Review: To Discover a Divine by Tessa McFionn

Reviewed by Ronelle

Imagine stepping out of your front door and into an entirely alien world. Literally. That’s what happens to Evainne Wagner on what was otherwise set to be a perfectly normal day. All she planned to do was go for a run, but instead, she finds herself in the middle of a firefight in an intergalactic maximum-security prison. Salvation arrives in the nick of time in the form of a mysterious leather-clad warrior, skidding in and whisking her away. Trusting her heart, she follows, hoping to find answers as well as a way home.

When Kahlym cal Jhuen, youngest son of a ruling house and the leader of the Chandar Stria, breaks into a prison ship, his only intention is to rescue his crewmembers. But when he discovers a terrified female during their escape, he doesn’t think twice about taking the exotic beauty with him. His good deed backfires when he learns he has stolen the Thrall Emperor’s prize.

Is it possible that Evainne could be the fulfillment of a prophecy spoken at Kahlym’s birth? He hopes so, though it looks like it isn’t just the fate of his people he’s placing in her hands…

***

To Discover a Divine is Tessa McFionn’s debut novel, and damn did she get started with a bang. Her story opened with fast, crazy action and kept up the pace until the very last page. The characters were strong, vivid, and interesting, and the plot was complex enough to keep me engaged. If I’d had the time to read this all in one sitting, I would have; it was that good!

While I did get tired of Evainne swearing every other word, I liked her a lot. Shrinking Violet or Damsel in Distress, she was not! She was strong, and even though she was freaked out by her very sudden transportation from her world (who wouldn’t be?), she rolled with the punches. I admired her ability/willingness to adapt to all the new weirdness. She was vocal with her questions and needs, and her sarcasm was cutting at times, but she seemed to have a caring heart and treated others kindly. And, oh, Kahlym, Kahlym, Kahlym! *fans self* He could so easily have been a walking stereotype—serious, broody hero who’s been devastated by a woman in his past—but there was so much more to him. In addition to being too hot for his own good, he had a personality worth getting to know. His instant, almost overwhelming lust for Evainne was…a little much at first, but it definitely added another level of tension to their interactions and to the plot as a whole. These two are going places–very steamy, sexy, get-a-fan-and-a-glass-of-ice-water places.

People, there is A LOT of plot going on here, and it isn’t just the tried-and-true tropes of sci-fi. The action scenes were as vivid and immersive as the romance, and there was plenty of suspense and intrigue. This story was not just one thing, no element rode roughshod over the others, and the development of each element was nicely paced. The romance was hot from the jump, but Ms. McFionn portioned it out at just the right pace. The whole package was surprisingly unique, though I am, admittedly, undecided about where book 1 ended.

*sigh* So, as much as I loved the characters and was drawn in by the storyline, I found Ms. McFionn’s writing style to be a little off at times. Some of her phrase-ology resembled badly translated English, and I found myself having to reread passages in an attempt to figure out what she meant (“The light winked out in the muted gleam” for example). Her descriptions of the characters were also repetitive, almost as if she didn’t trust her readers to remember what they looked like. Annoying, sure, but not a deal-breaker. On the other hand, some of those same descriptions made me laugh my ass off, thus getting strange looks from people around me. In fact, it was things like Evainne internally comparing Yhan’tu to a blue couch, Lozzan to a wingless owl, etc. that helped me connect with her and understand what she was experiencing. It takes a talented author to help her readers relate to a brand new world in such an effortless, and often subtle, way.

Bottom line: To Discover a Divine was FABULOUS and will definitely be continuing the series. While the ending was something less than satisfying, it served its purpose of making me antsy for book 2. I highly recommend this series to lovers of sci-fi romance.

*I received an ARC in exchange for my honest review.

Click to purchase: Amazon

To Discover a Divine
by Tessa McFionn
Release Date: March 20, 2018
Publisher: Fiery Seas Publishing

 

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