Review: Amulet of Elusion by Katie Lynn Johnson

Amulet of IllusionRating: 1.5/5
Series: The Lost Amulet Chronicles #1
Genres: Fantasy, Young Adult
Release Date: June 12th 2013
Source: Author
Check out on GOODREADS
Buy on AMAZON

Alexa Costa has a life-altering secret…only she doesn’t know it yet.

Confined by law to the kingdom of Alvair until the age of eighteen, Alexa has lived a sheltered existence under the watchful eye of her sword-wielding guardian, Ivy. Her love interest, Caleb Whitman, is exactly the opposite. A merchant sailor and seeker of rare artifacts, Caleb has lived a life of adventure in nearby San Lucero, the long-time rival of Alvair.

After her eighteenth birthday, Alexa’s quiet existence becomes tumultuous, and she realizes she does not need to seek to find adventure. Myths become real, legend becomes fact, and Alexa discovers that she possesses rare abilities which make her a target for both sides in a centuries-old struggle for power. She must use every resource available to her—including her talents with the supernatural Amulets— to help her friends, rekindle her romance with Caleb, and save her island home from destruction.

REVIEW

Amulet of Elusion is more of a skeleton than an actual book. Reading it was.. not fun. This book had an interesting premise which was the only reason I could actually tolerate reading on. Had this been a first draft, I would have been impressed, as it is, it wasn’t.

The only thing working for this book is the concept. The characters are iffy, the romance is weird and the plot is rushed and the world building? Well I have no idea about the world building. It’s just the idea of amulets and how they work that really intrigues me, even now.

Caleb is basically the perfect guy. He is hot, modest, smart, kind of rich and oh he likes helping people. Except he is horrible. He is self-centered from what I see. When he helps a kid and realizes how bad the situation was, his first thought was, “This kid really does need my help”. I am sure that is supposed to be a good thing but no. Hell no. The kid needed help, not YOUR help. And any guy who chains a girl up so that she doesn’t get herself killed while he goes off to fight, especially when she is actually powerful and could help, is not a wonderful guy. He is a fucking nightmare.  He is also the kind of guy who emphasizes someone’s beauty above everything else. When he is telling everyone about ‘his girl’ he emphasizes her beauty because that is what is most important. Yes, you’re DEFINITELY the kind of guy I want as a life partner (they get married). Let’s not forget his policy about not fighting with women. Even when it’s to train him so that he doesn’t fucking die. Nope, not going to take this shit seriously. He is way too cool for this. I wanted to bitch slap him right then. Your chivalry is going to get you fucking killed, sure respecting women is important, showing them courtesy is a good thing but have some limits dude.

Our wonderful female lead, what’s her face Alexa is no better than her lover. For starters

“Caleb is my husband. It’s his job to protect me now.”

That was what she said to her foster parent when she tried to be ‘overprotective’. She is incapable of making smart decisions and rushes into danger without thinking things through. She is TSTL. When she learns that she is a speshul snowflake, she barely questions anything after the initial shock. Let’s not forget someone always needs to save her pathetic ass.

Both these characters feel like checklists or just lists of characteristics. They don’t feel like real characters. Just a bundle of characteristics. Their backstories don’t feel like stories, they feel like facts. There is no emotion involved, or if it is, it’s more rational than emotional. Her parents died and she is supposed to be sad about that, she is, but I don’t feel it. I don’t feel anything. I have no real connection to her. I feel a mild annoyance towards her but that’s about it. The same goes for Caleb, I cannot even bring myself to hate him because I just don’t care. I am annoyed, pissed, but at his actions not his character. His character does NOTHING for me.

The secondary characters were just… there. Like her best friend tagged along but she has a beau back home and what about her father? What? They all seem to fade into the background when it comes to Alexa and Caleb for they are the center of this stories. The secondary characters serve no other purpose than plot devices.

The romance though. Oh dear. *shudders* I was so excited about the fact that a relationship already existed but that theory was shot to hell pretty soon. Sure they were in a relationship but they knew NOTHING about each other. Not their middle names, not where they came from, not about their families, NOTHING. Yet in spite of this, they claim to be in love. How do you love someone you know nothing about? Oh and then moving on to getting married. That took everything a step too far. That’s just moving way too fast. You can love each other and still be in a dangerous situation, marriage won’t change anything. Seriously. Now I have nothing against marriage, but really they should have waited before taking such a huge leap.. I mean they JUST declared their love for one another. I cannot even. *storms out*

The plot is just.. bland. Things happen, more things happen, one after another. Like some sort of to-do list. This happened? Check. Next thing. Check. Check Check Check Check. *cricket noises in the background* At one point, I felt like I was reading some sort of ultra-dramatic soap opera.  Everyone has seen this story a gazillion times. Orphaned girl, secrets being kept, girl super special complete with a prophecy that declares her so. Let’s not forget she is supposed to save everyone. Did I mention she was speshul?

