Thursday, September 03, 2009

Spotlight Review: STORM OF VISIONS by Christina Dodd

STORM OF VISIONS - Christina Dodd
The Chosen Ones, Book 1
ISBN: 978-0-451-22763-8
August 2009
Paranormal Romance

New York City, the Present

In the long, long ago, two outwardly beautiful humans came together and mated. The woman was sure the resulting conception would produce a child as magnificent as its parents. Instead, she bore twins who were marked by imperfections. The mother immediately abandoned the boy deep in the forest and cast the girl into a stream. The two of them were saved and gifted by the gods and became the first of the Abandoned Ones, all of whom have some special gift. Each twin gathered six others like themselves. Those who are followers of the boy child are the Chosen Ones who work for the good. The followers of the girl child are the Others, servants of the Devil. This still holds true today; both groups gather recruits from among the world's Abandoned Ones. The Chosen Ones work under cover of the Gypsy Travel Agency.

Jacqueline Vargha never wanted her gift; in fact, she's been running away from it and hiding from all who know her. But now she's been found by Caleb D'Angelo, her first and only lover. Caleb isn't one of the Chosen but he works for them as her mother's bodyguard. He's come to take Jacqueline back to New York where she's needed to form the next group of seven. Jacqueline has the natural tattoo of an eye on the palm of one hand, a mark that hasn't been seen since the original female twin. The eye marks Jacqueline as a potentially powerful seer, something the Chosen Ones need, as their gifts have been fading in recent years.

Through aggressive sex, Caleb succeeds in convincing an only semi-reluctant Jacqueline to return to New York where she, along with six other Chosen, is to be introduced to the elders. While the new group prepares to go through a ceremony, Jacqueline's flamboyant mother, Zusane (think Zsa Zsa Gabor at her peak and add psychic ability), arrives and soon experiences an alarming vision...

At this very moment, the Chosen Ones are under attack!

Caleb --- "Mr. Aggressive" --- turns out to be a good guy whose intentions are mostly to protect. He and an elderly Chosen, Irving Shea, take the new team of seven under their wings. Jacqueline and her new cohorts are an eclectic group of likable and not so likable men and women with varying gifts. Describing them would spoil the fun, but here are the names as a teaser: Charisma, Tyler, Isabelle, Samuel, Aleksandr, and Aaron Eagle; the latter will star in the next book, STORM OF SHADOWS, in September.

Though the Jacqueline/Caleb storyline starts off with a bang, the set-up in STORM OF VISIONS takes time to establish. The whole good vs. evil, the Chosen vs. the Others is misty, the Others non-individualized enigmas as yet. What is obvious so far is that the threat to the Chosen Ones, and what's good in the world, is real. Bad times are not only coming; they are here.

Have patience if all your answers are not quickly answered and enjoy the ride. Just as STORM OF VISIONS eventually satisfies, I'm convinced an author with Ms. Dodd's enormous abilities will reveal all by the conclusion of this thriller of a series. For an exciting, entertaining reading experience, get in on the beginning of The Chosen Ones series with STORM OF VISIONS.

Jane Bowers

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