Book Review: Melokai by Rosalyn Kelly

Publishing Date: October 2017

Publisher: Kobo

ISBN:9781999816605

Genre: Fantasy

Rating: 4.3/5

Publisher’s Description: Ramya’s time is up. Bracing herself for the gruesome sentence imposed on all Melokais who have served their purpose, she hears instead a shocking prophecy. Is the abrupt appearance of a mysterious, eastern cave creature the prophesied danger? Or is it something darker, more evil? And what of the wolves? Will the ferocious war with their kind oust her from power? Suddenly Ramya must fight threats from all sides to save her mountain realm. But while her back is turned, a conspiracy within her inner circle is festering. Ramya and her female warriors must crush an epic rebellion before it can destroy her and devastate her beloved nation.

Review: A couple of reviewers gave this novel two stars based on their inability to connect with the characters. Contrary asswipes looking for attention among a sea of 4 star reviews or legitimate insights into a publicly praised novel? A little of both in my opinion. The characters were never built with any depth and you are asked to accept a marginal backstory while focusing on quick paced movement. Ramya never is deserving of her rise to Melokai. She was an angry child that learned to be a warrior and was chosen by a stone phrophet. That is not enough to instill a sense of regard by the reader for the main character.

What IS writing genius is Ramya’s life choices during strenuous times that distances herself from her closest allies and subsequently the reader. This sense of betrayal forms the basis of the novel and cries for constant redemption. This redemption is never fulfilled and alienates the reader due to a protagonists non-conforming personality. Ramya just honey badger’s her way through the novel. I found it refreshing as the writer did not attempt to pattern her main character after the hero fantasy mold so often seen.

What I really liked about the novel were the different kingdoms and lifeforms that expanded the world and enhanced the characters through movement. These quests instilled a solid foundation upon which the novel rests through a creative eye. An ambitious amalgamation of human derivatives in the form of blue haired pygmies, walking wolves and hump backed desert residents.

There is much gore and sex to be had so enter at your own risk.  As the novel unfolds the characters do gain in depth through the tribulations endured. A definite read.

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