Review copy was received from NetGalley. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.
Within the Realm by JIllian Neal
Series: The Gifted Realm #1
Published by Indie on November 17, 2013
Genres: Paranormal Romance, Fantasy
Amazon, Barnes & Noble
He buried his father seven years earlier. As Rainer Lawson comes of age, he is set to join the ranks of Elite Iodex, the fiercest law enforcement organization in the Gifted Realm. Rainer will not allow his father's assassination to have been in vain.
Emily Haydenshire has been the love of his life since childhood, and he wants nothing more than to start their life together. Heady desire consumes them both, but this raw sexual need could blind them to the dangers that surround them.
As they allow their voracious passions to consume them, evil seems to lurk around every darkened corner. The Interfeci criminal organization is desperate to regain power. Iodex is set to use their extraordinary powers to harness and control the energies of the Earth in order to keep the Interfeci at bay. Will Rainer's determination be enough to protect his family and the love of his life Within the Realm?
I am reviewing the oldest book on my Netgalley shelf. On the surface, it looks like my kind of thing. New adults developing their lives in a world where the gifted have magic. My intuition was spot on when I kept putting it off since it wasn’t really for me.
While it says new adult, Within the Realm starts in the final weeks of high school with two guys who are best friends and have steady girlfriends. Rainier and Logan. Rainier’s parents were a big deal in the gifted community. They were murdered 7 years ago and he came to live with his parents’ friends, the Haydenshires,and also his best friend, Logan. Rainier’s girl, since a young age, is Emily Haydenshire, the only girl child.
I can’t really express my issues without spoilers, so be forewarned. The flashback kind of history is ok since it gives us a sense of Rainier, his parents who were active in the gifted government and an idea of the government structure and the talents different gifted have. Still it didn’t give me enough on either of those topics. Both Rainier and Logan are going into an elite investigative force after high school, and Emily is joining an elite team, sort of like a sports team, from what I can tell.
Here, we get those last few weeks of high school and part of the summer before they start their jobs. So the high school stuff is never my favorite thing. View Spoiler »Then we have Rainier and Emily, and Logan and Adeline, all virgins deciding to start having sex. Each couple is committed but having this as a main focus of the story, particularly when 3 of them live in the same house with their parents is just ick. « Hide Spoiler
Adeline has a mother who is an addict and forces Adeline to earn money for her. After the one of the mother’s boyfriends decides he should have both the mother and Adeline, the Haydenshires invite Adeline to live with them when she escapes. So now both couples live in the Haydenshire household.
By the end of this story, they just barely start their jobs with the two couples moving into their own place. The book about their gifts, and the investigative work is likely to be the next one in the Gifted Realm series, Lessons Learned. I am sorry to say I don’t care anymore.
What a shame that this one was so underwhelming. I’m with you, having read the spoiler. Thank you for an informative review, Anne:)
Thnaks. I would have preferred the book start when they started there jobs or focused less on the romance aspects. I imagine the second one is much better or starts where I want in the story but I have no desire to continue.
What a bummer. You finally read it and it doesn’t work. Sorry about that. Sure has an intriguing cover though.
I know! The blurb and everything sounded so great. It just needed to be adult UF not YA UF? I needed more world-building and less romance plot. Well I get SO many great books I can’t really complain. YMMV it might be for someone, just not me.
Sorry this was a bust. On the bright side…one less series to follow?
Yes, it’s just sad when a book doesn’t live up to expectations. It’s not on the author. I’m the one who had unrealistic expectations or a different story in mind.
Your review is thoughtful, Anne, and I hope your next book is one you love. It’s unfortunate to finish a book no longer feeling invested, and I admire you sticking through it!
It’s very rare I DNF a book, particularly one for review. I just have to know, even if I don’t like what I learn.