Monday, January 5, 2015

Dark Prophecy - Ann Gimpel [Soul Storm]

Dark Prophecy - Ann Gimpel [Soul Storm]
Source: Goodreads Giveaways
Originally Reviewed on Goodreads: January 4, 2015
Rating: ★★★★★

This book was received as part of the GoodReads Giveaways.

Never judge a book by it's cover.

We've all heard that, I 'm sure, but I don't think it has ever been more blatantly true as Dark Prophecy. On the cover is a woman with her head tilted back, lips parted, a man with a hand behind her neck, a small smile on his lips. Inside, where one might think to find an erotic, lust-inducing tale, we instead find a tale of a world where resources are dwindling, dreams foretell the future, and a woman who's ignored her inherent magic for most of her life can no longer do so.

Dark Prophecy starts off somewhat slow, a little confused. The plot could have gone any number of directions, and didn't really show a clear purpose until about halfway through the book. Despite this, Dark Prophecy delivers thought-provoking, challenging and intriguing ideas. Philosophically, environmentally, magically...

Not many books these days strike me as having a clear message as much as this one does. Was this the intent? I don't know. What is this message?

What, exactly, is our responsibility? What do we owe our planet? Our friends? Our gifts (even if we consider them curses)?

What do we owe, and to who? For the lives we live and the resources we use?

This is not a book influnced by activism, not by a long shot. The main part centralizes around Lara McInnis, a therapist with powers she only barely acknowledges. We meet some of her clients, her partner, friends. The danger she faces isn't just from dwindling resources. Something wants her power, and will stop at nothing to get it and render her useless in the face of growing chaos.

Attending her is Trevor Denoble. While not nearly as memorable as Lara, he is not to be passed over. He is about as human as they come. He looses his job, and has a partner with psychic abilities who's life is on the line more than once during the time we get to spend with them. His humanity and role as the man in Lara's life become more and more evident as the book continues, and he and Lara start making hard decisions about their future, and their lives together, in a changing world.

The supporting characters are many, but few stand out and fewer still make it to the end of the book. I would have loved to have seen fewer minority characters in exchange for having more time to get to know the ones that really mattered in the end. I know we'll see more out of them in future books, but worry that they'll continue to be overshadowed by sub characters that are ultimately pointless.

I hesitate to say much more, because so much of what I think makes Dark Prophecy so memorable and makes me want to read more... you just won't see coming, and I don't like spoiling those kinds of surprises! I could easily classify this into realistic fiction or magical realism. In Dark Prophecy, Gimpel approaches magic and the end of life as we know it in a very believable fashion.

If you're looking for the romance element, it is by no stretch of the imagination lacking. The relationship between Lara and Trevor is enviable, but the story does not depend on it, and I think that just adds to the realism of it.

Dark Prophecy does a wonderful job blending fantastical elements with real world relationships and experiences. With the kind of deals I can get on these books for my Kindle, you can count on seeing reviews for the following books very, very soon!

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