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Saturday, April 19, 2014

Allie's War: Accidental Victory!

On my latest treasure hunt I accidentally discovered a great sci-fi oriented dystopian novella.

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 copyright Greg Jensen and AnneMarie Buhl
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:

It hit me on a personal level!

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.

Wait... WHAT?!

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!


  1. You caught me in the middle of rebranding, so I'm SO SORRY for the confusion on the different books. Rook is actually the entire story arc for the first segment (so it's now Rook: Allie's War Episodes 1-4). I decided to release in episode / novella format in addition to the longer books since I was getting comments on just how friggin' long the books were. You can now buy either way (as individual episodes or as the whole book of 1-4 episodes). I didn't change the prices, either, it was really just to break it into more digestible chunks. I hope that clarifies a bit. I am (hopefully) fixing all of that, along with changing covers to be more representative of the contents, but you literally caught me smack in the middle of it, so huge apologies about the bad timing. And THANK YOU for your kind words (and critical ones) about the book...I really appreciate it!

  2. Ahhhhhhhhhh! That makes a *lot* of sense. I think I should probably hurry up and read the rest of it, then, so I can discover what happens to Allie. Do we see more of her brother? I LOVE her brother! Wait... don't tell us. I need to do some downloading and find out!

  3. Haha! And YES! Jon is a major character. It's funny how that happens sometimes. I had no idea starting out what he would evolve into...he's one of my fav characters, too. But I'm a little obsessive about this series in general (ha). I'm still uploading the episodes, but all of the compilations are up. I wanted to get the covers more or less aligned before I put up the rest of the episodes. Thanks again so much!! And re: the genre (UF vs. SF), dang, I don't know (lol). I've given these books to pros of all kinds, and they all seem to tell me a different genre. I've had people adamant it's (variously): SF, UF, YA, NA, paranormal romance...lol. I finally put it in UF because I heard that the most often, but yeah, it's written in kind of a "realistic" type style, so I can see how it comes off as SF too. I have a lot of trouble drawing inside the lines. : )

  4. Yay! More of Jon makes me a happy girl. The scene that made me tear up a little? He was in it.

    And I think we all have trouble figuring out how to market our books. They're our *babies*. It's difficult placing them into a category!

  5. Too true, too true! And yay! (that you like Jon). If my stories are my babies, sheesh, I would hate to know what my favorite characters are to me. : )


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