Welcome to the blog tour for Life In the Palace by Catherine Green!
After a lifetime in the shadow of her sister, Chloe is severely phobic of the chronically cool. Seth is everything she avoids; a pre-med philosophy major who works in a bar, plays in a band and is so good looking that grown women stare at him in the street. But it’s hard to say no to your soul mate. Thinking she’s maxed out her supply of destiny, Chloe settles down to enjoy the happily-ever-after.
Tal says that she’s one of The People sent from heaven to maintain the cosmic balance. Chloe assumes this is code for ‘I’m a pamphlet distributing, incense burning, religious weirdo.’ Actually Tal’s main extracurricular activity is fighting the forces of Oblivion. The People never need to hide what they are because no one ever believes them. Until Chloe does.
Chloe sets out to help Tal and The People as much as she can as an outsider. Seth says as long as no one wears their underpants on the outside Chloe can do what she likes. What he doesn’t say is that he’s also one of The People, although non-practicing. But as the Final Battle draws nearer, Chloe realizes it’s time for Seth to go collect his regulation sword. The only thing standing in his way is her. Seth says he’ll give up his place in heaven to stay with her. Chloe must choose between Seth’s soul and her own happiness.
Catherine Green writes fantasy books featuring religious characters in a brazen attempt to make the people in faith communities seem less weird. She lives with her husband, children and three marginally neglected goldfish. When she's not writing, or pretending to be one of her characters on Facebook, she has been known to cook dinner.
Chloe Diaz is starting a new life in Montreal. She's discovering a whole new world, one that includes her classmate Tal and the very handsome Seth. Seth and Chloe are immediately drawn to each other, but Chloe also begins to find interest in Tal's background. Tal belongs to a group of believers known as "The People," and Chloe begins to learn more about them. The People are caught in an eternal battle on an entirely different spiritual plane, and they create ammunition and strength for the battle by being of service in the physical realm. Unfortunately for Chloe, the worlds of Tal's beliefs and her relationship with Seth become intertwined in ways Chloe could have never imagined, and things will never be the same.
So I found the concept of this book to be really interesting. However, I'm not sure the execution lived up to the idea. The relationship of Chloe and Seth was very quick, and while I don't particularly enjoy that kind of thing it made sense within the context of the book. The plot kind of stalled out after that though. Some of that was due to some of the necessary exposition with Tal and The People, and then setting up their relationship with Chloe and Seth. Things kind of drug from there though until very close to the end. When things really began to wrap up together, things got very exciting again. Maybe this is just due to my general dislike of schmaltzy romance? There is a lot of that in this book. Think Twilight levels of sudden soulmate-ness. I know a lot of people dig that though, so they may not feel like it drags as much as I did.
I did like Chloe though. She was a girl who did things her own way and for her own reasons. Even while being caught up in this sudden romance, she was very capable of making her own decisions that were best for her life. Seth is very much a dream guy who tons of girls will want to see more of. Tal and her group were even more interesting to me. I wanted even more explanation of what they did and why and how it all worked. I did think that Tal and friends did not come off looking very good with the way they handled the Chloe situation, but then no one really comes off looking the hero in all this. In the end, I'm not sure how I feel about this book. The ending felt very unsatisfying for me, but it certainly left me hanging. However this is a creative book with interesting concepts. I think people who enjoy romance and adventure will find things to like in this book.
Book provided for review.
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