Author: Mia Fox
Series: The Romani Realms, #1
The discovery of an ancient bottle unleashes a Genie - and the wrath of the Demon Gypsies chasing her...
When Suzette (“Suki”) is released from her bottle by two teen girls, she is more than a bit surprised that a Genie of her calibre is beholden to two average high school students. After dealing with dignitaries and noblemen, however, she believes this will be a welcome break.
Until she discovers the teens’ hidden powers and that one will come to possess the Amulet of Pollox, a necklace that contains the secrets from some of the greatest minds throughout history. Unfortunately, she’s not the only one who notices. The Amulet draws the attention of the two powerful and vengeful Demon Gypsies who have pursued Suki through time and will stop at nothing to snatch the girls and the Amulet.
Suddenly, Suki is not just helping the girls navigate high school crushes, she’s safeguarding them from danger unlike anything they’ve ever known. To make matters more complicated, she must also fight her attraction to James - her protector through the ages - whose sudden arrival threatens her resolve and her heart.
A time-traveling Genie and her unrequited love...
Demon Gypsies with an insatiable quest for power...
And the teen girls whose existence threatens them all.
This is the world of “Released,” book one of The Romani Realms series by Mia Fox, a Young Adult trilogy featuring elements of paranormal romance and steampunk.
*a copy was provided through NetGalley for review purposes*
Oh how I wanted to like this one. So so much. It was the cover that originally drew me it but the premise to Released is so intriguing that I was really excited to begin reading it. It failed to wow me however and as I continued on with it, I realized that I just wasn't going to enjoy it so I decided it was time to call it quits.
In the beginning we meet Suzette, or Suki as she prefers to be called. She's inside her genie bottle but she can observe what's going on around her through the eyes of two girls: Charlotte and Samantha. The girls who are to be her Releasors. Though she doesn't know why two ordinary teenage girls would be the ones to release her or be stalked by Demon Gypsies who are only out for power and revenge on Suki. For a long time I wondered if she was ever going to be released because the story seemed to go on forever with her inside the bottle wondering who would be the one to released her. When she finally was released, I thought now the story's going to pick up! But it was actually after Suki is released that the story really started to go downhill for me.
Reading Released felt like I was reading multiple books in the sense that even though Suki was the main character, she often went inside the heads of Charlotte, Samantha, and even the Demon Gypsies so that she would know what was going on with each of them. It kept going from 1st person (being inside Suki's mind) to 3rd person (when Suki would reach out to other characters) and it was always kind of random when she did it. I felt thrown off course when it happened. Another thing that really threw me off was when Suki would be trying to explain something to Charlotte or Samantha and she would start off with one story and then start telling another one about her past in the middle of it so that you completely forgot what she was originally telling them even though the side story kind of went along with the first. It just seemed choppy. There was no smooth transition; it was always "speaking of this, let me tell you about that". Actually, most of the new things that were introduced to the story were just kind of thrown in there without a whole lot of explanation to time to comprehend it. I often found myself saying, wait, what? and having to go back and reread it and still having the same reaction, only this time I was thinking, okay that just does not fit in with what they're talking about right now. And the characters of Released really didn't draw me in as much as I wanted them to. Their personalities just didn't seem real to me and it made it difficult for me to feel any kind attachment to them. Most of the time their conversations seemed too short and unrealistic. They rarely ever switched from one subject to another smoothly.
The story itself has a lot of promise and was intriguing to a point. I feel like if it had been edited better and the explanations and dialogue smoother I would have enjoyed it more thoroughly. However, because of the things I've stated above I just couldn't continue on with the story. There are several readers on Goodreads who have loved the story--I've seen several 5-star reviews--so maybe it's just me and my being in a reading rut that's brought me to feel this way about it so if you want to give it a try, I say go for it.
I rate this book:
About Mia Fox
Mia Fox is a Los Angeles-based novelist who writes across varied genres including contemporary fiction, chick lit, as well as young adult/new adult focusing on paranormal romances.
She received her Bachelor of Arts degree in Communications from U.S.C. followed by a Masters Degree in Professional Writing also from U.S.C. Her first chick-lit novel, “Alert the Media,” is based on her previous professional life working as an entertainment publicist. Today, she is happy to leave that world behind her, preferring that any drama in her life is only that which she creates for her characters.
Mia is happily married to her best-friend, a Brit who has inspired her with annual visits to England, an appreciation for dark chocolate, and the blessing of their three children.