Saturday, December 6, 2014

Reprise Review: Boreal and John Grey Season 1 / Chrystalla Thoma

Reviewed by: ?wazithinkin

Genre: Fantasy

Approximate word count130-135,000 words

Kindle  US: YES  UK: YES  Nook: NO  Smashwords: NO  Paper: YES
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“Chrystalla is Greek Cypriot (hence the strange name) and likes writing about bratty, angsty boys and spunky girls in fantasy and science-fiction worlds. She writes mainly for a young adult public but not only (heed the warnings!)

She's currently preparing a non-fiction book about dragons, because the truth must out, and is juggling two series”


“Centuries ago, they nearly conquered humankind. But their Gate to our world closed, leaving them out. Now the elves have found a way back.

Ella Benson, agent of the Paranormal Bureau, fights the Shades when they cross into our world, keeping everyone safe. But increasingly dangerous creatures are slipping into her city, her work partner has just gone missing, and a mysterious – and, quite frankly, hot — guy saves her life. His name is Finn and, as it turns out, he’s a natural when it comes to fighting the Shades.

When the Gates between the worlds start opening and the elves make a comeback, Ella needs a new, temporary partner. Enlisting the mysterious Finn is a no-brainer, until she realizes he is guarding dangerous secrets of his own.

Together with Finn, and the fate of the world on her shoulders, what’s Ella to do but grab her weapons and figure it all out, one way or another.”


This is actually a set of five novellas that make up the complete first season of the series “Boreal and John Grey" (The Encounter, The Gate, The Dragon, The Dream and The Truth).

I was totally drawn into this urban fantasy; Ella Benson is an agent of a secret paranormal investigation team trying to keep her world safe from increasingly dangerous creatures that are slipping into her dimension from another realm. The story is told mainly through Ella so we get to know her character extremely well, as she tries to figure out what exactly is happening, why, and how to stop it. Woven with Old Norse mythology Ms. Thoma has created her own unique world full of oracles, dwarves, elves, goblins, dragons, wolves that are not your typical wolf, huge fly snakes and other fantastical creatures.

It wasn’t hard to slip into this contemporary setting and become invested in the lives of all the characters in this story as they try to puzzle through the mystery of John Grey and the portals as the clues unfolded in a realistic way. The action is fast, furious, and intriguing. The characters are intelligent and strong but flawed with insecurities that are dealt with in a heartwarmingly realistic manner as all of the players stayed true to their own individual selves.

There were a few proofing misses, but not enough to really comment on except perhaps the words “Curioser and curioser”, I believe the words 
“Curiouser and curiouser” were meant to be used, that was a little jarring. I should also mention you will find profanity and adult sexual situations in this book but I don’t believe there were gratuitous. I thoroughly enjoyed this series and if you like urban fantasy or paranormal romance, I think you will also enjoy this. I look forward to following this series and checking out some of Chrystalla Thomas’ other books.


Some adult language and situations.

Format/Typo Issues:

No significant issues

Rating: ***** Five stars

The review previously appeared in a different format at Awesome Trilogies and Series.

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