The world building made no sense to me. Ivy (the overprotective guardian) mentioned that she searched the whole kingdom for Alexa when Alexa decided to ‘screw it’. Is the kingdom small? Big? What? Everyone is confined inside for their own good until they become adults? Again … what? I have no idea what was going on with the world building and after a while I no longer cared to figure that tangled mess out.

I’d say something about the only good thing about this book, the concept of amulets but at this point I don’t care. The intriguing concept of amulets does not make up for everything else that didn’t work. I may have read this fairly quickly but I simply don’t care about this book. I was surprised when it ended.. and when I say surprised, I mean in the best way possible because I was miserable and really did not want to continue reading.

In the end this book is just not something I would recommend. It did not do anything for me and didn’t read like a story but instead like a fact book, a fictional fact book at that but still. There was no emotion rolling of the pages, I didn’t immerse myself within the world. A text book would have been more interesting.

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Rashika

Rashika is a mysterious creature who likes to hide in the shadows. It's impossible to get to know her but if you must know, she is a huge bookworm. She also happens to have a huge sweet tooth so you can always lure her over the dark side by offering her something sweet (or bribing her with books).

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  1. says

    I read it as Amulet of Emulsion. :D That would be a fun, chemistry/parody book. I hate CALEB! I don’t know him but I hate him! I thought marriage is a matrimonial contract and shit, you don’t get a hire-for-life-asshole-bodyguard.
    Stuti recently posted…Rebel BelleMy Profile

  2. says

    I don’t know where to start with my comment. Should I go from romance which is weird, not a good idea if you ask me or that world-building. But the worst of all in my opinion is that writing style. It sounds really painful to read. I’m sorry you didn’t enjoy it. It’s too bad the whole idea seems really good. Great review.
    Tanja recently posted…Waiting on Wednesday (#83)My Profile

  3. says

    Huh well it’s not my usual genre so I wasn’t really aware of this one before but thanks for the warning I very much doubt it would be something I’d like. The cool concept obviously did not make up for the rest of the weirdness. The romance sounds so weird – they knew nothing at all about each other? How long were they together? I knew most of that stuff within a few short weeks I mean… don’t they talk? Lol. And marriage? Eh yeah no. The world building also sounds like it’s definitely lacking in a lot of ways. You seem to have the worst luck with books lately haha. Hopefully you’ll find some gems soon! :)
    Giselle recently posted…Review: Fire & Flood by Victoria ScottMy Profile

    • says

      I find it unfortunate that Rashika did not enjoy my book, but what I find more unfortunate is that all of these commenters are allowing their opinions to be made for them. Amulet of Elusion does not have a lot of reviews at this point, but I would like to point out that every other blogger who has read it has enjoyed it. Giselle, I am especially disappointed that you have allowed one negative review to form your view of this book. I was very impressed with your blog, and was considering scheduling a book tour with Xpresso Book Tours. But I will not spend my hard earned money on a blogger who decided before they even read it that my book was not worth their time. Again, unfortunate. :/

      • says

        Commenting on a negative review of your book trying to argue with the reviewer and commenters? Bad form on your part. I can imagine, with this response, that you have made your way to a few ‘do not read’ lists. Sad to think you could have just NOT clicked that ‘post comment’ button. I know you hovered over it for a few seconds, wondering if you should post this. You should have gone with your gut. It’s your job to be a professional and you did not do that here.

        So what if a couple people decided not to read your book based on this review? Do you know that negative reviews sell books too? I have actually bought books based on negative reviews before. There are some things that other bloggers don’t like that I do. I doubt this review would have swayed that many people not to read it. But your commenting here certainly will. A lot of bloggers stick together. We don’t like when one of our own gets attacked. I am really sad you decided to call out Giselle here as well. How do you know Rashika isn’t a reviewer she really trusts that has steered her towards books she loves in the past? You don’t. And honestly, SO WHAT if she decides not to read your book after one review? Get the fuck over it. Develop a thick skin. You need one if you are going to make it in this business. I’m thinking she dodged a bullet. It’s no skin off her back to not have to deal with someone as unprofessional as yourself.

        Go back to the drawing board, reevaluate your actions here, and try again with the next critical review you get. Or maybe, if you can’t handle it, DON’T READ THEM. Reviews are for consumers. NOT YOU.
        Kara @ Great Imaginations recently posted…Book Review: Don’t Even Think About It by Sarah MlynowskiMy Profile

        • says

          One bad review wouldn’t have decided me against reading your book, Katie, but this response (and the tweets about it) has ensured that I will never touch it or any of your others, since I don’t care to be maligned for having an opinion on something.

          This is not something that a blogger did to you; it is something you did to yourself by being unprofessional.
          Christina (A Reader of Fictions) recently posted…Review: Ask Again LaterMy Profile

          • says

            Bad reviews hurt, I’m sure. Either don’t read them or rant privately to friends.

