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Monday, September 30, 2013

Book Review: Child Of The Loch by Elizabeth Delana Rosa

Child Of The Loch is a YA fantasy novel. Here is the official synopsis via Goodreads: "Twenty-three year accountant, J.J. McDonnell, has spent her life trying to be normal and hide her gifts, but all dreams of normalcy are dashed on her twenty-fourth birthday. A handsome man shows up on her porch with a marriage edict and news that the grandfather she has never met, has died. Her world is about to change forever. J.J. must make the perilous journey to the Loch and take her place on its throne. With no idea what is expected of her and dark forces closing in at every turn, will J.J. be able to accept her destiny or will she be stopped before she can?"

I really liked this book, which isn't a full-length novel but actually a novella to introduce Rosa's ongoing series. While it was intended/written as a YA novel, I felt it didn't quite come across as one. Most YA novels have teenagers making up the majority of the cast, while everyone in COTL are adults. But the style and pacing is for a YA novella and everything just felt rushed. There was so much in the book that could have been expanded on that it could have been an epic-length novel. I felt this book was almost a summary, there was so much that was told, not shown. It's an adult fantasy novel written in YA style but I think it should have been one or the other.

Take it as a good sign that I wanted a slower book, Rosa has built an interesting low-fantasy world that I wanted to explore more. J.J. was written as "a person first, a woman second" the author informed me and I think Rosa pulled it off really well. The story is told in the first person but I never got the impression I was reading a "girly" book. J.J. is smart, capable, unsure of herself, and more; I could easily see almost any gender or race telling the story. There are many characters that are unique and I wish we could have gotten to know them more.

COTL mostly deals with J.J. gathering allies for the upcoming war. She meets many new people and travels to different lands. There is a touch of everything for readers: action, romance, political intrigue, magic, and more.

I simply wish the book had been longer, mostly because I like a slow read and I'm not use to the fast-pace of YA novels. But I hope Rosa continues the series and we can learn more about the Loch and its world.

The eye-catching cover was created by the author herself. You can check out her review website Crimson Flower Reviews as well as her personal site.