Official Review: Melhara by Jocelyn Tollefson

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Official Review: Melhara by Jocelyn Tollefson

Post by CataclysmicKnight »

[Following is an official review of "Melhara" by Jocelyn Tollefson.]
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3 out of 4 stars
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Kyra is leading a fairly great life in her 30s. Her new boss is a jerk but she's quite happily married and has a child. She even has a best friend that knows she's a witch - and can do magic herself! Best of all, the family is going on vacation. When she, her husband James and 8-year-old son Xavier change hotel plans at the last minute things really start going crazy. Two hillbillies drug Kyra and take her, along with her family, to a secluded home where Kyra also finds her mother, her sister Hailey and her husband, and her best friend Alexis along with her brother Axel. To free them all and save her mother from hell she agrees to join forces with Alastor, an immortal demon, and fulfill her fate.

Melhara by Jocelyn Tollefson is a wild ride of an adventure with a plot that kept me hooked from the first page that spoke of her terrifying dreams until the end. Kyra is a woman torn between the mysterious abilities she discovers at an early age and being medicated for them, forcing her to hide her true self. Alastor - a demon in Lucifer's own bloodline - is able to play on this inner conflict of hers by celebrating her strength and showing her just how much she can do. Despite reluctantly joining his side and the warnings in her dreams, she falls for Alastor and becomes enchanted by his plans. Often the villain of a story has a pretty weak plan, but Alastor's is brilliant in its simplicity - he and Kyra, an unstoppable duo, seek to cause utter chaos and turn good people evil by eradicating the government and the legal system, effectively creating a permanent version of The Purge.

Kyra and Alastor being so unstoppable would normally make for a cheap, unfair advantage, but Kyra's friends and family have something just as good. When Kyra reluctantly joined Alastor she made an ironclad deal with him that they be kept safe from him and any lackeys he may have. This essentially makes Alexis, Axel, Hailey, Nick, Iris, James and Xavier unstoppable as well, and they have a solid plan of their own. Kyra is the only one who can stop Alastor, and if they can just get through to her then good will prevail over evil once again. Alexis and Axel are also both powerful witches, able to pull plenty of tricks out of their own sleeves as well. It all comes together and makes for a unique, balanced battlefield filled with angels, demons and witches.

While the plot is unique and the sides are balanced well, it's the characters themselves I really felt could have used more polish. Most of the characters have their own moments to shine and let their personalities out a bit, but I didn't feel any of them were particularly strong. I would have loved more scenes where the characters could interact with one another beyond just furthering the plot.

Along with the characters, the plot sometimes seemed to progress just a little too fast. The action in the book wasn't always the easiest to follow and there were some really fantastic settings that are explored, but then they're barely touched upon beyond what's necessary. The book ends with lots more to do (although it IS effectively a solid ending for this book), and Jocelyn's Goodreads author page states that there will be two more books in the series, so I'm hoping these areas will be explored again.

Overall, however, Melhara succeeds on most fronts. I didn't want to put it down, I want to continue reading the series, the plot was unique and neither the villains nor the heroes felt unfairly overpowered. I also only found 3 grammatical errors in the entire book! These points all make it easy for me to give this title 3 out of 4 stars. I'd recommend the book to anyone who loves fantasy, angels vs demons, magic, a unique plot and chaos. It's worth mentioning, however, that there are a couple sex scenes in the book. While they're minimally explicit, it does make it so I can't personally recommend it to anyone under 18.

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Post by kandscreeley »

Nice review. I love a book that keeps me hooked from the first page to the last. Too bad about the characters, though.
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Post by Wasif Ahmed »

A really great and well written review. This doesn't seem like my kind-of read though.
Congratulations to the author on getting a great review.
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Post by Heidi M Simone »

Thank you for another great review, CataclysmicKnight! Wow - witches, angels and demons, magic, and a unique plot makes this sound like a great adventure! Too bad about the some of the action scenes not being easy to follow. However, I'm glad that you were you able to enjoy this read!
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Post by gali »

Witches, Demons, Angels, and magic?? Sounds intriguing! I like dark fantasy. Too bad the action wasn't always easy to follow. Good job on the review!
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Post by Gravy »

This sounds terrifically twisted, and your comparison to The Purge was awesome :D
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Post by ashley_claire »

I'm a fan of dark fantasy and this sounds like a very entertaining take on it. I'm intrigued by the fact that Kyra must team up on the side of evil while her family tries to snap her out of it. Thanks for the great review!
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Post by Aakaraw »

Great review...i'd like to read this book. It would be interesting
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Post by mindyg123 »

Great review for what sounds like a great read. Read the blurb on Amazon and with a demon apocalypse on the horizon can't resist reading this. Add in angels and witches and to me you have a hit. Congrats on being BOTD.
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Post by AA1495 »

Agree with you on your point about the characterization. I'm glad you enjoyed the book overall. Thank You for the honest and well written review.
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Post by ktrae910 »

I don't think this is one I'll be reading. I've begun to believe that trivializing and glamorizing evil is dangerous to a Christian soul. I know it's just fantasy story and I've read more than my fair share, but it works to desensitize Christians to the real dangers that are out there. Feel free to ignore this if you disagree.
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Post by bluegreenmarina »

Thank you for the honest review. While this book doesn't sound like one I would personally choose, it does sound like one many others might enjoy. I think the concept that the protection offered to the main character's family members renders them virtually unbeatable by the villain is an interesting and useful concept!
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Post by James Craft »

Sounds interesting. The sex scenes might be a little much (not usually my thing) but otherwise the book sounds pretty good.
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Post by Sindhu Srinath »

Congrats on the smooth review. I'm not a fan of adult scenes, but the story line seems to be quite thrilling.
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Post by sprakasarao »

Witches and demons is all that the book contains. The review clearly demonstrates this without hiding anything.

-- 02 Mar 2017, 11:57 --

Witches and demons is all that the book contains. The review clearly demonstrates this without hiding anything.

-- 02 Mar 2017, 11:57 --

Witches and demons is all that the book contains. The review clearly demonstrates this without hiding anything.
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