I say accidentally, because it was listed as an urban fantasy.
But even though it was a mistaken discovery, it was a good one!
This novella (of roughly 120 pages) was Allie's War: Episode 1, by J.C. Andrijeski.
|Cover art by |
Greg Jensen and AnneMarie Buhl
Initially, I was going to leave this one alone and continue my search for something within the fantasy or paranormal genres, but when I saw the page length on my Nook, I elected to read it anyway. It was short, after all. If I didn't like it, no time would be wasted.
Why not, right?
So I sat and read what turned out to be a great break from my normal choices.
So what's it about?
After finding herself holding a bloodstained, broken bottle while police scream for her to drop her weapon, Allie is forced to accept that she attacked the woman that her beau was seeing on the sly, even though she has no memory of the assault. Soon after, she's given a GPS tracking anklet so authorities can monitor her every movement. First offense or not, she's now a violent criminal.
Both of these problems are small compared to what she discovers next: She's not human, and she's being hunted... by different factions within an alien race which has been on this planet for a very long time.
I raced through this one.
Energy was high, and I found myself turning pages at a rapid rate. My eyes even teared up a bit during one scene. Granted, this is only because Andrijeski wrote something that hit me on a very personal level, but that's just it:
The characters were all very well written, and believable. I sympathized with each and every one of them. Dialogue was spot-on and specific to each character.
I found myself frustrated by a society that was built and structured upon fear, but understanding where that fear came from, at the same time. I was shown a new view of the planet, as well as the lifeforms that live here.
There were a few problems that caused my to withhold Treasured Tome status, however.
The author gave the reader information at the beginning that was unnecessary, causing the story to slow down. It was only a few words within a couple of sentences, but even so, it detracted from the story's energy.
The other flaw had to do with the switching of tenses. Sometimes that can work, but switches between present and past tense within the exposition here had a jarring effect. Again, though, this is something that can be improved upon with great success.
And in truth, Andrijeski may have already made these changes.
The thing is, I found another piece written by J.C. Andrijeski with a nearly identical name: Rook: Allie's War, Book 1. This appears to be the same novella, and may be an updated version, but I can't be 100% certain... I didn't see this title until after I finished with the version I already downloaded.
Getting confused? Don't worry. I am, too.
Regardless, this is an ebook worth reading. Even when including the flaws with tense and with poorly timed information, this story flowed remarkably well, and kept my interest to the end.
And don't forget... I teared up a little!
Allie's War is available on Kindle, Smashwords, and Nook.
**Update 4/30: The confusion I spoke of has been cleared up. Rook: Allie's War, Book 1 is actually episodes 1-4 combined. JC Andrijeski was going through rebranding, and my download happened to occur in the middle of it. Check out her comment below for a more in-depth explanation!
...And now I'm off to download Rook!