03 January, 2014

#BookReview :: Endless by Amanda Gray

Jenny Kramer knows she isn't normal. After all, not everybody can see the past lives of people around them.
When she befriends Ben Daulton, resident new boy, the pair stumble on an old music box with instructions for “mesmerization” and discover they may have more in common than they thought. Like a past life.
Using the instructions in the music box, Ben and Jenny share a dream that transports them to Romanov Russia and leads them to believe they have been there together before. But they weren't alone. Nikolai, the mysterious young man Jenny has been seeing in her own dreams was there, too. When Nikolai appears next door, Jenny is forced to acknowledge that he has travelled through time and space to find her. Doing so means he has defied the laws of time, and the Order, an ominous organization tasked with keeping people in the correct time, is determined to send him back. 
While Ben, Jenny and Nikolai race against the clock - and the Order - Jenny and Nikolai discover a link that joins them in life - and beyond death.

'Endless' is a fantasy novel that tells us the story of the protagonist Jennifer "Jenny" Kramer. The book begins with Jenny preparing for a boring summer in her small town. She plans to paint as much as possible and her father plans to try and get her involved in his work as much possible – as is usual for Jenny. The start to the summer vacation isn’t perfect as an incident with Ouija board creeps her out a bit. Enter Ben and a mysterious music box with instructions on mesmerization. It is only to be followed by a mysterious Nikolai of her dreams who appear in her life and buy one of her paintings. Suddenly Jenny finds that her secret of being able to see and experience other people's past lives just by touching them is not the only secret around. Her mother, her mother’s best friend, Ben and even Nikolai – all have some secrets of their own. But with odd people following her around things only get worse before Jenny can find an answer.

Anastasia Romanov is an intriguing character from history. To retell her story and to create Jenny in her shadows yet giving Jenny a distinct character of her own, Amanda Grey has done a great job. I will be the first to admit that I scoffed quite a bit when I realized that this was a story of re-incarnation and time travelling including the Romanov family. But giving Jenny a chance to tell her story was the right choice as it was a roller coaster journey on the whole. On one hand is Ben, you know that there is something dark about his character, yet by the time you realize it, it is too late and he is firmly placed in Jenny’s life. Nikolai is a sweet character. I admire his patience as he waited for Jenny to remember instead of pushing her too much. Jenny herself is a strong character. Like all teenagers she is impulsive and a bit confused but nothing that is not forgiveable.

The plot was simple enough and most of the times it is predictable. However it does throw in a few twists to spice things up. My only problem was the action sequence at the retreat. The brotherhood was supposed to be well trained and dangerous, yet a couple of teenagers simple flit in and out without any help or trouble at all. It was a bit hard to digest for me. Keeping that aside this is an interesting tale that is well told and I cannot wait for the next instalment.

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