Discovery (Altera Realm Book 1) by Jennifer Collins

Summary from Goodreads:

Syney’s life is ordinary until carnival psychic informs her that she will be embarking on an adventure surrounding her real parents. All she’s got left of them is an amulet, the only thing found on her as a baby. The amulet breaks a spell that sent her over 100 years into the future in the Human Realm.

The Altera Realm has been at war for well over a century and is connected to the Human Realm by a portal and no human knows it exists. It is home to the five old and great races—Magic Users, Lycins, Vampires, Daemons, and Shifters. Each race is an entity of their own with its own life purpose, rulers and guarded secrets.

An old prophecy tells that peace can only come through the gracious Vilori Queen. What will happen when human-raised Syney Andrews is thrust into that role? No one is prepared for the consequences.

Things are only going to get harder for Syney, who is feeling a strong attraction to Hunter, from a banished family—and another race. Who can Syney trust, if anyone? Will she go against the law forbidding interracial marriage? Or will she fight to the death for her love, Hunter? Readers will be on the edge of their seats as they find out.

Cover:

Discovery (Altera Realm Book one)

Review:

*I received an eCopy from the author in exchange for an honest review.

I was really excited to dive into this book upon reading the blurb. It falls into some of my most beloved categories young adult with some paranormal elements. I really did enjoy this book however it was a little tough for me to get into at first. I’ve only just begun reading books written in the third person. It used to be I struggled connecting with the characters because I couldn’t see their world through their eyes. Discovery really threw me for a loop at first because the book switches between many different characters’ POV. Once I got past the initial shock of the POV swapping I was hooked. I found the story compelling and rather true the teenage life despite the fantasy elements.

I enjoyed almost all the characters and what they offered the story. There are so many that it would be difficult to describe why I liked each one so I’ll pick a few that had the most impact on me:

Syney, who is also the very main character, started out a bit grating for me. I didn’t hate her but I didn’t love her either. She seemed to naive (even though she was so young) that at times I found myself wanting to scream “WHAT are you doing?!” But as the story progressed and I realized all the difficult aspects of her new life I felt sympathy for her. I found myself asking whether I’d make similar decisions in her place. At the end of the book I saw real potential for her to grow as a character and into someone who would be fit to be a queen.

Hunter was kind and patient, however rough he seemed at times. I enjoyed his thoughtfulness and seriously felt bad about the cards he was continuously dealt. I didn’t always agree with or like his choices but in the end I felt he always made them with Syney and others best interest at heart.

Mellisandrianna was a horrible, conniving person. Yet, I still can’t figure her out. The end of the book left me with more questions about her than I had from the very beginning. I think there is a lot more to her than I thought.

Gabe, much like Mellisandrianna, seems to possess some questionable qualities and I’m really interested to find out what his motives are in the end. I know he has a bigger picture in mind but I’m more than curious to find out what that it is.

For having so many characters, I felt the Collins really gave each one their own voice and developed them into “people” a reader can really care about. The story itself had a lot of twists and turns and elicited a lot of emotion from me. I enjoyed the story line, and like I said once I got past the switching POV’s, I was sucked in. I felt the world to be interesting and although there were various typical paranormal beings (shape-shifters, Lycins, vampires, magic users) I though the story was it’s own which is important in a market saturated with similar retelling of the same stories.

I am excited to see what’s in store for these characters and would give this book my recommendation for those who like young adult paranormal. Just be prepared, it’s a long book but don’t let this intimidate you!

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