Through absolutely pure dumb luck - the kind that only comes from being at the right place at the right time, I happened to win a copy of Destruction (The December People Series #1) by Sharon Bayliss for the Kindle.
It was literally the day after I joined Twitter. I was still trying to navigate my way through hashtags and at signs, looking for people to follow and wondering if it was even going to be an online experience that I would enjoy or learn how to use effectively. Then I happened to see a tweet from Sharon Bayliss saying that the first ten people to retweet her message would receive a copy of her new book... I thought what the hay? I'm probably already too late but I might as well see what a retweet looks like. Next thing I knew, I'd won.
Now, I'm still working my way through hashtag and at signs. But I am getting better at it and I do think that I will figure it all out eventually. But hey, I got a book out of the deal. What other social networking site got me a book? None.
Anyway, no one asked me for a review; but I thought I would write one anyway. After all, one of the best things that you can do for any author is to offer up an honest review of his or he work... yes?
The story drew me in right away. I've never been one who determined how good a book was by how easy it was to read; but rather I judge a book by how willing or unwilling I was to put it down. And this one did a good job of keeping me from wanting to put it down.
First, I was very happy with the setting... Many fantasy stories involving wizards are set in Medieval Britain or thereabouts; and this one is set in modern-day Texas. Also, while so many fantasy stories center on romance, this one centered on a different kind of love: family. Sharon Bayliss did a beautiful job of blurring the line between the fantastical world and the ream of reality; she did so well that it feels believable.
Another thing that I loved was the fact that the characters were believably flawed. It makes them easy to relate to. In this novel, Sharon Bayliss takes on issues such as child neglect, child abuse, adultery, infidelity, control freaks, and teenagers. And she does so in a tasteful and unpredictable way.
If there was a negative to be said about this book, it would be that the effects of some of the trauma suffered by the children (abuse, neglect, rape, loss of a parent) was not really addressed. Either the children didn't react at all to the trauma, or the reaction was glossed over - like an afterthought. I hope that this lack of attention will be remedied in future books.
One of the things about this book that I enjoyed the most is the explanation about how magic worked and the affects it can have. In so many wizardry stories, we're expected to simply know that the magic is there and that it works because the author has willed it so. In Destruction, Sharon Bayliss creates a whole ideology surrounding the physics of magic and where it comes from and describes it to us so that we can believe and take part in it.
This is the first book that I've read by Sharon Bayliss, but I do look forward to reading more of her work!
Star Rating 5 out of 5.