Friday, August 4, 2017

Review & Tour: Trolling by Emma Brady

Title: Trolling
Author: Emma Brady
Genre/Age: Fantasy Romance/Adult
Series: Tammara Series (Book One)
Publisher: Self-published
Format: ebook via Enchanted Book Promotions
Rating: ✺✺✺
SynopsisLily Faye-Anderson thought her bad luck was ending when she and her sisters inherited her uncle's house. Finding a green man chained in the basement changed that. Now she must trust this sexy troll to take her into a magical kingdom and rescue the only family she has. 

Theno woke up with missing pieces to his memory but an angel saving him. When her sisters are kidnapped, he is willing to do anything to help her in return. The problem is, if he can't remember who he is, how can he trust himself not to hurt her? 

Together, the two of them will go to the land of Tammara to bring back the other Faye girls. They will have to face an Evil Queen, who wants to find the door and cross over into the human world. There is also the matter of an intense sexual attraction between them and the need for Theno to discover his identity. Does a troll get to have a happy ending?

"What is Nick doing with them?" whispered Jamey, looking through the dark at the man in question.

"He's the Queen's consort."

"Oh." The young girl had a crestfallen expression. "That's the real reason he brought us here then?"

"They were lovers for many years before he got stuck in your world. The two of them took pleasure in doing so many evil things to people."

“I thought he just wanted to get home.” The young girl had thought he could be redeemed. “He never hurt us, even when he could have.”

“He’s a phoenix. Those types prefer deception to violence.”

There was a tremble in her lips. "Is he dangerous?"

Theno nodded. A phoenix was one of the most dangerous creatures in their world, simply because they couldn't be killed. At least not permanently. If they died, they were simply reborn again by the flames. That gave them an advantage over those with mortality.

They must have been too loud with their whispering because the light flickered again. Nick was getting even closer to where they were hiding. Theno could smell him and recognized it as the same scent as the mysterious intruder. Now things were starting to fall into place.

"Is that you, Theno my dear?" The Queen called out. "Have you come to try and stop me again? You can come out now if that's the case."

She waited for a response but he wasn't going to give her one. Nick was just waiting for the moment to attack. The cool, wet walls of the grotto were not a guarantee of protection against a man who used fire as a weapon. Theno didn't want to risk Lily or her sisters getting hurt on accident.

When she didn't get an answer the Queen decided to do something else about them. "Nick, please go and get my wayward troll. Bring him back to me and kill the rest of them."

"Gladly, my Queen."

Emma graduated with both an English degree and a library sciences degree. She has always been an avid reader of romance, since she first fell in love with Wuthering Heights. After college she decided she didn’t want to just read books and started writing them. She has already started in both urban fantasy and historical romance, but doesn’t rule out other projects in the future. Living in Kansas with her tiny lapdog and a couple rambunctious nephews, she spends most of her time reading, writing and enjoying a good cup of coffee. 


**Disclaimer: I received a complimentary copy of this book.**

What are the odds you'll find your match is a troll chained up in the basement?

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Lily is trying to do best by her younger sisters. After inheriting a house from an unknown uncle, they move in straight away. The house is filled with strange items but no more than the one hidden in the basement: a creature shackled to a door. He's large and green and definitely not human. Setting him free is just the beginning of an adventure that teaches Lily and her sisters the truth about their family and themselves.

Theno can't remember how he came to be chained to a door in a world that isn't his own. His memories come back in flashes and only confuse him more. Who was he before he crossed the barrier between worlds and why did he leave his home? Better yet, who is this beautiful woman who insists on helping him despite the chance that he might have been a monster in his old life?

This will be one of those reviews that highlights both good and bad things about the story. I believe honest feedback is better for an author but also harder to come by. So while I may criticize elements of the book, remember there were things I liked about it, too. This shouldn't put anyone off from reading the book. Underneath the weaker writing skill was a fun story.

I'll start with pacing. Boy, this story is fast-paced. So fast, in fact, that I was often confused as to how we went from one place/time to another without any sort of break or transition between. In those instances, a scene break would have been beneficial. Having to go back and re-read a whole page just to understand what happened should not be necessary.

Since the pacing is fast, the story tends to suffer a bit. I think the relationship between Theno and Lily was a good match, but since it happened so quickly, it felt a lot more like insta-love than actual romance. And we all know how the general population feels about insta-love. Lily was understanding and trusting much too quickly and that made the relationship less realistic. If I found a creature trapped in my cellar, I wouldn't have reacted so calmly. My sisters would have freaked out, too. Even in fantasy, there needs to be a level of realism to make the story believable.

But it wasn't just the romance side that was smothered by the story moving so quickly. While reading, I was jerked around between scenes and new characters were introduced so fast that it was hard to get a good sense of where we were before we're thrust into another scene and meet yet another character. It was a very ambitious storyline. Maybe too ambitious.

I wanted to really become immersed in the story and that's hard to do when a scene barely skims the surface before it ends. Books are not like tv/movies. On the big screen, we have a visual aid to help us understand the story. We can see facial expressions and hear vocal tones. We can see the settings with our eyes. In a book, we need the author to paint the picture of the setting and draw the characters with their words.

One thing that cannot be disputed is the creativity of the story. This author has a knack for weaving together a tale with colorful characters and surprises. It was a mixture of new and old featuring fairy tale folk that we already know but with a twist to their stories. I was impressed by the fantasy story being told, overall. The big secret revealed at the end truly shocked me. But I did suspect that Nick wasn't what he appeared to be.

My last criticism is really the most important of all and that is the technicality of the writing. This is something that will come with experience, though an editor would certainly have helped the author to find her voice while avoiding most mistakes. There were several grammar errors and typos. Instances of 'telling' instead of 'showing'. Also words repeated, even in the same sentence. By the end of the first chapter, I could tell that this was a new author. I have no doubt that she will find her way with more experience, but I hate to see such creativity weighed down by typos and an accelerated pacing.

In closing... 
I am curious to see what the next book has in store for us and which sister will meet her match. I have a feeling that our phoenix will get to join in the fun. Three suns!

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