Editorial Reviews

 

 

online-book-club

 

The official OnlineBookClub.org review of "Dark Stranger The Dream" by I.T. Lucas.

It always amazes me when authors of speculative fiction take an old idea, dice it up into tiny little pieces, add a few ingredients of their own, and create something entirely new and profoundly captivating. In Dark Stranger The Dream (The Children of the Gods Series Book 1) by I.T. Lucas, the vampire spinoff creatures we meet are called near-immortals. Kian, belonging to a small clan of near-immortals, is totally gung ho about a mortal woman named Syssi. The irony of this whole situation is that when his sister Amanda first tries to hook him up with her, he is entirely against it. When he sees her for the first time, however, he wants nothing more than to divest her down and penetrate her with his... fangs. 

Of course, there are other things he wants to do to her besides bite her. Come now, people, this is a paranormal [i]romance[/i] novel after all. Enticing to ardent romance lovers as this may sound so far, there are certainly other factors to look forward to as well. A member of Kian's clan has been assassinated by a near-immortal who belongs to another clan called Doomers. After ransacking his sister's lab, the Doomers come across a notebook containing the names of Amanda's research subjects in it. Syssi is rated the strongest, and because of this, she might be a potential near-immortal. Will Kian get to her before the Doomers do? 

Like Annani, the last remaining goddess she bestows on us, I.T. Lucas knows her colorful selection of characters very well. Inconsistencies play no part in this awe-inspiring bundle of nocturnal monstrosities, ancient humanoid automations, and inducements so akin to erotic romance novels that promises to hook its talons into its readers and steer them to the very edge of their covert imaginings. 

With her quality of writing barely bordering on sophistication, I.T. Lucas's talent for the written word certainly deserves its own unambiguous round of applause. If not for the aforementioned, then certainly for the accolade due to a read engrained with a flawless buildup and execution of developments. The one vice apparent to me is how high the level of the paranormal element is in contrast to the romance element. Readers might be in serious danger of forgetting what genre it is the book they're reading falls into. Albeit so, readers might agree upon reaching this novel's cliffhanger conclusion that the tone is certainly set for the next two installments of a series that promises to be quite a ride. 

If you are a reader with one foot planted firmly in E.L. James's Fifty Shades Trilogy, and the other in novels similar to Stephenie Meyer's Twilight Series, then this one is for you. In regard to my overall opinion, I don't think this novel is balanced well enough; the genre scale favors the paranormal side heavily. My rating is 3 out of 4

online-book-club

 Official OnlineBookClub.org review of "Dark Stranger Revealed" by I.T. Lucas

 

4 out of 4 stars
Review by rachel_jacks
Share This Review
Dark Stranger Revealed by I.T. Lucas is the second book in The Children of the Gods series. After reading a synopsis of the first book I was immediately intrigued and excited to read this book. If you really break down the concept, it sounds like a corny x-rated adult movie idea: An immortal race is trying to survive by finding Dormant humans that may be able to be turned into immortals. Males are the only gender able to produce venom to turn others and the only way to trigger the body to produce venom is through sexual acts (with females) and aggressive acts (with males). Not to mention, the venom serves as an aphrodisiac for women, causing immediate orgasm when injected.

Moving past this very basic concept, there is a whole story taking place. Lucas takes the time to develop the characters' personalities and focuses on far more than just erotic scenes. You learn a little about each character's past. Plus, as you are reading you gain insight into everyone's thoughts, which helps to further develop an understanding of each character's present. This story is well written, organized, and detailed. I think it is an original idea for a romance novel. I have seen plenty of vampire romances, but Lucas' idea takes the legend of vampires and puts a whole new twist on things. These immortals are not evil blood suckers, but a dying race trying to survive by injecting humans in hopes of turning them.

