For What It's Worth

Tuesday, June 7, 2011

Comfort Reads: The Aspect of Crow Trilogy by Jeri Smith-Ready

Comfort Reads was inspired by the "My favorite reading escapes" feature at Vampire Book Club. I took part in this feature and realized I read most of my favorite books before I started blogging. So this is my way of discussing the books I go back to time and again or that have become part of the "keeper" pile.

I'm choosing The Aspect of Crow Trilogy by Jeri Smith-Ready this time around because I see so many of you are reading her Shade YA series right now. This is definitely for the adults and not YA but I just wanted to bring this little gem of a series to everyone's attention.

Eyes Of Crow (Aspect of Crow Trilogy)There must always be one whose magic can ease the passage of the people of Asermos to the Other Side. But to be the guide her people require, to truly know the depth of her gift—her curse—Rhia must surrender herself to the wisdom of the Great Forest…and drink deeply of Death itself. And though two powerful men stand ready to aid her, even to love her, the Aspect of Crow demands unthinkable sacrifices from one who walks its path. Eyes Of Crow (Aspect of Crow Trilogy)
Voice Of Crow (Aspect of Crow Trilogy)But those chosen by the spirits can never be normal. Rhia has glimpsed the future of her newborn son—a child who is stolen from her. And if she must deaden her heart to the living and wander the world of the departed to retrieve him, then so be it.For her family and her people, Rhia would sacrifice anything. And Crow knows it—. Voice Of Crow (Aspect of Crow Trilogy)
The Reawakened (Aspect of Crow, Book 3)Now, with a mighty army of Descendants threatening to crush what's left of her people's magic, she must trust an ancient prophecy and accept the power that is her birthright—the power of life and death itself. For while the storm of revolution rages, the legacy of the Reawakened is about to be rewritten…in her family's blood. The Reawakened (Aspect of Crow, Book 3)
My thoughts:
I'm not sure this series counts as a comfort read. I don't think I've ever been through so much emotionally reading a series ever. I will probably never read it again because it almost killed me the first time around. Having said that, the characters still wander around in my head two years later. I still get a twinge in my stomach when I think of what they went through. I still worry about them even though the series has long since ended. I still pick up my books and flip through just to make sure everyone is still there. (You may commit me now…lol)
Jeri's WVMP Vampire series is a favorite of mine. I had read all the books up to that point, so I read Requiem for the Devil next. Then there were no more new Jeri Smith-Ready books until the next year :-(. I looked over the summary for Eyes of Crow and was less than interested. Spirit guides, totem animals, crow spirits - meh….didn't appeal to me. I loved Jeri's writing though and decided to give it a go.
To be honest, it took me a while to connect with the story and the heroine Rhia. Rhia's guardian spirit is the crow and she can foresee death. That particular gift doesn't make her very popular and she just wants to be a normal girl. We follow Rhia from girlhood and the stirrings of first love to her becoming the strong woman who might be her village's salvation.
Once she meets Marek - a shifter, her life changes forever. You're in for a treat with their powerful love story that is the driving force of the entire series. I was completely hooked.
I read Eyes of Crow in one day and plowed right on to book two, Voice of Crow. Wow. Just WOW. This book grabbed me, shook me, & spit me out. My stomach was in knots the whole time and once or twice I felt physically ill with my stress of trying to read faster……faster, I was that engrossed in the story. Voice of Crow is not for the faint of heart but it's brilliant writing. I sat up until 2:30 in the morning to finish it. It has a concrete ending but I just had to know what happened next - right that second! I took my Kindle into the closet at 3am so I could turn on the light and download the last book - The Reawakened. I promptly read the first paragraph and yelled "WTF? Oh hell no!!" Exact quote. You'll see what I mean. I don't want to spoil but then Jeri took something that I thought was going to infuriate me and once again had my stomach churning in a completely different way. Love triangle? How about a quadrangle? and it's GOOD! Real good. There is longing, betrayal, lust and most important to me - consequences to the characters actions. The tension is ratcheted up right until the very last page.
There are multiple characters introduced throughout the series. We get to follow families for generations and see the results of the difficult choices the characters make. They all felt fully developed to me and I loved each and every one of them.
The conclusion was beautifully done. This has the feel of an epic series to me.
This is hands down my favorite series even though it was painful to read at times.
The world building is phenomenal. I haven't read anything else like it. The mythology was fresh and original and deftly blended with topics like the degradation of the environment and morality in a way that wasn't preachy.
I am still stunned that this was Jeri's first series. I wrote my first long stalkery, sappy author fangirl email after reading this. The other thing that shocked me about the Aspect of Crow and WVMP series…. you would never know the same author wrote both. This fact is the main reason Jeri is my favorite author. It takes a lot of courage to write something completely different, it doesn't always succeed and most authors don't even try.
If you're looking for something a little different but still with paranormal elements, romance and action (and you can handle the emotional turmoil) check out this series.

Find Jeri Smith-Ready
Jeri's website
Twitter: @jsmithready

8 comments:

  1. Great review!! :) This series sounds HUGELY stressful, but I'm always up for an epic love story, so I might just give it a try.

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  2. I do feel like reading this book :D Yup I do

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  3. I definitely have to try this! The premise of the book wouldn't have caught my interest either, but I really love JS Ready's writing. And the fact that you are still thinking about the characters is so telling. I did that with Ciara in the first WVMP book.

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  4. I love this author, but have never read this series. Thanks for sharing today!

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  5. I mean, how could we not pick up the books after this post? I put them on my TBR after you told me about them on Twitter. If you're still thinking about the characters years later, they made you an emotional wreck so much that you don't think you could go through it again...well, what more motivation do we need? ;)

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  6. What a fabulous review of this series! I have never read it but you can bet after reading this post that I will be!
    Bonnie @ HandsAndHome

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  7. i have read this series and i fell in love with it. i found this series out of the blue, i do not remember how i found out about this series, but im really glad i found these books. i want everyone to know about these books but at the same time i want to be the one who says, "ha, i found this book first than you". i do wish this series would be made into a movie but at the same time i believe that will ruin the books so maybe not. in conclusion i love this series and i truly recommend it.

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  8. i have read this series and i fell in love with it. i found this series out of the blue, i do not remember how i found out about this series, but im really glad i found these books. i want everyone to know about these books but at the same time i want to be the one who says, "ha, i found this book first than you". i do wish this series would be made into a movie but at the same time i believe that will ruin the books so maybe not. in conclusion i love this series and i truly recommend it.

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