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Valley of Dust by Karoleen Vry Brucks
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Valley of Dust (edition 2012)

by Karoleen Vry Brucks

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741,138,814 (2.8)None
Member:BrokeBookBank
Title:Valley of Dust
Authors:Karoleen Vry Brucks
Info:Xlibris Corporation (2012), Paperback, 156 pages
Collections:Your library
Rating:***
Tags:first reads, free, paranormal

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Valley of Dust by Karoleen Vry Brucks

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Combining a romance with Romanian mythology and gypsy influences, the author has created a new form of vampire, an “energy vampire” that feeds on life force rather than blood. While they can create new members for their society, the born members are both the rulers and also the center of the management of Strigoi in the human society.

Tightly drawn characters are the center of this story, with a focus on the development and story of Selene and Lucien, her destined mate. Other characters are briefly detailed and their characterizations are more foreshadow of what may come, rather than presenting them as complete and dimensional beings. Each chapter is short, 2 to 3 pages, the entire book is only 148 pages, it is loaded with action and information on each page.

This is a story to just “go with”, and not worry about the unanswered questions early on: there are answers revealed constantly and consistently throughout the last third of the book – and all the pieces will fall into place. As a start to a series, this book creates the necessary groundwork: characters to care about, a question about what happens next, and just enough left unanswered about the Strigoi and their powers and influence.

I received a paperback copy of this book from Booked and Loaded. I was not compensated for this review, and all conclusions are my own responsibility.
( )
  IamIndeed | Mar 29, 2013 |
A pretty good story about a young girl learning about who she really is and what she can do. Although I must say, it was written at a very fast pace so I got confused a couple of times and had to constantly be checking fast. I would have liked more dialogue (properly written by the way in MLA style, not in a mashed up paragraph) as well as more explanation and description as to what she is, what kind of men she falls for, etc. Good story, just needs more developing in its writing in order for it to be a truly astounding story I know it can be. ( )
  Clx.Bkwrm | Dec 26, 2012 |
I won this in a Goodreads First Reads Giveaway.

Summary: I enjoyed it and do plan on continuing the series. I found the plot and storyworld an intriguing breath of fresh air. It's in a compressed package that I wish was more in depth, brought more background and showed more meat instead of the lean, sometimes jumpy, telling, convenient book we have now. Don't get me wrong, it's not a bad book and I do recommend it. I just think it has far more potential and hope it lives up to it in the following books. '

Pros:
- interesting story that I'm curious how will continue to unfold and how the author will handle things

- likeable main characters and the villains are villains

- not the standard vampire tale popping up lately

- love triangle but it's quickly resolved and left with tension between the odd man out (which is a big plus for me since I HATE drawn out webble wobble love triangles) and is important in a different way for the plot

- the cover art is absolutely stunning

- short

Cons:
-lots of telling instead of showing

- wish there were more details on interactions,

- not much background on characters and some actions just make no sense

- often too convenient plot movement that I really didn't buy into

- I thought it was too short

Why I want to give 5 stars :

I liked the story and did enjoy reading this book. I find it interesting and using this Romani folklore is new to me. I find it rather refreshing. It reminds me a bit of Angel/Buffy/Spike and that's a huge complement since I loved those series. I find Selene more compelling and likeable than I ever found Buffy yet I'm not as drawn to Lucian or Anton as I was to Angel or Spike. I'm so glad the love triangle is a part of the plot but not in the wish-washy "I can't choose!" way, which drives me up the wall. I will be looking for the next book in series. I think it really does have great potential and am actually looking forward to reading more. I in general like the characters and thought they worked but there were moments I didn't get their actions, motivations and thoughts. It's really short so it gives some leeway for its flaws since you're not committed to a 500 page novel or anything.

