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review 2016-10-12 01:57
A Good First Step Into a New Fantasy World
Venators: Through The Arch (Volume 1) - Devri Walls

So this is a strange double-portal fantasy -- six years ago Tate and some other creatures come into our world and run into Grey Malteer and some others, and disappear soon afterwards. Tate (and some others) comes back to check up on Grey and let him know about his destiny. In the meantime, Grey's discovered he has some strange supernatural abilities -- and has been teaching himself to use them in secret -- he's also been doing some research into the supernatural in the open, which is not such a great idea for a socially awkward teen -- he might as well attach a "Kick Me" sign to his back himself.

 

About the same time, Rune's twin, Ryker starts acting a little strange (and definitely takes advantage of the metaphorical "Kick Me" sign). Rune starts to feel differently about her brother and the supernatural, but there's nothing she can put her finger on -- so she bows to parental pressure and devotes herself to three things: academics, sports, and keeping Ryker from self-destruction. She excels at all three.

 

Six years later, the three are in college and Tate returns to bring Rune and Grey back to his world. A world where they are Venators (hunters) -- keeping the vampires, werewolves, goblins, elves, fae, dragons, etc. in line. Eon is home to pretty much every mythological creature you can think of -- and a few that Walls has invented on her own.

 

The Venators are a line of human hunters supernaturally immune to the various abilities and magics of them all, whose duty it is to keep order in the land.

For various and sundry (largely undisclosed) reasons, most of the Venators are dead and gone -- only these two remain. Tate and some of his allies, under the watchful (and not entirely corrupt) eye of the Council will train them to fulfill their destiny and restore the Venators to their rightful place.

 

Throw in a distrustful populace, a mysterious and powerful enemy, and a couple of super-powered impetuous and idealistic youths and you've got yourself a heckuva story.

 

Walls writes with a confidence and flair that helps the reader trust that she'll be able to make sense of a fairly jumbled beginning (not bad, but could've been easier to navigate). Once we get into Eon, she balances plot, character work and worldbuilding to create a foundation for a promising series. I wondered a couple of times if the characters could've been developed a little more fully, but the work as a whole was strong enough that I was willing to roll with it and assume she'll give us fuller characters next go around.

 

A quick-moving introduction to an interesting new reality. Give this one a shot -- Walls will entertain you.

 

<i><b>Disclaimer:</b> I received this book from the author in exchange for my honest thoughts -- and I'd like to thanks her for it.</i>

Source: irresponsiblereader.com/2016/10/11/venators-through-the-arch-by-devri-walls
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review 2016-07-29 04:39
A satisfyingly entertaining fantasy adventure.
The Wizard's Heir - Devri Walls

Walls does so many things right in this stand-alone fantasy, it's hard to know where to start.

 

Tybolt and Auriella are Deviants --which is not as bad as it sounds, it just means that they're immune to magic. As such, they are part of the King's force devoted to hunting down Wizards. Thanks to the most powerful Wizard in recent history, Eriroc is in the midst of devastating drought, wholly dependent on trade with other nations for basic food supplies -- which are barely enough to keep people fed enough to survive.

 

There's something different about Tybolt than the other Hunters (and, come to think of it, most people in the King's favor) -- he uses the money he makes to help out those less fortunate and spends a lot of time with them. Aurielle doesn't treat everyone as cruelly as the other fortunate souls do, but she certainly pays no heed to anyone she doesn't have to and doesn't understand their plight. She's not a bad person -- just oblivious, at least when we meet her. Tybolt has a great sense of humor to go with his heart, he can enjoy the simple things in life -- and would do anything to get Aurielle to think of him in any way other than co-worker. If you don't like Tybolt from the get-go, watching his charitable efforts should win you over. Asher is another Hunter who has little to do with Tybolt initially, but eventually comes to play a pivotal role in the events of the book, but you'll have to take my word for it -- and as unimportant as he seems to be at the beginning, that'll change. Just pay attention to him.

 

Walls' worldbuilding is great -- on the one hand, it's standard Fantasy fare, enough that you instantly have a good idea about the world, the culture, the conditions and politics. But she tweaks it just enough to make it her own, and differentiate it from the rest. Sometimes I wondered why she constructed things the way she did -- or why she revealed them in the way she did -- but in the end, I saw (well, think I saw) the reasoning behind both and could appreciate her choices.

 

The plot is pretty conventional, and within a few chapters there are few readers who will not know pretty exactly how the rest of the story will go. But I didn't mind -- Walls hits every beat just right, every reveal is pulled off capably, the voice used is engaging and the fun and humanity of the situation shines through enough that the reader doesn't demand novelty. Sincerity can be just as winning as innovation, and Walls pulls that off. There were a couple of character deaths you saw coming from miles away and I still was shocked by them when they happened, ditto for "aww" moments.

