Somewhere to review books I'm reading without giving away any spoilers!
Series: The Romany Outcasts Series #1
Author: Christi J. Whitney
Publisher: HarperCollins, HarperVoyagerUK
Date of Publication: E-book – April 30th, 2015
Paperback – October 22nd, 2015
Number of pages: 344
Word Count: 91,640
Cover Artist: Cherie Chapman
Can you still love with a heart of stone?
Sebastian Grey always thought he was a fairly normal teenager – good friends, decent grades and a pretty sweet job in his foster brother’s tattoo shop.
But when Romany gypsies arrive in town, Sebastian discovers that his world is not what it seems. There is an age-old feud between his family and the gypsies – and this isn’t the only secret his brother has been keeping from him. His life is not his own. The girl he’s been dreaming about has just turned up at school, and he feels compelled to protect her at all costs.
Even if that means life might never be normal again.
Book Trailer: https://vimeo.com/125617735
When I read the information about this author, I just knew I was going to thoroughly enjoy her book! No, nothing to do with her high school theatre director work but more to do with her fandoms, especially Doctor Who – yes, I’m a Whovian, too! Now, whilst this novel isn’t science fiction, it is a brilliant fantasy with the main character, eighteen year old Sebastian Grey, having weird dreams about a dancing Romany girl, strange pains and much more than normal teenage growing up difficulties. I really don’t want to reveal any spoilers here, so will refrain from giving more details about the very different and totally engaging plot!
The characters are well developed and their interactions emotively portrayed. I particularly liked how the relationship between Sebastian and Hugh, his older foster brother and carer, were depicted. The struggles Sebastian has uncovering information make him understandably anxious and testy. As the Romany girl from his dreams actually joins his school and his protective instincts to her develops but it is all just the start of other strange events that will help keep readers turning pages, enthralled in the unfolding saga.
This is a well crafted paranormal mystery that takes readers on a journey into the society of the travellers, their outcasts, rules and myths. I recommend it to anyone who enjoys reading of alternative societies, paranormal abilities and chivalrous behaviour – I thoroughly enjoyed it and hope to read the other books in this trilogy soon!
Many thanks to the author, publishers and Bewitching Book Tours for gifting me a copy of this novel in exchange for my honest review.
‘Sebastian, are you still there?’
I transferred my phone to my other hand as I buckled the seatbelt. ‘Yeah, I’m here.’
‘Weren’t you listening to me?’ Katie asked.
I paused, trying to remember what we’d been talking about. The two hours since lunch had been a blur, and my brain was mush. ‘Um . . . ’
Katie sighed on the other end. ‘The project Ms Lucian talked about in class today,’ she continued impatiently. ‘When are we going to work on it?’
‘I’m sorry,’ I replied, starting the engine. ‘The pounding in my head’s making it difficult to think.’
‘You know me and sunny days,’ I said dismissively. I stepped on the gas and coaxed my old van onto the road. ‘But about the project. I don’t know if I can do it this week. Can I get back to you?’
‘Yeah, just don’t wait too long. I know we’ve got almost a month to work on it, so Ms Lucian’s not going to cut us any slack, and the rest of our group is totally avoiding me about the whole thing.’
Katie hated procrastinating on anything related to schoolwork. This was probably killing her. ‘Look, don’t worry about it. I’ll talk to the guys, and we’ll come up with a day to work on it. I promise, we won’t let you down.’
‘Thanks, Sebastian,’ she replied, sounding relieved. ‘You’re not nearly as much of an idiot as the rest of your species.’
I chuckled. ‘I think you mean gender.’
She giggled. ‘No, I don’t.’
‘Talk to you later, Katie.’
I tossed the phone on the passenger seat and rubbed my temples. By the time I made it through town and steered my van into the parking lot of the Gypsy Ink, my headache had traveled, setting up residence between my shoulder blades. The last thing I felt like doing was homework.
I shuffled through the waiting room, giving a brief wave to Kris, who was busy behind the counter. I’d grab a quick snack and then lay out flat on the floor of the apartment for a while. Just until the aching eased. I paused in the hallway just outside the door of Hugo’s workspace. I didn’t have to say anything. My brother knew I was there.
‘Hey, Sebastian.’ He glanced up from his sketchbook. ‘What’s up?’
‘Do you have any sports cream?’ I leaned against the wall and squinted as a sharp pain lanced through my shoulders. ‘My back’s killing me.’
Hugo’s brows settled low over his dark eyes. ‘In the drawer beside my bed.’
I continued down the hallway, followed by the weight of my brother’s stare. He probably thought I was trying to get out of work, which wasn’t a bad idea. I chucked my bag on the bed and rummaged through Hugo’s nightstand until I located the tube of medicine. I worked the cream into my back, but it felt as if someone was digging long fingers between my shoulder blades, attempting to separate muscle from bone.
I gave up with the cream and stumbled to the bathroom on a quest for aspirin. Just as I reached for the medicine cabinet, another shock of pain doubled me over. I gripped the edge of the counter and straightened. My gaze flicked to the mirror. For a moment, I almost didn’t recognize the face staring back. I was crazy pale, even for me, and my skin made the hazel color of my eyes look dull. But then I noticed something else. Another chunk of gray was poking through my disheveled hair.
About the Author:
Christi J. Whitney is a former high school theatre director with a love for the arts. She lives just outside Atlanta with her husband and two sons. When not spending time with them or taking a ridiculous number of trips to Disney World, she can be found directing plays, making costumes for sci-fi/fantasy conventions, obsessing over Doctor Who, watching superhero movies, or pretending she’s just a tad bit British. You can visit her online at http://www.christijwhitney.com or connect on Twitter (@ChristiWhitney).
1 e-book copy of Grey (Kindle gift e-book through Amazon US)
1 e-book copy of Shadow (Kindle gift e-book through Amazon US)
Direct giveaway link: http://www.rafflecopter.com/rafl/display/ba112ffc1353
Thanks to Bewitching Book Tours for providing the materials for this post and a copy of the novel in exchange for my honest review.