Fire and Ice – Entered 2017 ATAI Book Award Contest

4 Stars

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Jessica Victoria Fisette

The first book in Jessica Victoria Fisette’s The Aldurian Chronicles, Fire and Ice follows teenaged Allie as she struggles to cope with her boyfriend’s mysterious disappearance. All that she remembers is a destructive fire, totaling her car over the Asher Creek bridge, and the mysterious stranger who saved her. Then, more strange things begin to happen, causing Allie to have to flee for her life—but there are secrets in store for her that could change everything.


In many ways, Fire and Ice reads more like the second book in the series than an adequate introduction into it all. Although plenty of fascinating events happened before Fire and Ice begins, the reader is only treated to those events through intercutting flashback scenes and spoken memories, which interrupts the plot and can lead to a fair bit of confusion. Perhaps the inclusion of an earlier book in The Aldurian Chronicles—or even just a prologue in Fire and Ice—would have made this book progress a bit more smoothly. Also, the plot development of the story in Fire and Ice seems a bit uneven; some scenes drag on forever while others are over too quickly, and the reader is left with too many questions.


However, Fire and Ice is most certainly a worthwhile read. Jessica Victoria Fisette expertly blends fantasy, science fiction, and young adult fiction into this fascinating novel. Her mysterious, descriptive style of writing only adds to the experience, making Fire and Ice even more memorable and enchanting. With a captivating, unique plot and relatable, multi-faceted characters, Fire and Ice shows a great deal of promise for its future sequels in The Aldurian Chronicles.

Originally critiqued by a member of the Authors Talk About It team.

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The Vanquished – Entered in Romance Novel Contest

4 Stars

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Jessica Victoria Fisette

In The Vanquished penned by Jessica Victoria Fisette, we meet Kendra – a privileged young girl from Houston, Texas who is on her way to Braxton Law School despite her wealthy parent’s wishes to go to an Ivy League. Upon Kendra’s arrival to Elkridge, Massachusetts, she finds herself running into a handsome guy, Alaric A’mswirth, and can’t quite put her finger on where she knows him from. After trying to get Alaric off of her mind, Kendra soon finds out that he’s going to be her neighbor in the law school dormitories. As they become more acquainted, Alaric offers to help Kendra with some of her dorm room shopping necessities and invites her to dinner. What seemed to have started off as a romantic dinner ended with Ric desperately trying to get Kendra away from two men who were trying to cause some trouble. Later Kendra finds out that those same two guys were found dead shortly after the interaction. While she has her suspicions about Alaric, she isn’t quite sure what is going on with him and these incidents in Elkridge. She’s in for a surprise when she finds out that Alaric isn’t human, and he’s not the only one on campus who isn’t.

Although The Vanquished has some interesting moments, some of the tone, scenery and situations were a bit too similar to The Twilight Saga. A few moments such as Alaric’s eyes changing colors when he’s “hungry” or in danger, along with scenery of him trying to read Kendra’s mind and finding it very hard to do so and constantly trying to protect this woman who he’s seemingly in love with brought me back to Stephenie Meyer’s ever so popular saga. Fisette’s scene description and more importantly food description were phenomenal though. She mentions a gumbo and Riesling pairing which left my mouth watering in the first chapter and ensures you feel as if you’re walking through the big gates at Braxton. It does take quite a while to find out the truth about Alaric and his past involving Kendra, but it becomes quite the roller coaster ride when you get there. Overall, The Vanquished turned out to be a fairly good read even though it took some time to reel you in.

Originally critiqued by a member of the Authors Talk About It team.

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