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***(3.5 Stars) Sophia – “Bookwyrming Thoughts” Blog Page:
I was overly excited to review Marlene Wynn’s The Return of the Avatar Queen when I heard what genre it fell in the New Adult world: Fantasy. NOT Contemporary or Romance (or both!) like most seem to be these days. Really, the only New Adult book I’ve come across that’s something other than Contemporary is the Everlast Trilogy by Juliana Haygert (among a few others).
The first in the Averill series is just another step towards some more diversity in the ever growing pool of New Adult books. But here are a few reasons why you should take a moment and read Marlene Wynn’s debut novel:
Character Development and World Building – Here’s what is probably one of the most difficult things in fantasy and paranormal novels: developing the world – the entire world, because in a fantasy book, most worlds are fictional and completely made up! Wynn has it patted down nicely enough within the book that it’s not necessary to have a separate dictionary. I definitely feel as though I know enough about the world of Itova as Chandrea does, and the characters don’t feel as though they’re miles away from me.
It’s Funny – I had the highlight of my book week while reading Wynn’s novel, but whenever there are flying raccoons, I can’t really help but find it hilarious. It definitely helps when Shawn becomes a major character and lightens things up. He’s just a fantastic edition to the book and he seems to make the lighter side of Chandrea come out as well – I certainly hope the author won’t kill him off anytime soon. Not that I actually have a say, of course.
Of course, it’s definitely not as hilarious as something I saw in a NCRA magazine about a month ago, or finding out what “bae” really means in another language.
No Surprises – This is more of something I really disliked about The Return of the Avatar Queen rather than something I liked. As much as I love knowing all the side characters’ history, I really think I would have enjoyed my reading experience more if there were less views. With the amount of views (which, by the way, is quite a lot), I feel as though I’m one step ahead and the author loses the element of surprise. Whatever seems likely to happen in the future to a character or two is already expected by the reader.
Last time I checked, not being surprised does not dwell well. But credit to Wynn for not making me feel like Hansel and Gretel with bread baked by Peeta, to which I turn into crumbs (the bread, not Peeta). Two facts: 1) I like surprises in books. 2) I don’t necessarily like surprises in real life.
Here’s a little elaboration on #2: A good friend of mine – I call him Mr. Pokey and yes, he’s probably related to Lupe. AKA Miss. Pokey. – volunteered to take me to chess tournaments. A few days later, his mom said she could take both of us, but said friend told our coach that I could go without telling me about it first. As a result, I’m have been plotting his demise. Would I really do it? No, but sometimes I want to throw something at his infuriatingly overconfident face.
So here’s a word of advice: Don’t try to make decisions for others without telling them about it first. At least, don’t make decisions for me unless you’re my mom. You could regret it dearly.
Basically, you won’t really regret reading The Return of the Avatar Queen. Marlene Wynn’s debut novel shows a lot of promise in the future and I’m curious as to where the storyline goes from here on out.
It’s amazing how much fantasy and magic are being put into the story, when you think that everything is as normal as can be in the beginning.
Chandrea’s magical world was described very beautifully and in great detail (including the complexity of adding numerous creatures and characters into it) that I felt like I was actually experiencing it. While the plot is somehow similar to most other books of this type, I still found it enjoyable – there was a lot of action and adventure packed in every chapter, wanting you to read more.
I’d love to read more of Chandrea in the future!
I really enjoyed this book and found myself looking forward to reading it every night even if it was only for a chapter or two. The book was well written, the author really took the time to make sure the reader understands the background story. She did an excellent job of keeping the reader informed throughout the book. The book has a sense of adventure to it, that kept me interested while reading and moved the plot at a good pace. Overall, I liked the characters, but it would have been nice for them to be a tiny bit flawed. The villain is perfectly hateable. The ending was fitting, it felt like a solid close, however there is clearly an open-ness to continue the story. All in all it had all the elements needed to successfully tell an epic fantasy story.
Warning: There may be spoilers ahead!
