I received this book for free from Publisher in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.Endless by Amanda Gray
Series: Endless #1
Published by Month9Books, LLC on September 10, 2013
Genres: Fantasy, Romance, Young Adult
IN A RACE AGAINST TIME, HOW DO YOU KEEP THOSE YOU LOVE SAFE?
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 stumbles 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 traveled 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 -- the trio discovers a link that joins them in life -- and beyond death.
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My Initial Reaction…
I absolutely loved the concept for Endless by Amanda Gray and am eagerly looking forward to reading the sequel. Gray does a great job weaving together a variety of elements to create a really action-packed story with plenty of twists and turns to keep you on your toes.
Jenny Kramer is your typical quiet, artistic loner – except that she has the unfortunate ability to see people’s past lives just by touching them with the palm of her hand. Dealing with this has made her a little more distant and she’s consider a bit weird to her peers. Her mother died when she was very young in a hit-and-run car accident, and while her father tries hard, he’s clearly uncomfortable with how much Jenny takes after her mother. And Jenny suspects this little talent of hers might have something to do with her mother, so it’s not something she can talk to him about.
Overall, I really liked Jenny. I enjoyed her relationship with her father – it was clearly a loving one, unlike so many of the relationships that seem to appear in YA books. It was refreshing to see a fairly healthy parent-child relationship, not scarred by parental neglect or teenage angst. Jenny also seems to deal with the mysterious things that happen to her really well – showing signs of being much stronger than she sees herself. At the same time she’s vulnerable, afraid to trust anyone with her secrets.
I also really liked Ben. When we meet Ben, he comes across as a jerk – but he’s got a lot going on and in so many ways he and Jenny are very similar and can naturally connect. More than anything, I think I enjoyed seeing him and Jenny interact and grow closer. Their relationship was really believable and endearing.
I’m on the fence about Nikolai, however. I think I wanted to love him, considering all the risks he’d taken and trouble he’d gone to just to be with Jenny. We get to know him primarily through Jenny’s dreams and, for me, those little glimpses just weren’t enough for me to be convinced to love him. It seems to be enough to convince Jenny and I think that’s what really bothered me. Although there’s a slowly developed relationship somewhere within the dreams, I didn’t get to see it and as a result the feelings between Nikolai and Jenny felt a little unbelievable to me. All things considered, I still liked him as a character. I just don’t know what I want for him and Jenny.
Endless provides an fascinating new perspective on the classic story of the Romanov family, with a love story that crosses the barriers of death and time. Jenny is used to seeing weird things, but lately things are even weirder than normal. Someone tried to communicate with her through a Ouija board, she’s started having very vivid dreams featuring the Romanov family and in particular, their clockmaker’s grandson – Nikolai. She’s also starting to see things in her own home town a little differently and it’s raising her suspicions. And in the pit of her stomach she has a feeling that it all connects to a shared dream she and her new friend, Ben, had when they discovered an antique music box with instructions for mesmerization.
I really loved this plot. There were so many different elements (including time travel, visions, and more – wouldn’t want to spoil the surprises!) and mysterious to unfold and all the twists and turns kept me guessing. There were a few elements that were pretty obvious and I was shocked that Jenny didn’t realize them earlier, but there were just as many more that surprised me. It’s a story where you’re not sure who can be trusted and what’s real, making everything that much more exciting to try and figure out.
While Endless ends with some resolution, I was left with just as many questions. After such an exciting ride, I’m definitely invested in these characters and this story line; very eager to see where the sequel will take Jenny, Ben, and Nikolai!
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But wait, there’s a giveaway!
Two (2) print copies of Endless by Amanda Gray (US Only)
Two (2) eBook copies of Endless by Amanda Gray (INT)
$25 iTunes gift card (INT)