Wednesday, 10 April 2013

URBAN FANTASY YOUNG ADULT REVIEW: A Stranger Things Novel 1 and 2: All Wounds and Time Heals - Dina James

Release Date:11/10/11
Publisher:  Mundania Press


It's said that when opportunity knocks on your door, you have only one chance to take it.

No one said what you're supposed to do when it kicks it.

All Rebecca MacDonnell wants to do is get through high school with grades good enough to win a prestigious scholarship so that she can finally leave her miserable life behind. One evening, after a particularly bad day, she finds out that people other than her aging grandmother need her help, and desperately so.

Well, not "people," exactly. Vampires, werewolves, demons, ghosts, goblins, and other things thought only imaginary all need help sometime, and Rebecca was born with the unique ability to heal ethereal beings. She is about to turn seventeen, the age at which her talent will manifest in its entirety, and become a true Healer…if she lives through the event. A war between various ethereal factions is brewing, and Healers are a valuable commodity to any side. Those who wish to harness Rebecca’s manifesting healing powers for their own purposes must get to her before her seventeenth birthday.

Only two vampires and a rogue werewolf stand between Rebecca and those determined to make her serve them, and the fact that Rebecca has no clue what she's doing doesn't exactly help matters.

Neither does being seriously attracted to more than one of those just trying to protect her.

For a soon-to-be seventeen-year-old Healer-in-training, that's a lot to handle.

Especially on top of her homework.


OK, I have to admit this here, I’ve heard of Dina before now but I’ve not had the time to sit down and see what unfurls within until now. Here in this, her first Young Adult title, is a story that blends the supernatural world with the mortal one by giving the reader a story that not only will lure them in but introduces them to the weird and wonderful alongside the principle character.

It’s definitely quirky, the idea’s explored within are magical and to be honest I’m ashamed to have not read Dina’s work before. I love the way that the characters come to life in their own way, I loved the way that the dialogue felt realistic and also the way that the concepts within were explored. Add to this some cracking prose, a wonderful way of weaving the story and of course giving the reader what they wanted within by bringing a love story to fruition. Definitely something for the Teen market and one that I feel works very well. The only thing I was disappointed with was the way that it concluded a little bit too neatly. Other than that though, I was more than happy to have whiled away a day in her company. Great stuff.

Release Date: 26/03/13


Rebecca MacDonnell is strange. More than that, she's a Stranger, a human born with the ability to use her own life's force to heal ethereal beings. Vampires, werewolves, demons, ghosts, goblins, and other things thought only imaginary all need help sometime, and when they do, they come to her. Some things, however, are beyond help. Something is stalking all Ethereals, great and small. Beings of every race are fleeing a terror no one will acknowledge, let alone name. At seventeen, Mistress Healer Rebecca is still learning to manage her power. She must learn to control it before it controls her. Unless it's already too late. When her burgeoning ability gets away from her, that which heals turns to harm and drives her loyal man-wolf bodyguard Billy straight into the arms of the unknown horror. Unlikely new friends are her only hope to finding out what's happened, and she must enter new--and dangerous--territory in order to do it.


Having loved the first book by Dina in the Stranger Things series, I was lucky that the second title was only just out. It meant more time in the company of the newest healer alongside her otherworldly friends as well as getting to spend time in Dina’s imaginative world.

As with the original Dina increased the scope of her world’s inhabitants, enriched the populace with not only some character quirks but allowed the reader to see that the world isn’t simply black or white and added a solid kick-ass plot to keep the reader glued.

Throw into the mix character development among the main cast, some great dialogue alongside her keeping the main character grounded and all round I have to say that this is a series I’d recommend to all not just the YA market.

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