I strongly suggest reading the first book prior to this one. Although I was able to read a synopsis, I still felt very out of the loop when I started this book. Lucas doesn't take the time to recap all that happened in the first book, so the expectation is that the reader already knows what happened. There is a clear connection between Syssi and Kian, much like every other romance novel I had read, but they try to fight the urge to be together for their own reasons. I enjoyed the moments when Kian's sister, Amanda, would have to explain female logic to Kian, who, despite being hundreds of years old, has no understanding of how women think. Not to mention his ability to sense feelings, and still have no idea how to interpret them correctly. I am pretty sure most guys could relate to this feeling.

This book definitely earns 4 out of 4 stars! I will note that it needs another round of proof reading to fix the typographical errors, but compared to other books I have reviewed there were not many to be found. Also, I am perplexed as to why the Table of Contents is at the end of the book. That being said, I was completely hooked from start to finish and did not want to put it down until I was done! I found myself devastated that the story was over already and wanting to read more. Thankfully, Lucas shares that the next book in the series is available on Amazon.

As a romance novel, this book obviously reaches a fairly narrow audience, mostly aimed at women. It is definitely for adults only due to the erotic content and descriptions. I think men could also enjoy this series due to the sci-fi element, action, and suspense. Plus, I feel like Kian's character is pretty easy for men to relate to. Typically, I am not drawn to sci-fi/fantasy romance novels. However, as I mentioned before, I am definitely hooked on this series. The way it is written makes it feel more realistic, less "out there". Anyone that is into this genre of books should definitely take the time to read this book!

A common thread I noticed while reading was the idea of loving someone without questioning that love, or true love. Syssi learns about the immortal race and how their downfall started when a female left her betrothed for a man that she fell in love with. The immortals believe in true love and soulmates. Syssi and Kian both fight their feelings for different reasons, but the reality of that connection is there and they are both hurt by their efforts to fight how they feel.

In a world (or a country) where the divorce rate is 50%, it feels like there is no such thing as a soulmate. I believe that people are looking for someone that completes them, call them a soulmate, true love, or whatever. This is why readers are driven to romance novels where this is a common theme. Reading about the passion and connection between two people that is so pure and so true allows people to escape their reality and enter into a fantasy world where this connection exists. I have yet to read a romance novel where the main characters were "average" and their relationship developed like most "average" relationships. One could argue that romance novels set unrealistic expectations on what romance is like, but the devil's advocate could argue that these novels remind people what love is supposed to be like, not the "love" that we have created. I am excited to read more in the next book to see which side Lucas is on!

I strongly recommend any romance novel enthusiasts to read Dark Stranger Revealed, but make sure you start the series at the beginning with Dark Stranger the Dream, part of The Children of the Gods series by I.T. Lucas. It is a fast-paced romantic fantasy novel that will keep you begging for more!

******
Dark Stranger Revealed
View: on Bookshelves | on Amazon

Like rachel_jacks's review? Post a comment saying so!

Re: Official Review: Dark Stranger Revealed by I.T. Lucas

Post Number:#2  Unread postby Escapeartist » 26 Aug 2015, 22:22 

@rachel_jacks very in-depth, insightful review. I liked the fact that one of the main characters was 100's of years old, and still didn't understand the opposite sex. Keep it up, you can only get better with each review.
"There is nothing noble in being superior to your fellow man; true nobility is being superior to your former self." —Ernest Hemingway
Escapeartist's Latest Review: "Toward Peace" by lyle R. Strathman
User avatar
Escapeartist
Choppermaster of Bookshelves
 
Posts: 1047
Joined: 07 Jun 2015, 13:59
Favorite Author: J.R.R. Tolkien
Currently Reading: Crik
Bookshelf Size: 490 books
View Reviewer Page
Reading Device: Kindle Paperwhite
 

Re: Official Review: Dark Stranger Revealed by I.T. Lucas

Post Number:#3  Unread postby zeldas_lullaby » 26 Aug 2015, 22:32 

Wow, this book sounds awesome. I loved your review, and especially your analysis of relationships as per the divorce rate and soulmates, etc. Great review! And kudos to the author of this compelling book.
Check out the official review of my book: "Forever Twelve" by Meg Kimball - rated 4 out of 4!
User avatar
zeldas_lullaby
 
Posts: 3523
Joined: 27 Mar 2013, 20:01
Location: Louisville, KY
Favorite Author: Laura Ingalls Wilder
Favorite Book: The Thorn Birds
Currently Reading: The Last Stonestepper
Bookshelf Size: 82 books
 

Re: Official Review: Dark Stranger Revealed by I.T. Lucas

Post Number:#4  Unread postby Graverobber » 26 Aug 2015, 22:44 

rachel_jacks wrote:A common thread I noticed while reading was the idea of loving someone without questioning that love, or true love.

