Monday, 23 February 2015

The Beholder by Ivan Amberlake!

Hey Guys!
Joe here with another review for you all!
Today we’re going to be talking about Ivan Amberlake’s ‘The Beholder’.

Here’s a little bit of the Goodreads blurb to intrigue you!

Around the world, people die under mysterious circumstances. Each has a sign. Each is a piece of a jigsaw puzzle. A NYC interior designer Jason Walker receives a message saying he is the final piece

I’m not really into the Urban-Fantasy genre but this book really captured me and has slightly altered my view of Urban-Fantasy. Though I’m still not completely compelled to the lovey-dovey side…

The first third of the story, which is compiled of mostly action sequences and character development, there were some really tense situations for the main character, which was really - really good. Every time I put the book down, I would find myself picking it back up again as it was kept drawing me back into this fantastical but-yet so realistic world which was so greatly designed and created by the author.
We’re also introduced into this new world of the Light-Sighted and the Dark-Sighted (types of people who are able to control energy created around them). This world and the views from the people who live in it were described and written so greatly that I did find myself thinking/hoping it was a real thing haha!
The world building that is in this book is possibly one the most imaginative and innovative that I’ve seen in a while, I honestly really enjoyed picturing the different areas of ‘The Hall of Refuge’ and the other areas of the Light-Sighted refuge which Emily and Jason explored; it was created so well that I was able to depict it so well.

The middle third of the story didn’t sit amazingly with me as it was more focused on the relationship between Jason and Emily. Now don’t get me wrong, I love a-bit of romance as much as the next reader, but it felt like the love was slightly rushed? Jason and Emily fell intensely in love with each other at first sight/touch/thought and it kind of felt a little forced.
Other than that, I love the calming and atmospheric feel of the mansion they ended up in; it sat right with me, I didn’t feel as if they had just come from these dramatic battles and horrifying visions, it generally felt as if they had just started in the mansion, which was entirely refreshing.

Also, The scenes of which Jason was exploring the mansion also extends my appreciation for the author’s creativity when world building. It was just done so well and intensely, you could see that the author cared quite a-lot when it came to creating the atmospheres in the book.

The final third of the book was a mixture of the first and second; we see Jason finally getting in touch with his powers and seeing the world as this brightly coloured place, full of energy trails and allowing his sight to extend even further giving him views of all objects in his path.
We also see Jason dealing with so much emotional drama; some of which was understandable and other parts, which you could tell the author added for a more dramatic feel and effect upon the reader.
Honestly it didn’t really affect me that much, I mean I did feel certain negative emotions for Jason but I mostly thought it was quite generic and plain. Even so it was good to feel sort of pumped up during that final third, I liked how, even though Jason was conflicted by emotion we see him rise above it in a sense and continue his day-to-day life back in normality.

There weren’t that many characters to follow in this story, which I liked as it made the story really easy and linear to follow.
Even so there weren’t many main characters, the support characters were designed and created really well, especially Matt; I could be dwelling to far into this but I did like how he was this tattooed man but had an awesome and quite high-ranking job, it kind of shone the light on the whole ’tattoos that are not covered are not acceptable in the work-place’ which seems to have been going on for too long.

Jason is your generic protagonist that we’ve all come to know, medium build and long Brown hair.
Now don’t get me wrong; I have nothing against this design, as I’m here to judge what the character is LIKE not what he LOOKS like.
What he is like is pretty cool; he’s pretty much thrown into a world he knows nothing about and is expected to become ‘The Chosen One’ within this short amount of time.
He handles it pretty well; he is brave, strong, confident, calming, etc., but he is also scared and petrified about everything this new reality has forced upon him, making him quite dependent on other people when needed.
This made his character so much more enjoyable and more able to relate to (if this reality was real life)

Emily is the lead female character who starts off as this awesome light-sighted woman, who is always fighting and always-kicking ass!
We see her as this strong and independent character in the first third of the book; but as the book goes on she becomes more timid and dependent on Jason when it comes to everything, which I kind of got annoyed at, until the final third when she just goes all Milla Jovovich.
I did like how she had this leadership/dominant vibe around her friends and other people.
One thing I did have a hard-time coming to grips with was her hair colour; I kept picturing Emily with a big mane of White hair, like the type of White hair you’d see on an anime character or a JRPG character. I was a bit disappointed it was Brown. Honestly; I did read it as Brown and kept vividly changing it to White… Haha!

As I said, the support characters were pretty awesome in this and I felt that they played major parts in this story that I found quite appealing and refreshing to be pulled away from the two main characters and see the world from the support characters eyes.
Though I did feel as if the support characters were more concentrated on than the main characters when it came to designs and appearances, due to Matt and Tyler’s design being substantially better and more adequate than Jason’s design.

In all areas, the design for the characters is pretty awesome; the author definitely has a knack for creating these mental images of characters/places.

Overall, I really enjoyed this book!
The writing was solid and very easy to follow and made it understandable when certain events happened such as the Light-sighted and Dark-sighted parts. The characters were designed awesomely and had awesome depth within them.
But honestly; my favourite thing about this book was the world building and the creative input in this world; I just adored all of the ideas that the light-sighted see the world in an array of bright colours where-as the Dark-sighted are literally clouds of black smoke and streaks of red lightning.

As I said before I’m not the biggest fan of Urban-Fantasy, but this book has nudged me closer into trying other books from this genre out!

A massive thank you too the author for sending me this book to review!
If you’d like to purchase the book you can here:

Thanks for reading this review peeps! if you want check out some of our other reviews :)
Have an awesome day guys!
Joe :)


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