3 out of 4 stars
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Netherrealm Book 1: Heed the Darkness is the scintillating debut novel of Kim Michelle Ross. In her very first venture, Ross weaves a love story that transcends the boundaries of time.
It all started in the summer of 1133. Lady Elena de la Chatelaine urged Lady Bethany de Lise and Alice to accompany her to the stone circle in Arbelew. Meanwhile, Gerrat de Ashbore's future-self, Jared also visits the stone circle on the exact same day in the year 2003. A time slip takes place. All of them experience varied visions. These visions alter their lives. Elena becomes certain that Gerrat de Ashbore is hers. Alice gets convinced that a darkness will consume her. Bethany sees the future-self of Gerrat. She gets linked to her future-self, Dayna through her dreams. Amidst all this, an evil presence slips into the 21st century. Thus, begins an epic saga of love, betrayal, war, and reincarnation.
Netherrealm Book 1: Heed the Darkness is a well-crafted book. The third-person point of view employed by the author is perfect for this novel as it aids the reader to relate to all the characters. I absolutely loved the author's writing style. The way she meshed Old English with the modern version of the language is admirable. It brought alive the medieval period of England. In a span of twenty-five chapters, Ross made the reader live the period of Anarchy. I have to mention that the book ended on a perfect cliff-hanger. It made the reader pine for the next book.
Ross did a terrific job at characterization. All the characters were well-developed. Bethany grew from a shy and insecure girl to a lady who fought for her loved ones. Gerrat was lovable. His pranks were a testimony to his mischievous nature. However, his chivalry and devotion for Bethany truly endeared him to me. Quite surprisingly, I sympathized with Elena. At first glance, she was a loathsome creature. As the story progressed, the reader gradually came to see her plight.
I have to mention that this tome contains some explicit love scenes. Also, it has some vivid battle scenes. This was not irksome as these scenes were necessary for the smooth progression of the plot.
The only thing that bothered me was the presence of a large number of errors. I found both typographical and grammatical errors. I believe a round of editing and proofreading would make this book absolutely perfect.
Keeping in mind the pros and cons, I rate this book 3 out of 4 stars. If not for the errors, I would have gladly given this book a perfect rating. I think people who do not like historical fiction, romance novels and tales of reincarnation will not find this book enjoyable. Also, people who are wary of explicit scenes should give this book a wide berth. Fans of romance and historical fiction would adore this delectable read.
Netherrealm Book 1
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