 

I, like the book, focused on the heroic hunters above. But there are plenty of other characters running around -- the King is despicable, and there are a handful of Hunters that are probably worse (and seem to pull the rest along with them). But none of them are cartoons -- there are several characters that aren't all that heroic or evil -- they're just trying to survive (which can be heroic in a not-that-heroic way), and are well-executed. No matter where they fall on the moral scale, the characters work -- developed enough to fulfill their role in the book (and maybe a little more).

 

This book isn't going to blow anyone away -- but it will entertain, it will keep you turning pages and will engage you in its world and the lives of its characters. It's a good, fun read. There's excitement, a dash of romance, some magic and a few good fight scenes -- pretty much what you want from a fantasy. Oh, and there's a good definitive end -- no series commitment! It'll satisfy you and probably make you want to read more of Walls' material.

 

Disclaimer: I received a copy of this book from the author in exchange for this post.

Source: irresponsiblereader.com/2016/07/28/the-wizards-heir-by-devri-walls
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review 2016-07-25 16:21
The Wizard's Heir by Devri Walls
The Wizard's Heir - Devri Walls

Lots of really great fantasy elements weave their way through The Wizard's Heir. We have magic users, fighters, a beautiful lady that caught the eye of the evil king, and a hero ready to rescue everyone. There's a lot going on the world and sometimes it got a little rushed. There are rivalries and enemies that I don't quite understand how they began. Perhaps I'm too much of a series girl and just like to always know more.

The middle was my favorite part. As Tybolt realizes his past and what that means for his future, there are some really great scenes that are incredibly well written. But then we move into chase scenes that seemed to be filler, that just didn't seem to actually move the story forward.

Overall this was a fun read. I enjoyed it, but I think it needed a little more at some points and a little less at others.

*This book was received in exchange for an honest review*

Source: www.hotofftheshelves.com/2016/07/the-wizards-heir-by-devri-walls-review.html
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review 2014-08-13 14:22
Wings of Loman (Solus #4) by Devri Walls
Wings of Lomay - Devri Walls

What an outstanding ending to a really great series. It's not too often that a series will earn an overall 5 star rating, but this one really blew it out of the park. The big battle between Jasmine and Kiora is coming to a head and it's going to be a nasty one. It's hard to even describe the build up because there was so much going on (in a great way). 

So far Kiora has managed to stay just ahead of Jasmine, but when Kiora realizes what Jasmine is really after she's not sure how to handle it at first. A plan slowly comes together, but it will come at the cost of many lives - some that Kiora holds very dear and I hated to see lost. Kiora's plans are brilliant, but come very close to falling apart several times.

Kiora's goal of uniting the various people and races is coming along nicely, too. But old hatred and prejudice die hard and it is an uphill battle to get people to work together the way she needs them to for things to work. I know I already said it, but this ending was beyond amazing. I think this will be a re-read for me because I already want to go back and visit all my characters.

*This book was received in exchange for an honest review*

Source: hotofftheshelves.blogspot.com/2014/08/book-tour-review-and-giveaway-wings-of.html
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review 2014-08-04 14:13
Enchanting world, but main characters lack depth
Wings of Arian (The Solus Trilogy) (Young Adult Fantasy) - Devri Walls

Wings of Arian was a surprise to me on so many levels. I expected very different kind of story than the one I got and although it was not without some flaws, learning the responsibility of the Solus along with Kiora was very exciting adventure.

 

The biggest surprise was amount of magical creatures we will meet in the story. Wizards, fairies, dragons (yes dragons!)… And with shapes-shifters we got everything else covered. Even flying pink dog-iguanas. And they do not just appear as part of the scenery. Each of these magical beings had enchanting back story that will make you cheer for them.

 

The only downside is – our heroine Kiora seemed rather flat compared to them. I wish the novel does not begin with Kiora who already started her training to be the Solus, protector of good. I think if I have met her as an ordinary girl, the connection between me and Kiora would have been deeper. And the fact that she reads all the instructions about spells to us did not make her more dear to me. I felt like I was at school and forced to listen to a lecture.

 

The spark in Kiora’s personality only appears when prince Emane is near. Their relationship is so cute. From the first look you can see they will be more than annoyed acquaintances. The banter between them was fun, the romance was even better. It was swoony and had so many great moments worth highlighting. And I did highlight like crazy. I would share them all here, but it would take too much space. So here is just one:

“You are the only girl I have met that I would wait for.” A smile played across his lips as he ran his finger across her cheek. “And I would wait a lifetime.”

 

The only person that felt flatter and more bland than Kira was the main villain, Dralazar. He was so boring, I was surprised how intense battle scenes turned out to be. Having magic did not make winning easy and the winners always had to have some extra tricks in their sleeve.

 

In The End…

If you can look past some boring parts and small lack of depth for main characters and villain, the Wings of Arian offers enchanting world full of magical creatures, intense battles and some surprising twists in the plot. It has dragons too! I am looking forward to the next part of Kiora’s adventures.

 

Disclaimer: I received this ebook from Xpresso Book Tours in exchange for a fair and honest review.

Source: www.bookwormdreams.com/book-review-wings-of-arian-by-devri-walls
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