Friday, July 25, 2014

Coexist (Keegan's Chronicles #1)

About the book:
Sixteen-year-old Keegan is struggling to keep her huge secret from her friends--she's an elf, descended from a long line of elves that live in secrecy alongside humans.

In elfin society, mates are predetermined but not allowed to meet until they are eighteen. Against tradition, Keegan's brother Thaddeus told her Rourk's name because his visions warned him she'd need Rourk's protection, especially since Keegan will play a key role in the coming war between the dark and light elves.

Rourk finds himself drawn to Keegan's side every time she thinks his name. He wants to talk to her but remains in the shadows, silently guarding her every time she mentally beckons him. A twist of fate thrusts the two of them together when Rourk is forced to step up his protection and make his presence known.

An ancient prophecy deeply entwines Keegan's family and the future of their society. Somehow they must find a way to thwart fate and win the battle...without losing Keegan. With war brewing, and dark forces aligning, will Keegan and Rourk ever have the life together that they both desire?

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I received a free copy of the book in exchange for an honest review.

Prophecy, and elves, and a great battle, and budding romance, and magic, and supernatural creatures, and ...

Author Julia Crane weaves a mix of many elements in her book Coexist. That mix creates a story that draws readers into her world, especially lovers of paranormal books.

What makes Crane's elfin society different from other mythical/paranormal societies such as werewolves, fae, etc? I was surprised to realize that the main difference was the life mate situation. There isn't such things as divorce in the elfin society. Your life mate is your perfect match, and you don't get to meet him/her until your 18th birthday. Other than that, Keegan could have been any other mythical creature. She could have been a witch or fae. Members of their society have various powers, but that isn't only contained to that species.

The story uses multiple points of view to move the plotline forward. Readers get a peak inside the head of Keegan, Rourk and Thaddeus (Keegan's brother). I enjoyed seeing how Keegan and Rourk connected when they had never met each other. If I were Rourk and knew every time my chosen life mate thought about me, I'd be tempted too to go spy on her!

This is Keegan's story, but half of the prophecy (and in my opinion, the more important part) is about her brother, Thaddeus. I wish that we could have seen more about what was going on inside of his head during this stressful time. The prophecy states:
 An elfin child on the side of light,
born with the gift of sight,
tells when light and dark shall meet,
but not who will face defeat.
Eldest son of warrior great,
the child will determine elfin fate.
Keegan is able to describe when the war will happen, but it is her brother that "determines elfin fate." The way he does this is by using his brain and wits. It was a fairly simple idea that took some guts to pull off. Crane's solution of ending the battle is very young adult friendly.

It seemed that for a great battle--the battle that was foretold long ago--to put it all in one book, kind dumbed down the importance of it. If the battle itself was spread out over several books, then it would have seemed more epic. My guess is that Crane did this because the story is more about Keegan's relationship(s), than about a battle. The author did a good job of describing the battle and keeping it geared to the young adult audience. It wasn't too graphic or gory.

I was confused about the importance of Keegan's and Rourk's connection. Keegan's brother saw that she would die and that she should call out for Rourk. The story focuses on keeping Keegan safe, and then when the time comes, she spontaneously runs into the battle and gets injured. Rourk actually had to be told about what happened.  If she were so important, you would think better safeguards would be in place, and that Rourk would stay by her side.

I enjoyed how Crane solved Keegan's "situation" after the battle. It was a nice surprise in the plotline. It also sets up the tension/drama for the second book in the series, Conflicted. Ha, yes, I definitely believe Keegan will be a bit "conflicted" in that book!

Readers who enjoy a good paranormal book should pick up Coexist. It is geared to teens, but older readers can enjoy it too.

About author Julia Crane:
Julia Crane is the author of the Keegan’s Chronicles, IFICS. She has a bachelors degree in criminal justice. Julia has believed in magical creatures since the day her grandmother first told her an Irish tale. Growing up her mother greatly encouraged reading and using your imagination.

Find Julia:  Website   Twitter   Goodreads