Sovereign Hope by Frankie Rose

Publisher: Self-published

Format: Kindle edition

So let’s see if I can guess this whole story based solely on this cover: there’s a girl who is somehow royalty (Sovereign) who must die (corpse like girl photo) to give hope (Hope) to a bunch of mystical people (purely conjectural but based off the mystical flowing lines up and down the cover’s sides). Did I get? Did I get it? Scarily enough, yes.

Plot: Farley Hope’s mom has been missing for a few months when she starts realizing that the world around her has become more than unusual. Strangers start following her for no reason and she’s prone to bouts of vision induced hysteria. Eventually all hell breaks loose as two opposing forces converge on her in an attempt to force her to choose a side. A side of what? She has no clue and doesn’t want any part of it. But when she’s cornered by a hottie named Daniel and a middle aged woman at the local fair, she is somehow convinced that her destiny is to save a mystical, underworld that co-exists with our own. To do so, she must die. She joins Daniel at a hidden bunker and slowly begins to learn about this secret world, what part her father played in it, and about her own destiny. When Daniel disappears and more people arrive at the bunker, Farley finds out more than she bargained for. Finally the time comes for her to fulfill her destiny and make a choice, whether she dies to save them or not, and it’s the love she feels for Daniel that makes her hesitate in her quest. Will she be able to go through with her destiny or will forbidden love conquer all?

Review: Dear reader, I must ask: was our synopsis a tad confusing? Would you call it none too clear on the big points and a kind of glossed over? Maybe a bit trite and utterly vague? Well, folks, I’m sad to say this book read exactly like that. Sovereign Hope is a big story with lofty goals but it’s so indecisive and so vague that it never fulfills them. I get easily annoyed by books where fantastic things happen in a way that is never explained to the reader. I also get annoyed at books where the characters react to every bizarre and magical plot twist with calm and poise, never questioning what the F just happened. This book does both of these and it kept bugging me because I would put myself in several of Farley’s situations to see how I would react. Let me tell you, it wouldn’t be with the same all accepting BS attitude Farley does. I would have run screaming but she just accepted everything, going with the flow even if it sounded weird and way too mystical to be real. Case in point, Farley is approached by strangers and told that she’s part of a magical world that exists underneath our own. In fact, she’s the only thing in this magical world that can stop some evil dudes from destroying them all. Of course she’s hesitant at first (because their story is bat crazy) but instead of running away and calling the police, she goes with these people voluntarily to their hidden, underground bunker and lives with them. Umm…what?! It makes no sense. Another case in point, while living with these crazy people, Daniel, one of the more magical crazies, treats her like garbage. Is verbally and physically distant and cold, acts as if she is a constant liability, never wants to spend time with her, only sees her as a deadly weapon…and what happens? Oh only that she falls in love with him! The buildup of their relationship was not romantic or tense. It was fraught with lots of awkward and unnerving situations, the majority of which occurred in a bunker. It just didn’t work for me. The writing style as well was good but not good enough to fully convey the realism that a story like this needs. I felt like I was reading the cliff notes version of the actual events since there weren’t a lot of descriptors and everything seemed under explained. We never really learn about this magical world or the evil menace that faces it. We never feel fully connected to the characters or their plights. The particulars of magic abilities of people are glossed over though we certainly see them in action. I guess in the end this book reads like a movie: there’s big budget action scenes, a little romance, some incredible chases, and a fantastic conclusion; there is no depth, no range of emotion, and no plausible reasons for why things happen.

In the end I’m giving it a 6/10.

How much did I like the heroine: 7. Farley had a lot of promise: an imperfect heroine looking to find out about her roots and how to change her destiny. She seemed like she wanted to better herself through hard work and perseverance. But I never felt like I could connect fully with her character and she accepted everything crazy that happened to her or around her with such nonchalance that I found myself annoyed at times.

How much did I like the love interest:8. Daniel is all brooding good looks and coiled power. This deadly combination proves way hot but his personality is a mood killer. He’s such a Debbie Downer all the time and I could never get the hook on how he really felt.