            If you tweet links and draw attention to it, you’re just putting more eyes on that review, getting people to put you on DNR lists, and drawing attention to your own insecurities. There are NO pluses to publicly complaining about a review. NONE.
            Christina (A Reader of Fictions) recently posted…Review: Ask Again LaterMy Profile

        • Katie Lynn Johnson says

          @ Kara: I wasn’t attacking the blogger. She’s ALLOWED to have an opinion. She actually read the book!
          @ Christina: I’m sorry, but I doubt you would have read my book anyway. No one knows about it, hence why I wanted to book a tour through Xpresso Reads. But I’m not going to book a tour with someone who’s badmouthing my book. That’s counterproductive. The truth is, after reading Giselle’s comment, I made a final decision not to publish any more books. BECAUSE I have been working myself beyond exhaustion for literally YEARS now, I’ve been nice, I’ve followed the rules, and my book still has only 12 reviews on Amazon. I have done everything I can. And this ONE negative review has drawn more attention from bloggers than all of the positive reviews for my book combined. I’m done playing nice, because, obviously, no one else is going to. I am done being a self-published author, SO technically this is not unprofessional because I AM DONE. DONE. DONE. DONE.

      • says

        For starters, I didn’t let this one review sway me to not read this book. I started this comment by saying this wasn’t my genre. I simply do not really enjoy fantasy novels – or rarely – and after reading this review it lead me to think this one would not be one of the rare times I actually do enjoy fantasy book, hence why I “very much doubt I would enjoy it”.

        I would think most authors would prefer their book be read by their target readers – readers who enjoy the genre – and not by people who are unlikely to like it for any reason, whether they base this decision on one single review or on a million is irrelevant, imo.

        I’m a big fan of this blog and I comment on reviews regularly, and often by saying if it’s something I think I’d like or not. It’s unfortunately that someone would take such offense over the fact that their book is not going to be part of every single reader’s TBR list. As a blogger – and I assume a reader yourself, this is something you should have known before publishing a book. If not, you’re going to be facing a harsh reality.

        Also, I commented on this post as a friend and fellow reader of this blog. It had nothing to do with Xpresso Book Tours. This book was not part of a tour, it’s not a book I previously or had just toured, you were not even a current client, so I don’t see the relevance in bringing up my business into this. I was the not rude or unprofessional one, here. But what’s done is done, I will let my reputation speak for itself.
        Giselle recently posted…Review: Panic by Lauren OliverMy Profile

        • Katie Lynn Johnson says

          Giselle, I apologize for my knee-jerk reaction but I am very upset and hurt by your previous comments. I have been saving up for a while now to book a tour through Xpresso, and your comment made it clear to me that I cannot book a tour with you. I understand that you made this comment as a friend, but as the owner of a book tour company, you have an obligation to remain professional at all times. I cannot book a tour with someone who, at any time and for any reason said anything negative about my book. I hope you understand.

  4. says

    Aww I’m really sorry that this book wasn’t for you! I HATE when characters are overly snobby and portrayed as really perfect characters because obviously nobody’s perfect and if someone really is that perfect they’re definitely hiding something. I’m really sorry that the plot and world-building didn’t work out at all, also how the characters aren’t really characters. I know what you mean, they kind of lack the animation for them to truly jump off of the page to meet you. Great review, though! <33
    Eileen @ Singing and Reading in the Rain recently posted…Bright Before Sunrise by Tiffany SchmidtMy Profile

  5. says

    ““Caleb is my husband. It’s his job to protect me now.”” OMFG. Say it isn’t so O.o I do love the idea that a romance has already been built basically when you go into a book, but this sounds like complete rubish *shudders* Lols, sounds like the romance wasn’t actually built at all. I didn’t know about this book and I definitely won’t be wasting my time, because I’d be fuming by the time I was done with this. Thanks for sharing, Rashika!
    Siiri recently posted…Review: The Temptation of Lila and Ethan by Jessica SorensenMy Profile

  6. says

    I feel like both main characters are TSTL. And seriously, I’m no feminist but maaaan. “It’s his job to protect you now?” Seriously?!

    This is like those type of books where it’s really all just talk. They say they’re in love but doesn’t really show the readers that through their actions. They say they’re an awesome person but doesn’t really act like it. No, thank you.

    Lovely review Rashika!
    Amir recently posted…{Kindle Deal} K.F. Breene’s Growing Pains Series for .99 + Giveaway!My Profile

  7. says

    You know what? I am a reader and a reviewer, and I trust my friends’. I have friends whose opinions I trust, but I can also make up my own mind. A well-written review brings up issues that I might potentially have with a book, and this review did just that. We are not mindless sheep who do things JUST BECAUSE SOMEONE TELLS US TO.

    Give your audience the credit that they can make up their own minds.
    Khanh recently posted…Katherine Ewell – Dear KillerMy Profile

  8. says

    Katie Lynn Johnson, you seem to think that we can decide to read a book on a positive review. Well, it’s the same for negatives. And honestly? Sometimes negative reviews make me want to read a book so I can see for myself. But if someone posts a negative review and I decide not to read that book, it’s MY choice. Stealing Khanh’s words, we are not mindless sheep. Plenty of times I have been the minority for a book.
    And honestly? Even after Rashika’s review I might’ve still read this. Because of your behavior, I will not.
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