Thank you to The Write Reads for my copy of the book in exchange for an honest review and for my spot on this blog tour.
THE DARK UNKNOWN BECKONS
Welcome to Eon. An alternate dimension where fantasy and paranormal is reality, and humans sit at the bottom of the food chain. In this world of unadulterated power and ability, the innocent suffer greatly. The ruling council of Eon has selected two humans, born of the Venator bloodline, and brought them through the gate—wishing to manipulate their strength and special abilities for the council’s corrupt purposes. But,Grey and Rune have very different ideas.
When their college dorm is infiltrated by creatures from another realm, Rune Jenkins, her twin brother Ryker, and old friend Grey Malteer are thrown into unexpected, twisted chaos. While Rune and Gray are able to escape, Ryker is kidnapped away to Eon, the alternate world from whence these dark beings came.
With the help of a supernatural guide, Rune and Gray must now travel to Eon to save Ryker, and discover the illuminating truth about their ancestry. In this new world of fae, vampires, werewolves, and wizards, power is abundant and always in flux. Rune and Grey are being set up as pawns in a very dangerous game and must find their way through – and out of – Eon before it consumes them.
Favorite Character: Beltran
A shapeshifter who relishes the role of trickster, he seems an unlikely choice for favorite character. He is dastardly and self-serving and follows only his desire for fun and what’s best for Beltran. Tate tells Gray and Rune not to trust him, ever, and I took him at his word. So why is he my favorite character? You’ll have to read the novel to find out.
What I Loved
The setting is our world and another world that exists alongside ours, accessible only through special gates that appear randomly. This other world is full of supernatural creatures – the kind of beings who cause fear in the hearts and minds of humans from both worlds. A realm with castles and a dragon, villages with medieval-like cottages and no electricity, Rune, and Gray have to quickly learn the rules that this realm is run by, or it could be disastrous.
The characters are each complex and sympathetically flawed. Everyone has a secret goal they are working toward, so no one is what they seem to be. Gray and Rune are the main characters – Venators. Friends for many years, Gray is shocked when Rune and her twin brother Ryker end up at the same college as him. Gray tries to hide in loose clothing and hair that conveniently covers his face when he wants not to be noticed. Rune is a talented athlete, pushed by a perfectionist mother, who feels that only she can keep her brother from being his own worst enemy. Rune and Gray, along with a cast of various supernatural beings, give us many compelling stories that create a thrilling tone and keep the pages turning quickly.
The theme of self-discovery is perfect for a YA book. Rune and Gray are discovering their true selves in a world that is alien and scary, not unlike the real teens who are the intended audience. Their journey is not complete by the book’s end, and I imagine it will be carried throughout the series. Learning to find our place in the world and figure out who we are is a journey that plagues many of us well into adulthood.
I love the wisdom dispensed in the novel; Wisdom, such as the following:
“You’ll have to determine that for yourself—also an important lesson you’ll need to learn. And quickly. You decide who you are. You decide what’s right. And you decide where you stand. Stop trying to pick a side, because—speaking from one highly valued species to another—everyone you meet will try to get you on theirs. In this world, you are a tool for those in power. Nothing more. You must stand where you are, on your side, and decide just how exactly you’re going to change this world. For better or for worse—the choice is yours. But it’s a choice you need to make now.”Venators: Magic Unleashed
Overall, I found this story at times to be magically fun and, at other times, to be tragic and heart-rending but at all times, unique and compelling. Rune and Gray are two authentic teenagers whose lives have been less than idyllic but whose hearts are pure, and it takes a magical journey for them to discover their potential and their purpose. A fantastic read on many different levels.
To Read or Not to Read
Venators is a fantastical tale of self-discovery that will keep you on the edge of your seat, as the pages turn faster and faster. If you love fantasy and the creatures of myth – you will want to pick up this book and discover the unique story contained within its pages.
About the Author
Devri Walls is a US and international bestselling author. Having released five novels to date, she specializes in all things fantasy and paranormal. She is best known for her uncanny world-building skills and her intricate storylines, and her ability to present this all in an easy-to-digest voice. Now gearing up for her first national release, Devri is excited to introduce her sixth novel, book one in the Venators series. She loves to engage with her loyal following through social media and online sessions she organizes for her readers. Devri lives in Meridian, Idaho with her husband and two kids. When not writing she can be found teaching voice lessons, reading, cooking or binge watching whatever show catches her fancy.