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Ash and Gold

Ash and Gold by Lydia R. Outland is a haunting urban fantasy novel following the story of a daughter who was cursed in the guise of a blessing to never actually die. She is born again and again, in search of her mother and the mystical city, and destroys everything in her wake. Buggy, our protagonist, is oblivious to all of these ominous past occurrences and wants to enjoy a normal life. Suddenly she finds herself surrounded by two men who change the course of her life.

This fast-paced story is filled with intriguing supernatural elements that feel separate yet all come together to create a complex storyline. The author includes a lot of details to flesh out the world the character inhabits and creates a backdrop that balances between grim and ominous, but in either case the author ensures that readers are well acquainted with the world by the time the strange gets stranger.

The eerie narrative of the story remains constant throughout the book ensuring a steady flow of paranormal things being exposed. The author also explores the relationship between friends and family through the interactions of characters, which I think is an much more engaging way to convey information. We are given plenty of background on the protagonist to understand her, but I felt that supporting characters were not given as much room to develop, making this more of a character study rather than an ensemble story.

I would love to read more about the story of Waverley, if the author decides to explore it more in this series because I thought it was a very interesting aspect. This book explores another world completely dependent on the consciousness of the characters, which is fascinating.

There is also an LGBTQ relationship in the background of the story which neither seems like a forceful inclusion in the story nor ignores the importance of it. These small tidbits are mixed seamlessly into the story giving the book an authentic and fresh atmosphere, even amongst the metaphysical elements.

The writing style of the author makes the story much more memorable and interesting to read as well. I thought this book was super addictive. There is a proficient literary flow to the story that shows the authors talent with telling a story punctuated by intrigue that keeps readers constantly engaged.

Ash and Gold is an enthralling urban fantasy story that slowly takes readers into a mystery that is fascinating if not complex. This is a spellbinding occult fiction story that will appeal to readers looking for a cerebral and haunting novel.

Pages: 550 | ASIN : B09NW8JV42

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The Strangest Woman

The Strangest Woman (The Past and Passed By Book 1) by [Lydia R. Outland]

The Strangest Woman is a story that gets more compelling the deeper you go. The author slowly reveals details of the main story which always keeps the suspense high. The plot of the novel, while  unique, was built up in a creative way. Lydia R. Outland’s words are easy to understand, with simple language that encourages even non-readers to plow through this engaging book.

In The strangest Woman we follow Kyana Castway, an enigmatic woman with a remarkable past. Kyana, and the secrets she keeps was something that kept pulling me back to this book. There is a constant air of inscrutable intrigue about her and the story. I liked this character because of how expressive she was. One could read her face just by the authors excellent descriptions of her, even though I felt that there were some details that were repeated, possibly for a better understanding for the reader. Kyana Castway is an extraordinary woman, given the things she went through in the past and how she deals with things that affect her current status and future.

Imagine living in a seemingly bloodthirsty world where everyone seems vile, violence gets to be part of your life and the people you thought you could rely on get to be strangers. In this book, the reader gets to live through various lives that may get one emotional, sad, or angry. I appreciate how Lydia Outland portrayed Kyana Castway. Despite the obstacles and strange encounters, I got to love this character because I could see both her strong and weak sides. Lydia Outland is so good with words that one not only gets to read her characters’ personalities but also gets to understand their roles.

You know a book is an exciting read when you get to understand, if not relate to, the major characters. The plot twists, action, and mystery surrounding characters will keep you engaged through the sometimes lengthy pieces of exposition. The Strangest Woman presents a great adventure story for avid fans of epic fantasy and a great start to what is sure to be a spellbinding series.

Pages: 425 | ASIN: B08BR7SSQ9

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