Sunday, September 9, 2007

Flight of the Gryphon by Ann Durand

Here is the review for the very first book I received from PNR to review. I read it in one day but it's took me nearly 3 weeks to write the review. There are so many twists in this story, it was nearly impossible to not give anything away! It's more a science fiction novel than romance, but it does have a romantic subplot.

Publisher: Double Dragon Publishing
Release Date: May 2007
ISBN: 1-55404-451-0
Format: e-book
Length: Category Novel; 211 pages
Genre: Science Fiction, Romance

In the simplistic village of Parallon, the community is tight-knit, families are close; and every man, woman, and child is terrorized by the malicious leader Askinadon. Between his hateful servants, his ability to hear their thoughts, and “the voice” in their heads commanding his will, the villagers are under his complete control. Two years prior, Katera’s twin sister had been summoned by Askinadon to be carried to his fortress as the village’s yearly sacrifice to him. Not knowing what fate awaited her sister, or if she was even alive, left Katera and her parents’ hearts in pieces. So this year when news of her summoning reaches Katera, she refuses to put her parents through another ceremony at Askinadon’s altar, this time losing the only child they had left. Of course Askinadon knows what she has planned, as he can hear her thoughts- so Katera must work quickly, even as “the voice” commands her to obey. She runs toward the river and throws herself in where she knows the falls will take her, a final defiance to the terrible Askinadon.

But a handsome stranger comes out of nowhere and saves her before she plunges over the edge of the falls. He pulls her out of the water just as she feels excruciating, dagger-sharp pains in her head, and hears Askinadon’s voice telling her it would continue until she gets to the altar. But the stranger quickly makes a cut in her forehead and pulls a small object out of the incision, and the pain and voice instantly disappear. Her rescuer is called Mikolen, and she soon discovers he is the only one who knows the secrets of Askinadon; the only one who can help her save herself, her people, and her sister- if she is even alive. As Mikolen reveals the secrets of Askinadon’s “omnipotence”, she is shocked to discover that the source of the cruel leader’s control comes from a small device that was painlessly and secretly embedded in the foreheads of every Parallonian. For the first time, she has hope and a plan to save herself, her family, and her people.

After spending enough time with Katera to hatch a plan for her, Mikolen knows he can’t stand by and let her face the dangers alone. However, he also knows that helping her will expose him to Askinadon, who happens to be his arch enemy. Exposure that will cause him to lose everything: the chance to complete the project he has worked on for 10 years, his way home, and possibly both their lives.

Ann Durand has written a fantastic science fiction novel with a sweet romantic subplot. Flight of the Gryphon is a highly descriptive novel that instantly transported me to Katera’s world and kept me there even after the story ended. Although I would’ve liked to see more romance between Mikolen and Katera, it’s mostly because the author created such real and likeable characters. Durand has a wonderful imagination for creating magnificent and terrifying species of animals, and for inventing incredible high-tech devices and equipment. The story contains mild sensuality and some short scenes of graphic violence, all of which are necessary plot elements. Flight of the Gryphon is chock-full of imaginative creatures, ingenious technology, complex characters, and enough twists and turns to keep you excitedly turning the page.

- Mandy Briggs
PNR Reviews

September 7, 2007

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