Fields of Elysium by A.B. Whelan
Genres: Young Adult, Science Fiction, Romance
How can love mend a heart full of hate?
Small town girl, Molly Bennett, moves to Los Angeles where she becomes an outsider while attending Beverly Hills High School. It seems life cannot be any more dreadful. Then one day after school, something magical happens. On a secluded hike in the Hollywood Hills, Molly chases her disobedient mutt and only friend into a hidden cavern. She stumbles upon a strange glimmering gateway that transports her to Arkana, a planet that is the cradle of an advanced human race. There, teenagers navigate amazing flying vehicles, compete in perilous games for glory, and possess supernatural powers.
While Molly tries to wrap her mind around this unbelievable discovery, she meets the alluring and mysterious Victor Sorren. He is a Sentinel Apprentice, whose hatred toward people from Earth is beyond understanding. Yet every time Victor unpredictably saves Molly's life, his heart draws closer to hers, no matter how much he tries to fight against it. It further complicates things that their growing friendship is strictly forbidden. Earth people are prohibited in Arkana, yet Molly continues to cross through the portal to Arkana to see Victor. Torn between their double lives, they go down a dangerous path, from where there is no return and multiple endings.
- Solid characters
- Needs some overall polishing
- Drags at several times
Fields of Elysium falls into the lump with a lot of other Indie/small press books. The book has so much potential with an interesting draw, but the lack of polishing really slows down the story. A.B. Whelan is masterful at building a vivid world that seeps into your thoughts and envelops you as you read. But whenever you stumble upon one of those unpolished parts, it breaks the trance and brings you crashing back to reality.
There are a lot of competing stories inside of Fields of Elysium. I felt like the romantic aspects overshadowed the others, though I was more keen to learn about the world of Arkana. As a fan of science fiction, I kept holding out for more about those aspects but I don't feel like it ever came. That isn't to say that A.B. Whelan doesn't deliver a good story, though. Besides the moments of drag, my interest was kept and I had no issues following the story to find out what would happen.
Molly is likable as a main character, and I see a lot of people enjoying her. I certainly had my faults with her (don't we always?), but I did get very invested in her story. I think with more attention to developing a more polished version, Fields of Elysium could easily be a five star book for young adults in science fiction. As is, it's still an enjoyable read with a dose of patience.
**I received this book for free in exchange for an honest review. My thanks to A.B. Whelan and NetGalley.