When you cannot suspend reality for a fantasy novel, there’s a problem, but that’s exactly where I found myself with Angela Carlie’s “Loramendi’s Story.” It was a puzzling place to be because Carlie is one of my favorite indie authors.
“Loramendi’s Story” started with the poetic hook and the pretense of a seemingly normal world. But where the trouble started for me is when Lora meets Chance. There was a certain level of creepiness about his comments and behavior that had me searching for the panic button, and yet Lora wasn’t hitting it or trying to escape. I understand the draw, the connection that was supposed to be there, but I never felt it.
The creepy commentary, of course, was explained when Lora’s past was revealed. It was then you understand Chance’s out-of-place remarks and how they fit into context. Unfortunately, by the time it came, it killed the Chance and Lora bandwagon, and I never could get fully behind a tale that focused on her and her Prince Charming.
By no means does this change how I feel about Carlie as an author, because despite my frustration with the lead couple, I do feel like she does so much more right.
One of Carlie’s strengths is that she writes her stories in settings that she knows. One of my biggest pet peeves as a reader is to read a story set in a place the author has never been – and then they get it wrong. Carlie lives in the Pacific Northwest, where I’m also from. I’ve read two of her novels thus far and both were set in Washington, the Columbia River gorge and Portland area. When you read her books, the setting is colorful and rich. You get a sense of the area, the feel, the culture. Even if you have never been there, you could say you have by reading her books. She does just a beautiful job in that area.
The other thing I did like about the novel was the back story. It just felt like the world she created had so much more depth and that only the surface was scratched in “Loramendi’s Story.” I see a lot of potential for the series with what she started here, although I’m not sure I’m ever going to be a Chance and Lora fan.