Friday, July 11, 2014

Book Review - The Crossroads of Time

Happy Friday! Wow. Here we are again at the end of yet another week. I have a second book review for you today. This one I proofread a while back, and I think you're gonna enjoy the heck out of it. It was something new and different to sink my teeth into, and I found myself enjoying the story very much as I made comments and learned some new things. There's also a cool giveaway of this title after the review. Without further ado, let's get going!

As always, I'm gonna begin with information about the book up for review today.

Title: The Crossroads of Time
Author: Rhonda Denise Johnson
Genre: African American Urban and Historical Fiction
Length (print): 292 pages
Buy Links: Amazon Kindle $9.95   ~   Paperback $8.96

Synopsis:
Chloe loves to listen to music, but when the music starts listening to her, she begins to wonder. Try as she might, she can’t dismiss the strange things happening in her life as mere coincidence. Could some spirit be trying to send her a message? She tries to live a normal life as a student at California State University, but the more she tries, the more bizarre her life become. From the moment Chloe consults a Candombl√© priestess to find out what’s what, the events in her life spin from uncanny to numinous.

As her visions become more corporeal, Chloe gets literally swept out of her twenty-first century Los Angeles world in the stormy vortex of Oya, the African Orisha of the wind. Oya takes Chloe on a journey through time that throws her into the world of Ayodele, her ninteenth century ancestor on a Virginia tobacco plantation.

Both women share dreams of achieving more in life than is expected of them as women and as African Americans. At the Crossroads they must decide which costs more, struggling to fulfill their dreams or letting them die—and which price are they willing to pay?

**Will not appear in review elsewhere.  I have to say, the cover doesn't give you any glimpse of the awesome inside. You all know I'm a cover junkie, so I'd like to see this one meld more with the genre.**

Now on to the good stuff!

I proofread The Crossroads of Time and loved the heck out of it. Ms. Johnson brings her characters to life on the page, and showed me a world beyond the one I'd known my whole life. My Kindle now holds a copy for me, because I bought it when it went live. Getting the chance to look inside someone else is one of the reasons I read. How many lives can I live? Well, this novel didn't disappoint. Let's move on to the review so I can tell you what I mean.

From a Reader's Perspective:
I learned a lot reading this book. From the beliefs of the Candomblé religion, to the meaning of dance and drums in African religion. One of my favorite things about being a reader of fiction is picking up new facts or tidbits of information buried in the story. I got a lot of that in this book. Chloe is a modern day college student, struggling between what she wants and what her family wants for her. Ayodele is from Chloe's family history and is struggling with the threat of losing her identity as she's enslaved for hard labor. Both women were beautifully drawn, and I felt their indecision and desire to be more than those around them. I love strong female characters, and this story has plenty of those to whet my appetite. Sure, there are men, but they play supporting roles, fading into the background of the central plot. I liked that the author didn't feel a need to bring everyone to the forefront. World building and descriptions of the goings-on of the religious groups in the book were well drawn, sucking me right in.

From an Editor's Perspective:
I didn't like that the book walked through so many POVs. It didn't do anything for the plot, and I left the book not even remembering one of the names. Of course, grammar and punctuation should be spot on from the proofread, but there were some minor syntax errors (repetition of ideas) that I picked up on here and there. All in all, not too bad.

Rating:
1 Star for teaching me a lot of interesting things
1 Star for the strong female leads, Chloe and Ayodele
1 Star for world building
.5 Star for ease of reading
-.5 Star for repetitive phrases
.5 Star for flow
-.5 Star for so many POVs
Overall, 4 out of 5 stars. A book that will lock you in and keep you reading well into the night. Recommended to fans of both historical fiction and strong female leads.

Time for the Rafflecopter form!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Good luck, everyone!

Well, that's all for today, folks! Until next time, WRITE ON!

Jo

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