Sunday, June 2, 2013

Review: Intaglio (bk 1 & 2) by Danika Stone

Intaglio: The Snake & the Coins
Intaglio #1
by Danika Stone
Romance with a twist (Past Lives)
Published October 1, 2012

*Print copy obtained directly from the author 
in exchange for an honest review*

Synopsis via Goodreads:

Set against the backdrop of the modern art scene, Intaglio: The Snake and the Coins follows Ava Brooks, art student and graffiti artist, as she begins a wildfire relationship with fellow student, sculptor Cole Thomas. Their sudden connection results in a passionate affair which sparks a series of increasingly vivid dreams. In them, Ava finds herself drawn into a memory of another life: one that she and Cole shared. As each dream brings the memory of her past closer, the two of them must unravel the events that once tore them apart, or risk repeating the same mistakes all over again. (Volume 1 of 2)

Intaglio: Dragons All The Way Down
Intaglio #2
by Danika Stone
Romance with a twist (Past Lives)
Published October 1, 2012

*Print copy obtained directly from the author
in exchange for an honest review*

Synopsis via Goodreads:

Ava Brooks and Cole Thomas share a connection: one forged from the memories of another life. The unraveling web of secrets continues as Ava finds herself caught in a growing conflict between Cole and Kip. In the wake of this, revelations emerge about the death of Cole's sister, but the dark stories hidden in the Thomas household hint at a life marred tragedy. As each new dream brings this other life closer, Ava and Cole must unravel the events that once tore them apart, or risk repeating the same mistakes all over again. (Volume 2 of 2)

Grab Your Copy:
(Collectors Edition is both books 1 & 2 together)

About the Author:
Danika Stone is an educator, artist, grad student and mother of three, whose involvement in the Arts and New Media, has spanned a decade and a half. Danika has written for various publications and her non-fiction writing has appeared in several academic books. Passionate about Fine Arts, Danika has maintained her ties to the Arts community, merging the fields of writing, technology and artwork through technology-inspired art projects. Her current artistic practice involves using digital technologies as tools to address the ethical questions posed by emergent technologies.

No longer content with the rigid separation of non-fiction writing and her artwork, Danika returned to her roots in the arts community as she began researching her first novel: Intaglio. These connections to the modern art scene, along with her personal experiences and numerous friendships with contemporary artists, are the inspiration behind this story

Connect with Danika:   Goodreads   Website   Twitter

My Review:

Well, after flipping back and forth, back and forth, I decided to write about book 1 & book 2 in one review. The story flows so amazingly well, that it's hard to say that one books ends and another begins.

I can't remember another novel that deals with past lives' memories resurfacing in the present. I loved this concept. I was absolutely drawn into the plot because of it. I have to say, though, honestly, the synopsis is a tiny bit misleading because the focus of the novel (until on into book 2) isn't about their past lives and how to stop it from recurring - they're struggling to deal with the present. Ava's dreams are occurring but the connection between the "dreams" and actual "memories" isn't put together until book 2. We, as the reader, grasp what's actually going on. But the characters, Cole & Ava, don't yet.

Ava is an amazing character - she's full of attitude and amazing talent. She's a graffiti artist! How freaking awesome is that! I totally wish I could do that! She's going to school and using her art to deal with her anger issues. I adore her father - he's so insanely quirky. Ava was a angry teen - after living with her mother and dealing with all of which that entailed, she began "defacing" public property with her art. Of course, now she's trying to do things the legal way, so rather than using the train station as her canvas, she's using actual canvas.

Cole, a man who uses his hands & brute force to create amazing sculptures, is a classmate of Ava's. He's automatically drawn to her. Their relationship goes through ups and downs. Especially when Cole decides to take Ava home to meet his dear ole dad & step-mom. His family history isn't exactly a bed of roses either. The loss of Cole's sister was a huge earthquake as far as his family relations went.

This novel has taken me a while to get through - that's not because it was bad or slow. It's because...oh how do I say this and not make it sound like a negative - because it's not?... the plot sequence and events that the characters are muddling through make you think. They make you pause, put the book down, and ponder what you just read. It's definitely not an easy Sunday afternoon read. It's one that you become enthralled with. You don't want to let go of the characters. Even when life put a kink in my reading schedule, going nearly a week before I could stop and pick it back up, I still knew exactly what was going on and was just as connected as the characters.

Okay, so overall, what did I think? I really, really enjoyed this series (bk 1 & 2). I enjoyed reading it and enjoyed moving through the lives of the characters. I wasn't bouncing around squealing when I read these novels because these novels take on very emotional topics. But I was glued to the pages and obsessed with the characters and the conflict...

So...a rating... Hmm...

Okay, so I have to say that I'd give it 4 stars. I mean, honestly, I haven't read a novel like this in quite a while.

Overall Rating: 4 Stars for both book 1 & 2
Cover Rating: 3 Stars
Characters: 4 Stars
Plot: 3.8 Stars
Climax: 4 Stars
Ending: 4 Stars


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