unbelievably awful for me to enjoy them.

Pros:

Creative, original realm and ideas

Funny and entertaining scenes

A lot of potential

Cons:

Adult characters are unbelievable

Leven’s character is too wishy-washy and does not have enough depth

Villain is not a developed character.

The Story:

(taken from Goodreads)

Fourteen-year-old Leven Thumps (a.k.a. “Lev”) lives a wretched life in Burnt Culvert, Oklahoma. But his life is about to change and his destiny be fulfilled as he learns about a secret gateway that bridges two worlds — the real world and Foo, a place created at the beginning of time in the folds of the mind that makes it possible for mankind to dream and hope, aspire and imagine. But Foo is in chaos, and three transplants from that dream world have been sent to retrieve Lev, who alone has the power to save Foo.

Enter Clover, a wisecracking, foot-high sidekick; Winter, a girl with a special power of her own; and Geth, the rightful heir to Foo. Their mission: to convince Lev that he has the power to save Foo. Can this unique band of travelers help Lev overcome his doubt? Will Lev find the gateway in time? Or will Sabine and his dark shadows find the gateway first and destroy mankind?

 

The Writing: 

Obert Skye’s first novel shows some strength, but a good deal of room to improve.  His writing style makes the story feel very much like a “once upon a time” type of story.” He does a lot of explaining, rather than letting character dialogue or events depict the story.  The story needs more descriptiveness as well; I would not be able to tell you anything about the villain Sabine, other than he is a human, and is named Sabine.

Skye’s strength is writing humor. He writes funny dialogues and humorous items and events. I hope he continues to add comic relief and humor to the rest of the series.

Again, the characters all need some more development. Leven did not have enough personality; the adults are too unbelievable; Geth was a little repetitive.Most of the ordinary adults in this story were easier to hate than the main villain himself. I really liked Clover, he was the best character.

The Characters:

Leven “Lev” Thumps- A 14 year old boy living with his Aunt and her husband in Oklahoma. His life is utterly dismal.  He lives on a porch in a trailer park with neglectful guardians and goes to a school that supposedly is where all teachers to crazy to teach normal children go.  Leven is an Offing, a person who can see and manipulate the future.

Clover- a small cat like creature called a Sycophant. It is a mix between a cat and the Cheshire Cat from Alice in Wonderland.  He can disappear and reappear whenever he wants. When invisible, he is almost always on Lev’s head or shoulder.  He has been protecting Leven his entire life, but for some reason only appeared after 14 years.  His character is mischievous and tells Leven he has a lot of information about him, but he can’t tell him what it is.

Geth- The rightful heir to Foo. He was turned into a seed and then planted on earth to find and protect Leven.   He ends up as a toothpick, which was original and entertaining. He is very repetitive, which annoys Lev and Winter; but is a sure and confident figure, especially for a toothpick. He is a Lithen, a Foo being that believes fate guides everything.

Winter- like Lev, lives in an awful situation with an unbelievable neglectful mother. She has the power to create and control ice. In Foo, people like her with powers are called Nits.  She develops her power much more quickly and effectively than Lev.  She was brought to Leven and then to Foo by fate.  She struggles to find her purpose in life. Keeping Leven believing in their foretold destiny seems to keep her going. She has a confidence in Geth and Clover and believes in her destiny and Foo.

Sabine- The villain. He lives in Foo and wants to freely travel between both worlds. His character has almost no depth in this story, other than being evil and arrogant. He is a cliché of a villain that you can’t really despise or get interested in because he has very little personality. I hope his character is better developed in later books.

Conclusion:

Obert Skye created a fantastic, original realm, and writes some very humorous scenes. Some of the characters and situations are underdeveloped. The future stories need more action, dialogue, and descriptiveness.

3 stars; there is so much potential here, but book one missed the mark. Read it if you get a chance, see if you like it. I hope he rest of the series improves upon this first installment.

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