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FIRST FIVE: The Flame and the Arrow by Emigh Cannaday.

Blurb: 

Aspiring rock star Annika Brisby thinks she knows where her life is going until she steps through a broken portal that leaves her stranded in a fae – filled realm of fairies, shapeshifter druids, psychic vampires, and other mythical beings. Unable to return until it’s repaired, she’s rescued by wood nymphs who believe her sudden arrival is no accident. After being taken in by a prominent family of elves, Annika finds herself struggling to resist the seductive spell of their youngest son, Talvi. Equal parts arrogant and alluring, the notorious heartbreaker seems like the perfect distraction for her homesickness. Her new friends warn her that she’ll probably regret ever laying eyes on him, and what begins as a casual fling with a telepathic elf for a lover quickly burns too hot to handle. By the time Annika learns the consequences of their forbidden trysts, Talvi’s already under her skin and dangerously close to her heart. But on the journey home she discovers that there’s a mountain of secrets that he’s not telling her, and Annika can’t help wondering who’s really in danger.

You’ll enjoy this edgy & dark blend of New Adult Urban Fantasy, Romantic Suspense, and Paranormal Romance if you’re a fan of Laurell K. Hamilton, Kresley Cole, Donna Grant, Charlaine Harris, Karen Marie Moning, Jeanine Frost, J.R. Ward and Lynsay Sands.

The First Five: 

ONE: Fidgeting with her keys in one hand and balancing an overstuffed laundry basket in the other, a very short and very glum redhead walked up the stone steps to a very large and very dilapidated three story house.  

THOUGHTS: Already, I’m slightly annoyed with the double tapped pacing. VERY is one of those descriptive/adjective words that, as my critique partner would say,(yes Liz I listen) should be used sparingly. The fact that Emigh Cannaday has overused said adjective, disrupts the pace. That being said, I can relate to our character’s balancing act so I’m engaged. 

TWO: “Annika, is that you? Oh my god, you’re late!” a shrill voice nagged from the kitchen.

THOUGHTS: I am frustrated by the lack of proper editing. God can be capitalized or not; it’s really at the author’s discretion, but I believe to acknowledge the almighty (in a common-knowledge way) means treating his name as a title. Titles should be capitalized. The “you’r late!” is correct, however the following “a shrill voice…” calls for different punctuation. IMO, this sentence should read:

“Annika, is that you? Oh my God! You’re late,” a shrill voice nagged from the kitchen.

OR

“Annika, is that you? Oh my God,” a shrill voice nagged from the kitchen. “You’re late.”

CONTINUED THOUGHTS: Despite my irritation,  a lot of positive reviews spur me on.

THREE: “I thought you guys were just having a quick dinner before you came over. What the hell took you so long?”

THOUGHTS: Honestly, this is not strong dialogue. Already, the sentence is bloated with words that shouldn’t be there. The first part implies irritation which negates the need for swearing. In everyday conversation, a person normally swears first then asks/demands an explanation. The key to great dialogue is keeping it real. As authors, we want to pack as much information as we can into a sentence, but real-talk isn’t about info. It’s about emotion. Here, Emigh is trying to show that her other character is upset. That was accomplished without the swearing or the entire second part of the declaration. Still, I read on.

FOUR: Annika rounded the corner to see an impeccably dressed man in his late twenties getting up from the table as he shut down his laptop.

THOUGHTS: The sentence has Annika “rounding a corner” so I can’t visualize her knowing/seeing the “man in his late twenties” shutting down his laptop. It’s more likely that she simply saw him closing said laptop. However, this part is clearly about getting a visual and that’s accomplished. 

FIVE: “I’m not going out tonight, James,” she sighed, dropping the laundry basket by the staircase that led to her room.

THOUGHTS: She knows him. Check. She had plans with him. Check. She doesn’t want to go. Check. All the pertinent information is here, but again I feel like the dialogue is stunted. Edits are lacking. I’m beginning to doubt the validity of aforementioned reviews, but I’m willing to give it a few more sentences.

SIX: “The hell you’re not,” he said in a tone that found her excuse unacceptable. “We’ve been planning this for like, three weeks.”

THOUGHTS: This guy is not very guy-ish. Men would bitch, sure, but they would bitch in a guy way. Less disappointment; more anger. Yes. Men will say they’ve had planes forever, but they would point out the timeframe in a way that was less womanly. In my mind, as a writer, I can reason that the author wants this male to seem a bit feminine. As a reader, the character has already annoyed me. Since I’ve been more irritated  than not with these FIRST FIVE, I can honestly say that I’m unimpressed.

Still, The Annika Brisby Series has done the opposite for a lot of people, so I read on.

(I’m not sharing the next parts with you, sorry. HEHE.)

If you read on though, you may have discovered that Annika has just broken up with her boyfriend who may have been ready to propose  This sets us up some drama, which is intriguing enough to get me to download the story. TFATA This is a FREE read on Amazon.com, right now. So, there’s no harm in snatching it up.

Overall, this may be more of a BROWSING read than anything else. 

BUT, for younger crowd, I could see this being a superb adventure. Because it’s a series, there’s a level of investment as well as the potential for character growth. For me, so far, it’s not looking overly promising, but I’m willing to give it a Go. I will post follow-up details shortly. 

Now, let’s not ignore reality here. FREE is FREE! IMO, You can’t beat a book that’s meant to wet the appetite. (Unless it’s absolutely horrid. This book, is not that.) So, TFATA is a little raw. Who cares. I say we rally for, Emigh Cannaday. Authors and readers alike stick together, plus: I am interested to see how Emigh Cannaday evolves from here. Aren’t you?

 

 

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One comment on “FIRST FIVE: The Flame and the Arrow by Emigh Cannaday.

  1. Your comments do encourage “thoughtful” reading… sometimes I read and just hear the words. The only benefit of that is I’m pleasantly surprised when reading the second time!

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