My rating: 5 of 5 stars
Water is the first book in the Akasha series by Terra Harmony and it is a huge… massive… humungous first book! Well, you now know the direction in which this review is headed.
The action in the book starts right on the first page, with the protagonist, Kaitlyn caught in an avalanche. She is rescued by the Seven, but finds herself captive in an unknown location. She is soon given the reason of her abduction and that is where the book turns from a mystery to an eco-fantasy. Kaitlyn is a Gaia or ‘Mother of the Earth’ with powers over all four basic elements of nature, water, air, earth and fire. She soon realises that escape is impossible and reluctantly starts her training to become ‘the Gaia’. A romance is thrown in the mix, as Kaitlyn starts falling for her trainer and a whirlwind relationship begins.
The Seven is an organisation which is trying to save the environment and takes it on itself, the responsibility to train the next Gaia. There is a mystery surrounding them and I can’t make up my mind yet, whether they will be the good guys or will turn rogue in the next books. They want to save the earth, but their actions seem to put them in the extremist category, what with the abducting and killing people. To what lengths will they go to achieve their mission? I don’t know and I’ll reserve my judgement till I know more.
Coming back from this digression, Kaitlyn is soon sent on her first mission, along with her team. The mission is you every day ‘save the environment’ kind of mission. Everything seems to be going along smoothly, when BAM! The biggest twist in the plot. I did not see this coming and was beginning to imagine the book being only about environmental do-goodness. I can’t give out a spoiler here, but I am really tempted! All I can say is, Kaitlyn has to find an inner strength to get through what comes for her next. This is the part which had my stomach in turns. But I still could not stop reading. I wanted to know what happened and how Kaitlyn would get out of the mess of epic proportions she found herself in.
Initially, I found Kaitlyn to be someone who took too many risks, without really thinking about the consequences. Right from the start she seemed to have an inner strength, but it seemed misdirected. As the book progressed, I began to see her as someone who fought for herself and her beliefs. She has got some of the best dialogues in the books and her comebacks are awesome at times, and fall flat at others. This made her really adorable. All the other characters are really well-developed as well. I have to say that I wanted to know more about Micah’s history, his back story. I hope there is much more of that in the books to come. Shawn’s character was terrifically developed. We can feel a pure hatred for him right till the end, when we get a little back-story, and begin to have doubts. However, I cannot see him as anything but the bad guy in the series.
There are a couple of very steamy scenes in the book. There are also a couple of scenes which involve non-consensual sex which a very subtle way of saying that there are scenes where the protagonist is r*ped. But, I have to commend to author for describing these scenes in a way which did not turn this book into a pseudo-erotic romp. The description is just enough to get the impact of the act though. There were parts which had me cringing and afraid to continue reading. I think this shows that the author succeeded in getting the ‘image’ she was trying to portray, across. Consider this my disclaimer! If you can handle it, stay away!!
This may be an eco-fantasy, but the author, for most part, refrains from preaching to us on how to help the environment. The awareness about the environment she tries to create comes through as being intricately woven into the story. Just the way I like it!
I was somehow disappointed by the ending and it all happened too abruptly for me. I wanted some more action! And … the author has chosen the ‘worst’ moment to end the book. It is a cliff-hanger which will leave readers waiting in anticipation for the next book. All I can say is, get the next book out faster!
And here are some of the other reviews by the bloggers participating in the ‘Terra Harmony as a Featured Author’ week. If you don’t know what I am talking about, take a look here. And, if this review got you interested in the book and you’d like to win a copy of Terra Harmony’s Water, take a look here. The giveaway for 10 COPIES of Terra’s novel is open internationally and ends February 5, 2012. Back to the awesome bloggers!
Review by Alexia at Alexia Chronicles
“Kaitlyn is such a kick-ass, sarcastic and witty chick. She rocks my face off! She has this amazing way about her – stands her ground and fights for what she believes in, even when the odds are against her. Her spirit is unbreakable – I admire her strong character.” and “At the end of the book there is a little sneak preview of the second book in the series, Air – that just made me want to read the second book immediately! I can’t wait for the second installment. This is definitely a series and author I’ll be following closely!”
Review by Natasha at Dreamland: A teenage fantasy
“Terra Harmony blew my brains into tiny bits, patched them back and blasted them with a shotgun, over and over again.
You wouldn’t believe that Water was the author’s debut novel. I was stunned by the amazingness of the story and even more by the writing. This might be one of the hardest review I ever written because I don’t think my words could even cover an inch of my thoughts on this book, so for the heads up, I try to keep this review as professional as I could but do not be surprised if I had a sudden outburst and my sentences starts to seem more and more … enthusiastic.”
Review by Jennifer at Can’t Put it Down
“I LOVED this book, plain and simple. I am EXCITED about this book and the books to follow. This new author has completely amazed me, sucking me into this world she has created that I didn’t want to step away from. This review is actually kind of hard for me to write as I don’t want to post any spoilers!”
bonus of the day
Why a bonus, you ask? Because we are in the middle of ‘Terra Harmony as a Featured Author’ week. So here it is *drumroll* Head over to the other blogs to take a sneak-peek at excerpts from Air, the next book in the series.
ABOUT TERRA HARMONY
Terra Harmony is an author of contemporary eco-fantasy novels. The first book, ‘Water’, of the Akasha Series is currently available as an e-book on Amazon, B&N, and Smashwords. The second novel to the series, Air, will be available as an e-book at the end of February 2012. Terra also has several vampire short stories published as part of the Kindred Curse Anthology. The first short story, ’Gleaming White’, is available as a free e-book on Smashwords.
Terra was born and raised in Colorado but has since lived in California, Texas, Utah, North Carolina, and Virginia. She has served a 5½ year enlistment in the Marine Corp, has a bachelor’s degree in International Relations and master’s degree in Linguistics. Terra lives in a suburb of Washington, DC with her husband of 13 years and three children.
And, if you’d really like to get to know her, you can go here, where Terra talks about her life, her books and the awesome powers that are part of her books!
- Terra Harmony as ‘Featured Author’ for an entire week! (riteshkala.wordpress.com)
- Terra Harmony on Life, her Books and some awesome Powers! (riteshkala.wordpress.com)
- Akasha – A Series Introduction by Terra Harmony (riteshkala.wordpress.com)