Monday, June 29, 2015

Into the Aether: Part One and Two by T. C. Pearce

A scared teenager, Lara must battle her own inner demons … while being stalked in her nightmares by an all-too-real monster. She has only two options: run or succumb.

A courageous woman, Cybil is doing her best to piece together a new life free of her abusive husband. She is cursed with confused glimpses into future events she may not be able to change—including her own death.

An honorable warrior, and the reluctant leader of her people, August must undertake the familial obligation of protecting a seemingly ordinary high school teacher. If she shirks her duty, then the world will fall to a preternatural tyrant in search of a long-lost weapon of immense power.

Their stories weave together to reveal a mysterious supernatural world that hides just beneath our own. As chaos swirls among and around them, the three women must put aside their differences and act together, or watch two worlds collide in a deluge of fire and blood.
Review by Patrick:

I was offered this book for free to review by the authors in the audio book format through This was my first experience with, but not with audio books. I like the site and system, but that's not for this review.

This genre is right up my alley. I like the fantasy, hidden society, magical aspects of Into the Aether. Every author's take on magic, it's source, and it's cost is slightly different. The Pearces' view on magic using Aether is unique. I'm curious if it is the aether that allows the Cubi to ... do some of the stuff they do. They also redefined the Cubi, or Incubi and Succubi. For those worried parents whose children are reading this book that contains these beings, there are no sex scenes in this book... not even close. Maybe some flirtation and some romantic thoughts, but no sex. I also particularly liked the Mares. They seemed to have an interesting ability, that we probably don't see their full capability in this book.

I will have to say, the way this book was written was quite interesting. Each chapter starts with one or more characters and the chapter is written from their viewpoint(s). For the first four chapters, you get three different view points. Then you get some consecutive story telling from one group. If you can bear through the confusion of the different characters, they will all tell the same story, eventually. It may feel like you are reading three books in one, but they are interconnected. I do say I feel the need to reread the books to catch all of the intricate weavings in the early chapters.

The plot twists and turns in this book are crazy. And just when you think you figured something out, something else happens to through you for a loop again. I started reading this in the car on my way to and from work, but I ended up listening to a few hours near the end of the book in my living room. That's a high testament to the intense pace and thrill of reading this book. It's definitely a book worth reading.

A note about the audio book: Suzanne Elise Freeman did an okay job at narrating this book. You can tell by my desire to finish this book that she certainly doesn't get in the way of the story. I do, however, have a few complaints. When she's not speaking in character, it's pretty monotone. It sounds dry and not from the point of view of the chapter. Even in nonspeaking narration, I expect some emotion and flow to accompany the words. And then there is her interpretation of August. She made August sound flat and boring, no matter what her mood or temperament was. I thought, when I first heard her, that somewhere later in the book there would be some clue as to this flatness, but no. She sounded like an oracle who was never human or didn't know how to speak to one, not the powerful CEO of a company and leader that she was. This really bothered me, and lasted for the whole book. She's blind, not mute. One more small thing: her Irish and Russian sound very similar. (I probably couldn't do any better, but it's not my voice being recorded.) It will be interesting if the authors/publisher choose to keep her for the next installment, or if they will rotate out the vocal readers.

All in all, I'm glad my wife, and the authors, made me read this book. Fantastic! It was a good read, something new in magic and fiction, great plot and story, interesting characters with power and flaws. If I complain about anything it would be about the last chapter before the epilogue. There was no connection to the story, at all. I'm sure it sets up the next book, but it didn't even pique my interest yet. There was a new character, going through an event caused by some other characters in the book, but that was it. In my opinion, if it was needed for the next book, then it should have been in the next book, not this one. Other than that, it was great. There are some unanswered questions that have to be resolved, but I'm looking forward to them and their story. It will be great, I'm sure. For my review, I'm giving this book 4.5 stars.