In a world (or a country) where the divorce rate is 50%, it feels like there is no such thing as a soulmate. I believe that people are looking for someone that completes them, call them a soulmate, true love, or whatever. This is why readers are driven to romance novels where this is a common theme. Reading about the passion and connection between two people that is so pure and so true allows people to escape their reality and enter into a fantasy world where this connection exists. I have yet to read a romance novel where the main characters were "average" and their relationship developed like most "average" relationships. One could argue that romance novels set unrealistic expectations on what romance is like, but the devil's advocate could argue that these novels remind people what love is supposed to be like, not the "love" that we have created.

I know what you mean. This flavor is practically it's own sub-genre now.
Personally...I lean more towards urban fantasy than romance...but I know there is a lot of this type out there. I can see why so many people find it appealing.
Another common thread with this type of story (that I've noticed at least (yes I have some that I do read :lol: )) is the acceptance of faults without prejudice. Who doesn't want that?!

And you made this one sound great!

Everyone thinks of them in terms of poisoned apples and glass coffins, and forgets that they represent girls who walked into dark forests and remade them into their own reflections.
User avatar
Graverobber
Gravymaster of Bookshelves
 
Posts: 15182
Joined: 27 Aug 2014, 02:02
Location: In A Good Book
Favorite Author: Too Many To List
Favorite Book: As Many As There Are Stars In The Sky
Currently Reading: Driving With Dead People
Bookshelf Size: 613 books
 

Re: Official Review: Dark Stranger Revealed by I.T. Lucas

Post Number:#5  Unread postby zeldas_lullaby » 26 Aug 2015, 22:48 

I definitely want that! No one is perfect in this world, but who wouldn't want to be loved for all the wonderful qualities they exude? I haven't read any books in that genre, but it sounds as though these authors (including the one in question here) may be onto something!! :-)
Check out the official review of my book: "Forever Twelve" by Meg Kimball - rated 4 out of 4!
User avatar
zeldas_lullaby
 
Posts: 3523
Joined: 27 Mar 2013, 20:01
Location: Louisville, KY
Favorite Author: Laura Ingalls Wilder
Favorite Book: The Thorn Birds
Currently Reading: The Last Stonestepper
Bookshelf Size: 82 books
 

Re: Official Review: Dark Stranger Revealed by I.T. Lucas

Post Number:#6  Unread postby rachel_jacks » 27 Aug 2015, 07:10 

Thanks to everyone for the positive support of my review! I enjoy reading feedback that I can use to help me grow as a reviewer and writer. I am also challenging myself to read books outside my typical preferences to help me fully enjoy the wide variety of books out there. If I have learned one thing it is that I can enjoy a book about just about anything as long as it is well written. Lucas is a very skilled author and really came up with a great idea with this series. I hadn't put much thought to the concept of accepting people for who they are, but I suppose that goes hand-in-hand with finding a soulmate. Kian and Sissy each have their own flaws and for those reasons they try to convince themselves that they are not "meant to be" together. Yet, despite those flaws they still hold strong, unexplained feelings towards each other. I can't wait to continue the journey in the next book! Lucas really leaves you hanging at the end.
rachel_jacks's Latest Review: "Hell In The Choirstand" by Titus Pollard
User avatar
rachel_jacks
 
Posts: 22
Joined: 03 Aug 2015, 08:04
Currently Reading: Percy Jackson & the Olympians
Bookshelf Size: 72 books