True Fate by Shayna Varadeaux | #COYER #TakeControl Book Review

March 21, 2014 Reviews 18

I received this book for free from Author in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

True Fate by Shayna Varadeaux | #COYER #TakeControl Book ReviewTrue Fate by Shayna Varadeaux
Series: True Fate #1
Published by Shayna Varadeaux Books on January 1, 2014
Genres: Fantasy, Romance, Young Adult
Pages: 394
Format: eBook
Source: Author
Goodreads
three-stars

Strange things have always happened to Nia, and until now she’s written them off as flukes. At nineteen she has seen her fair share of odd occurrences and just feels lucky.

When Nia unknowingly spoke a prophecy on her eighteenth birthday she freaked out her best friend, Rhea. Nia realizes she needs to find some answers. Rhea makes her promise to go and see her Great Aunt Amarie, but she isn’t sure if her crazy aunt could really help.

Nia finds herself unexpectedly drawn to a stranger and begins dreaming of people who seem to know everything about her.

They offer little in the way of information as to how and why. It all feels too real but Nia is unsure, at least until she wakes up with a trinket from the encounter.

When dreams and reality collide Nia will have to face dangers she never knew existed. Ready or not she will have to discover her True Fate

My Initial Reaction…

True Fate has the potential to be a really fun YA  fantasy series and I hope that it will continue to grow with the next book.

The Characters…

I almost fell in love with these characters, but not quite. I think my problem was that there were too many of them competing for my attention – although this is most definitely Nia’s story, the other characters’ stories and romances really dominated and confused the plot at times. Case in point, as I was writing that last sentence I kept thinking of character names – Avery, Aaron, Eric, Savannah, and couldn’t remember Nia’s name! I had to go to the book description to remind myself. Of course, that could also just be because her name was one of the must unusual…

Anyway – my point is, I got a bit frustrated with all the side romances that kept blooming. Nia meets this guy Aaron and as it turns out (really early in the book, so this isn’t spoiling anything for you) they have a fated attraction to each other. For these mystical beings (part of the mystery is what they are, so I can’t tell you) soul mates is a literal thing. At first it was kind of cool, but two things really detracted from it for me – (1) that Aaron loved Nia or Nia loved Aaron was said way too often. (2) people seemed to be getting bonded to each other left and right. There was one couple that actually didn’t get bonded and I was waiting for it to happen. It took away the novelty of Nia and Aaron’s bond, not to mention distracted from their relationship. It was like romantic whiplash, everyone was falling in love with everyone!

I also just realized that this is my character section and I haven’t really said much about the characters. But this is the problem – they weren’t deep enough to really talk about. They were a bit too defined by their relationships for me. Nia clearly has a lot of growing to do over the course of the series, because as it stands right now, she’s a bit too wimpy for me. She’s always breaking down and crying. And a lot is happening – I get it – but it’s time to toughen up chica. And the moments where she tries to be commanding felt forced. The men are always breaking down and crying too… I don’t want to sound like I’m not okay with guys crying, I totally am. But it just didn’t feel appropriate here – situations where I wouldn’t really see a woman crying and the guys are getting all teary eyed.

So anyway, the characters lacked for me. As did their dialogue.

The Story…

However, the world was a definite strong point. I really love this world that Shayna has created. It’s our world, but supernatural beings live among us and Nia is one of them – she’s always known something was different about her, but she didn’t know what it was. But something’s happened and it’s flipping her world upside down. Shayna developed some really cool elements here – a lot happens when the characters are asleep, because the enter another realm and communicate there. The magic potential is very neat too – I would have liked to see a lot more of it, but I see the potential for sure. I was particularly frustrated that (considering all the shifting view points) we don’t really see Aaron developing his guardian powers, just all of a sudden he says he’s been practicing in his sleep. It seemed to me that the story could have really benefited with a few less romantic focuses and little more time really showing us all this magic and the fantastic world that clearly exists in Shayna’s head. I look forward to seeing more of it.

I’m sticking by my 3 star rating because, even though I seem to keep pointing out things I wished had happened, I liked the story enough to care that they didn’t. If it wasn’t good with solid potential, I just wouldn’t care. I think I kept waiting for things to get super exciting, though, and I just hope they will in book 2. True Fate started off with this really exciting scene and then we flashed back and it took too long to get back to that point (and when we did get to it, it didn’t quite fit in. I kind of questioned whether I had actually gotten to it or not, but I assume that I did). So yeah, I’ll just reiterate – more of the action and magic that was super cool and less of the romance.

I have one other complaint that I don’t usually like to harp on, but feel I have to mention – True Fate was still in need of a good edit. I’m not talking about a few misspellings (because then I wouldn’t even mention it). Tense is constantly shifting from past to present tense… you can tell a story either way, but please be consistent. There was also a lot of sentences that were badly punctuated and it took me a second to understand them, because they should have been two sentences or had a comma or something. So I hope that the next book in the series will be more carefully edited (or that this one will get major revisions and a rerelease/eBook update). This was the Shayna’s debut novel, so I’m not going to let this be something that keeps me away from her future books at all.

