This is my stop during the blog tour for Golden Dunes of Renhala (Renhala #2) by Amy Joy Lutchen. This blog tour is organized by Lola’s Blog Tours . This blog tour runs from 13 January till 26 January, you can view the whole tour schedule on the Golden Dunes of Renhala blog tour page on the website of Lola’s Blog Tours. I’ll share my review of both Golden Dunes of Renhala and of Renhala with you and an excerpt of Renhala. And there is a tour wide giveaway.
How do you live with a secret so dark and so deeply woven into your being that it threatens to smother your very existence, with no known way out? Use it to your advantage.
Kailey Rooke, karmelean, and now a possibly unethical karma-for-hire, has spent the past year jumping from project to project without any real hope for salvation. With repercussions from her actions at every turn, she discovers that as time goes on, she loses a bit more of herself to that which feeds on her anguish–that which is thriving inside her own body.
When a new contract to find a missing girl arises, Kailey attempts to put her past and its associated problems on the back burner, but she soon finds out that treachery and deceit lie shortly ahead in Golden Dunes, only giving face to new problems, with one leading right back to her childhood past.
She struggles to complete her contract as her own life teeters on a fulcrum, constantly tipping according to karma’s whim. How long will she keep her balance? Which way will she fall?
I got a copy for beta read and a honest review. My review is based on the beta read, so it’s entirely possible the final version is even better.
As soon as I started this book I was so glad to be back in the world of Renhala. This book is even more fast paced and filled with action than the first book, but it’s also a bit darker than the first book. And I totally enjoyed it and this managed to get me about of a reading slump, I finished Golden Dunes of Renhala in 2 days.
The story start a while after Renhala ended, also it was quite some time ago that I had read Renhala and I had forgotten a lot already. I didn’t have time to re-read Renhala, but I quickly found out that that wasn’t even necessary. Just enough details are given on what happened in the first book to remind me of what happened in the first book. The story is fast paced and full of action. The story had that keep-reading-feel. It did have a few dark moments and I kept hoping Kailey would get better.
This book focuses less on the characters than book 1. There is some character development, but there were less interactions and I felt there was less attention for the side characters. Also I wished there was more romance, because there wasn’t enough of that in this book. I did like reading about all those great characters again, I really liked Jenna and Bu in this book.
While the focus in this book is on the story, there is also some world building. The world building mainly focuses on the region of the Golden Dunes and the neighboring land/country. The most part of the world building is already done in book 1 and only some bits are added in this book, like niva.
To conclude: I really enjoyed Golden Dunes of Renhala and I have to say it’s almost as good as book 1. The story is fast paced and full of action. The story is a bit darker. I really liked Jenna and Bu in this book and I was so glad to be back in the world of Renhala!
You can add Golden Dunes of Renhala to your to-read list on Goodreads
Some information about the first book in this series:
Kailey Rooke, timid accountant dedicated to philanthropic work, finds herself spiraling into a deep depression after she suffers a horrifyingly odd and humiliating assault, to only discover more of these freakish assaults occurring across the globe.
A chance discovery leads Kailey to a meeting with elderly Gunthreon, actual master of persuasion. Gunthreon, who seems to know too much of Kailey’s history for her liking, opens Kailey’s eyes to a coexisting magical realm she never knew existed: Renhala, while entrusting her with the knowledge of her newfound power as karmelean, serving as a beacon to the Higher Ones. She soon discovers that Renhala is in danger, and this danger has been leaking into her own realm. As she uncovers secrets within herself, and attempts to toughen up, she fuses with an unlikely band of fellow travelers/creatures, falls into an unexpected love triangle, and finds the courage to master a new deadly weapon.
As blood is shed and puzzles near completion, Kailey pulls from deep within herself, conjuring up mystical qualities that enable her to astonish as once predicted at her birth, but despite the newfound strength, Kailey will discover that monsters not only come in ugly packages, but can be easily disguised as those she has come to love and trust.
Lately I have been reading many books that are quite short and fast paced, I love those kind of books, because I can start a book finish it and then quickly start another book. I didn’t realize that sometimes I miss reading books that are a bit longer. When I started this book I was wondering whether to start it now or not, as it was quite long (430 e-book pages). I ended up just starting it and quickly I forgot the number of pages and immensed myself in the world of Renhala.
The book starts off slow paced and a bit confusing. I was actually wondering whether to continue it or not, because I was sure something supernatural was mentioned in the blurb and well I didn’t see any hint of that in the first 50 pages. And then suddenly things start making sense, the supernatural is introduced and I was sucked into this story. The story is awesome, it’s a bout Kailey and about friendship and love. About good and evil and grey. And so much more.
The characters are loveable! I couldn’t wait to read more about them and I especially liked Kailey, she is such a strong girl, but also so normal at times. A few other favourites are: Lupa, Bu, Jenna, Kioto, Greer and Ladimir. Kailey meets so many interesting and nice creatures and I couldn’t help but like them all, they all have these characteristics that make them unique. Although I wouldn’t mind spending more time reading about all of them and learning more about them. I think the author did an awesome job creating a whole cast of likeable characters.
The evil characters were not as easy to like and I thought it was difficult to really get why they acted like they did. I would’ve liked a bit more insight in way they did these evil things and who they are.
