Small town girl, Molly Bennett, moves to Los Angeles where she becomes an outsider while attending Beverly Hills High School. It seems life cannot be any more dreadful. Then one day after school, something magical happens. On a secluded hike in the Hollywood Hills, Molly chases her disobedient mutt and only friend into a hidden cavern. She stumbles upon a strange glimmering gateway that transports her to Arkana, a planet that is the cradle of an advanced human race. There, teenagers navigate amazing flying vehicles, compete in perilous games for glory, and possess supernatural powers. While Molly tries to wrap her mind around this unbelievable discovery, she meets the alluring and mysterious Victor Sorren. He is a Sentinel Apprentice, whose hatred toward people from Earth is beyond understanding. Yet every time Victor unpredictably saves Molly’s life, his heart draws closer to hers, no matter how much he tries to fight against it. It further complicates things that their growing friendship is strictly forbidden. Earth people are prohibited in Arkana, yet Molly continues to cross through the portal to Arkana to see Victor. Torn between their double lives, they go down a dangerous path, from where there is no return and multiple endings.
Fields of Elysium is a suspenseful, romantic tale full of forbidden secrets, unimaginable danger, deception, and the never-ending fight for true love.
“The novel’s take on otherworldly travel is a compelling one, and the romantic plot will likely appeal to Twilight fans.” – Kirkus Reviews
“I expected a good love story with a paranormal twist. I got so much more. I think you should take the chance and read it. Let this book take you on the adventure, fall in love.” – Young Adult and Teen Readers
“Fields of Elysium is a fabulous read. … Whelan paints her faith into the fabric of her story with deft, light brushstrokes, making her work accessible to all, no matter their spiritual beliefs or background.” – Readers Favorite
“I escaped into this fantasy world, author, A.B.Whelan, created and I didn’t want Molly to go. From detailed descriptions, to sweet romance, and to all the twist and turns in the story, it had me captivated from page one.” – Mary Ting, author of the Crossroads Saga
“Whelan’s writing is very vivid and descriptive. It’s more formal than the average YA novel, but I enjoyed the lyrical and mesmerizing quality to it. I thought the overall story read like a fairy tale–very sweet.” – Megan Thomason, author of Daynight
Time for my book review of Fields of Elysium:
My rating: 4 of 5 stars
Fields of Elysium turned out to less plot-driven than I expected in an SF novel, but I still enjoyed it whenever the story moved off-world. The author did a great job in most of the descriptions. I could visualize the scenes, and the action on Arkana kept the plot moving at a fast pace. Very nice world building. Not so nice editing.
At first, I thought, please, not another Twilight, boring move and new school stuff. But then Molly found the cave early on, and I liked the story a lot better on the world on the other side of the wormhole—Arkana.
One girl meeting a big group of boys in the wildnerness (and not running in fear of bodily harm) seemed death-wishy, but the friendly vs. hostile boys’ personalities came right out of my teenage experience. I also met a group (in public) and hung out with the outgoing friend until Mr. Antisocial showed up on my doorstep with a gift. If I’d found out (minor spoiler alert) he’d been spying on me with intent to kill, my crush would have crashed. Molly’s didn’t—more death-wish behavior. If the author had addressed this and brought in the reason for moving across country that doesn’t turn up until almost the end of the book, the tension and the plot on Earth would have been a lot stronger throughout. As it was, the lack of a driving force of evil, be it in the villain appearing in person much earlier or revealing the wrong he did near the start, made the Earthbound parts stumble.
Then we get to characterization. Molly started immature, grew in the aspects of determination, self-confidence, and loyalty, but still ended immature in most ways. A couple of racial slurs didn’t make her any more sympathetic. “So kind of you to notice,” would have served as a better response to taunting. Instead, she became the worst offender. I got used to the stilted language, but I couldn’t identify with her behavior and lack of self-preservation because I wasn’t given a reason for it until far too late. We’re talking the kind of things that weed people out of the genetic pool, not the kind that happen in spite of being careful or using common sense. When given a chance to improve her fitness and thereby survival skills, Molly passes. I thought Victor was worth the effort.
Arcana and the characters there were the saving grace of this book. Victor was beguiling, even in his hostility, because it stemmed from his history. And experience changed his behavior. The prophet and his role in Arcana’s present situation were well thought out, along with Victor’s family and the different societies on Arcana. The danger of discovery to Arcana, however, did not serve as well as a continuing evil or villain would have. The villain’s appearance came out of nowhere, making the ending seemed contrived, but kudos to the author for concluding in a way that made the story feel complete.
Soapbox time. Cliffhangers do not belong at the end of a book—they belong at ends of sections and chapters. Entice me with the characters and their world and I will be there when the next book comes out. I will be there for Arcana and Victor. 3.5 stars. Yes, I know most review sites won’t let me give half a star, so I’m rounding up as if the editing (including story structure) were better and because the imaginative world deserves 5 stars.
Author A.B. Whelan
A.B.Whelan is a Hungarian born, American writer. She currently lives with her husband and two children in Southern California.
While growing up in a wealthy Eastern European family, she had a chance to travel Europe. Later as an adult, she visited Africa and the Middle East and lived in Ecuador and in Crete.
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