Incandescence by Elena Leman
Series: Shadowlight #1
Genre: Fantasy Romance
Release Date: November 9th
Orobella is a cosmic wanderer, living borrowed lives in borrowed bodies. Her mission on planet Instaar is the same as always—collecting Crystals of Emotions while having as much fun as her new physical form allows, no strings attached. But once she meets the hypnotically mysterious Sambor, both her body and soul yearn for more. She makes him an offer he can’t refuse.
In the world where creatures of death and darkness drive men mad, emotional detachment has been Sambor’s greatest life achievement. As the future leader of the Lasota tribe and a spiritual tattoo artist, he can’t afford the luxury of mental weakness. Yet his meticulously constructed equilibrium is shaken up when an alluring nymph promises to save his baby sister, in exchange for a sacred Lasota tattoo. He can’t say no. Even if that means his demons will get the best of him.
Filled with elemental magic, spirit animals, psychic terror, and a whole lot of steaminess, this romantic fantasy is more than a love story. It’s a journey through a soul.
My ARC Review:
This was a new author for me, I wasn’t too sure if this story was going to be right for me or not, I like dark / PNR type reads as a rule, but the blurb was very intriguing and won me over!
It did take a little bit of time for me to get into the story, as it’s quite a different and unique type of a story, but once I was in I was hooked! The story line is imaginative, the characters and the world building was done extremely well and I became invested in story and couldn’t wait to see how it would play out.
Orobella is a being of light, having lived for thousands of years and travelled all over the Universe, her mission being to collect crystals of emotions from other beings. In this reincarnation she inhabits the body of a green skinned woman and has a guide called Smoku who takes the form of a gecko, who offers her advice on the land she has arrived and acts as her companion, but only Orobella can see and hear him.
This is quite a spiritual land revolving around the four elements and various Gods to whom they worship. Orobella’s aim is to get her crystals in exchange for Joy before leaving for home. That is until she meets Sambor, who is a tribe leader and spiritual tattooist. She is drawn to him and his own brand of darkness, his grumpy ways, but also his caring for his people and family.
Sambor’s little sister, Child, must prove herself worthy of a place in their society by being useful in some way. Orobella agrees to help Child by teaching her to sing in preparation for her Naming celebration, which will decide the fate of the rest of her life. But Orobella insists on Sambor giving her a tattoo in return. The more time they spend together the deeper the connection between them grows.
Orobella is used to being alone and enjoying it any way she can, but in this land they believe in soul mates and love and attachments. The longer she spends in this body the more connected she feels to Sambor and the life here, with memories from the body’s past coming into play, will Orobella complete her mission and leave, or find herself becoming too attached to Sambor and stay??
Great world building, very imaginative writing which not only encompasses this current world but also other lives that Orobella has lived. I loved the fantasy, mysticism and spiritual aspects of the story, it was very care free and open relationship wise, wild and sensuous, yet as one with nature and the elements. The story line was unpredictable, so you never knew which way the author was going to go with the plot, which I liked. There are also some very hot and steamy scenes in here, where the authors uses some liberal wordings, which I liked and fitted in with the open nature of the story line. Later on in the book the plot becomes quite dark which I didn’t expect but it fitted into the plot really well.
I loved getting to know the different people of this land and their differences. Sambor’s family and friends were also very good, each very different in their characters. But Child and Smoku stole the show for me after Orobella and Sambor!
It was well paced and easy to follow, with plenty of action to keep you entertained. It was also quite emotional at times in a variety of ways. I really enjoyed this and found it hard to put down, different to my usual reads but so very worth the read!! I can’t wait to read more from this series and highly recommend you give this a go.
About the Author:
Elena Leman is a traveler, poet, English teacher, and the author of Happy Ever(ywhere) After and Shadowlight series. Her twelve years of expat life in Turkey, Costa Rica, Colombia, Hong Kong, Malaysia, Thailand, Italy, Brazil, and Portugal filled her imagination with magic, adventure, and a bit of drama–all the essential ingredients for a pageturner. Currently, she’s living in Lisbon, Portugal. When she’s not writing, you can catch her kicking the guts out of a punching bag, finding her zen in meditation, swaying her hips to kizomba beats, or strolling along the Portuguese cliffs.