The world building is also done briliantly. Although after finishing the book I still have so many questions. The author describes the world perfectly, not too much details, but enough to get a good sense of how this world looks. I also loved all the originaly touches, like the life pond and the strange creatures like the Grebles, the Meeples and the Mooncats. I do think that one book is just too less to get to know all of the world and I am would like to learn more about this amazing world.
To conclude: a great story, slower paced and longer than what I usually read, but I loved it! The only minpoints are the fact that the beginning is quite slow and I didn’t get a good idea why the evil characters acted like they did. The story was original and interesting, the characters were likeable and the world building was done really well. The story was longer then what I usually read, but I only wished it was even longer, because I already miss reading about Kailey and Renhala.
You can add Renhala to your to-read list on Goodreads
“So where did Bu run off to?” I say, quickly changing the subject. “He’s got to be as hungry as I am, or more so. I’m surprised he hasn’t smelled it already.”
Lupa, with her mouth full of gooey cheese and vegetables, says, with her finger pointed, “You’ll find Bu down that hall, through the door on the right. It will have an aquarium scene carved into it, and beautiful work, I must say.” She keeps chewing, drooling a bit out of the left side of her mouth, but she catches it skillfully with her napkin.
A nod is all I get as she gulps her fruit punch.
“Do you mind if I come, too?” Conner’s plate is already empty, and he stands with his hands in his pockets, looking cute and innocent.
I can’t help but allow him to follow. “Sure.” Jenna doesn’t even know what’s going on around her—her pizza is untouched—because she’s still playing with my phone. My cell phone bill will definitely be checked with more gusto come next month, because I wouldn’t be surprised to find a cross-country call to 123-456-7890. “Jenna, call this number and ask my mom if she wants to come over and hang with us.” I write down her number and slide the paper in front of her.
I pile on my plate two more pieces of pizza then go grab a few anchovy pieces for Bu. I decide to put his in a plastic Ziploc I found on the counter because I don’t want any of his anchovies touching any bit of my pizza. Conner grabs one more piece for the road as I shove the baggie in my pocket.
As we walk, Conner clears his throat. “You know, the stupid bickering we’ve been doing is going nowhere. Let’s start from scratch.” The apology—or at least that’s how I’m taking his words—releases tension in my shoulders that I didn’t even realize I was carrying until now.
My pizza balances nicely on my hand as I extend my other to shake. “Nice to meet you. I’m Kailey,” I say. Conner shakes firmly, and I feel that familiar static electricity dart through my hand. “Stop with that, though.”
“Honestly, I’m not doing that. It must be you.”
“Uh, no. I don’t do that. Maybe if you’d pick your feet up more when you walk.” Our walk slows down as our voices get louder.
“I’ve never done that with anyone,” says Conner. “You’re the one with the hidden powers after all, remember? Maybe you’re like ‘Super Shock,’ the superhero, or something. No, better yet—‘Karmelean: your personal defibrillator.’ Yeah!” He laughs at his own joke, but stops quickly as his pizza slides down the front of his shirt.
“No need to reheat later, Sparky McGee!” I prance well ahead of him and find the door Lupa mentioned. The workmanship is indeed superb, giving each sea creature a life of its own, suspended in wood.
“Wow.” Some of the pizza sauce still lingers on his shirt. “This is a hundred-dollar shirt, you know,” he says. He speaks without taking his eyes off the door.
“Looks like you got robbed,” I say.
Just as he is about to return the fire, a low-pitch rumbling noise leaks from beyond the door. We look to each other and both grab the doorknob. The shock from that simple touch sends an electrical current up the door, which reaches out to each fish and anemone carved into it. For a brief three seconds, the creatures are alive, swimming to and fro across the door.
But as quickly as their lives began, they freeze and are once again carved into the door where they last swam.
“Beats the Shedd Aquarium any day!” says Conner. He turns the knob and opens the door ever so slowly, revealing the room beyond, foot by magnificent foot.
To imagine standing on the bottom of the ocean floor with all your clothes on, breathing air as schools of fish swim between your legs does not even come close to the experience even of standing in the doorway of this room. Bu floats in the center of the room, his back to us. He talks, but I cannot understand his words or see who or what he may be talking to. As I gather the courage to step inside the room, Bu’s head turns 180 degrees and he smiles. No matter how much I love and trust Bu, that simple movement still creeps me out.
“That is horror-film material,” says Conner, shaking.
“Glad we can agree on something.” As we enter the room, the door disappears behind us and the room gets very moist, as though we have entered a rainforest. The moisture grows heavier and heavier, until we are totally saturated to our underwear. Overwhelming dizziness takes over my body and I wobble, feeling as though my head might explode. I look to Conner and see gills on his neck. “No way!” I say. My words are drowned as I reach to my neck and feel my own set of gills.
I studied at the University of Illinois, Champaign-Urbana (man I grew up quick), where I became a number, but decided it was a good number.
I write with plenty of snacks in hand, making sure they are not in multiples of three. That number makes me nervous.
Author of the Renhala series.
There is a tour wide giveaway for the blog tour for Golden Dunes of Renhala. Here is what you can win: signed Renhala hardcover, signed bookmark, tea(s), two fun pouches (one with a skull, the other the word “LOVE”), a snake ring and $25 Amazon or Barnes & Noble gift card.
You can enter the giveaway here:
a Rafflecopter giveaway