Daughters of Persephone: Exile & Return by Julia Barrett (Books #1 and #2 of series)
July 13, 2010
Reviewed by Mandi
Aja is a Woman of the Blood, an empress and a seer, she can read people’s thoughts and see into their heart for their true intentions. She is running from the Coalition and their evil General and because of her, the ship she was on crashed landed and their captain is fighting a life-threatening virus. That virus was aimed for her and now the captain could lose his life. She feels guilty and wants to do anything she can to help him out. The crew aboard the ship will be paid a pretty penny to deliver safe and secure, but that mission may not be so easily accomplished. Not only is the General trying to wipe out her line, but there is a traitor aboard her current ship.
Kyr is a resistance fighter (the side that fights the coalition) and as he lies unconsciousness, Aja sneaks in and gives him her blood, which not only cures him of his illness, but bonds them together. Now stronger than ever, Kyr must get Aja to safety, but he will soon learn, Aja is stronger and smarter than anyone he has met.
First let’s get it out there that the cover makes my eyes weep. I really have no idea how they expect this cover to sell ANY books. But let’s not judge this book by its cover!
This book is actually two books in one – book two focuses more on Kyr’s brother, Aram and Aja’s sister, Ennat, but Kyr and Aja still play a big role and the same plot continues through each book so I am going to review it as one. I liked this sci-fi world Julia Rachel Barrett has set up. I don’t read a lot of sci fi and I always get a little nervous that I will have no idea what is going on, but this one is pretty straight forward (with a glossary at the beginning that is helpful!) The idea that women have no rights, yet Aja is so strong and bursting to take full command of her powers is an interesting plot. There are some nice twists that come in regarding her family in both books. There is an evil villain that is set up well and even better, family members who have not so nice motives of their own.
My biggest complaint is the romance. Now I know this is a sci-fi so romance doesn’t have to be prominent – but Ms. Barrett does set us up from the beginning with a romantic plot. What I wanted was there to be more conflict, or build up to the hero and heroine getting together. I have the same complaint in both books- very early on in the story, the heroes and heroines get together and that is that. We go from them barely knowing each other to happily bonded in a matter of a few pages. And from there on out there is no hardship for them. I feel like an opportunity is wasted in not exploring these dynamics. I recommend these books more for the sci-fi world than the fans of romance out there but overall both books set up an interesting world.