Now, one of the things that stood out to me was that the first half(ish) of the book reminded me of The Wizard of Oz. There is a girl who is transported from the US to Oz Lyrunia, there is a wicked witch evil queen who wants something that her sister has, the leading lady gathers a group to travel with, poppies golden mist that puts the travelers to sleep in nightmares, and a crystal ball mirror that allows Dorothy Chandrea to see the people she left behind in her old world. Just a few things that stuck out to me, obviously I like The Wizard of Oz and didn’t have a problem with any of these small details.
***(3.75 stars) Claudz – “Forever Obsession” Blog Page:
Hello everyone! Welcome to my tour stop for Chandrea by Marlene Wynn! As always, be sure to click on the tour banner above to check out the other amazing stops on this tour!
Before I get get started, I want to say a quick disclaimer which I know is a horrible way to start a review. I am in a bit of a fantasy slump after reading a fantasy book after fantasy book for the past four months that when I got to this book, my brain simply wasn’t taking things in. However, that’s not say that I didn’t thoroughly enjoy this book, it was amazing. My enthusiasm just might not be as over the top as usual (sorry).
On a brighter note, let’s get into the review!!
Chandrea is the princess and heir to the throne. On the day of her birth there is a horrible massacre that kills her mother and father. She barely escapes with the help of her mother’s lady-in-waiting who casts a powerful spell that sends Chandrea to Earth. Years later, when she has matured into an adult, she gets thrust back into the world of Lyrunia to claim her birthright and free her people from tyrannical rule.
The world of Lyrunia is really fascinating with its endless list of magical creatures from Taratorns to Mohr cats to shark lizards to pack spiders to the man eating poisonous pod plants. Can you tell this world is intricate? On top of that there is also this really interesting magic with the females being the ones gifted with the abilities making them more powerful. As Chandrea explores her new world and journeys to claim her birthright, she takes you along to explore the world with her.
I actually really liked the different POVs which are a bit of a touchy subject with me since I literally have the attention span of a squirrel and can never keep focus. All the different POVs allowed you to see what was going on besides Chandrea and I’ll admit, I really liked the evil queen’s POV. Her first appearance actually made me really sad for her. I guess I just have this way of sympathizing with the other side, but it gives the reader a lot of insight as to why she did what she did to Chandrea’s parents.
Chandrea also (thank heavens) didn’t turn out to be on of those annoying characters who discover they are part of a greater world and just happily go along with anything that is thrown at them. She gets incredibly homesick all the time for Earth and that makes her more skeptical to what she experiences. I found that a huge relief from other books because Chandrea seemed more human and relatable.
Overall, the story was really interesting and fun to read. Like I mentioned before about the fantasy slump, it took a while for me to get into the book, but I’m really excited to see how the story turns out in the later books!
Characterization – 4/5 Stars
Each of these characters has their own personality, and I love that. Chandrea is a strong female character who has just been thrown for a crazy life twist. I think she handles it pretty well, all things considered. I found myself enjoying taking part in Chandrea’s story and watching how she handled different challenges. Denae is another female character I really loved reading about; she’s independent, but very caring and loyal. My favorite male character of the bunch is definitely Shawn; he’s valiant and has some great tricks up his sleeves. The other characters in this story were very well-constructed, though I would have loved to know more about Ian and Adelaide. The baddies in this book are definitely pretty bad. They had my toes curling a time or two.
Dialogue – 4/5 Stars
There were so many moments in this story that made me laugh out loud, particularly when Shawn is taking part. For me, most of the dialogue was realistic, all things considered (with it being a Fantasy novel and all.) I enjoyed the scenes that had dialogue the most, as they strengthened the story and kept it moving along. The more sinister characters were clearly identified through their words and speech patterns, which helped enhance their creep-factor.
Plot – 4/5 Stars
I love me a good fantasy storyline.. and, by George, this definitely had it. There were so many twists and turns and fun adventures. At first I was a little thrown by the quick changing of character focus in each character, but as I got the swing of things I found that I couldn’t wait to see what character would be the focus next. As things got more climactic, I had a few audible sighs at the cliffhanger chapters. Luckily, the story always picked up where it left off and gave a bit of closure.
Visual Imagery – 4/5 Stars
I don’t know why, but I always find myself setting the standard for visual imagery in a fantasy novel quite high. Maybe I do that because of the mystical creatures that take part in them or just simply because that’s how most of the best fantasy novels are written. This one was not a disappointment. I loved that everything is described well, but not too much detail. One of my favorite scenes is when Chandrea is in the La Shura Gardens; everything is described to vibrantly that I could almost picture myself there with her.
