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Chasing Sunrise by Lex Chase

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Hello Internet! I’m Lex Chase and I want to thank everyone here at Divine Magazine for having me here for the Chasing Sunrise Blog Tour!

Chasing Sunrise is about King Sevon MaratÈ who caught in a devastating situation in-between trying to escape domestic violence and save his dying people at the same time. It is a tale of war, genocide, torture, and just how far we go to protect ourselves and the ones we love. Above all, it is a story of hope, light, and how love can make monsters of us all.

Speaking of monsters…

 

PK-17 Iris (Megan Franich, pictured) is one of the group of bloodthirsty vampires that invades the isolated town of Barrow, Alaska in Columbia PicturesÕ 30 Days of Night.
Iris (Megan Franich, pictured) is one of the group of bloodthirsty vampires that invades the isolated town of Barrow, Alaska in Columbia Pictures 30 Days of Night.

Dear readers, meet the aisa.

The aisa†are our heroes of the story. And sure, yeah, yeah. They’re pretty. They’re sexy. But make no mistake. The aisa eat people.

Read that again. Eat people. In fact, they keep humans as livestock. The fun part about the aisa is we as mortal beings are all eeewww gross they’re monsters! Consider this, we have no issue when we eat a hamburger, or a steak, or McNuggets. It’s the same deal. The aisa are not a malicious people, they don’t get a thrill from killing humans. That’s just what they eat.

They’re replacement eaters. And what does that mean exactly? They have to eat the entire body. You know what I’m talking about. Not just the blood, but the muscle, organsóa yup brain too, the bones, and even the skin.

But there are certain things that their own bodies don’t need or use. Aisa have no need for a stomach, and therefore they don’t have any digestion tract. Those organs still exist in their bodies, but they’re like vestigial organs they way a tailbone is. They also don’t need to breathe, but still have some lung function. Because no matter what you do, you still breathe to talk. Or you move air to make a sound. Their lungs only hold a quarter capacity of what we do. Their idea of a deep breath for them is a very shallow one for us. The tissue is still there. But it’s like a half deflated balloon.

And these are the good guys!

In Chasing Sunrise we learn that the term aisa is a catchall name for the various aisa breeds. And there are just as many aisa breeds on this planet as there are just as many different nationalities over our green earth. While there’s a baseline of similar feeding habits and weaknesses, some have extreme variants. While we never meet them, there’s an African race that feeds exclusively on the milk of nursing mothers. Cool, am I right?

However, in our first glimpse into the world of the aisa nations, we meet the chasseurs by way of the most horrible example of them with the villainous Dominic Ravensgrove. It is a bit of a treat to find out what they’re like. They worship insects for a reason.

We also learn of Sevon’s heritage as a verkolai. His breed is considered the ruling class and not only that but godhood. I like to think of it as being appointed a pharaoh in the manner that people believe god speaks through them. But there’s a catch to being born the most powerful aisa breed and it’s a pretty shitty one. Being a verkolai is seriously a lot more trouble than it’s worth! You’ll have to read on to find out!

 

Dark_Days_sm

My question to you!  Movie monsters come in many forms, from gory demons to psychological masterminds, who is your favorite?  Who sends shivers down your spine?

Come follow me on Facebook and Twitter for Blog Tour Updates!


Image Credit: 30 Days of Night from Columbia Pictures and Ben Templesmith


chasing-sunriseGenre: Fantasy/Horror/Paranormal
Series: The Darkmore Saga: Book One
Length: Novel
Published: April 5, 2016
Publisher: DSP Publications
ISBN: 978-1-63476-355-4
Buy: DSP Publications†| Omnilit | Amazon |†Barnes and Noble

Blurb:

The once glorious aisa kingdom of Darkmore lies in ruins, and King Sevon MaratÈ is trapped. Sevon endures unrelenting abuse and is used as a scapegoat by Lord Dominic Ravensgrove, who rules Darkmore from the shadows. Coping by dressing in gowns and jewels, the effeminate king relishes the scraps of freedom he is given to be himself.

