The Altera Realm: Discovery by Jennifer Collins
Posted by brriske
Altera Realm: Discovery
by Jennifer Collins
Andrews has secrets—she just doesn’t know she has them. She spent the last eighteen years in the human realm with her adoptive parents unaware of her real powers and role in Altera Realm.
Altera Realm has been at war for well over a century and is connected to the Human Realm by a portal and no human knows it exists. It is home to the five old and great races—Magic Users, Lycins, Vampires, Daemons, and Shifters. Each race is an entity of their own with its own life purpose, rulers and guarded secrets.
Syney is the prophesized “chosen one”, the one destined to end the over hundred-year war and become queen of the Magic Users. Not that Syney wants to rule or even knows anything about Altera. Falling in love with her Lycin Protector, a crime punishable by death, only serves to make matters worse and Syney’s new life more complicated
Syney Andrews was always up for an adventure. She blamed her sense of excitement on her parents. They had raised her to see every day as a chance to do something she never had done before. Which is why she was now waiting on line with her best friend, Jessica, to see Madam Racksha, psychic extraordinaire, at the town carnival. Seeing Madam Racksha was Jess’s idea actually, but Syney stopped and realized no one ever had told her future before, so why not now? And it only cost five bucks.
“So what are you hoping for? Six kids or three husbands?” Jess joked, her smile lighting up her caramel-colored face. Jess had an exotic beauty to her, which Syney envied at times. Jess had curves and flawless dark skin, while Syney was straight from the hips down and had pale skin, made even paler by her auburn hair. The only exotic thing about her was her violet eyes, which she had covered with brown contact lenses since the second grade, when her fellow students had begun to call her a witch.
“Um…eight kids and Brad Pitt as a husband,” Syney decided. “I could take Angelina.”
The two girls laughed as the pink-and-gold curtain moved, revealing Brigit Nolan, a fellow senior at Middleton High School.
“So?” Jess asked Brigit.
“Oh, my god. She’s amazing! She totally guessed, like, everything and told me Bobby Williams was going to ask me out!” Brigit squealed.
Jess and Syney exchanged looks. Bobby Williams was the hottest guy in school. He dated a different girl every week, including Jess last year.
“You guys are going to love her!” Brigit said, before heading off into the carnival crowd.
**I received this book from the author and Paranormal Romance and Authors That Rock.**
I’ll have to give the author this, I spent quite a bit of time thinking “WTH?” which kept me reading this even when these characters really started to get to me…and not always in a good way. I waffled so much with Syney, although the others had me sitting on the fence too. I wasn’t sure if I loved them or hated them, but came to realize it was their choices and decisions that made me want to bang my head against the wall. Which is a good thing, cause how this book ended made me so MAD. I was mad at Hunter, but also Cass, Helen, and Leaf, basically everyone who knew why Hunter did what he did. I’m not sure I’m liking where this is going which is why I rated the book 3.5. The 4 comes in because, damn, I would not want to be in Syney’s place, even though a part of me thinks she deserves SOME pain after the Gabe situation.
Syney is a long lost Magic User princess sent to hide in the human realm as a baby. She knows she was adopted, but doesn’t know that she isn’t human, nor that she is the prophesied savior of her people. She first learns of this after visiting a physic at a fair, that results in a group of people later coming to retrieve her and return her to Altera. This is when we first meet Cass, one of three daughters of the current queen, and Hunter, Syney’s Lycin protector. Unaware of the danger she is in, nor the hardships she’ll face, after the first attempt on her life and the losses as a result, Syney agrees to return with the others to take back her rightful place. Along the way she’ll pick up an unlikely ally, Gabe, who also happens to be a vampire, and not necessarily welcome back at the Village in Altera. And even though many are excited to have her found, there are others that will do anything to keep the prophesy from coming true. What further complicates everything is that Syney is falling in love with her protector, and that is strictly forbidden and can result in death to them both. At this point, I have to say that I liked Syney. Even though she unknowingly put herself in danger, I understood perfectly why she would do so…even as a part of me wished she would have just said something to Hunter. Putting myself in her shoes, having just met him, I can see why trusting him would be hard…even if he did save her life. Things just snow balled from here. Hunter was rough around the edges, but came across as a good guy…even when he was being difficult and distant. With his past, it was understandable why he would be like that, plus he took his role as her protector very serious and he grew up in Altera bound by the restrictions and laws. He knew falling in love with Syney is taboo and tried to fight it, his actions (or lack thereof) made things worse, and just when she needed him the most. Of all of these characters, I liked Noelle, Lead, and Helen. Aside from getting so mad at a few of them at the end. Noelle, Syney’s first friend and a handmaiden at the Village. Leaf, commander of the Lycin guards, and Hunter’s friend. And Helen, the oldest daughter of the current queen, and Syney’s instructor on all things Altera.
What bothered me so much was the choices and decisions some of these characters made throughout the book. There is a lot going on, and so many mysteries. Gabe has his own agenda and I am still completely baffled as to his link with the Daemons, and what his end goal is. All I know is he is manipulative and a user. I’m not sure if he really does care for Syney or if all of his actions are all part of his end game. And the fact that she is so damned blind to his actions disappointed me and had me turning away from her. I had to repeatedly remind myself this is an 18 year old girl in the midst of something that I’m not sure I would ever want to face. And the people most in contact with her either wanted to use her or kill her. By the end, I wasn’t sure if the author wanted me to empathize with her or again lead me into an ambush, because that is what it felt like. I feel like Syney is going to do something really stupid in the next book, and well, she already did in this one and got a pass. Choices. She took one path when she could have tried something else. Then there is Hunter. Why he did what he did, I mostly understood. Except for Fern. Not sure how you come back from that and what it will mean for him and Syney.
So yeah, the book definitely engaged me, but I have not been this pissed off at the of a book in quite a while. That doesn’t mean that I won’t give the next book a try, I’m just hoping I don’t find myself on the same roller-coaster emotionally connecting to these characters as I did in this book. I know others loved the book, and I’m sure I’ll have friends who will think I am absolutely crazy for my reactions to the story. If you like YA books with intrigue, romance, betrayal, and the paranormal then you’ll like this one. It wasn’t perfect, but an interesting read all the same
AUTHOR Bio and Links:
Jennifer Collins holds a BA in English with concentration in Creative Writing from Montclair State University and completed a certification program at Kean University for teacher of English K-12 in New Jersey. She enjoys being a high school English teacher at the Plainfield Academy of Arts and Advanced Studies, a public performing arts middle school and high school in the urban inner-city school district of Plainfield, New Jersey.
For more information on the Altera Realm Series visit Jennifercollinsbooks.com
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