3 out of 4 stars
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With the death of her parents ever-present in her mind, Evelyn Bell struggles with feeling and understanding true happiness. Even with a loving brother, a kind sister-in-law-to-be, and her compelling music, her parents’ death is something that has become a burden in Evelyn's life. Her coping mechanism of developed obsessive compulsive disorder (OCD) and the distraction of music doesn’t seem to be enough. Then one day, an odd time ripple occurs and the vision of a man appears. Confused and dazed, Evelyn is thrown into a different reality that is both strange and yet satisfying.
In the meantime, young and strong warrior Ailis faces struggles beyond what she is ready for. She, along with her clansmen, must fight for their freedom from those who desire to take it away from them. With themes of family, love, healing, and time, come follow these two strong women in J.Z.N. McCauley’s young adult fantasy, A Bell Sound Everlasting.
Alternating between the two female roles, along with two other characters, was done well and was one of my favorite aspects of the novel. It was simple to keep track of the characters and their respective storylines, as well as, their connection with each other. The two women were skillfully developed and could be sympathized with, and I became equally excited to read each perspective to see the characters' progression. Even with less background and growth, the secondary characters had a clear purpose throughout, as well. Aside from Ailis' point-of-view where there were those trying to take away her clan's freedom, there was not a single character I disliked.
Both the steady and fast-paced scenes were a pleasure to read, while a few of the slower-paced ones became a bit tedious. One particular instance of a slower-paced sequence would be toward the end. There was a moment when Evelyn contemplated a wrinkle she had on her dress and attempted to hide the wrinkle from everyone. This type of description, that was found throughout, was unpleasant to read and didn't add to the storyline, especially since at this point her OCD was improving.
I also found some points in the story a bit confusing and vague. For instance, twenty-three-year-old Evelyn is a pianist and she performs in concerts, but I couldn’t tell if it was with an orchestra, if it was part of a play, or what the real purpose was. Also, when Evelyn had a therapy session, no progress was made and it ended so abruptly that I questioned the point of including this session at all. These bits were interesting in general, but since they felt so disconnected to the overall plot and climax, I felt there was a better way to incorporate these points into the story.
With its innocence and a bit of clean romance, young adults and those who like low fantasies will enjoy A Bell Sound Everlasting, as I have because I truly did enjoy it despite its minor flows. Considering the vagueness, a bit of plot flow issues, and a few minor errors, I give this read a 3 out of 4 stars.
A Bell Sound Everlasting
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