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Saturday, November 9, 2013

Book Review: Sunkissed by Carys Jones

by Carys Jones
Dawn Summers is dying. It’s 1853 and as the seventeen year old continues to fade away she has visions of the father she never knew, urging her to fight for her life.

In the small village of Fandova the only medical care is in the form of the mysterious Dr. Moralus who has a known penchant for bloodletting. Thomas, Dawn's fiancé, is warned against inviting his intervention, but feels he has no choice, he pleads with the doctor to save Dawn’s life…whatever it takes.

Whatever it ‘takes’ has some consequences neither of them expected. Now, it’s a hunt to the death, with both Dawn and Thomas determined to win.

Sunkissed begins in 1853 with a 17 year old Dawn Summers on her deathbed in . Her fiance Thomas Weeville is beside himself with grief. In his desperation, he goes to the town’s doctor, who strangely enough, only sees patients at night, no matter how serious the situation. When Dawn awakens to find herself changed forever, she begins a new journey that will put her at odds with her fiancé who was also changed. Fleeing Thomas, Dawn starts a new life and a century and a half later, meets someone new and tries to live a normal life. Unfortunately, Thomas has no intention of letting Dawn go, especially not now that he knows she can walk in daylight. He’ll do anything to posses her rare gift, and so would others like him.

Carys Jones’ Sunkissed has a lot going for it. There’s an interesting storyline, a likable heroine, a strong but shy hero, a romance, strong villains, and of course, vampires. I liked the idea of there being a small group of vampires who could defy the traditional myth and come out during the day. Dawn is a good lead character, she’s strong and defiant on the outside but on the inside she’s wracked with guilt and uncertainty. As a human she had normal teenage fears and doubts but now as a vampire those fears have multiplied to where she seems like a paranoid vampire, forever jumping at shadows. At times she was a little on the whiny side and just a tad too hesitant for my tastes. When a situation required quick thinking and action, Dawn always hesitated and had to think things out and that sometimes allowed her enemies to escape or even gain the upper hand.

It was a great change for me personally to see that in Sunkissed, it is the heroine that is the vampire and not the hero, like in other YA Paranormal romances. I loved the role reversal, with the female lead being the tortured, brooding immortal and the male lead being the unsuspecting human that falls in love with her. Author Carys Jones handled it perfectly, making readers aware that while Ryan was physically the weaker of the two, he was by no means less of a hero for being human. He had his strengths that made him invaluable to Dawn and kept him a relevant character. Carys Jones created an internal conflict for Dawn when her past with Thomas seemed to be repeating itself with Ryan and Dawn had to decide what she wanted to do about it. It was almost like Dawn had a second chance to write the wrongs of the past if she chose to.

My only true problem with Sunkissed was the pace. It was at times agonizingly slow. I felt that some scenes, details and descriptions could have been shorter or left out completely as they had no true relevance to the overall story. I enjoyed Sunkissed, but found myself having to put it down constantly because it just became too slow, events were slow to develop, pages and pages would pass before anything of importance would happen.

Sunkissed ends on a cliffhanger and appears to be only the beginning in a series that has some real potential, if the pace and length of scenes could be condensed to make it a faster, easier read. I do have to point out that I was overjoyed to see that this particular YA novel was NOT written in first person. A story like Sunkissed would have lost its magic had Carys Jones told it from Dawn’s point of view, or any other characters’ for that matter. If Jones decides to continue Dawn’s story, then I’m on board with giving book 2 a go.

4 Sheep

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About the Author:
Carys Jones was born in Shropshire, England. She displayed a passion for writing from a young age, spending her time creating short stories and poems. Carys later went on to study Creative Writing at University level. Her first book, Not All Stars Sparkle, was released in October 2010 and was a finalist for The People's Book Prize 2013.

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