As a verkolai, Sevon possesses the ability to part the Veil separating his world from hundreds of others. His gift provides a chance for escape, but Dominic refuses to relinquish his tool for power. When Dominic forges an ambitious plan to invade the prosperous shifter land of Priagust, he manipulates Sevonís desperation for his peopleís survival. Out of options, Sevon has no choice but to cooperate.

On their foray into Priagust, Dominic’s men abduct a shifter named Jack. Despite being tortured for information, Jack’s loyalty to his kind never wavers. But Jackís knowledge about Darkmoreís history unsettles Sevon, and a curious bond begins to form. Despite Sevonís mistrust, Jack is determined to tame the beautiful kingís wild heart and perhaps earn his freedom.

As war looms, Sevon fears Jackís kindness is another trap. Conflicted, Sevon wonders if he should risk chasing the sunrise or remain Dominic’s compliant prisoner.

1st Edition published by Dreamspinner Press, 2014.


Review by Elaine White

Book – Chasing Sunrise (The Darkmore Saga #1)

Author – Lex Chase

Star rating – ★★★☆☆

No. of Pages – 280

Cover – Good

POV – 3rd person, multiple POV, omnipresent sometimes

Would I read it again – No

Genre – LGBT, femme, cross-dressing, paranormal, fantasy, shifters

 

** I WAS GIVEN THIS BOOK, BY THE AUTHOR, IN RETURN FOR AN HONEST REVIEW **

WARNING: trigger topics: rape, gang rape, domestic abuse, physical and emotional abuse, cannibalism

To be quite honest, this book and I didn’t get along. By the 25% mark, I thought about stopping. By 35% I knew I would stop if I hadn’t agreed to review it. I persevered regardless, but it was hard. Most of the story were brutal and uncomfortable to read. There was a lot of talk about off-page rape, gang rape, coercion, domestic abuse, controlling behavior and so much more.

 

I liked the characters of Sevon and Jack all throughout. Though Sevon did some despicable things, I could understand his motivation and that he didn’t have much choice. He was backed into a corner, with only obedience or pain as options. He chose obedience. It was highly disturbing to encounter Dominic’s POV, talking so freely about using Sevon’s blood highs (part of the culture) to keep him compliant and so high that he didn’t know he was being raped or gang raped. And that was just… There are no words to say how horrible it was to read, though none of it was explicit. It was partly how casually he accepted and gloried in what he’d done and partly disgust at how unaware Sevon was, and that Dominic knew that, they put me off.

Every time Sevon was touched, kissed or came onto Dominic, it was extremely uncomfortable to read. It made my skin crawl. His interactions with Jack were natural and nowhere near creepy.

I also found that Sevon slipped into very feminine, even childish, behaviors at times. Often, other than the sex scenes, it read as though Sevon was a female character who had been turned into a male.

I’m not sure if it was worse to know what Sevon had been through or to know and realize that Sevon had no clue. So whenever he flirted with Dominic or talked about the way the men of the palace looked at him as though they had experience with him intimately, I cringed a little more inside, knowing that he was so unaware of the truth. That those men had the intimate knowledge, he was so sure they didn’t have, that when Dominic’s friends and the men of the palace made crude remarks, they were probably talking from experience. And that Sevon thought he was safe with them, and the hard truth was that he was only safe until the blood high came and then Dominic used his ‘monster’ to allow them access to their King. He was made a fool, a puppet and a joke to everyone in the palace, without ever knowing it.Mostly, this book just made my skin crawl and made me feel disgusted. The small moments where Sevon and Jack

Mostly, this book just made my skin crawl and made me feel disgusted. The small moments where Sevon and Jack were alone together were the only redeeming parts of the story, where I didn’t feel like I wanted to vomit.

It was also really gross that humans, in this story, were used as nothing more than cattle. Kept in pens, treated like sheep and cows, they were left naked permanently, sold off and used as food.

What I really don’t get is that Sevon stepped out of the veil with Dominic dozens of times, to visit the lighthouse, to hunt, etc., but he never once thought about abandoning Dominic there and returning behind the veil himself? I mean, it seems a logical step – even if it would eliminate a need for 50% of the story – because Dominic can’t manipulate the veil himself and no one else in the human world could either. He’d be stuck there, and Sevon would be safe. But he never once considers it?

