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Arbitrary Scrawling’s review of Isabella’s Heiress

Premise: Isabella’s Heiress provides an interesting and intriguing premise, bringing to life the idea of a purgatory-like concept, where those that die before their time are provided the opportunity to gain their way into heaven by completing a set task, or are delivered into the hands of their enemy to be tortured on their way to hell.

The main character, Emma Elliot, is a woman in her late twenties who finds herself in this strange realm, a version of London that reflects the centuries and times of the past in dark and dreary manners. Emma discovers early on in her time there that the people of this realm believe her to be the reincarnation of a heroine from the 1600s, named Isabella, which would make Emma the answer to a prophecy made after Isabella mysteriously disappeared during a battle between her family and her enemy.

Emma must complete her task in the allotted time, all the while trying to figure out her role amidst the prophecies and the impending war that will leak out from these planes where the dead roam into the real world.

Thoughts: The premise of the story itself was quite intriguing. As someone who loves stories about other planes of existence, angels, death, and all the things that surround it, the story definitely leapt out at me as one that could be of interest. The prologue of the story, which introduces us to Isabella and her strange demise, sets up the reader for quite the ride, as this young woman’s role in what is transpiring in the spirit world is hinted at being a very big deal.

Coming up with what I would rank the story in a five star setting was difficult. The writing itself was very good, easy to read, and engaging and descriptive enough to paint a solid picture of what was going on around and throughout. One need not be familiar with London or it’s history to get a strong mental image of the setting, and the details of the setting. The author’s ability to weave his knowledge, interest, and ideas from different concepts into the story was quite obvious.

Where I struggled with the rating was in two specific areas: one, the introduction into the story. It was very long, and drawn out, taking nearly 100 pages into the book for anything to actually start happening. I say this acknowledging that there are readers out there who appreciate long, drawn out introductions to allow them time to understand the character, the setting, and the difficulty of the task set before the MC. For myself, however, I am a fast-pace reader. I like enough of the intro to know what is going on, before an immediate dive into the story.

That being said, once I made it past the first 100 pages, the story picked up quite nicely, and was engaging enough that I flew through the rest of the book in less than two hours, and was unable to put it down. It was emotional, it was action-packed, and it had enough going on that I simply had to know what happened next.

The whole concept of the story was incredible – could you imagine if each of us had to learn how to manipulate the living world, objects in it, and people in order to complete one final, heart-wrenching task that would allow us to pass through the pearly gates after our death?

Another struggle came in with the end of the story and how it played out. For all the build up of who Emma was, and what her connection and her completing her task was meant to be, there wasn’t much of an end for that. There also wasn’t really much of a connection between Emma and Isabella, despite the build up of what Isabella’s return was supposed to mean.

Conclusion: On the five-star ranking system, I would give Isabella’s Heiress 4 out of 5 stars. The book has a lot of potential, presents incredible concepts, and an interesting premise. The book was really long, which to me is a good thing, but it lacks in follow-through in my opinion. It’s the kind of story that could make a great series; there is so much to explore, and there are so many potential lines the story could have taken. I would definitely like to see a sequel to the book, to see what happens after the story ends.

I think I would have liked to have seen a deeper look into the Cordoban Council (the ‘good’ guys) and the Cado Angelus (the Fallen Angels), the connection with the church in our world, and how Emma effects all of their goals. The story touches on each of those ever so briefly, without full explanation or depth, and I feel like having more about all those areas would have made for a much stronger story.

I would definitely recommend the book to anyone who likes exploring ideas of life after death, other planes, spirituality and everything else connected to it. It’s also one that will end up on my ‘to be reread’ shelf at least a couple of times. I’ll also be keeping my fingers crossed that N.P. Griffiths will be writing more books from this story, as you can bet I will be picking them up if he does.

With today’s review, I also have a free e-book of Isabella’s Heiress to give away! To be entered into the draw for the book, please comment that you are interested. I will make the draw next Thursday!

 

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College Girl Dai review of books

Isabella’s Heiress follows the now deceased Emma as she finds herself in a strange twilight version of London. While there she quickly realizes that there is a battle going on between the Good Angels and the Bad Angels. With the help of Father Emon and childhood best friend Taryn, whom she reunites with in death, Emma goes to battle to restore peace. Will Emma realize her true potential to be a hero in her new world?

