Saturday, April 12, 2014

Review - Written in Ruberah: Age of Jeweled Intelligence by P. Christina Greenaway

Author: P. Christina Greenaway
Release Date: March 19, 2014
Pages: 422
Goodreads Rating: N/A (I seem to be the first one!)
My Rating: 3/5 Stars
My Content Rating: Adult (Written for an adult audience; No sex shown, but referenced)

Summary from Goodreads:  New York real estate broker Miriam Lewis takes off for a brief getaway to a remote inn on the rugged cliffs of Cornwall. Rest and romance with her boyfriend seem like the perfect cure for a life that appears to be going nowhere, and too fast. Entering Cornwall, Miriam crosses the River Tamar and glimpses a luminous girl floating in the river. A memory from long, long ago begins to unfold in Miriam's thoughts-something about a promise she made to perform a selfless act of courage. Could it be true? Could she ever rise to such heroism or is it just a hallucination? While at the inn, Miriam experiences a series of flashbacks from a life she lived in an ancient land called Ruberah. These startling images convince Miriam that she did write the promise and that she must keep it. But to do so, Miriam will have to let go of everything in her life and place her trust in a guide-the river girl-the wise and eternal spirit of the River Tamar. 

Written in Ruberah: Age of Intelligence is an interesting mix of contemporary and unique mythology.  The book starts out as an ancient mythological land called Ruberah that is coming apart at the seams.  The princess of this ancient society is guilt-ridden over her part in Ruberah's demise and so she promises that she will suffer in future lives for generations until she is ready to make amends.  The book then flashes forward to the present when Miriam Lewis comes to Cornwall, the original location of ancient Ruberah.  She is hoping for lifetime love with Mitch, her boyfriend who has accompanied her to Cornwall, but what she finds is complications - an ancient world that is calling to her and wants her to fulfill a destiny she doesn't understand.

The negatives:
  • Relationships.  I never really connected to most of the modern day characters in this book.  Mitch and Miriam seemed comfortable together, but they didn't have a strong connection that made me want to root for them.  To give Greenaway credit, this was purposeful, but it just made it hard for me to care much about them.  When Mitch started to let his mind stray toward Gwenellen and Miriam decided to possibly pursue Harry, I couldn't bring myself to really care all that much.  The modern day characters all seemed a bit bored with each other and I felt a little bit bored with them too.
  • Spotty memories.  The modern characters in this book would sometimes remember things they had learned about Ruberah and their past selves and then they would just forget it all.  This was okay at first, but it got frustrating when it happened over and over and over again.  It felt like a bit of a delay tactic to allow us to learn some things, but keep the characters in the dark.  I just found myself getting tired of it.
  • The mythology.  On the positive side, Greenaway created a really detailed mythology based on the power of gemstones and people who have jeweled intelligence so that they can tap into that power (it sort of feels like a New Age mythology).  There are also some characters who originated on another planet.  The characters all have multiple reincarnations as humans and can sometimes access their true Ruberian memories.  Greenaway obviously put a lot of thought into this mythology, making it richly detailed.  My only problem was that I sometimes had a hard time following it all.  I just never completely understood the jeweled intelligence and what the difference was between the Ruberians and humans and the people from the other planet (can't remember what they were called).  There were river spirits and nymphs and giants thrown in to boot and I just wasn't ever clear on any of it. (But maybe this was just me.)
What I loved:
  • Tamara and the giants.  I think my favorite part of the book was Tamara, who became the River Spirit, and her giant friends.  Tamara's gained my sympathy because of her inner turmoil over her conflict with her father.  I loved her sweet relationship with the giants which felt almost motherly at times.  And I was really intrigued by Tamara's role as the River Spirit and how she was supposed to help guide Miriam and Kate (a young girl from Cornwall who had jeweled intelligence and could remember her past life in Ruberah).
  • The Dark Master.  The Dark Master and his servants caused all sorts of mischief in this book, which kept it interesting.  I liked that Tamara could actually see when the Dark Master was influencing people by the dark aura that surrounded them.
Written in Ruberah was an interesting fantasy read with a complex mythology.  I give it  3/5 stars.

***Disclosure: This book was provided to me by the author in exchange for an honest review. No other compensation was given. All opinions are my own***

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