Friday, May 3, 2013

Blog Tour {Review & Giveaway}—Fields of Elysium by A.B. Whelan

Stopping by The LUV'NV today is the Fields of Elysium blog tour, organized by I Am A Reader, Not A Writer.
We got the pleasure to read and review this sweet YA Fantasy, and you can enter to win a $25 Amazon gift card or PayPal cash + a signed copy of Fields of Elysium, pendant, and magnet.

Fields of Elysium
by A.B.Whelan
Publication: December 12th 2012 by InMotion Capitol
Genre: Young Adult Fantasy

Amazon B & N Goodreads
How can love mend a heart full of hate?

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.

Imaginative and vivid, Fields of Elysium  revolves around Molly Bennett, a somewhat lonely teen, who stumbles upon a wormhole into another world. Like a parallel universe, Arkana resembles Earth and is inhabited by humans. Only its infinitely more beautiful, wild, and technologically advanced and led by a theocratic government.

When Molly meets a group of boys, particularly the mysterious Victor, she becomes addicted to visiting their world, withdrawing from her own. Then she learns Arkana shares a history with Earth. Her Earth-born status is discovered, and she's forbidden to return to the place she begins think of as Heaven—or the Fields of Elysium. She grows miserable, losing sleep, her grades slipping, mind drifting, and interests dwindling.

The world A.B. Whelan was captivating, and I liked most of the characters, even the so-called villains. The relationship dynamics—between everyone, between Arkana's people and their different ways of life—were wonderful.

I just wish there was a definitive plot. Themes and conflicts—man against man, society, nature, and self—are abundant in this book, but none took precedence nor prominence over one or the other. Each felt like subplots, understated and underlying ... nothing. Like individual story threads were laid out on the table, and rather than weaved all together, they were tied off one by one, unto itself, and in consecutive order. The story just glided along, hitting one road block, tearing it down quickly before asking "What's next?" and then plucking another issue out of a hat.

This made the ending and every resolution lack impact, in the story itself as well as for the characters. Instead of an explosion of emotion, enlightenment, or devastating consequences, each problem was a baby burp. Just there, like an afterthought, especially since there was no buildup, no expectation nor anticipation on our part as the readers. No giant culmination.

The romance between Victor and Molly was really sweet, though at first a bit adolescent, premature, and with Victor blowing hot and cold too often before it leaned more YA. Sometimes I found the ... steaminess or sexual references a bit abrupt and odd because it really contrasted the innocence Molly exudes. There were also a lot of storyline holes—why someone did this or that and how they did it, especially when considering the confines of their circumstances. Small but significant details were simply brushed over, not hiding the hole but making it more obvious when Arkana's other facets and its differences with Earth were described so greatly.

Despite all that, I enjoyed Fields of Elysium, for its world and the idea behind it. I'll probably read the next installment, if there is one, but with the hopes that the story execution is sharper, more pointed and focused.

eARC provided by the author via blog tour organizer in exchange for an honest review.
Thank you!

"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

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.

$25 Amazon Gift Card or PayPal Cash
Gift bag of one signed copy of Fields of Elysium, a scrabble-tile pendant with a butterfly image on a chain necklace,
and a fridge magnet.

Terms & Conditions:
Giveaway ends May 15th, 2013.
Gift bag open to US only. If the winner is international, s/he will receive only the gift card or PayPal cash.
Open only to those who can legally enter, receive, and use an gift code or PayPal Cash. Winning entry will be verified prior to prize being awarded. No purchase necessary.
You must be 18 or older to enter or have your parent enter for you. The winner will be chosen by rafflecopter and announced here as well as emailed and will have 48 hours to respond or a new winner will be chosen.
This giveaway is in no way associated with Facebook, Twitter, Rafflecopter, or any other entity unless otherwise specified. The number of eligible entries received determines the odds of winning.
Giveaway was organized by Kathy from I Am A Reader, Not A Writer and sponsored by the author. VOID WHERE PROHIBITED BY LAW.


  1. Thank you for your honest and very constructive review. I wish I'd have a sharp and intelligent beta reader like you are. :) I'm not complaining because my editor and beta readers are fantastic, but I can see your point.

    Thanks again, I'll take your opinion under serious consideration.

    If you have time, an Amazon review would be much appreciated. :)

    Andrea (author of Fields of Elysium)

  2. By the way, your blog looks amazing. One the most stylish sites I have seen. :)