Wednesday, July 4, 2018

Blog Tour Audio Book Review: Power of Five (Power of Five #1)

Release Date: May 29, 2018
Author: Alex Lidell
Narrator: Victoria Mei
Publisher: Alex Lidell
Length: 226 pages/ 5 hrs. & 27 mins.
Source: Audible Audio Book Provided for Review

Four elite fae warriors. One mortal female. A magical bond they can’t allow—or resist.

Orphaned and sold to a harsh master, Lera’s life is about mucking stalls, avoiding her master’s advances, and steering clear of the mystical forest separating the mortal and fae worlds. Only fools venture into the immortal realms, and only dark rumors come out... Until four powerful fae warriors appear at Lera’s barn.

River, Coal, Tye, and Shade have waited a decade for their new fifth to be chosen, the wounds from their quint brother’s loss still raw. But the magic has played a cruel trick, bonding the four immortal warriors to... a female. A mortal female.

Distractingly beautiful and dangerously frail, Lera can only be one thing—a mistake. Yet as the males bring Lera back to the fae lands to sever the bond, they discover that she holds more power over their souls than is safe for anyone... especially for Lera herself.

Power of Five is a full-length reverse-harem fantasy novel.


Content Warning: This is a New Adult book and does contain explicit sexual scenes, read at your own discretion.


Protagonist: Lera, a mortal girl living as an indentured servant to a harsh and forward master, finds herself somehow linked in a Fae Quint, an elite team of fae warriors, and travels into the Fae lands to sever the obviously mistaken bond. On the whole, I didn't hate Lera, but there was never really anything that set her apart as a protagonist. She's stubborn, like most fantasy female protagonists, she'll do what she wants, damning the consequences, and that's all well and good, but I really wish there was something more to her. If I'm being honest there's nothing special about her, I mean, I'm sure there's something "special" about her, a reason she was bonded to this Quint, but other than the fact that she's the main character, there wasn't really anything about her that made me care for her as a character.

Romance: So, this is my first Harem story, Reverse or otherwise, and going into it I didn't quite know what to expect. Is it a love triangle, just there are more love interests? Is it going to be a polyamorous relationship? I knew if I wanted to experience a Harem story that it should come from an author who I've enjoyed in the past and who I know can write romance. Here's the thing though, I felt like there was very little actual romance in this story. Sure, there's lust, there's a hell of a lot of lust, but I never felt invested in Lera's romantic or sexual bond with any of the fae males, mainly because with either bond there's no development. From near the very start, it's clear that even if one of the guys doesn't act like they want Lera around, that isn't true, they care about her from practically the beginning of the story and of course since she's described as gorgeous they're also all horned up for her too. Any "development" on the "romance" front is more Lera getting said male to admit they want her around.

World Building: Where I felt the romance and Lera's character was lacking quite a bit, I actually really enjoyed the fantasy aspect of this Reverse-Harem Fantasy, and I probably would have enjoyed it more if there was more of it. Most of this book is dedicated to solidifying Lera's bond with certain characters, or at least I believe that was the point, in actuality all it did for me was let me get to know the males who've fallen for Lera, and while that's not a bad thing, there are four of them and this is a rather short book. So, while I was interested in learning more about the Quint bond, the Faerie Lands, and why Lera was drawn into this bond in the first place, there isn't a whole lot of development with any of that. The book is not boring, far from it, in fact, I LOVE all of the main plot progression that we got, even if I did feel there wasn't a whole lot.

Predictability: I was not prepared for the number of tropes this book had. Okay, I'm not totally serious, though there were a few times when something would be revealed and I would mumble to myself an exasperated "of course," but as I said, that only happened a few times. On the whole, there wasn't a whole lot I could predict about this book, mostly because as I acknowledged in the previous section, this is a pretty short book and a good chunk of it is devoted to fleshing out the love interests. That being said, while I wasn't surprised by some of the twists that happened, I didn't exactly call them either.

Ending: So... the ending to this book is a bit weird to talk about. First off there's the final climax... at least where the main story and action are concerned, which was fantastic and how the characters decide to handle the aftermath actually got a chuckle out of me. There was a lot of tension in the final climax and even though I never really grew to care for Lera as more than just the protagonist, I admit, I kind of got swept away with the scene and thoroughly enjoyed every second of it. Then there's everything that comes after that final climax, and after all of the main story bits are taken care of, well the story ends in a place I've never seen a story end before. It's not quite a cliffhanger, but it's not a plateaued ending either.

Audio Book Notes: Obligatory preface: As I've said in past Audio Book Reviews, I'm still getting used to reviewing audio books and I probably won't be able to fully articulate my feelings for this audio book, please bear with me. So, I really enjoyed the performance here, I mean, the narrator does distinct accents for each of the fae males, and a few other characters as well, and she really puts her all into this performance. She doesn't just read the words she'll act them out and those inflections in her voice, really add a whole new layer to this story.


So, even though I did give this book a hard time, I did really enjoy it, while I wasn't so happy with the fact that Lera isn't very special, I did like the fae males, River, Coal, Tye, and Shade who do have a good deal of backstory and characterization, I also LOVED the main plot aspects dealing with the Quint Bond and the Fae world, and I'm excited to see what comes next, and even though I wasn't invested in the romance elements that much I am not so secretly hoping that as the series progresses it gets better, since I have read great romance from this author in the past.

About the Author:

Alex Lidell is the author of Amazon bestsellers AIR AND ASH and WAR AND WIND (Danger Bearing Press, 2017) and an Amazon Breakout Novel Awards finalist author of THE CADET OF TILDOR (Penguin, 2013). She is an avid horseback rider, a (bad) hockey player, and an ice-cream addict. Born in Russia, Alex learned English in elementary school, where a thoughtful librarian placed a copy of Tamora Pierce’s ALANNA in Alex’s hands. In addition to becoming the first English book Alex read for fun, ALANNA started Alex’s lifelong love for YA fantasy books.
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