Destiny Calls ~ Phenice Arielle

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I received a copy of this book from the author in exchange for an honest review.

Goodreads Synopsis

*Have you ever felt like you’ve been preparing for something…Bigger?*
*Do all your friends think your dreams are just plain…Crazy?*
————————————————————
Sure, Kay’s parents didn’t think twice about sending her to therapy.
After all, Kay fully believes that she just narrowly escaped an explosion, watched a handsome stranger walk through fire for her—oh, and that she battled an extremely skilled foe to the death—all before her 10 AM class!

They’re just dreams of course, but when this talented young college student wins a coveted trip to South Africa, she must soon decide whether she’s willing to never see her friends and family again to help somehow familiar strangers BRING ABOUT PEACE.

Now, if Kay can survive the hand-to-hand combat and the one with the ivory dagger who wishes her death, Kay may just become the kind of PEACE seeking hero her classmates would never believe. Kay might even fall in love.

Of course, our brave girl may instead discover the answer to something she never wanted to know the answer TO:

What happens… when you die.
#HoldOnToLife
#Fall In Love
#And FACE YOUR FEARS
Book 1 in the Series

…Your journey begins here. (Take the journey!)

My Review

Everyone has something weird about them. The weird thing about Nanyamka, or Kay for short, was she had visions involving hot guys, tigers, fire, and fighting to her death. Despite that, Kay was a fairly normal journalism major at NYU who was ecstatic to travel to South Africa for an apprenticeship. The night before her departure with her professor and her best friend, Beth, Kay found out that she was adopted. Not only was Kay adopted, but she was born in South Africa and rescued from a burning building by the person who she thought was her mother. After the shock of this news, Kay stormed out of her house, without saying goodbye to the only parents she had ever known.

Upon her arrival in South Africa, Kay was kidnapped and abused in a poacher’s camp along with thousands of others. Kay was lucky enough to be placed in a camp with a courageous young woman, who was on a mission to rescue those being mistreated.

After the young woman, Tuki, completed the rescue, she led the group of people to Ipharadisi, a village dedicated to creating peace in Africa. Kay’s first thought when she got there was that she needed to get home, however once you go to Ipharadisi, there is no going back.

It took a while to get used to the new type of life, but eventually Kay adjusted to life in Ipharadisi. She even became close friends with a handsome young man named Erec, who also happened to be a community-service doing doctor. Being inspired by the people she was surrounded by, Kay decided she wanted to make a difference in peoples’ lives, and began using her journalism skills to record the history of Ipharadisi.

After a few months in Ipharadisi, the truth about who Kay was became evident to her and the other Ipharadisians when her full name was revealed. This revelation led Kay into the most dangerous adventure she would face on her own, allowing her to discover more about herself and the world then she ever thought possible.

Following her return, Kay realized she had lost the map showing where Ipharadisi was, putting everyone in danger, and initiating a whole lot of drama.

I have extremely mixed feelings about this book. I loved the beginning of the story while Kay was still at college, but about halfway through I completely lost interest. There were so many occurrences that could have been much more suspenseful and stretched out, and that would have been better that way, but happened in the space of a paragraph. For example, a battle that would determine the fate of hundreds of people only happened in a few sentences. I was disappointed because that left me feeling disengaged with the story.

Another issue I had with this story was there was way too much happening. I know Destiny Calls is the first in a series, but this book could have been made into two or three books easily. This kind of goes along with the lack of suspense, but Phenice Arielle was just trying to cover way too many topics in not enough time. It was not even like it was action-packed and fast-moving, it was more of all over the place and unfocused. What it reminded me of was when teachers tell a class to stick to three main ideas in an essay and focus on them instead of addressing 10 main ideas and not going into depth enough.

My final issue in this book was the grammar and format. There were missing quotation marks and incorrect punctuation. There were also bizarre hyphens and confusing passages.

However, there was good along with the bad. The messages Arielle were trying to get across and thoughts she was provoking were there. The entire concept of destiny versus making your own fate is something I often think about myself, and this book gave me more insight to that. I also thought it was a good story with a good plot, but it could have been written better.

Despite my negative thoughts about this book, I do think I will read the next one in the series. The way this book ended left me with a lot of questions and I want the answers. If you can look past the issues with grammar and wording, you should read this book, but if things like that drive you insane it is not worth reading.

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