Thursday, March 28, 2013

Review of Lightning Rider by Jen Greyson

*A copy of this book was given to me in exchange for an honest review.*
Click here for the full description.
For Evy Rivera, thunderstorms have always caused her physical pain, but she's never known why. When a record-setting storm arrives on the same night her father finds ancient ancestral documents, Evy is set aglow with mysterious tiny lightnings she can command.
Even worse, she alerts some people in the universe who've been looking for her family for a very long time.

Evy must sort through the lies and find the truth behind her family's time-traveling past before the wrong history obliterates the future. She’s spent her whole life fighting for her place. Now, as the first female lightning rider, she'll dedicate her existence to fighting to save the world.

But will Evy learn to manage her lightning and find the truth before it's too late?

WOW... yes, the capitals are necessary. Lightning Rider was an absolute thrill to read, and I couldn't be more satisfied after finishing it. I'll start with a quick summary: Evy, the main character, finds out she has the power to time travel using lightning. This ability has been in her family for generations, and only men have wielded it in the past. She's the first female "Lightning Rider" as these time travelers are called, and she also has the power to use lightning as a weapon. Ilif is the man who has guided the past generations of Rivera lightning riders through their journeys and travels, and once Evy and her father travel for the first time, he shows up to "train" her father. He's either a male chauvanist, or he has some other issues with women, and he refuses to acknowledge Evy's obvious potential. Evy does some time traveling on her own and gets involved in a battle that happened approximately 2000 years ago. It's during this battle that she meets Constantine, the warrior soldier with a tragic past. Evy and Constantine must work together to win the battle not just for the era in the past, but for the sake of the future as well.

I really liked that the plot was complicated enough to keep me curious, but still easy to understand. Just when I thought that I'd (mostly) figured things out, the author would introduce a new obstacle or piece of information that would shake things up for all of the characters. Evy was kept in the dark about many things related to her time traveling, but as the story progressed she kept fighting for more information, and she got it. This made for an even-paced book, and there was no point where I felt uninterested in what was happening.

Evy was an awesome narrator/main character. She didn't take crap from anyone, and she refused to let people control or manipulate her. (Except for her scumbag ex-boyfriend. Apparently, she was terrible at picking the "right" guys, but that really wasn't visible during Lightning Rider except for the very beginning. Unless you have something against broken-hearted, muscular Roman warriors...more on that later :D)  Her biggest flaw was her hot-headedness. She not only recognized her personal obstacle, she tried to work on fixing it as the book progressed, and it was clear by the end of the story that she had really improved and gained more control over her actions and words. There were no cliched supporting characters; even sexist Ilif didn't act in a ridiculously unreasonable manner. I mean, he was unreasonable, but not manically-cackling-evil-professor unreasonable. Each character, even the minor ones, had real strengths and flaws. (Honestly, my biggest pet peeve with many of the books I've recently read is the stereotypical characters.)

Finally, I HAVE to talk about the romance. I was really happy that the romance didn't overpower the book, and that the author didn't use dozens of love scenes. I think that they would have cheapened the book (I can't really think of a better phrase) and I was able to stay focused on the plot of the story. Constantine is the love interest, but he's much more than that. He's in charge of training Evy for the battle. More specifically, he helps her learn to control her lightning powers and use them as a weapon. By training with Constantine, Evy was able to focus on her inner self and use her emotions to her advantage with the lightning. (I have some theories about his importance to her that I'm hoping will be confirmed in the future ;D ) From the moment Evy first sees him, there's an obvious attraction, but while she definitely acknowledges it, she doesn't let it cloud her judgement. Constantine is what you might call "perfect" physically. Lean, muscular, in shape, luscious locks, etc but his personality is far from perfect. He's damaged from events in his past and he uses his warrior status to help numb the pain, to turn off his emotions. He, too, was hot-headed, but he had a bit more control over his tongue. Their romance was real, with arguments and disagreements and heated moments of passion ;) No insta-love...yay! They really improved each other, which is the best kind of relationship in my opinion.

Overall, I would recommend this book to anyone looking to read a series with action, realistic fantasy, a strong female lead, and a bit of romance. Anyone, that is, who doesn't mind a sprinkling of adult content ;)

Lia's rating: a Remarkable Read!


  1. Best. Review. Ever. I'm honored that you got to know these characters so well. Thank you so much for taking the time to read Lightning Rider and write such a thorough review. I hope you're right about Constantine's importance ;)

    I'm glad you liked it!
    Warm Wishes,

    1. And thank YOU for the opportunity to read and review it! It was an excellent book, and it was especially refreshing after I'd been reading some disappointing YA novels. I look forward to the next books(s) in the series!

      Lia, Remarkable Reads