Tuesday, 12 May 2015

Blog Tour / Book Musings - One Prince, Two Kingdoms by Jana Grissom

Welcome to the first day of the blog tour of One Prince, Two Kingdoms by Jana Grissom. I am reviewing the book for the tour and I hope you get to hear my thoughts via the book review.

Title : One Prince, Two Kingdoms
Author : Jana Grissom 
Genre : Young Adult, Paranormal Fantasy
Source : ARC from the author through Magic of Book Promotions 

Blurb :

My forehead’s throbbing. One minute this girl is yelling at me for giving up and the next, she’s laughing. Whiplash.
I squint my eyes at Danielle and whisper with my lips firmly in place, “I will never give up.”

Her voice is high and cheerful, “So what’s your plan?”

Johnny Boggs is a teen with trouble to spare who has learned one thing in life - trust no one. Paranoia befriends him as he moves into his fifth foster home and discovers no one appears as they are, his dreams are not just dreams, and he is supposedly the Prince of Shamayim.

On Johnny’s sixteenth birthday, fate requires him to leave the protection of this world but allows for him to choose to reign over the light or turn to the darkness. A vicious competition begins as two kingdoms fight for his loyalty while two beautiful girls, Danielle and Shay, fight for his attention. Time is running out; a decision must be made. Johnny finds it impossible to resist the beauty of his dreams, nor can he turn away from the one who has his heart.

My Musings : 

I received a copy of the e-book as a part of the blog tour. This in no way impacts my review and rating. I will always write an honest and unbiased book review. Now that the formalities are over, I would like to move on to my thoughts on the book.

If someone asks me what attracted me to the book, I would say the book cover. I know I sound shallow but the darkish atmosphere created by the image matches the story perfectly. After the picture sucked me in, the blurb added the final nail in my coffin. Who could resist a tug of war between Light and Darkness? Definitely not me!

The author has portrayed Light - Heaven and Darkness - Hell in a quite different light. The setting and world building was very good. I have never seen shops, malls, pubs and other worldly attractions being depicted as a part of Hell in any book. That alone put a smile on my face a couple of times while reading the book. It goes well with the lesson between the lines conveyed by the author.

The play of scenes between the normal world and the spirit realm added an unique dimension to the story. It was one of the highlights of the book. It was a bit confusing at the start, trying to figure out which was which but it got sorted as the book progressed.

The story was well paced and the characters imbue the pages with colour and life. It was an emotional roller coaster ride. The story had highs and lows simultaneously and I was literally dragged through the pages. The protagonist, Johnny irritated me and at the same time, made me like him with his struggle between his good and bad sides. In truth, it's the story of him overcoming or succumbing to his darker side. The supporting cast of Caylee and Canyon had me entertained with their warrior skills and their banter. Shay made me roll my eyes at her effect on Johnny while Danielle made me like her with her sweet and stubborn nature. This was one conflicting read for me.

I was quite surprised with the ending and I am sure I have let my preference know with my comments. I loved the last chapter and I want to know more about the characters introduced in it. I don't want to spoil it for you so I am leaving it at that. I would like to conclude saying that this book won't be everyone's cup of tea. And lovers of darkish fantasy, take a peek at this book.

My one line review : A roller coaster ride of Johnny's struggle to pick his choice between Light and Darkness.

My rating : 4/5

My reread factor : 3/5


Click the following links to read more about the book and to order a copy for yourself.


Here's an excerpt to whet your curiosity before you read the book. 

Footsteps enter my bedroom and approach my bunk. Not. Right. Now. I pretend to be asleep. A cold chill covers my body, making every hair stand on end. Then the bedroom door slams shut. I’m not in the freaking mood! Expecting to see one of my annoying foster brothers, I jerk my head toward the door and punch my fist into the mattress. “What!” I yell out, but no one’s there.

My eyes dart all around the room. Maybe there’s a draft, or someone shut another door causing this one to slam. Doubt it. I’m sure it’s just JC and Miguel trying to get even. “Hilarious, guys, I’m so scared. Now get the hell outta here.” I throw my pillow at the door and myself back on my bed.

An abnormal silence plays with my mind. I decide to reach for my headphones, but I can’t move. My heart jumps. No matter how hard I flex, my arm is stuck to the mattress. My lungs suck in air while every other organ aches under the pressure. An uncontrollable trembling takes over. What. The. Heck. Is. Going. On. My eyes blink over a hundred miles per hour. I can’t move, I can’t speak, I can’t, and then I realize I only have one ability left—sight.

Next to my bed stands a huge man with solid black corneas full of swirling dark fog in his vacant orbs, the Hollow Man. He’s staring me down again, but this time we’re the only ones in the room—no queen, no Camaro, no Mom. This can’t be real. It’s just another one of my crazy dreams. I go along for the ride, like I have a choice. The Hollow Man stands there clenching his fists, causing his abnormally large pecs to flex. My heart races, and my stomach threatens to return my lunch. An intense pain surges as he’s controlling every cell in my body without touching me.

The Hollow Man speaks, “Prince, why are you lying here as if you are a helpless child?” He turns off his death stare, and I feel an instant release followed by the familiar ache of a four-hour football workout in the Texas heat. Is this guy serious? Prince? And how am I supposed to fight something that isn’t really there? My chest tightens, and I try to wake up.


Meet the Author : 

Jana Grissom is a middle school teacher, an advocate for foster children and at-risk teens, a mom of two amazing teens, and married to Roy, her high-school sweetheart. Jana holds a Master of Education in Administration and Policy Studies and offers professional development in bullying identification, prevention, and intervention. She is available to speak to students at secondary schools about the writing process or bring a message that challenges them to S.T.O.P. bullying and suicide. Jana is a Texas girl who loves the outdoors, flip-flops, chocolate, and sweet tea. In her spare time, she loves escaping to imaginary worlds through the magic of books.

Her personal note to the readers :

I am the debut author of a YA Urban Fantasy, One Prince; Two Kingdoms. Also, I am a middle school teacher and advocate for foster children and at-risk teens. My novel was written in response to disturbing nightmares my two foster children at the time were experiencing. After several nights of being awakened by their screams and running to comfort them, I had an idea – write a story and let their imaginations defeat their fears. The children were excited to hear stories of magical worlds and powerful celestials sent to guard them. Each night before bed, I would add new scenes and more adventures. After a few weeks, the nightmares were replaced with excitement to hear the next chapter read. The children are now living with their grandparents, but their pictures remain on my walls. “One Prince; Two Kingdoms” is dedicated to them and all the foster children who have been in my care, as well as my past and present students; my family, my two amazing teens, Kaylee and Cody, and my husband and best friend, Roy. I hope “One Prince; Two Kingdoms” will encourage children in a place of transition to have hope and never give up.


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