Sara’s Review of Out of Reach by Jocelyn Stover

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I’d like to thank the folks at Pure Textuality Public Relations for letting me participate in this event. For a full list of all the blogs involved in this tour, please click HERE!

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You can’t escape who you are, but no one ever stops to explain to you the cost of discovering such knowledge. By the time Gwen learns that her fiery red hair marks her as more than just a bad temper on two legs it’s too late to make a choice. Catapulted into a realm she doesn’t understand thanks to the actions of those around her, Gwen is forced to embrace an unknown legacy and rely on the word of an old friend who is more than he seems. Will the price of self-discovery prove too much for Gwen to bear? And how do you save the world when everything feels just out of reach.

Out of Reach Cover ImageRating: paw3

Date Published: December 14, 2012

Series: Wanderer Series #1

Goodreads Description:

Gwen Cohen has aspired her whole life to reach her current position of project manager at Preston-Ward Pharmaceuticals, but when she stumbles upon a dirty little secret everything changes. As she struggles with the reality of evil and her own powerful legacy, she gets pulled farther from the world she knows and closer to the one she can’t deny.

Eyes finally open, Gwen struggles to unlock the dormant magic within herself before it’s too late. The lines between love and desire, and duty and commitment become exceedingly blurred and the ultimate choice to be made may not be between right and wrong but the head and the heart.

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Review:

This was a fun start to what promises to be an interesting series! I rather enjoyed the world that Stover has created in this book and am greatly looking forward to see what happens in the sequel, murr!

I really liked Gwen in this book. She’s strong willed, extremely sarcastic (a trait that I found I enjoyed a lot), intelligent, and not afraid to take on the task that she finds herself assigned. Since I tend to be a workaholic, it was easy to relate to her throughout the book and I could understand how she could find escape in work over other enjoyments. Kade, on the other paw, was a bit hard for me to get into. His character didn’t really stand out that much for me and while I liked reading his parts of the book, he didn’t leave that much of an impression on me when all was said and done. Actually, if I’m to be honest, most of the Wanderers fell flat for me as far as connection is concerned. The notable exception to this was Z, who I loved simply because he struck me as the comedic, fun loving type of guy.

And in that regards I would say this is one of the areas where the book fell a bit short with me. As far as character development was concerned, the only one whom I got a good sense of personality from was Gwen. The rest of the characters were either underdeveloped or not utilized enough to really give me a sense of who they all were. And this is really sad because I wanted to spend more time with everyone and really get to know them.

The storyline itself was fun and there were a great many moments which I found humorous, partly because of the sarcastic nature of Gwen and partly because of the interaction between various characters. The byplay between Gwen and Z left me smirking a lot of the time. I also found Stover’s take on angels to be intriguing and unique. The idea of Sylphs as evil genies who grant humans power through wishes worked strangely enough.

So what didn’t work for me? Aside from the underdeveloped characters issue, the ending not only felt rushed but it was also anticlimactic. The ease with which Gwen completes her mission was just too simple. And the speed at which events happened at the end left me not only confused and wondering why they were there, but also left me wishing that Stover had taken the time to explain things a bit more. Why was Gwen kidnapped? What did Kade see during the resealing ceremony? What’s Mr. Taylor’s backstory? These questions and more (some formed during the earlier part of the book) were left unanswered, and while I know that this is the first in a series, I felt like there was more that could have been expanded on in general in this first installment.

Still, like I said at the start of the review, I found this to be a fun read. Yes, it may not have fulfilled my expectations, but it still provided a much needed escape and was entertaining. It will be interesting to see how events in the next book play out. =^.^=

Excerpt:

Gwen’s Lab

This is where it all starts to hit the fan! As she crosses the landing into her lab Gwen leaves her reality behind and steps into the hidden world she never knew existed. Tonight she comes face to face with the monsters lurking in the shadows. While she may be ignorant, she finds out she is certainly not helpless.

