Tuesday, March 27, 2018

Review: Songlines by Carolyn Denman with Giveaway

The Sentinels of Eden, Book One
by Carolyn Denman
Odyssey Books
YA Fantasy/Paranormal
320 pages

'We belong to the Earth, Lainie-Bug. We were sent here in human form for a reason. If you don’t know what to do, then just be human.'

Right. Like that was ever a simple thing to do.

In the heart of the Wimmera region of Victoria, an ancient gateway to Eden is kept hidden and safe by a creature so powerful that even the moon would obey her commands – at least it would if she had any idea that she wasn’t just a normal girl about to finish high school.

When a mining company begins exploratory sampling near Lainie’s sheep farm, a family secret is revealed that makes her regret not having learnt more about her Indigenous heritage.

What she’s told by their farmhand, Harry – an Aboriginal elder – can’t possibly be true, but then the most irritating guy in class, Bane, begins to act even more insanely toward her than ever, until she can no longer deny that something very unusual is going on.

When Harry doesn’t return from his quest to seek help to protect the area from the miners, Lainie sets out to discover the truth of her heritage, and of the secret she’s been born to protect.


With a unique setting, background and twists, this is a young adult fantasy/paranormal novel to enjoy and devour.

Lainie lives with her aunt near a small town on a farm in Australia. Not only does she face the normal troubles of school and farm life, but experiences visions and has a quirky sense of intuition. When miners arrive and start taking over the land, not only Lainie's aunt has her hands full with a battle to stop them, but Lainie notices things around her are growing stranger. Her past and future are nothing like she thought, and the truth is almost impossible to believe.

This was a refreshing read. Lainie is full of spunk, humor and a fire-ball of quirky wit. She's down-to-earth, hard working, can handle sheep like nobodies business and still, isn't unsure of herself in many ways. In some ways, she's immature in her actions while, in others, she's beyond her years. It's an interesting mixture which makes her easy to like and tons of fun to follow.

The setting is in Australia, and the author does a fantastic job at bringing the surroundings to life. The scenes are vivid, and it's easy to feel at home in Lainie's world. The unique twist with the Garden of Eden, gives this a whole new direction with lots of unexpected surprises and turns. While some aspects of the read are familiar in this YA genre, others are completely new and unexpected. There's never a boring moment, and it's impossible to see where everything is heading or what will happen next.

There is a love triangle of sorts, but this is a romance which builds, learns, forms friendships and holds all of the necessary building blocks before nearing anything comparable to a fresh bud of love.

In other words, this is an intriguing read and one YA paranormal fans are sure to enjoy.

And here she is. . .

Carolyn lives on a hobby farm on the outskirts of Melbourne with her husband, two daughters, and her parents. The fact that she always has at least three of her pets following her around at any one time in no way means that she is the fairest in the land. They probably just like her taste in music.

As well as writing stories for Aurealis and Andromeda Spaceways magazines, Carolyn is also the author of the YA Australian fantasy series The Sentinels of Eden. 



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