Isabella’s Heiress is a supernatural thriller. I enjoyed reading this book. I love following Emma’s story as she battles her way through her new city. Not only is she battling against evil but herself. Through the battling, she starts to work through her inner demons that she has long forgotten about. The story touches on forgiveness which is a powerful thing, in order to move on and be free you have to forgive. Forgiving is hard than it seems especially when you need to forgive yourself.

I enjoyed reading Isabella’s Heiress. It’s not a quick read which is different from the books I have read lately. Even though it’s not a quick read it’s not a hard read. It’s a great story to read. There is a lot of hidden themes and life gems, which makes the story even better. Isabella’s Heiress is the first book in the series.

 

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Revolution SF review of Isabella’s Heiress

I didn’t know what to think when I cracked this thing open. It’s almost 500 pages, and it looked to be a medieval romance along the lines of Outlander. Not that there’s anything wrong with that. I, however, couldn’t have been wronger. Instead, the heiress of the title is a modern-day inheritor of a warrior woman’s legacy. She has a quest to accomplish after she’s dead, and a wise handler to help her along. The whole story is inspiring, as a struggling hero finds her way and takes hold of her life (after her death). It’s well worth a read, even when it crams exposition into just a few pages. The ending sticks the landing perfectly. This is just page-turning good stuff.

 

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New website: Isabella Heiress

Welcome to the new Website of Isabella Heiress. Here you can find out all the latest news of this book due for release Feb 2015. The website has been created by Creative Beast and programmed by Weblator. It ids fully responsive and will work on all mobile devices allowing you to keep unto date with all my latest news and reviews.

Isabella Heiress: Due for release Feb 2015

Isabella’s Heiress was the result of too many nightshifts and not enough sleep.

The idea originated with two characters, Emma Elliott and Father Eamon, who met in a dusty back street warehouse. When I finally got around to putting my ideas down on paper, this became the starting point for the first chapter ‘The Meeting in the Mist’.

From there the story opened up pretty much organically with just the occasional push from myself. Characters such as Taryn and Sister Ignacia introduced themselves at the appropriate times whilst others found themselves dragged in at times when the story had something or someone missing.

The locations chose themselves, particularly when you have a city with as colourful history as London, and I was spoilt for choice when it came to which events to use. In the end the story dictated where the characters went and what they saw.

With regards to the story itself, was there a climatic battle of Dresden? To be honest, not that I can find. That having been said, whilst I might have taken some artistic licence with the events, it is certainly true to say that the thirty-year war has shaped Europe in ways that are still being felt today.

These events, combined with the more fantastic elements of the story, are what I have tried to use to bring Isabella’s Heiress to life.

I guess it’s down to you, the reader, to decide whether I have pulled it off.

Kariny’s Teen Boox Frenzy review of Isabella’s Heiress

The book opens up with a war scenery. Isabella seems like the hope of the people as she gives her soldiers encouragement before they plunge into the war, Isabella fights to her very last breath; until she mysteriously disappears from the battle…

Emma Elliott finds herself all alone in a misty version of London, she is approached by Father Eamon who tells her that she’s dead and is now in another realm-between heaven and hell and tells her that she now has a chance to choose her own fate. He reveals himself to be her guardian as she travels and explores the dark and misty version of London where a war between good and bad angels rages. But Emma has a dark past; one that fills her with guilt over the death of her little sister a few years back. But along for the journey, is Emma’s best friend who had died earlier and was now in the same realm as Emma. From what i’ve understood, these people living in that realm have tasks, but there are evil things that set out to stop them. But the mysteries keep growing in this book.. Who is Isabella and where does Emma fit, in this war?

I think this was a pretty interesting book. It was beautifully described and the author paid special attention to ever ounce of detail. The plot itself was extremely well thought out and it is the kind of book that keeps you guessing with mysteries. However, i will admit this is a little out of my comfort zone, That is, it isn’t YA. Emma is an adult so the story is kind of an adult/paranormal.

