Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Book Review By Tara: Beckoning Light by Alyssa Rose Ivy

Title: Beckoning Light (The Afterglow Trilogy)
Author: Alyssa Rose Ivy
Publisher/format: Alyssa Rose Ivy, Kindle Edition
How I got this:  Received a free copy in exchange for fair review.

Synopsis (From
As Charlotte steps through the gate, she has a strong feeling that nothing will ever be the same again

Moving back to South Carolina after three years away, Charlotte knows she's going to have to face people from her past and adjust to a new high school, but she's completely unprepared for what else waits for her in Charleston.

Drawn through an old garden gate, Charlotte discovers a hidden world where she meets Calvin, a boy to whom she is inexplicably attracted. As Charlotte is pulled deeper into this hidden world, it's up to her older brother Kevin to rescue her. No matter how hard Kevin tries, the rescue depends upon Charlotte fighting her intense feelings for Calvin while mastering a set of abilities that she has only just discovered she possesses.


I have to admit, when I received this book, I approached reading it with trepidation.  From the synopsis, I could imagine it being a mish-mash somewhere between The Secret Garden and Narnia.  And I have to admit, after being forced to read it an over-analyze it in school, I’ve never really liked The Secret Garden.  However, you should never judge a book by it’s cover, and when I got around to reading this, I actually really enjoyed it. 

The story follows Charlotte, a girl who has just moved back to her hometown of Charleston from Alaska, and is once again living in a house that has been in her family for years.  She and her brother Kevin (the other main focus of the story) have moved in with their Uncle Monty (their dead Mother’s brother – this is important later) after their Father got relocated for research (he’s a Geologist). 

Everything in Charlotte’s life is fairly normal – she attends a normal high school, meets guys and has friends – except for a locked gate that the bottom of her garden.  Charlotte has noticed it before, but never as she is noticing it now, and is somehow drawn to it. 

Beyond the gate is the world of Energo, where it turns out her Mother’s family line is the royal family, and produces The Essence – a female of great importance and power in Energo’s society.  Charlotte finds herself on dangerous territory in Energo, and it’s left to Kevin and Monty to save her. 

One thing I will comment on with this novel is how well it was written – especially for an independent release.  I was really impressed with this, as I was with character development.  The Charlotte you see at the end of the novel is very different from the Charlotte at the beginning of the book, however, she doesn’t snap-change – it’s very gradual and organic. 

I also enjoyed the relationships between the characters in the novel.  I want to know what’s actually going on with Charlotte and Liam, and what will happen with Charlotte and Calvin.  I don’t even know which one of them I prefer right now if I’m honest! 

I have to admit, I did feel like there were references to both The Secret Garden and Narnia within the book, but it wasn’t overpowering.  I’m actually looking forward to the release of the second book in the series, Perilous Light which is due for release in 2012. 

I’d recommend this as a good bargain read on Kindle, and as a good relaxing read.  Definitely worth a look! 

Overall rating: 4/5
Writing: 5/5
Style: 5/5
Originality: 3/5
Characters: 4/5

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