I get so excited about this scene because it’s that moment in the story where everything changes for the main character: up and down realign and they are forced to catch up. Shortly after this Gwen is introduced to the different wanderers, whom I absolutely adore and can’t wait for you all to meet as well.

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“Good morning, Bill,” I say, smiling at the stout, middle-aged security guard sitting behind the front desk.

“Gwen, don’t you ever sleep?” he asks, rolling his eyes at me. “If I wasn’t so fond of you, I’d kick you out more often, lass. There’s more to life than working, ya know.”

“I know, Bill, and I appreciate your sentiment, but I couldn’t sleep and for some reason work relaxes me.”

“Go on then, and try to be out before sun up, alright?” Winking at me, he returns his attention to the magazine in his lap.

“Will do.”

I make a beeline for the elevators since the stairs are dark and creepy at night. As the doors of the lift slide shut behind me, I roll my notebook around in my hands and try to settle into work mode. My last shift was an utter failure and I do a quick recap in my mind. As the elevator dings and I step out onto level 3, heading for my lab, I’m already constructing a game plan, devised from what had gone wrong and what had gone right the last time. I’m so lost in my own head that I don’t even notice the lights are already on inside.

Stepping through the door and onto the lab’s landing, I look around and drop my notebook.

I have just stepped into a war zone. The destruction and sheer chaos is astounding.

I continue to stand there, mouth agape, convinced I must be dreaming. Broken glassware and instruments are strewn about. Cabinets lining the walls are dented with doors askew, some barely hanging on by their hinges. One of the giant refrigerators has been knocked over, and its contents are now seeping out across the floor. The mayhem is reminiscent of a World War II movie, only instead of dead, mangled bodies, test tubes and beakers litter the floor.

And at the heart of the room, behind what’s left of the central worktable, two men are wrestling in the debris.

Gripped by fury and without regard to my own safety, I charge down the steps screaming at them, “What the hell are you doing?!”

Both men look up at me, startled. Having temporarily stopped their grappling match, the larger of the two men takes a step back, distancing himself from his opponent. Both men are thickly muscled and dark-complected. Where the larger one is fierce, with a malevolent quality, the smaller one (and I say “smaller” in very loose terms) is passionate and moves with a grace unusual in one his size.

While I am absolutely positive I have never laid eyes on either one of these men before in my life, something about the smaller man feels familiar.

“Look, I don’t care which one of you walks away with the UFC title tonight, just get the fuck out of my lab!”

Heedless of the danger in confronting these men, I march ever closer to them, righteous anger overriding self-preservation. Without warning, the larger man bounces back, away from me, shrieking like an animal in pain. The ear splitting sound stops me dead in my tracks. Shaking my head and blinking twice to clear my vision, I stare at him again.

Impossible, but I could have sworn his outline became fuzzy for a second, almost like a mirage. The smaller man capitalizes on my brief lapse of attention. Moving with inhuman speed, he pushes a table out of the way and grabs me, pinning my back against his chest. I’m totally immobilized. I struggle in vain against him while we both continue to stare at the larger man who has taken another step back. Shaking me until I stop moving, my captor leans his head closer to my ear, his hot breath making my skin crawl.

“Do not be afraid of me.”

About the Author:

Jocelyn Stover Author PicI’m a thoughtful, sarcastic, work-o-holic, mother of four. I must thrive on chaos because I’ve certainly built enough of it into my life already! I write during the stolen mintures of the day when the children are in bed or at school. When I’m not writing you can find me up to no good with my kiddos, or outside soaking up the sunshine.

Website | Facebook | Twitter | Goodreads

***Giveaway***

Author Jocelyn Stover is giving away 10 autographed paperback copies of Out of Reach to celebrate the upcoming release of A Step Away (Wanderer Series #2)!  As an added bonus, there are LOTS of chances for extra entries!!! For your chance to be entered to win, simply click on the Rafflecopter link below!

http://www.rafflecopter.com/rafl/display/637fbe41/

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Posted on September 13, 2013, in Book Reviews. Bookmark the permalink. Comments Off on Sara’s Review of Out of Reach by Jocelyn Stover.

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