Ending 4/5 Stars
To say as little as possible, I was not disappointed. 🙂 Without giving anything away, there was a lot going on in this book, which leaves some things left to be seen. I truly can’t wait to read the next book in this series. I don’t read a whole lot of fantasy novels, but this one was a breath of fresh air.
Total: 17/25 Stars
Chandrea was so amazing. I love how fast paced it was, it jumped right into the action with the prologue then right in the beginning of the first chapter. I was taken away with this book right away. From this mysterious magical new world, that was so believable. Also I would love to live in this world, with the magical creatures.
Another thing I love about Chandrea is the main character Chandrea herself. She is thrown into this new world, and left everything she knows. And she does this in stride (and a little mental break down). She’s badass, loyal, and protective. She fights for what’s right and I think that this is amazing. If you want to read an epic fantasy then I recommend Chandrea
**** Books and Ashes Blog Page: –
What I liked: I really liked how Chandrea was transported away for protection. Nothing like keeping a princess safe like transporting her to another dimension and letting her stay there for more than two decades! Of course, this leads to plenty of problems for Chandrea when she returns to Itova as an adult. Namely her inability to know how to control her magic and being referred to as royalty was something that made her uncomfortable. There were moments where I really enjoyed reading from the view of the antagonist of the story, it was interesting to get in their mind and see what they were both doing and how they thought. The story contained some rather interesting reveals about certain characters. Chandrea did whine a bit in the beginning, but rightfully so since she had just be ripped from the life she had known and thrust into a new world with different rules and expectations for herself.
What I didn’t like: I felt Chandrea adapted too quickly with her new world, forgetting rather easily about the world she grew up in.
Overall Review: With characters that keep you questioning about what’s going to happen and interesting twist through the story about others, Chandrea – The Return of the Avatar Queen is a very well thought out and planned novel that kept me entertained while I read it and wanting the second book as soon as I finished it.
***** Jessica Johnson – “My World of Books” Blog Page: – From the first page I was swept away into this unique and riveting world that Marlene Wynn created. I could not set this book down for a second and ate up every bit of detail. I needed to know what would happen next, which left me reading until the middle of the night several times. This fantasy land full of intrigue, betrayal and magic kept me completely entrapped in the story line, I absolutely loved this book!!
Chandrea is on a whirl wind of adventure with one surprise after the next. She is a very strong character taking on all that is thrown her way throughout the book, making it easy to feel personally invested in her well being. She continues to overcome one obstacle after the next on her journey, while meeting amazing individuals along the way. I just love all the characters and how the story develops for each one. There is not one thing I didn’t enjoy about this book! I definitely recommend this book to anyone who loves epic fantasy!! –
***** Kissin Blue Karen Blog Page: – Get ready readers! This book is phenomenal and this series holds promise for fans of fantasy. Chandrea is everything I hoped it would be and more. It had magic, fairies, dragons, romance, scandal, action, adventure, royalty, mystery, and more. This is an epic fantasy of the highest order!
This book is about a girl named Chandrea who just graduated college. She is preparing herself for job interviews and finally becoming an adult in the world. She walks into her bathroom one morning and finds herself in another place. Chandrea finds herself in a cave with a woman named Adelaide. Adelaide explains that she sent Chandrea to another world when her mother and father were killed and her kingdom was taken over by an evil sorceress on the day of her birth. Not only is Chandrea the rightful queen, she is probably the most powerful sorceress this world has ever seen. Her powers were kept at bay while she was in our world. She now has to learn how to wield her powers while keeping her true identity a secret so they can figure out how to make things right in the world of Lyrunia.
Somehow the author makes it so believable. I was so enchanted by this story and the world of Lyrunia. Chandrea is such a great character. We get to follow Chandrea as she encounters many strange beings. She learns all about her birth world, and the plants and animals it is home to. Chandrea is believably sad about leaving the only home she has ever known. Her musings about her friends and losing the only parents she has even known was heartbreaking. As enchanting as her birth world is, she still struggles with her new reality.
