Thursday, 10 October 2013

Review - Endless by Amanda Gray

EndlessTitle: Endless
Author: Amanda Gray
Source: NetGalley

Jenny Kramer knows she isn't normal. After all, not everybody can see the past lives of people around them.

When she befriends Ben Daulton, resident new boy, the pair stumble on an old music box with instructions for “mesmerization” and discover they may have more in common than they thought. Like a past life.

Using the instructions in the music box, Ben and Jenny share a dream that transports them to Romanov Russia and leads them to believe they have been there together before. But they weren't alone. Nikolai, the mysterious young man Jenny has been seeing in her own dreams was there, too. When Nikolai appears next door, Jenny is forced to acknowledge that he has travelled through time and space to find her. Doing so means he has defied the laws of time, and the Order, an ominous organization tasked with keeping people in the correct time, is determined to send him back. 
While Ben, Jenny and Nikolai race against the clock - and the Order - Jenny and Nikolai discover a link that joins them in life - and beyond death. [Goodreads]

I love it when a book takes me by surprise – in a good way of course. I was drawn to this on NetGalley by the cover firstly, and then the synopsis made me request it, but I had no idea what to expect. I’ve only read a small handful of time travel books before, and even though the notion intrigues me, I’ve just not picked that many up. I went into it thinking it would be OK, but only OK to be honest. Do other people often experience this too, or is it just me?!
Anyway, I raced through this in just over one sitting – I was hunched over my mother’s kitchen island, my back and arm muscles were starting to burn but I couldn’t stop reading. I got up about once to feed my dog, and much to her dismay, my attention was devoted to my Kindle. And let’s be honest, there’s not many things better than that in the book world, is there? 

I don’t want to recap the book, I’m worried I’ll write something that will spoil it! The synopsis does the best job, so I’ll start out with the main characters, because for me they were brilliant. Jenny was a perfect lead – surrounded by mystery and a past she didn’t fully understand; she was headstrong, brave, fought for those she loved yet also incredibly sweet and vulnerable in just the right balance. Ben, a new friend Jenny makes during the book, was probably my favorite though. He’d had his fair share of pain to get through when he was younger yet the way he cared about his family and friends, and even strangers, felt so noble and strong. He went out of his way for everyone and risked a whole lot to ensure other people’s happiness and life. Then of course there’s Nikolai, a man who seems to appear out of nowhere in Jenny’s life, making himself known to her little by little. I don’t really want to give anything away regarding his storyline, because that was one of the biggest elements of the book, however I will say that he was a pleasure to read – a true hero who fights through everything to find his true love. 

As for the concept of time travel, I found that to be done very cleverly. There wasn’t too much information dumping at one time, and the unknowns surrounding it unraveled at just the right pace to keep my frantically turning the pages. I did have a few questions about some parts of it, but I didn’t feel like they detracted from the story. I especially loved the fact that part of the story was set in Russia and involved the Romanov family. I didn’t know too much about this piece of history before, but I found it so fascinating and heartbreaking all at the same time. Even though I knew what was going to happen, I was dying for it not to and it just made the relationship between Nikolai and Jenny all the more believable and beautiful. I also really liked the way these parts of their history were interwoven in the story through dreams or visions – this isn’t normally my thing, but I found myself dying to know the next part to their past.
I also thought The Order was satisfyingly creepy and secretive – I liked that I couldn’t predict everything that would happen and I found the climax of the book gripping and full of suspense as the truth was revealed and the consequences ensued. 

This, however, leads me on to the disappointing bit. I cannot find news of a sequel ANYWHERE and I’m getting distressed! This story has to carry on – I need answers about what happens to Jenny and Nikolai. The ending is left fairly open, no major cliffhanger, but I still need closure. I refuse to use my imagination!! *stomps feet* So much so, that I would be forced to change my rating, because if it’s a standalone, then the ending is frustrating. So I’m warning you now, be careful before you start this! If it sucks you in as much as me, you will be left a whiny mess afterwards. Just saying. Having said that, I thought this book was pretty amazing – the characters, the setting and the adventure all came together to create this romantic yet ultimately dangerous story with a perfect time travel twist!

I received this title from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review

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