Wednesday, January 16, 2013

Review: Dolmarehn by Jenna Elizabeth Johnson

**Spoiler Alert: If you haven't read Faelorehn yet, then you'll want to hold off on reading this review.**
"A year ago, Meghan Elam learned that she was Faelorehn, a being of the Otherworld. Immortal. Now she must juggle her life in the mortal world with the one she has started to build in the Otherworld. However, keeping her identity secret from her friends and family while trying to avoid a wrathful Celtic goddess is no easy task.

With the help of the intriguing Cade MacRoich, Meghan will learn that not only does she come from a place full of magic and wonder but that she, too, is far more powerful than she ever thought possible."
Meghan's had an interesting year, to say the very least/ She's discovered the answer to why she's been so different from everyone in her family all of her life -- Meghan's an immortal Faelorehn from the Otherworld.  She's also just barely survived her confrontation the Morrigan, an ancient Celtic goddess who resides in the Otherworld and is bent on killing her and taking her magic from her. And, on top of all that, Meghan is struggling to deal with her growing feelings for Cade MacRoich, the young man who has not only given her the answers she so desperately desired, but has also protected her from the Morrigan's creatures for the past year. Throw in the fact that she's just starting her senior year of high school, and things couldn't get any more complicated for Meghan Elam - or so she thinks. Dolmarehn is the second book in Jenna Elizabeth Johnson's Otherworld trilogy and it, like the first book in the series, will leave you craving more of Meghan's story.

I rate this book: 

Quite often, I will read the first book in a series and then have to put the series aside because the second book hasn't come out yet. As a result, I will usually forget about a series for a time while I wait for the next installment. This is exactly what happened with Johnson's Otherworld series. I read the first book, Faelorehn, and loved it, but I had to put the series aside as the second book wasn't even remotely close to coming out yet. More than six months later, I remembered the series and finally got my hands on Dolmarehn. And I'm so glad that I did. This book reminded me of everything that I loved about Faelorehn and made me just as eager to continue the story as I was before. I instantly fell back in love with the relationship between Cade and Meghan in this book. With this series, I quickly became invested in the lives of both Cade and Meghan; this left me rooting for them as though they were actual people, instead of just characters in a book. 

Something else I really enjoyed in this book was Johnson's development of Meghan herself. It's always nice to see such a strong female character at the center of the story. It was also refreshing to watch Meghan transform into that strong character throughout the course of the plot in Dolmarehn. Seeing everything she's gone through in a year's time in the story, it was nice - and quite a relief - for her to be able to stand up against everything and come out stronger than ever. Not many authors are capable of developing their characters in such a way, but I think Johnson has done it quite well. I also loved Johnson's inclusion of several other Celtic gods and goddesses in Dolmarehn. In the world this author has created, the Otherworld is ruled by these ancient gods and goddesses whose histories are rooted in the legends of the ancient Celts of the mortal world. What I found so interesting about this particular aspect of the story was the fact that legends mentioned in Dolmarehn are ones that readers can look up on their own, to learn more about them. It's always refreshing, at least for me, when there's a bit of history tied in with the fiction.

While I genuinely enjoyed this book, there was one thing that I didn't particularly care for while I was reading it. As I said, Meghan really transformed into a strong character, but reading her thoughts while that transformation was taking place did tend to get a bit repetitive. The character would often cycle back to the same worries and fears multiple times throughout the novel, which got to be a bit painful to read after a while.  Regardless, I wholeheartedly recommend this series to any and everyone who is willing to check it out. If you haven't yet read Faelorehn, then you should pick that one up first, obviously. If you're anything like me, that'll be all you need to convince you to continue the story with Dolmarehn

Jenna Elizabeth Johnson grew up and still resides on the Central Coast of California, a place she finds as magical and enchanting as the worlds she creates. She received a BA in Art Practice with a minor in Celtic Studies from the University of California at Berkeley. It was during her time in college that she decided to begin her first novel, The Legend of Oescienne - The Finding. Reading such works as Beowulf, The Mabinogi, and The Second Battle of Maige Tuired in her Scandinavian and Celtic Studies courses finally inspired her to start writing down her own tales of adventure and fantasy. She also enjoys creating the many images and maps for her various worlds. Besides writing and drawing, she is often found reading, gardening, camping, hiking and bird watching. For more on the author and her books, and for contact information, visit or her blog

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