Monday, June 13, 2016

Torii (To Rule the Universe Book 1) - by Amanda Marie

Torii  ( To Rule the Universe Book 1 ), by Amanda Marie, is a great genre blend novel. It entails sci-fi/fantasy/paranormal/teen and young adult. A super book from a great new author on the rise. Check this book out my friends. You'll love it.

Blaze McRob

Book description:

 Tara just wanted to fit in, but she hated school. When the weird talking dog shows up in her room, Tara is convinced she's studying too hard, but she can't shake the feeling that something's wrong. When her best friend is killed, Tara finally decides to listen to the dog, and finds herself in a world she only thought existed in books and movies. So just who is she? And who is the mysterious man with the hypnotic green eyes? Are myths really reality?

Format: Paperback
I received a copy of this book from Amanda herself in exchange for writing an honest review.
To be honest, it was sort of slow to get off the ground BUT what part 1 of any series isn't that way in the start? You have to start laying the ground-work that will allow for character growth and what not. Amanda does this brilliantly. Tara, the main character of the series that Amanda is building, starts out in a unique set of circumstances that she adapts to as she gets older. Once she becomes of age, to borrow a used line, she has to adapt yet again. This seems to be a strong theme for the series: being able to adapt. And it is relate-able to say the least. Tara has three large hurdles: 2 of which are physical or external to herself and I won't ruin that part of the story for the rest of you readers out there and the third hurdle is in the form of a love triangle that forms as the story develops. Amanda puts unique spin on the vampire/human/not quite full human romance. And it is thrilling and enthralling and every shade of that first great love that we all experience in our lifetimes. I, for one, am eager to see how the rest of this series plays out! This is certainly a read that readers who love action/adventure/drama/twinge of romance novels will definitely enjoy. 
Format: Paperback
We're pulled into a fantasy story that flows alongside real life... What is real? What is only legend?

In this book, I found a lot of creative storytelling that pulled me along while I read. At every turn, there were unanswered questions, kindling love, and the threat of epic battles! I'm sure the next book will reveal so much more!

I recommend this book to those who love fantasy, who cheer for a lost cause, and who don't mind being left in the dark, as long as questions get answered, later! Have fun reading! 
Format: Kindle Edition
Torii—a gate of Japanese origin and design. Gates can keep things in, keep things out, or simply mark the beginning of one place and the end of another. In this story, it is all of these.
Young Tara Thielman knows nothing of her infancy, and certainly nothing concerning anything of Japanese influence. All she knows of gates are that they are fun to swing on and keep dogs from running away.
That is, until the year when everything went strange--and oh so wrong. First, dogs started talking to her. And if that wasn’t bad enough, they were telling her of disastrous events in her future. Naturally, she ignored them—until things started happening to her friends.
Distraught, she runs from everyone and everything she knows in order to live with her brother in Tokyo. This is where she meets Jason and Killian, and her world expands into entirely different universes.
For there is a connection, one known only to a chosen few, to another place and time. And this reality, on the other side of the Torii, is spiraling into chaos. A rival kingdom is making its move on the land, and from there to the rest of the universe.
The one thing Tara—now known as Mayuri—and her allies have over this rival is the use of 21st-century Earth technology.
Their enemy doesn’t know where the portal is, or even how to use it. But their leader has centuries on his side. For he is immortal, and the life fluids of the rest of the Universe beckon him to total domination.

“Torii” is the first in a series, and shoots off the blocks at the get-go. Ms. Amanda knows how to flesh out a character, and bring to life those silhouettes on paper so that we can really get to know them. I could really see this book branching out into a graphic novel, both in English and Japanese. It just fits into that genre perfectly.
I fell completely in love with Jason, which is understandable, concerning the mysterious creature he turns out to be. His kind are compelling at their best, and terrifying at their worst. I love the dichotomy of the two worlds, the appearance of Atlas, the flying horse, and the magic that pervades the entire book.
I do have to tell you that the book has a cliffhanger ending, but I know that Amanda is working on the sequel. So answers will be given—while new ones, I am sure, will be presented for us to guess at. And with the way she writes, it’ll be well worth it to ride along with her characters until we all find the answers together.
I highly recommend this book. Five stars is not enough!

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