How believable is the plot: 6. Reality aside, this plot should have been straight forward but was way confusing. What’s this mystical other world that co-exists with our? These Reavers that rule them (forgot to mention them but they just seemed stupid, like psychic vampires or something), why are they

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the rulers again? Farley’s dad was supposed to be dead but surprise! He’s not and he’s a ruler of this crazy underground world! I don’t know, it read like a novel trying not to be just any other vampire/werewolf/paranormal book. But the plot was too poorly thought out or explained to make a lot of sense.

How much did I like the writing style/editing/etc: 7. The writing was decent without a ton of grammar/spelling mistakes. I just never felt connected to the story or the characters. Like the lack of description kept be disconnected or the copious amount of action were trying to make up for not explaining anything fully.

How much did I want to keep reading: 6. I really had no desire to keep reading or to stop. I just pushed through in a hope that it would pick up somehow.

Final Score: 6/10. The writing is decent, don’t get me wrong. I just feel like the style or the depth of the writing would have been better suited to a different book. As it stood the story stagnated in parts and had far too much action in others. There wasn’t enough description and I never could connect fully to there characters. I would say give it a shot for a change of pace from the typical paranormal books on the shelf but don’t expect too much.

****Disclaimer: I got this book for free from the author. I swear I didn’t bribe her in any way, or get paid for my review. And we might not be legit enough to need this disclaimer but after working at a law firm for many years it’s better safe than sorry!****

 

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5 thoughts on “Sovereign Hope by Frankie Rose

    • Yep, it’s her debut. That probably accounts for a lot of it. But she’s starting a series and setting it up to be huge, so the writing has got to fit!

  1. I just finished reading this debut novel and found it to be a refreshing break from the maddeningly sappy crap that’s gotten so popular thanks to Twilight.

    I actually welcomed Daniel’s rough edges and bitter behavior- and it WAS explained, I don’t know how you missed that. His reasons for the bitterness were deeply emotional, and totally relate-able. And Farley falling for the “bad boy” is not unrealistic at all. Lots of girls do that, and lose their heads and common sense in the process. As far as accepting this magical world, I think she questioned it enough – any more would have been overkill. It is a paranormal story afterall – to spend an entire novel questioning the world in which the novel takes place is…I don’t even know. Counterproductive to the story, I guess.

    For me, this book left just enough to the reader’s imagination and handled the basic big questions that would have left me annoyed had they not been answered. I feel annoyed when everything is spelled out for me and described in perfect detail so that I become an outside observer. As a reader, I like to participate in the story, and I appreciate a writer who leaves room for that!

    Personally, I enjoyed this fast paced tale, and I applaud the author on creating compelling characters and a fascinating L.A. underworld that left me curious and wanting more.

    Maybe this just wasn’t your cup of tea – but that doesn’t make it a worthless cup of tea! While I totally respect your opinion and experience of the story, I found your review to be needlessly harsh. I hope your readers will give this book a chance, it’s definitely worth reading!

    • I agree! This is much different from all the Vampires/Werewolves/Random Paranormal stuff out there right now. Personally, I think it would have been a great book because of that but there were a few problems that dropped it from great to just okay for me. My main issue is that the writing wasn’t on par with the grand scope of the plot. In addition, a lot of plot points were glossed over in favor of action scenes, a lot of the secrets weren’t adequately explained, and the relationship between Farley and Daniel seemed forced. Again, maybe it was unclear in the review but my problem wasn’t Daniel and his rough edges, but the fact that a relationship evolves from them. I just couldn’t understand how those two got together from their limited and rather angry moments in each others’ company.
      I hope it didn’t come across as worthless because it wasn’t! It just didn’t appeal to me but can very much see why it would to a lot of readers.

  2. “…to give hope (Hope)… ”

    Low key the best line in the entire review. I’m a girl who loves a witty parenthetical. The fact that there are more people like me restores my faith in humanity.

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