A review by Amanda.
Alex has just arrived in the Ukrainian city of Pripyat, home of the infamous Chernobyl disaster. It’s also the childhood home of Katya, Alex’s love, who passed away. Katya loved to tell stories of her family and growing up in Pripyat while she lay dying in the hospital. Alex hopes that this visit will make him feel close to her again. He is just outside of the city limits when a woman appears on the road in front of him; he swerves his motorcycle to avoid hitting her and crashes in the trees on the side of the road, hitting his head and losing consciousness.
When he comes to, it’s to hear hoofbeats circling his body, and growls that add to his confusion and fear. A man comes barreling out of the trees, just as Alex passes out for a second time. He awakes some time later in an unfamiliar bed with a strange but beautiful woman tending to his wounds, in a village full of creatures out of folklore, and knowing only his name. Speaking with others only leads to more confusion, mixed with wonder, as he tries to uncover the secrets of the village and the nearby woods, hoping to find the answers he needs.
City of Roses moves at a quick pace. It only took me an hour and a half to read but it didn’t feel rushed or lacking in details. I appreciated the author’s skill at combining a catastrophic event that really happened with myths and folklore from the same area to create a unique tale. The brevity of the story does make it difficult to connect with the characters. Dialogue is brief and seems to exist solely to impart necessary information to the reader. It occasionally feels stiff and unnatural. I enjoyed this story mostly because I’m a fan of folktales, and I would recommend it to readers who are as well.
My rating: 3/5 stars.
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Publication date: May 5th 2015
Genres: Fantasy, Paranormal Romance, Young Adult
A young man ventures to his lost love’s childhood home in the abandoned city of Pripyat, Ukraine. When a sudden accident puts him off-course, he awakes to discover a lively and vibrant culture living in a nearby village and a woman who reignites his heart. But something sinister lurks in the shadows, and he must face the terror and help defend the village from evil before it is lost forever. Go beyond the tragedy of Chernobyl and discover the magic in the City of Roses.
Donovan Pruitt has a passion for science fiction and fantasy, especially those titles that trend toward young and new adult storytelling. City of Roses was his first standalone book as an indie author, though he has also written for video games and was previously published as a co-author in the fantasy genre. You can visit him online at KalaEmpire.com or join the discussion on Twitter at @KalaEmpire.
My Amazon book reviews are available here.