Reviews

The Vale of Ghosts

 The Vale of Ghosts (The Archaust Saga, Book One) by Jeffrey Aaron Miller

 
Release Date: June 7th 2015
Genre: Fantasy/ Paranormal/ Horror
My Rating: 4.5 out of 5 Stars
Where to Buy:
Here’s the Summary:

A malevolent presence dwells in the vale below the town of Siliven, and only the relic wall of the prophet Cabrien keeps it at bay. When a local girl, Annella Fenn, learns that her cousin has crossed the relic wall and entered the vale, her curiosity compels her to investigate. In the process, she inadvertently sets in motion events that put the whole town in danger. Now, she works feverishly to undo the damage, but she is dealing with an ancient magic that is far more powerful than she realizes, and the fate of the whole kingdom hangs in the balance.

My Thoughts:
The Good:
 
The character development. Every single one of Mr, Miller’s characters are believable as real living, breathing people, and that’s hard to do as an author – make them realistic enough so that they aren’t two-dimensional, but not overdoing it and making them caricatures. For example, the POV character, Annella (or Ann), can be curious yet cautious, reckless but considerate, but she isn’t overtly any of those things. Boys are attracted to her, but they aren’t all fawning all over her, and the fact that there is no insta-love gets major bonus points with me.
Ghosts, ghosts and more ghosts! The book is categorized as fantasy, but in my opinion it’s far more paranormal, so fans of either genre will enjoy it. I love both genres equally! So mix together realistic characters, possessions, and the mysteries surrounding the Archaust and its owner, Vyshe (our antagonist), and you’ve got a truly haunting but entertaining story.
Originality. I can honestly say I’ve never read a book like this in either the paranormal or the fantasy genres, and that gets points with me, as well!
The writing. Mr. Miller’s prose flows well and is an easy read. With some fantasy books the author tries to pack in too many descriptions (and hard-to-pronounce names and places) and  makes it hard to trudge through. I like just enough to insert me into the story; I don’t need to read three paragraphs dedicated to a single landscape. I’d just skim over it anyway.
The author ‘goes there.’ Many times an author doesn’t have the gall to kill off a character or have them suffer. Maybe just enough so that the story seems believable. But it takes an author with true grit to really put their characters through hell, and this author does – another reason this is an entertaining book. When you find yourself grimacing, gasping and needing to look away so you can gather yourself before continuing, you know you’ve found a good read! I will offer a word of caution, though, to those who don’t like gore – there are a few scenes with blood and decaying bodies being controlled by the dead.
The Bad:
There really isn’t anything bad to say about this book, other than I wish there would have been a tad bit more romance. But that’s really just a personal preference. Maybe there will be more in the next books!
The Ugly:
Nothing to say in this category!
In Short: 
 
This paranormal gem is well-written and wildly captivating. I’m eagerly awaiting book two!
Favorite Quote:
“What’s it like?” Ann asked. “Being in the Archaust.”
He considered the question. “You feel bad emotions, and you go around and around, and nothing ever gets better. But the more you go around, the more you feel pieces of yourself breaking off.”
“Doesn’t sound all that different from my life lately,” Ann muttered.
About the Author:

Jeffrey Aaron Miller is a 1997 graduate of the Creative Writing program at the University of Arkansas. He has held a wide variety of jobs over the years, including but not limited to social worker, bus driver, postal carrier, pastor, tire salesman, and content writer, but through it all, he has remained a storyteller. He is the author of numerous novels in the genres of science fiction, fantasy and YA. He resides in Northwest Arkansas with his wife and children.

Visit his Amazon page here!

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