Summary : Avery is a positively stunning emotional roller coaster full of laughs, cries, frustration, and the many layers that make a person whole.
This romance speaks of earth shattering love that is just as much poetic as it is cruel. The first installment in the Chronicles of Kaya fearlessly embraces the profound and turbulent nature of love, war, friendship, and loss.
The people of Kaya are an interesting race. Their eyes reflect their ever-changing moods, and they die in pairs. When one lover dies, the other soon follows. Such has been the Kayan way for over a thousand years, until Ava. She survives. The death of Ava’s bondmate shreds her soul in two, surviving his death fractures what remains leaving her a shadow of herself. Ava becomes an anomaly amongst her people, an outcast whose only motivation to live is revenge on the Pirenti who brutally slaughtered her mate. Revenge leads her straight into clutches of the prince of Prienti, Ambrose.
Ambrose, son of the barbarian Prienti queen, knows fealty, hostility, and death. His people have been bred to hate and slaughter their sworn enemies Kayans, and anyone else that gets in the way. An unexpected turn of events places the prince’s survival in the hands of the Kayan captive. Forced to re-evaluate his beliefs, the prince must not only modify his ways, but also those of his prisoner if there is any hope of a different future.
The premise for Avery is intriguing on its own accord, and it is for this very reason that I was able to stifle my bewilderment when it became evident that the story would be told through four different points of views: Ava, Ambrose, Thorne, and Roselyn. The changing POVs slowed world building on the front end, but as time went on, every character contributed significantly to the various concepts touched on throughout the novel. Without including the experiences and feelings of each, the book would not have been able to capture the complexity of the emotional reactions that shape individuals and their actions. It would have helped to have notice that the story would be about much more than just Ava and Ambrose from the get go.
Conspiracy, turmoil, blood thirst, jealousy, revenge, epic love, loss, oppression, prejudice, mystery, this novel has it all. Best of all, everything unfolds in such a realistic and pure manner. Story progression moves along at a decent pace with varying plot lines that are all equally interesting. The only problem is the prosody in which it is conveyed. The narrative is choppy and flows awkwardly. If this was intended to demonstrate each character’s train of thoughts, it shouldn’t have been so similar across all of them. It takes a while to get used to.
As far as characters go, again I am amazed and how broken, flawed, and original they all were. While Ava is by no means perfect, this heroine definitely sets herself apart from others in the genre. She and Ambrose are an interesting pair. It was a pleasant surprise to find that there was no instantaneous moment that destined them together. Their romance developed through shared experiences that created a genuine connection. Following the ties between the brothers, Ambrose and Throne was also something to praise.
In the end, I could not put Avery down and cannot wait to see what comes next. Hold on tight and grab a box of tissues for this one. Maybe two.
*** This book was received from the publisher via Netgalley in exchange for an honest review. ***