As this is a review copy, I’m not going to talk much about grammar/spelling issues, particularly since I never noticed any glaringly obvious ones. I would have marked them otherwise. However, the POV situation was really confusing. It began as though there would be one POV in each scene/chapter, but then became omnipresent far too frequently, throughout the book. Sometimes 2-3 chapters would go by, with only one POV, sometimes you’d barely get one page, as there were multiple characters giving their POV, on their own, as well as during other people’s scenes.

Thankfully, by the time you reach the 55-60% mark, the story begins to improve. It becomes less about Dominic and more about Sevon, as it should be. Until this point, despite the best attempts to make it about Sevon’s growth, the story really just revolved around telling us all the horrid details of how Dominic had caged Sevon and brainwashed him into who he wanted him to be.

The best characters were Sevon and Jack. As the MC’s, they were really good at being versatile, fitting into the situations they encompassed naturally. Next up, I really liked Kaltag and Bianca. They had their little mini-dramas.

However, there were too many POV for me – Dominic, Sevon, Jack, Kaltag, Bianca and probably some more in there, too. Xo definitely had a small part and Cassandra. I think some of that could have been left out since it wasn’t really relevant.

~

Overall, if I’d know the story was this dark, I wouldn’t have agreed to review it. I know when things aren’t to my taste, but there was no warning of rape, domestic abuse or anything else. Nothing prepared me for how disgusted I’d feel or that I’d never want to finish the book because I just couldn’t endure anymore.

Kudos to the author for making the worst parts of this story off-page, but still terrifyingly impactful. I’ve read detailed horror scenes that barely make me blink. The emotional trauma this story put me through will probably relinquish any need for a re-read. This one will be staying with me for a long, long time.

Although the romance between Sevon and Jack was sweet and fiery at times, it didn’t work for me as an overall novel. Dominic was too cruel and hedonistic, Sevon was too damsel-in-distress, and the sex scenes were a little rushed and brutal for my liking. There was only one ‘gentle’ love scene in the whole book, while the rest were either gross-factor events, because of Dominic, or they were rushed because Sevon and Jack had stolen that time together.

Overall, I’m left with a bit of a sour taste in my mouth. I’ll need some truly light fluff to scrub my brain of the worst parts of this book; then I only hope I can forget being inside Dominic’s head; the creepiest creep I’ve read about in a long time.

I’m sad to say that, although I don’t know what the next book in the series is about, I won’t be reading it.


 

CS_Giveaway_Graphic

I’m giving away a super awesome $25 USD Amazon Gift Card! What do you have to do? Leave a comment down below and click the giveaway graphic to follow me on Twitter and Facebook or Share, Tweet, or Hashtag! So many ways to enter!

My question to you! Movie monsters come in many forms, from gory demons to psychological masterminds, who is your favorite? Who sends shivers down your spine?

Come follow me on Facebook and Twitter for Blog Tour Updates!



madison_parker_MG_4269-WEBAbout the Author:

Lex Chase once heard Stephen King say in a commercial, ìWeíre all going to die, Iím just trying to make it a little more interesting.î Now, sheís on a mission to make the world a hell of a lot more interesting.

Weaving tales of cinematic, sweeping adventureóand depending on how she feels that dayóLex sprinkles in high-speed chases, shower scenes, and more explosions than a Hollywood blockbuster. Her pride is in telling stories of men who kiss as much as they kick ass. If youíre going to march into the depths of hell, it better be beside the one you love.

Lex is a pop culture diva, her DVR is constantly backlogged, and unapologetically loved the ending of Lost. She wouldnít last five minutes without technology in the event of the apocalypse and has nightmares about refusing to leave her cats behind.

You can find in the Intarwebz here:

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DSP Publications

DSP Publications is a boutique imprint producing quality fiction that pushes the envelope to present immersive, unique, and unforgettable reading experiences.
 

 

1 Comment
  1. Lex Chase says

    Thanks for having me guys! And thank you for the honest review Elaine! 😀 Even if the book wasn’t your thing, I’m very happy you gave it your best shot. Chasing Sunrise is a book that definitely divides readers, either they love it, or they really don’t care for it. So thank you a million times over for your consideration and your thoughts! <3

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