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Monday, July 8, 2013

Tallent & Lowery: 13 by Amy Lignor

HI guys!
Welcome back to the place that knows the true value of the printed page and appreciates that you do as well....Satisfaction for Insatiable Readers.

Happy Monday everyone!  Here's hoping your weekends were highly enjoyable, utterly entertaining, and filled with so much fun and good spirits that you're bursting at the seams with joy...well, not literally bursting because THAT would be painful.  *-*  My weekend...well, it was work filled with several shades of stressy but we did manage to have an impromptu movie night last night courtesy of Redbox.  Rented Beautiful Creatures and all in all, it was good; of course, it simply added another series to my reading wish list too....hehe.  Cie la vie, books definitely make the world go round...and people fo round the world like in today's selection.

Today, we are featuring a title I read last month and fully intended on sharing but alas, I ran out of days!  *darn life getting in the way and all that*  Never fear, good reading waits for ANY man, woman, and/or child but once you read about this one, it may not be waiting around on your "to read" list for long.  Exciting times ahead...and bookish ones too!  Ready to read all about it?  Here we go!  Today's book of choice is...

Tallent & Lowery, Book 1:
Amy Lignor

About the book....
In 1902, in a dark room on the fifth floor of Carnegie Hall, thirteen people came together to continue a tradition that had been set in stone thousands of years before. In 2012, Leah Tallent is Head of Research at the New York Public Library. Stoic and stable, brilliant and cynical, she has forever enjoyed her existence among the book stacks. But even with her unparalleled intellect, there was no way to know that on the historic steps between America's famous lions, she would become involved with a crazy man on a fanatical quest. Gareth Lowery has spent his life searching for the ultimate artifact that he is certain exists. His life's pursuit has been to retrieve twelve keys hidden by men whose job it was to protect the single biggest secret ever kept. To find the keys he must enlist the help of an unwilling guide who, unfortunately, knows much more than he bargained for. From the first page to the last word, this fantastic duo become immersed in a whirlwind treasure hunt with historical and passionate repercussions. From the strange and eerie Winchester House to the blustery darkness of Loch Ness, Gareth and Leah will quickly learn that the theory of duality is correct: For every bad there is a good and, for Heaven, there most assuredly exists...Hell.

If the author's name sounds familiar, you are quite correct.  I've featured her a time or two before with her Young Adult series, The Angel Chronicles (check out my review of book one here).  This time around, she delves into the land of adult fiction feet first and let you tell was definitely worth the wait!

Leah Tallent is living the life, well the life many of of bookish folks would endeavor to lead anyway.  With her head in the books and stacks of the New York Public Library, she starts every day greeting Patience and Fortitude and every night with a city landmark in her rear view.  *sigh*  The particular day that we meet Leah, she's been graced with guiding a group of bright young minds around her beloved sanctuary....except that they're more the mouthy-stick-gum-behind-the-statues-ear-and-pay-attention-to-no-one variety.  *grr* Thank goodness they're chaperon, Mr. Gareth Lowery is there is assist.  *ahem*  Let's just say he is certainly swoon-worthy but I ADORE how Ms. Lignor wrote Leah's character AND her reactions.  While Gareth pours on the charm, Leah sees right through him...perhaps even more so than they BOTH might think and for reasons yet to be uncovered.  So builds the mystery as to why these two forces seemingly set on destroying each other by nature, must work together to solve a riddle that's as old as the world reveal the very gates of Heaven....or Hell.  *dun dun dunnnnn*

Do they reach their goal?  Mum's the word on that subject.  Do they entertain, delight, butt heads and raise a general ruckus worth following page after page?  You betcha!  It reminded me of the movie series The Librarian (starring Noah Wyle...if you haven't seen them, you REALLY should!) only with an even more balance as the lead is shared by both Tallent and Lowery.  No one is more important than the other.  Each holds the fate of the world in their hands and each can make the choice whether it sees another day or crumbles like dust in the wind.  The ties ins to real life events and places makes it that much more tangible and the creepy aspect of some locales visited, even more alluring (can definitely see some road trips planned after reading this book).  I mean if I was in New York right now, I would be investigating that locked door that leads to....well, somewhere pretty darn awesome and hopefully still after Lowery got done with it.  *-*  Moving forward...

While the story is believable with touches of reality, fantasy, and the spiritual world on all its levels, the characters were just as central to everything meshing into one big "happy" read.  From our leads who should not be locked in a roomful of fireworks to say the least (*ahem*) to the supporting cast whom you've yet to meet, they each have a role to play and play it well they do.  Perhaps the second biggest player after our duo would be Donovan.  ~shudders~  Okay, let's just say that he may be dashing to some but to others (*raises hand*) he's just plain creepy.  Aside from his tendency to pop up without anyone noticing his arrival, not like he's a small man either, he just gives off a bad vibe.  Sorry, Gareth.  I don't care how much he means to you and your sister, the very air he breathes smells sinister even through the pages.  *shakes head* Speaking of sisters, we only meet Gareth's in passing, but the impression is memorable.  I'm curious if we get to know her more in future books...well, if she MAKES it that it.  *gulp*

As the story is balanced, so must my review be; though the drawbacks are VERY, really.  There was really only ONE thing that left a mark for me to mention and it was, the cover.  I know direction in that area is such an objective thing but for me, had I not been approached by the author or recognized the name in passing from previous reads, it honestly would not have captured my attention.  For me, it looks too abstract, too Sci-fi/Fantasy and sadly, though we try not to judge by the cover, I would have had to...thank goodness THAT didn't happen!  I would have missed out on SUCH a good time!  So, word to the wise....don't let the cover fool you; the story within is definitely worth cracking the spine.

In conclusion, a fascinating read of Fiction lead by a duo so different from each other and yet so perfect (sorta) that takes us around the globe and back again on the adventure of a lifetime.  Friends will be made (some closer than others), secrets revealed (big, dark, evil ones!) and atrocities relived (history fans, here's your meat and potatoes!), leading us to the ultimate test of judgement and the discovery of what really matters in the end.  It's an edge of your seat adventure filled with bookish fun that any treasurer of the written word can get behind and should most definitely be on your wish list. Recommended for older teen readers and beyond.

Review copy courtesy of author Amy Lignor.  (THANKS!)   For more information on this title as well as her other works and works-in-progress, be sure to friend her on  Facebook or follow her Twitter feed.  To discover more about the Tallent & Lowery Adventures, stop by the series site or check out the book trailer.  This book is available now via Suspense Publishing so be on the look out for it on a bookstore shelf near you or seek thee out your favorite online retailer.  Good news for fans of this duo, they're BAAAAAACCKKK!!  That's right!  Book 2 hit shelves just last month so you might want to add The Sapphire Storm to your wish list, I know I will be....along with book 3, The Hero's Companion (coming soon) AND book 4, The Charlatan's Crown (currently in the works)!  Ah yes, much good reading ahead by friends....can't wait!

Until next time...happy reading!


HelloWriters said...

Gina - Thank you so much for your words on 13. I love Leah and Gareth, and there will be seven in all so there's more to come. Your words were extremely humbling!

Thank you!!
Amy Lignor

Gina R said...

My pleasure! Ooh and seven in all? ~ happy dance~ Can't wait! Thanks for the heads readers, you know what to do. '-'

....Petty Witter said...

An existence among the book stacks? A crazy man on a fanatical quest? Sounds interesting.

kimbacaffeinate said...

I really enjoyed this and will be reviewing book two, but yes I think the cover truly failed and hurt this book.

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