Character wise, i think Emma was an okay character, There was nothing really special about her-just her overwhelming guilt. I guess that’s because the author wanted to focus the attention on the plot itself. I did like Emma’s best friend though! She made me laugh quite a few times. I was a bit wary of Father Eamon at first, i didn’t know what to expect of him-was he a good guy or was he bad guy pretending to be a good guy? He had this kind of dignified air. It was a beautiful setting for this story to take place in; the constant mist that hovered really made you feel like something would just jump out of it any second!

I did really enjoy this book. However it was pretty long. I feel like the start was intriguing but slow and the real plot only evolves after a long while-so yeah it did drag on at times. Second thing is, i think this book lacked a tiny bit of romance. All my books have romance in them! Of course, this is my personal taste!!! I know that a lot of you will probably love this book! I just personally felt the absence of romance according to my likes.

I did love the ending!!!! I don’t know if this is a series because i think this can be read as a standalone. The epilogue really made me smile though!

Neil Griffiths weaves a beautiful story full of intrigue and worthy of being called a novel!

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Storm The Castle review of Isabella’s Heiress

Emma Elliot used to be a British Attorney with a normal life, until one day her life was brought to an abrupt, untimely end. She wakes up in a place that she is told is the realm between heaven and hell, and with every new move she makes in her new reality, she becomes more confused than ever before. It’s not long before she makes friends, and in time discovers that this world she now resides has more danger than she could’ve imagined. While wrestling with the problems and attachments to her old life, Emma must also deal with the enormous part she is about to play in this epic journey.

One of the things that stands out the most in Isabella’s Heiress is how this fantasy story is set in the wonderful city of London. This novel ties together the modern day world with a fantasy realm perfectly, and it makes it all the more fun to read. The novel is not only exciting and thrilling to read, but it also contains themes like forgiveness, and calls all the readers to understand the importance of forgiving others but also yourself. This book is very well written and shoulder appeal to everyone who likes reading supernatural thrillers. It isn’t a quick read, but it’s not hard to read at all. Isabella’s Heiress gets **** stars.

 

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Bookworm Nai’s review of Isabella’s Heiress

Isabella’s Heiress opens on a battlefield in 1648 in Dresden. Isabella Calabria is leading the ranks and fighting when she disappears.
Fast forward to modern-day London, and to Emma Elliott who finds herself in a strange situation.

She is near London Bridge where she works, yet something is off. The priest father Eamon is with Emma and he explains to her that she has been in an accident has passed away and is now in purgatory. She has to stay here until it is decided where her soul will go next because she has unfinished business and because she also died too soon.
Truths about this twilight world are revealed to Emma as she struggles to understand where she is and finds that there is evil lurking around dark corners. On top of that, she keeps being mistaken for Isabella Calabria, the stuff of legend.

With Father Eamon’s training, Emma learns to cross over from twilight London into other strange dimensions.
Speaking of Father Eamon, he quickly became a favorite character. He eventually reveals her the task she must complete on her own in order to essentially save her soul and leave this twilight world. Taryn was Emma’s best friend in real life and the two are reunited here. Soon enough Emma finds herself not only trying to complete her task but trying to save her friend as well before it is too late.

Isabella’s Heiress is one of those books that just sweeps you away to another time and place.
I enjoyed the storytelling, the wonderful world building and the strong female lead. Twilight London was well written as were the other dimensions, they were dark and scary places. Griffiths has a knack for creating a rich atmosphere and for giving the story twists and turns. There is danger lurking around every corner and I found Emma running into some unique characters and places.

She ignored him, concentrating instead on the deep orange and red glow, which silhouetted the Tower of London and Tower Bride as a crackling sound was carried on the wind. The smell of smoke and dust hit the back of her throat while on a boiling Thames, ships bobbed aimlessly at anchor.
p. 49, Isabella’s Heiress by N.P. Griffiths

There is plenty of adventure within these pages and I was pulled into the story easily. I did however, want to read more about Isabella Calabria and the prophecy, so maybe in the next book? There were some things left unanswered.
The ending leaves it wide open for the next installment.

Special thanks to the publicist for my review copy of Isabella’s Heiress.

Disclaimer: This review is my honest opinion. I did not receive any kind of compensation for reading and reviewing this book. I am under no obligation to write a positive review. I received my free copy of Isabella’s Heiress via the publicist.

 

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