Today’s post features a new author that I have recently discovered when she emailed me and asked if I would be willing to give her an honest review of her book (which I certainly am glad I agreed to!). Her name is Jennifer Collins and she is the author of Discovery, The Altera Realm #1. She really has a way with words that I think you all will enjoy. Discovery is rated as a YA book, but does have some adult type situations. Nothing too crazy though. I think adults as well as teenagers can and will enjoy this book and I think we all have a lot to look forward to from this author.
Here’s your chance to win a copy of the book that I really loved and couldn’t put down! Jennifer has also been nice enough to offer up a prize for a giveaway! The prizes are a physical copy of her book Discovery, for one US winner, and one Kindle copy for an International winner! Please be sure to check it out after you read my review. I loved it, so I hope you will too!
by Jennifer Collins
Syney’s life is ordinary until carnival psychic informs her that she will be embarking on an adventure surrounding her real parents. All she’s got left of them is an amulet, the only thing found on her as a baby. The amulet breaks a spell that sent her over 100 years into the future in the Human Realm.
The Altera Realm has been at war for well over a century and is connected to the Human Realm by a portal and no human knows it exists. It is home to the five old and great races—Magic Users, Lycins, Vampires, Daemons, and Shifters. Each race is an entity of their own with its own life purpose, rulers and guarded secrets.
An old prophecy tells that peace can only come through the gracious Vilori Queen. What will happen when human-raised Syney Andrews is thrust into that role? No one is prepared for the consequences.
Things are only going to get harder for Syney, who is feeling a strong attraction to Hunter, from a banished family—and another race. Who can Syney trust, if anyone? Will she go against the law forbidding interracial marriage? Or will she fight to the death for her love, Hunter? Readers will be on the edge of their seats as they find out.
I am seriously in love with this series. I don’t know exactly what it is, but I have fallen in love with the Altera Realm and its inhabitants. Obviously, some of them are assholes, which is true for any world, but overall, I think the world that Collins has built here is unique and engaging in a way that I have not seen before. She has built a world full of beings are so unique from each other in not only their personalities, but their abilities as well. I keep forgetting that this is a made up world. The characters are so human, yet we know they are not. They love and hate just as humans do. They are just a little bit different. They look like we do, but they have things they can do that we can’t.
Syney was raised in the Human Realm. She knows she was adopted. Her parents raised her well and were caring and all the things good parents should be. After Syney meets a psychic at the local carnival her life changes forever. She is the “Chosen One”. She was sent away from Altera by her mother’s magic to be hidden among the humans until she was ready to return and take the throne. She is meant to become Queen of the Magic Users in Altera and unite and bring peace to a world that has been at war for far too long. She’s just a teenager, but her fate was sealed the day she was born. She is found and brought over to Altera and finds herself wrapped up in the politics of Royal life. The current Queen isn’t too excited to see Syney and isn’t eager to give up her place on the throne should Syney decide she is ready to take it. According to the story, Syney is the true queen and the throne is rightly hers. With the help of her protectors, Lycins who protect the royal magic users with their lives, her vampire friend Gabe, her handmaiden Noelle, and a few other friends she meets along the way, Syney must prepare herself to become queen of a world she grew up outside of, and to live up to the high expectations of her people who think she will save them all from war. Seems like quite a lot to put on a teenager!
I was a little bit intimidated when I first opened this book. It’s a pretty heavy book, and has a smaller font than I am used to. It’s a pretty long book. But once I started reading it, I couldn’t put it down. I read late into the night and smacked myself in the face with my kindle at least 3 times after falling asleep. I kept telling myself, just one more chapter and I’ll put it down. I just wanted to know what was going to happen!
I enjoyed the stories of each character. I think Collins does a great job of giving the reader enough information about the characters at just the right time. She doesn’t tell you everything at once, but allows you to learn about them as you would anyone else, a piece at a time. It gives a quality of mystery to each of them, while seeing them as real people with flaws at the same time. I do wish there was more about what was going on with Noelle and what her big secret is, but that is more about me being impatient than anything.
The relationship between Hunter and Syney made me so mad! There is a ton of animosity between the races and a definite division of classes and race in this book. I wasn’t mad that they were together, I was mad about the way it was going.
Gabe the Vampire is a character that drove me crazy! He was snarky and annoying at times, but you could tell he had Syney’s best interests at heart. I wanted to know so much more about him than we are told in the first book, but never fear, we do find out more about him in the second book.
This book made me feel a variety of emotions. I was happy for them when good things happened. I was mad or sad when bad things went down. I really never expected to feel so many different emotions during this book.
As I said before, I love this book. It was easy to follow, but not in a bad way. It definitely kept my attention and got me wrapped up in the story of this whole other world and its people. It reminded me that sometimes you can make changes in your life with little things, and sometimes, just because things have been a certain way for a long time, doesn’t mean they can’t change.
I would highly recommend this book to anyone who likes a good story with engaging characters, romantic angst, betrayal and drama. If you aren’t really into paranormal, but don’t mind it in small doses, this is good for you. It has a little bit of everything. The four races are Magic Users, Lycins, Shifters, and Vampires. The paranormal elements aren’t really in your face the way they are in some books.
So really, go check out this book. And I hope you love it as much as I do. I can’t wait for the 2nd book in the series to come out so you guys can check it out. It’s just as awesome. (yup, I got to read it already!) It should be released sometime next summer, and I will be sure to keep you updated on this series and author. I think we readers have a lot to look forward to from Collins.
Buy it Here!!!
All About Jennifer
Discovery, part of the Altera Realm trilogy is Jennifer Collins’s first foray into the world of gothic young adult fantasy fiction. She is an avid reader of adult and young adult fiction and also enjoys critical and humorous essays. She currently lives in Colonia, New Jersey, with her husband, Robert, and her handsome cat, Dr. Daniel Jackson. She holds a BA in English with concentration in Creative Writing from Montclair State University and completed a certification program at Kean University for teacher of English K-12 in New Jersey. She enjoys being a high school English teacher at the Plainfield Academy of Arts and Advanced Studies, a public performing arts middle school and high school in the urban inner-city school district of Plainfield, New Jersey.
**DISCLAIMER** In full compliance with FTC Guidelines, I received a copy of this book from the author in exchange for a fair and honest review. I was in no way compensated for this opinion, and the thoughts are my own. Links above will take you to a site where you can PURCHASE a copy. Using those links will take you through an affiliate link and I will receive a small percentage of the purchase cost. You are in no way obligated to use affiliate links and there is no additional cost to do so.