It was really fun discovering things along with Chandrea. In this book Chandrea encounters so many strange beings, from dragons to fairies to trolls and mohr cats. I really liked the people Chandrea encountered in this story, too. She meets a warrior right away who introduces her to all kinds of people. There are shape-shifters, sorceresses, fairies, and Svarens. Chandrea is lost in this world and the author does a great job of introducing us to everything and making us feel at home.
With all of this going on, there were somethings about this book that I spotted immediately as things that might turn readers off. Readers like me, who just made a list of all the things they think they hate in a story. Chandrea just happens to be well versed at martial arts. Like, taekwondo 3rd degree black belt. Also, we don’t get to know Chandrea’s friends on earth well enough to miss them as much as she does. I just wanted her to love Lyrunia as much as I did. Even with that, I still have to give this 5/5 stars. It managed to be a grand adventure, and the story is just magical enough to have cast a spell on me.
**** Mia’s Point of View: (Amazon Review) – Chandrea – The return of the Avatar Queen is a wonderful fantasy novel, with potential to be a great fantasy series.
It is exceptionally detailed and well developed. The story flows nicely, while the characters are evolving with an elegant manner.
The world that the author has created is meticulously described, which is one of the reasons why I give it 4 stars. I feel that it was more than enough and that all these details were a bit tiring. I can imagine that other readers may enjoy this, but it was too much for me. By this I mean, that I could easily enjoy the novel more, if I hadn’t read all these pages of describing everything in this new world. I repeat that this is my opinion, not necessarily a mistake made by the author and her team.
I also found the whole shrinking incident a bit unnecessary. It seemed like a big detour that we could have not taken.
What I loved is the story and its characters! Chandrea is wonderful and I adored her! She is a fierce young woman, with witty humour and a good heart. I also liked her companions and their interaction felt so natural! The author did a spectacular job with the characters! They all are amazing!
This novel features great writing, a fantastic story and amazing characters!!
It certainly is a great fantasy read that you will not regret!
So, Chandrea and her amazing friends receive 4 Gorgeous Stars!
*** Samantha @ Book Enthralled: (Amazon Review) – I received this book from Xpresso Book Tours in exchange for an honest review
This is a great book for fantasy lovers! I has Dragon’s,fairy’s, queen’s and so much more! This book was a fun adventure that kept me reading until the end. The plot was awesome! The lead was born the night her parent’s were assassinated. So she was sent off so that she could survive and one day come home and be Queen. The main problem being that she was sent to our world and knows nothing of her home world or magic. Then she finds out she is the most powerful magic user of them all, but too much power can be a bad thing, when you don’t know how to control it. I love these type of stories! The author created a wonderful world and compelling characters. We follow this young Queen and her companions as she tries to complete her destiny and endures many trials on the way.
***** Albinomex – Jenni’s Bookshelf: (Amazon Review) – First things first…I simply fell in love with this cover & had to read it! What began as a tragic tale of Chandrea attempting to succeed while working through her misfortuned past quickly turns into a fantasy lovers dreamworld throwing anything & everything at us ultimately creating an adventure you won’t want to miss. There is so much I want to share, but don’t want to ruin it for you. Have you watched the movie What Dreams May Come with Robin Williams & Cuba Gooding Jr.? This story made me feel like I had walked into a similar vision yet completely different. Chandrea reminded me of Chris who awoke and learned that his immediate surroundings could be controlled by his imagination & hers by powers she never believed existed, while neither are ecstatic about their new residence they both met & formed bonds with people who had huge impacts on their paths, & finally Lyrunia is described so vividly that I felt I could reach right through & touch something as if holding Chani’s mirror myself. An unknown world where anything is possible, but where magic, evil queens, fairies, dragons, creepy dark powers, tyrants, shape-shifters, & so much more reigns. I’d compare this book to a Re-mix, if you will, of What Dreams May Come, The Lord of the Rings, & The Princess Bride. Marlene Wynn is wonderfully talented & I look forward to traveling to her amazing world again to see what is next to come.
If you enjoy Fantasy, Paranormal, Adventure, Battles, Suspense, Romance, Magic, & Evil Lurking around the corner then you MUST read this book!