Concluding Sentiments…

In the end, True Fate had enough action and world building for me to enjoy the story and I do plan to read the next book. I hope that we’ll see a bit more character focus and get a chance to see more of this fantastic world, because I think they both have fantastic potential.

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three-stars

About Shayna Varadeaux

Shayna is a happily married mom of three teenagers and a native Texan. She is a highly addicted reader and an avid reviewer with a love for generating buzz for other authors. She writes Young Adult books and is currently working on the True Fate series as well as an untitled Contemporary YA book.

“Life is chaos and reading is my relaxation. Writing comes second only to my family and my music. I love playing the bass and singing backup vocals for my husband. A tattoo artist turned author, following my dream and loving it!”

“I am currently writing True Chaos, book 2 in the True Fate series! It is a hectic process being a writer, editor, formatter, blogger and self-promoter. Luckily I have my best friend who is also my supportive husband to cheer me on. While I enjoy the painful journey of becoming a self-published author! Happy reading!” – S.V.

Berls

Photo of Berls
About Berls
Berls has been a book lover her whole life. She reads pretty much every genre and is currently working hard at making her childhood dream of becoming an author come true. She loves sharing her thoughts about books, blogging, and just random fun stuff. She's a challenge and read-a-thon junkie, so it's no wonder that she loves co-hosting the COYER reading challenge. Leave a comment, Berls is always happy to chat!

18 Responses to “True Fate by Shayna Varadeaux | #COYER #TakeControl Book Review”

    • Berls
      Twitter:

      Me too Pamela. I think there’s a good chance that feedback on this first book will help move the second book into great territory 🙂

  1. Kristen
    Twitter:

    I love the cover of this one, I’m not sure if it seems my type of book because the romance seems to be very distracting. You did a thorough job of reviewing the ins and outs of the book, great job.
    Kristen recently posted…Bloggiesta GoalsMy Profile

    • Berls
      Twitter:

      Thanks Kristen! If Shayna follows through with her plan to pull some of those romance elements into separate novellas I think this book with be so much better, allowing her to focus on all the other great elements she has.

  2. Bookworm Brandee

    Wonderful, honest review, Berls!! I love how well you articulate your thoughts. 🙂 I have been curious about True Fate since you did the cover reveal – I really like the cover. 🙂 You’ve done a great job explaining what you liked about this story, and what didn’t work for you. I still may give it a go sometime.

    I hope you’re having a great weekend!!
    Bookworm Brandee recently posted…**Bought, Borrowed, & Bagged ~ #12**My Profile

    • Berls
      Twitter:

      Thanks Brandee – This was a book I was eager to read and I’m glad I got to it when I did. Even though there were quite a few things I’d like to see improved upon, I’m really excited for where this series might be headed 🙂

    • Berls
      Twitter:

      Thanks 🙂 I’m super appreciative of her positive reception to the review – it’s what makes her the kind of author I want to support. And I do really think this series has potential, just needs a little bit of refocusing for my tastes. Happy reading!

    • Berls
      Twitter:

      I really enjoyed the world and just wished I saw more of it. I think Shayna’s going to be able to do great things with this series. I hate having to bring up editing, but sometimes it’s just too much to ignore.

    • Berls
      Twitter:

      I’ll be keeping my eyes on it, so fingers crossed I’ll be able to report that it’s gotten great with the next release.

    • Berls
      Twitter:

      Isn’t the cover beautiful? the series has serious potential so I’m keeping my eyes on it 🙂

  3. Jessica @ Rabid Reads
    Twitter:

    I think I’ll wait and see where this series goes next before picking it up. Abounding soul mate connections (insta-love), an MC who cries a LOT, and poor editing . . . I just don’t know. Thanks for the heads-up, and I will keep an eye on this series b/c it does sound like it has potential 😉
    Jessica recently posted…Question: Do You Ever Forget?My Profile

    • Berls
      Twitter:

      It really does – I think being a debut novel it just has some bugs to work out still. To be fair, I should clarify that the soul mate connections aren’t all insta-love, with the exception of one they were couples who’d known each other for a long time. It just felt insta-love all the time because I didn’t get the history and was just wham – soul mates. wham again – soul mates. LOL

  4. Shayna Varadeaux

    Thanks for your review I am super appreciative of your honest opinion.

    I really lacked hard feedback and some of the points you made about the romance element have been bothering me too. I wanted to kick my self when I re-read it after the release. I am actually having it edited right now.

    My goal is to put my best version of Nia’s story forward and I may even shift some of these side stories to Novellas. Instead of taking away from the main characters, which should be Nia and Aaron.

    Again, thank you!!
    Shayna Varadeaux recently posted…RELEASE DAY LAUNCH – My Life From Hell by Tellulah DarlingMy Profile

    • Berls
      Twitter:

      Thanks Shayna – it means a lot that you commented and weren’t too upset with my feedback 🙂 Let me know when you’re finished editing it, I’d be happy to read and re-review. I think pulling some of the other romances into novellas would be a great plan, as their stories are interesting and would work well separate from Nia and Aarons 🙂

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