Reasons I feel I can't give 5 stars:

I wish it was longer and more substantial. It didn't feel like a full book or story, more like a starting point. I wish that the story was expanded on in general and specifically not move 5 years in a paragrah. It was two pages into a chapter and the way it was done felt...off. There were also things that was just too convenient, like Selene's parent's sudden change. With what we know about them to act that way they'd probably need to be mind controlled. Unless there's more to the story, but without extra information that turn of events didn't sit right with me. Then there's how everyone just seemingly forgot an important way to find someone. I just didn't buy that excuse at all since they have a whole team dedicated to such a thing.

While the writing isn't bad, it could use improving. I found it was more telling, than showing. (This could be a style of writing of course but if so, not one I'm fond of) Because of it favored telling, there were facts that were repeated, like Selena being odd, over and over with little real insight to how exactly she was odd. There were brief moments that expanded on this and really showed how she was thought odd and what her parents did to her. I remember those moments well and found they hit home like the incident in her father's yard. I wish there were more of those moments in the book and think I would have liked, understood and connected with the characters more-so.

While I can definitely see that some things were kept hidden for the plot, I just wish everything else wasn't just told to us. Of course, all the details could be held back for the plot in future books to unfold but I don't really see that happening.

There's just so little background that the book feels like it's rather lacking in being anchored and is missing a lot of meat. I think background and really showing how a character was/is really keeps books feeling solid so a reader can be absorbed into the book. That's what happens when I read I can visualize it and really get sucked it like I'm there beside them. While I could easily make mental pictures of how things and people looked, I had a hard time visualizing their conversations and movements. I had the basis for a mental movie but couldn't make it lively. The flaws were always in the front of my mind while reading and I couldn't really let it go to get into the book.

Which it all boils down to the reason why I decided on an average 3 star rating. ( )
  BrokeBookBank | Nov 25, 2012 |
Actual Rating: 3.5

Author Karoleen Vry Bucks sent us (The Readdicts) a copy of Valley Of Dust for reviewing. I just finished reading it.

I found Valley of Dust very, very interesting. Initially, I thought it would be like any other regular paranormal romance. But there was so much more to it than just that. In Valley of Dust, you are introduced to some new, fresh and quite different concepts.
Valley of Dust is about a species called as strigoi, who can inject life and also drain it from another person. Selene is an unusual human who is neither accepted by her friends nor her family. She has an affinity to the elements. The only constant in her life- which also happens to be the only thing that's kept her sane- is the handsome man, Lucian, who keeps appearing in her dreams. Lucian sends his twin brother, Anton to keep an eye on Selene and to protect her. When she is attacked and almost raped, Anton makes sure that Selene is safe and she then actually steps into Lucian's life as the two men bring her to their house. That is where Selene meets Carla, a beautiful woman, not just looks-wise, but also as a person and Jacques, the French cook, who is also really beautiful as a person. She then discovers what she really is. Screwing up with the wrong brother, children, strigoi Council meetings, drama, a few fights and a bit of violence here and there, all become a part of Selene's new life. There is also a mystery twist to the book which brings into focus Detective Michael, and that makes the story all the more absorbing.
I don't quite know how to give more details about the book without spoiling the story.
As a protagonist, Selene was great. She is straight-forward, smart and a little harsh at times, which is only because of the neglect she has been through. Lucian was the typical gentleman, but I don't know what to say about Anton. That guy gave me the creeps! Lucian and Anton both have Alexander and Sebastian, two parental/brotherly figures in their lives, who are also eminent members of the Council. Selene's children, Marcus and Serena are very interesting and I would like to know about them and I wish they get their individual stories.
The pace of Valley of Dust was simply mind-blowing. It was a quick read and yet everything was well explained. For me, the book was all about something new in the paranormal genre. When I think of the book, the only adjective that comes to mind is 'interesting', because that it what Valley of Dust was- interesting. Author Karoleen Vry Brucks has written a fresh concept in a very engrossing way. I am definitely going to be on the look out for more books by her. ( )
  SarikaP8 | Oct 31, 2012 |
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