May 21, 2013

Rocked - Gina Marie Long

Rocked book cover
Rocked by Gina Marie Long
Series: A Chelsie Valdar Saga #1
Publication Date: February 16, 2013
Source/Format: Author (Thanks Gina!) || e-galley
[I received this book from the author. This in no way affects the thoughts expressed in my review.]

The Apocalypse is one week. Chelsie Valdar and her brother are modern-day Viking warrior teenagers. They must find a mystical sword belonging to their ancient ancestor and flee to safety at a secret shelter, if they hope to survive. As the clock ticks, several Bigfoot and an outcast werecat become invaluable friends helping with the search for the sword and offering supernatural protection. Misfortune haunts their every move. Conflicts delay their progress. Especially when a devious and deranged enemy is infatuated with Chelsie and hungers for the sword, desperate to escape to the shelter with Chelsie by his side. Time is running out.

When I first skimmed the summary of Rocked, the phrases/words "Viking warrior teenagers", "mystical sword", "Bigfoot" and "werecat" jumped out at me. It seemed like a random hodgepodge of mythical and paranormal elements, a collection of things that had the potential to, when combined, create the most epic adventure. I followed my instincts and decided to give Rocked a shot. Though I did end up having a few reservations, this novel was a good read.

The strength of this novel lay in two things. The first is Chelsie's adventure with her brother and friends as they fight to retrieve the mystical sword that belongs to their family. The mission started out simple, as they knew the location of the sword and had the manpower to retrieve it. But as the days drag on, new obstacles crop up in their path and enemies make their presence known. Long put her characters through the wringer as they had to face challenge after challenge in their attempts to retrieve the sword and bring it back to the shelter. I admired the fact that she wasn't afraid to make things hard for them, and I also rooted for the team to accomplish all their goals.

The second thing is the variety of creatures included, chief among them Bigfoots, werecats and humans, and the way their descriptions are integrated into the story. I never felt like there was information overload as the story progressed. In fact, I found that learning about each of the species and their abilities and weaknesses was particularly fascinating. It was illuminating, and certainly led to my fascination with these characters.

(I mean, seriously, I never would have thought that I'd be a fan of Bigfoots. But in the case of Rocked, I certainly am.)

My reservations all revolve around my connection with the characters, particularly Chelsie. I would feel a moment of connection with Chelsie every now and then, but I would also lose my grasp on it straight away. Because I wasn't able to connect with her, it was hard to really root for the romance she was involved in or to feel any strong emotions whenever anything happened to her or to one of her friends. This personally slightly lessened my enjoyment of the story overall.

Rocked was a mishmash of elements, but somehow, Long managed to make them work together in a cohesive story. The last few chapters definitely wrapped up this first adventure, but it left no doubt that there's definitely more to come. I'm surprisingly curious to find out what happens to Chelsie, her family and all the other supernatural creatures next. 

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  1. I love all the creatures that are in this story and it's awesome that it wasn't done overwhelmingly like I've seen in the past. Bigfoots!! Haha.

    It's always a shame when we don't completely connect with the characters I find it can often make or break how much yo like a book, but I'm glad you still enjoyed it! Great review, Alexa!

  2. Alexa - Thanks for hosting me! And I appreciate your wonderful, detailed review of Rocked. This book was more of a challenge to write (compared to my other series) as I wanted it to be in the first person, PRESENT tense instead of past tense. I'm very happy with your comments overall and am glad to have given you something different to read which included, as you said so perfectly, a mishmash of elements! Thanks again!


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