Tuesday, March 5, 2013

Review: Ameca J Chronicles, 2 & 3

Link to my review of Book One of this series

In full disclosure I won the first three books in this series in a Goodreads giveaway.

 Ameca J and the Revenge of Rex-Ultar (Ameca J Chronicles, #2) 

Synopsis from back of book
In Book I of the Ameca J Chronicles, Ameca aka The Flame, Fraya aka The Flower, and Paul aka The One are the heirs of Menindus, each with fabulous, magical powers. Previously thought to be normal people from Earth, the father and daughters had been magically transported to the land of Mythrania where they successfully battled the Scelestus, the evil entity bent on domination of the entire universe—or was it successful?

In Book II, Paul is dead, murdered while rescuing Fraya from the clutches of the malignant Scelestus. Torn with grief, both Ameca and Fraya jump at the chance to bring their father back to life. Seeking the guidance of Menindus, the ancient Magi tells the girls they must leave Mythrania and return to their own world, taking three companions with them on a quest to recover a powerful magical artefact that has the ability to return the dead to life or make the living immortal.

But all is not as they left it on their world. Their mother has been abducted—and so have they—according to the newspapers. The girls must contend with the police, who are trying to “rescue” them; Lord Bellatrix, the High Priest of the Scelestus, who is implementing a plan to enslave humanity; and the immortal Rex-Ultar, who has been waiting for them ever since Menindus killed his father, centuries ago. While they are occupied on their quest, the Scelestus’ agents continue their work to dominate the Kingdoms of Mythrania by infecting the population with a disease that turns them into almost indestructible, flesh-eating monsters.

Can Ameca, Fraya and their companions recover the artefact and stop Bellatrix, rescue their mother and return to Mythrania to restore their father to life before the Kingdoms are overrun and the Scelestus returns triumphant?

Look out evil...here come the girls...again.

Richis Review
This book starts off right where the first one finished with Fraya figuring out how they can save their father.

The characters are once again excellent; the girls have developed quite a bit, both in terms of their powers and in terms of their personalities. Ameca is now thankfully much nicer to her little sister. Prince Kian replaces Paul for the male POV. Amanda, the girls’ mother also has a POV in this book. Both the new characters had good personalities and I enjoyed hearing from them.

Just like last time, the author does an excellent job of bringing the characters thoughts and feelings to life, you really feel for the characters and what they go through, they are also very believable. Ameca has overcome her big flaw of being mean to her sister, which in a way is a nice thing, but I did have a bit of a problem with the fact the bad guys were pure evil, with a lot of crazy thrown in, where as the good characters are always good and don’t have any character flaws.

A few times characters act in a way that is more driven to making an interesting story rather than in a realistic way, the Police Inspector in particular seemed unbelievable. Also a few times characters could work things out easily even if they didn’t have much information.

I thought the zombies were too weak and never seemed much of a threat, although the rest of the monsters and bad guys were dangerous so there was a strong threat to the good characters from them.

The story is again excellent, it has a more unique feel compared to the first one, with just a couple bits and pieces being similar to traditional fantasy novels, it also has a bit of a thriller feel to it. This time one of the twists really surprised me, which I really enjoyed.

The pacing is fast and easy to read, if anything the book was even faster than the first book.

The descriptions were a good length, you are given enough to follow the story and visualise the world without getting bogged down in detail. The book has two stories; the main one set in the “real” world the second smaller story set in Mythrania, the story was so exciting I didn’t really miss the fantasy element of Mythrania too much (although I am hoping to see more of it in future books). The battle sequences were exciting and full of action.

I thought a couple bits of the science in this book were a little shaky.

The author does an excellent job of recapping the details from the first book, always giving enough information to remind the reader what happened if it has been a while since they read the first book.

The story is much darker than the first book; it was more interesting seeing these elements in the story. It reminded me of the middle Harry Potter books, where things get very grim and bad things happen to the good characters (including in this case torture).

Overall I really loved this book; the characters are excellent, believable and continue to develop. The story is fantastic, with a few unbelievable moments that can easily be forgiven since the rest of the book is fantastic.

rating: **** 1/2

 Ameca J and the Demon God of Mythrania (Ameca J Chronicles, #3)

Synopsis from back of book.
Ameca and Fraya, the legendary Flame and the Flower, Heirs of Menindus on the magical world of Mythrania, have achieved the impossible: they have rescued their mother from the vile Bellatrix, High Priest of the evil entity known as the Scelestus and brought their father back from the dead. Surely now, their adventures on this alien world are over and they can now return with their parents to their own world…? But things are never that simple. When their father begins acting strangely, is accused of murder and goes missing, the two girls and their mother are forced to embark on a dangerous mission to redeem him before they face the final battle with the enemy.

Richis Review
This book starts right off where book two finished; making all three books a continuous timeline, with some series wide story, but with each book having a story in itself.

This book is even darker than the second book; it seems a natural progression, the first book being fairly light, with each book getting slightly darker. This makes the story more interesting in some ways, without getting too dark too quickly. Despite the darker story the book still has the humour that was so well written in the previous books.

The story is very well written; I thought it was much tighter than the previous books with fewer plot holes. It was also more original.

The characters have come along well, with both the powers and personalities of the girls getting even stronger. One of the criticisms that I had for book two, that the good characters had become a little to nice and always doing the right thing was certainly not true for this book, and it was nice to see the good characters occasionally act in a bad way, making them more believable.

The problem of characters acting in a way that was plot driven rather than in a realistic way was not a problem in this book, this makes them more believable.

The pacing again is nice and fast, but there are still plenty of slower moments that allow the characters and story to develop in a more interesting way.

The descriptions are great, giving you enough to visualise the world and to follow the story, but not getting bogged down in too much detail. The recapping of the previous two books is also done well, with just enough information being given to remind a reader but not too much that you want the story to move on.

As in the previous books the thoughts and feelings of the characters was fantastic. The best parts in this book was from Paul’s POV, how he feels about his "possession", his conversations with Merlin and what he thought about the events going on around him is some of the best writing I have seen on a characters thoughts and feelings.

The POVs shifted around a lot and would often jump back and repeated events from a different POV, I felt this happened a little too much and I found myself wanting the story to continue rather than tell me of events that I have already read about from another perspective, but maybe this was because the events were so exciting.

Overall this was a fantastic book and my favourite in the series so far. The writing is even stronger, the story more interesting, darker and original, the characters more believable, developed and enjoyable. The POV of the possessed Paul is perfectly written and my favourite part of the amazing book

 rating: ***** +

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