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Friday, February 14, 2014
Normally I do not go into details about a book to leave out spoilers but this review will be different. So if you do not want spoilers do not read any further!


Fresh from her parents' divorce, eighteen-year-old Nora Saynt-Rae is ready for a new beginning at Evergreen State College in Olympia, Washington. Life is at last beginning to look up. Then Nora meets a guy. Stunningly gorgeous, completely eccentric and tirelessly vengeful, Gabriel has a secret. 

He is a wizard! 

A new grad from Magasant School of Magic, Gabriel is a Releaser - a vampire slayer. Victimized in childhood by a vampire, he is determined to exterminate the entire bloodsucking race - starting in Washington where he's searching for his latest target, an elusive Newborn who is tipping the scales against Olympia's favor. 

Should Nora let her intensely erotic attraction cloud her better judgment? Should she ignore her doubts and the doubts of everyone around her? Or should she leave the murderous wizard before the hungry, biting demons of his past become her undoing? 

This book contains strong sexual content and explicit language. Word Count: 100,000 

My review:
I was so disappointed when I read this book. Right from the beginning I rolled my eyes and thought NOOOOOOOOO!!! The story itself is not awful, the premise is good and the story is catching but the characters were horrendous. First we have the Harry Potter rip off of a male character. He comes on the scene in a robe, carrying an owl in a bird cage and a wand, immags etc.... Sound Familiar? Then we have the wolf boy who is from the woods who is named Wolf and has brothers whom are above him. Rolls eyes. The wolf and the wizard are in love with the girl who is hiding a secret. So it is a love triangle similar to Twilight, great. (insert sarcasm) I knew within the first conversation about the newborn that the newborn was the girls secret only she didn't know it yet. I mean contacts to dull her eyes and the overabundance of  perfume wasn't a giveaway for the girl, really? Especially since both the wizard and the wolf talk about the vampires being bright eyed and smelly. Hello?? Wake up call for the girl. I was literally yelling at my kindle to tell the characters the obvious. At least it was obvious to me. Now do not get me wrong, the author is good and can really write and I am not sure if she was trying to appeal to the younger audiences or if it is meant to be fan fiction but the lack of imagination and the overly obvious clues drove me crazy. I won't be getting the next book nor will I be recommending this to the younger set, as the sex scene is really inappropriate. I won't recommend this to adults because they will know what is happening right from the beginning as well. I just cannot understand why someone with obvious writing talent would waste it or cheat themselves by borrowing from other authors to mash up a mess like this.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        So what happens when Twilight meets Harry Potter? It fails tremendously and no amount of magic can fix it.

About the author:

I have no idea who the author is because they do not have an author profile set up and I refuse to search for one. I wrote the review as if it was a female writer not because I think they are but simply because putting he/she or they for everything really got on my nerves. I apologize if this is a male author. 


Unknown said...

Hi Leanne,

I'm sorry you didn't like NEWBORN very much. Wanted to address some of your points. You're right about the origin of the idea. I was riding in the backseat of a car driving from Seattle to the border of Washington/Oregon in August of 2012 when the idea came to me. I had several hours with nothing to do, and was sad that my last few novels had not sold particularly well. We passed Olympia at the base of Puget Sound and around then an idea occured to me: combine Harry Potter, Twilight, and Fifty Shades of Grey into one book in equal shares of 33.3% of influence. I tried very hard not to have one be more influential than the other. The setting was in Washington, like Twilight, and the viewpoint belonged to Twilight as well, being first person; also, the love triangle idea was inspired by Twilight with a werewolf included. The tense (being present tense) came from Fifty Shades, and Nora's alter ego was inspired by Anastasia's subconscious monologues. The wizard, magic, Bureau of Magic, Immagical and stuff was all inspired by Harry Potter. The sex scenes were heavily inspired by Fifty Shades. For some reason it was very important to me to have the influences being in equal measure not one more than the other.

While I somewhat agree with you (and it worried me at the time I was writing the book) that the fact that Nora is the Newborn is obvious, I actually don't think it's as obvious as you say. Furthermore, I believe it's one of those revelations that won't necessarily ruin the book for a reader, even when discovered early on. You can look around and see positive reviews of the book at Goodreads, Barnes and Noble, and elsewhere. I don't entirely disagree that my skill could have been better employed working on something else, but the truth is that NEWBORN, AWAY WITH ME, and DO US PART are my sixth, seventh, and eighth novels respectively. All five that preceded them were deeper, and I would argue utilized my writing ability more. However, those books were NOT hits, and my goal with creating the NEWBORN TRILOGY was to have a hit series. I have put my time in, worked the coal mine if you will, and felt/feel ready for some real success. Just about hitting the 10,000 hour rule now. I do appreciate your opinion as a fellow writer and reader. When you've been in this business for ten years, like I have, you don't take it too personally anymore. So keep reading and reviewing! And for those readers who read Leanne's review, note that others have praised the book and called it an "entertaining" and "engaging" read.

All due respect,

Shayn Bloom

P.S. I am male, actually. Don't tend to say that a lot because I think it could negatively impact sales of this particular series. And thank you for praising my writing talent :)

A.B. Shepherd said...

Hi Shayn - I haven't read your book so take this with a grain of salt from a fellow author.

Sometimes it doesn't pay to chase trends because although you may sell a few more books, if the quality isn't there you aren't likely to develop much of a following.

It takes time to build a genuine following and the self-publishing market can be a difficult one to maneuver.

If I were you I would focus more on your quality of writing and skip the trends. If you write what you are passionate about it shows and you will - eventually - find the audience you seek.

Good luck with Newborn - but better luck with your earlier, better written books.