**** Jan Farnsworth: (Goodreads / Amazon Review) – This book has just about everything that a fantasy book lover would want in a book. Queens who don’t know their Queens, magic users that need to be trained to use unpredictable magic, dragons, fairies and shrinking if you eat the wrong thing. It a wonderful adventure, full of surprises i loved every minute of the story as it unfolded on the pages. Excited to see what happens in the rest of the series.
***** Trisha Balmer – Winner of Goodreads Contest: (Goodreads Review) – Chandrea has just graduated college, is preparing for a job interview, and gets her whole world (quite literally) changed in an instant. Great storyline. Fantastic characters that are very easy to relate to, with lots of depth. I enjoyed this book immensely. Large book, nice investment. It’s not a one day read, at least not for me.
This book grabs your attention and keeps you interested page after page. I didn’t want to put it down! It has everything… action, suspense, romance and more. With a wonderfully crafted magical world that includes many fantastical creatures and characters, this book will capture your attention and imagination. I can definitely see myself rereading this one again and again in the future! It is that good.
I’m a pretty big fan of YA/Sci-fi/ Fantasy type novels, and I loved this book! Cannot wait to continue reading this series as they come out.
Thank you to the author and Goodreads First Reads for sending me a copy to read and review!
***** Ashley – Reviewer for Paranormal Romance and Authors That Rock~!: (Goodreads / Amazon Review) – Chandrea Averill is like any other normal college graduate getting ready for an interview that could start her life a new. While getting ready she is transported to a different world from her own. Lyrunia is a place filled with sorcery and many magical creatures. She has learned she is the long lost Queen and only she can save the people of Lyrunia. This book is filled with adventure, mystical creatures from Fairies to dragons, Trolls to Minotaurs. I loved the journey that Chani has to take to fulfill her destiny and save the people of Lyrunia. It is one to be read again and again and discover new and exciting things every time. The pages are filled with betrayal, love, joy, pain, and triumphs. I was most intrigued by the different characters and their Point of Views, it helped to learn the workings of Lyrunia and the neighboring lands. Also it helped the reader to understand the many events that wove together to lead to the ending. I think this book would cater to many types of readers with its adventure, magic, fairy creatures, and relationships between the characters. I certainly hope there is more to come.
**** Merissa “Archaeolibrarian” Sheppard: (Goodreads / Amazon Review) – Chani is taken away from the aftermath of her graduation as she prepares for a job interview. Instead of going for her interview, she is thrust into a world where there are no cars, electricity or even toilets. She is told that she not only has immense power but she is queen as well. Chani has no idea what to do or how to make sense of the information given to her. She has to learn the basic rules and adjust very quickly although it is not easy. This book weaves a fascinating tale which gives you an insight into how you yourself might feel if you were taken away from all you know. Chani isn’t immediately happy and ready to go. Instead, she feels grief and remorse, she feels homesick and can’t understand just how she got there. This epic fantasy tale will keep you turning the pages as you become better acquainted with the characters. You get a good understanding of the world, of those that help, of those that hinder. Highly recommended for all epic fantasy fans.
***** Jennifer Rollins: (Goodreads / Amazon Review) – What an amazing read! I could not put this book down and I wanted to read to the next chapter and then I told myself I needed to get to the next chapter. There were so many twists and turns, with many unusual aspects that it left you wondering what was going to happen next. What I really want to know is if all of the magical creatures in this mystical land will eventually defeat Queen Leilah and all of her evil ways. See that it’s book 1 and I am expecting more from this series! Book reviewer from Paranormal Romance and Authors That Rock
Betsy Smith: (Friend of the Author) – The story is creative, compelling, and draws you in right from the beginning. As I eagerly delved into each progressive chapter, I found myself transported into a unique fantasy world with a continual twist on what seemed like reality. The characters came to life. Descriptions and events were easily believable, even in the fantasy world. Yet, my reading imagination continued to be challenged through to the end of the story.
Cathy Flynn: (Friend of the Author) – I really enjoyed your book and hope you are working on a sequel! I have to know if they defeat the evil Queen Leilah! Your descriptions were so vivid that I saw everything you described. I was right there with them on their journey. This was a really great read!