04 September, 2010

Advance Review: Healer's Choice by Jory Strong


I received this ARC from the author, Jory Strong
Picture courtesy of Good Reads

Rebekka is born into violence, where outcast Weres, who have only a mixed human-animal form, are used for depraved and torturous purposes. Human herself, she can move among the two worlds, as a healer. Her talent allowing for even more atrocities to be perpetrated, she is used to keep the outcast in line for their masters. But, a prophesy looms over Rebekka, and now her own life in in danger.

She must enter the world of the Jaguar weres. Those who have dangerous views on the outcasts, and whose leader has a dangerous need for Rebekka. She will have to face the dead ancestors that have power over the living and the dead. She will have to reconcile her feelings for Aryck, the next leader of the Jaguars. But, most of all, she will have to stop a plague that threatens the lives of all Weres, and is masterminded by one of the most evil humans to walk in her world.

HEALER'S CHOICE is the third installment in Jory Strong's GHOSTLAND WORLD series. Though, the world is the same throughout the novels, each one focuses on a different aspect, and has different main characters that take the helm. HEALER'S CHOICE focuses on Rebekka and Aryck. There is a chance to see both of them in their own native environment, before their paths end up joining. And, I think it helped me to get inside the heads of both characters and understand their motivations more, instead of only seeing them as part of a couple or a team.

I was blown away by how involved I got in the story line, while I was reading. Even when bringing to the forefront the really brutal realities of living in Rebekka's world, I never wanted to put the book down. Strong took me on a rollercoaster ride of emotions. In just the first few chapters, my heart beat faster with anxiety for the outcasts that were trying to escape their horrific lives, the outrage at how Weres were treated, and the pride at how Rebekka risks her own life to help them.

The changing point of view between Rebekka, Aryck, and even the villians of the novel ratcheted up the suspense and sense of danger really well, and kept me turning the pages until the very last page. HEALER'S CHOICE can be read as a stand-alone novel, but when I finished, I wanted to immediately go out and find the two previous installments, GHOSTLAND and SPIDER-TOUCHED. Strong delivers a tense novel that is sure to be a hit with fans of darker fantasy or urban fantasy.

5/5 for plot
4.5/5 for characters
4.5/5 for language

My Rating: 14/15 Must Read
Bonus Cover Points: 3.5/5 (finished cover)

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