Tuesday, December 17, 2019

Epoch by Jewel E Ann

Epoch by Jewel E. Ann
Release Date - April 9, 2018
Author Website - Jewel E Ann
Author Media - Twitter
Pages -  28pages
My Rating - 5/5
**borrowed from a friend**

** Spoilers for Transcend **

Here is the Goodreads synopsis
Some lives end unfinished, and some transcend time.

After a horrific incident, Swayze finds herself trapped between two lives. Patchy memories and fear for her own safety thrust her into a gut-wrenching journey to uncover the truth.

Will she let her dreams slip away to seek retribution and find the missing pieces to a puzzle that existed a lifetime ago?

“I’m not going to watch you self-destruct. I’m not going to watch you fall in love with another man.”

Or will she discover the only truth that matters?

Epoch pushes the boundaries of what we believe and what we know. It redefines fate and proves that the only thing separating the heart and the soul is an infinite timeline.

“I think a part of you will be mine to love in every life.”
Certain love stories sell us the idea that love is eternal. What could be more romantic than two souls gravitating to each other again and again throughout history no matter the circumstances. The Transcend Duet, and Epoch in particular, embraces that epic kind of love story and offers an incredibly romantic, thoughtful look at what it would mean, messiness and all, if we could remember those past lives.

I thought going into Epoch that it was going to be more of mystery. The events at the end of Transcend certainly set it up that way. The book, however, is more interested in the emotions of its characters and the connections being forged, broken, and mended between them. It is not that the events that close out the first book are not important to the events in this one, it is just that the book is much more interested in how those events impact the characters and their actions.

I still stand by my assessment that this is not really a love triangle. I think there are pretty distinct love stories going on that prevent it from being a true triangle. It is one in its own way but definitely not in the typical meaning of the word. It feels more complicated than that label. It was nice that both Griffin and Nate are decent men who truly do care for Swayze in their own ways. They both have their flaws but untimely want what they think is best for her. I also appreciated that there was no way this untypical triangle could end in the typical fashion of most triangles.

The idea of reincarnation, and how much you retain from those past lives (and why you retain it) is very much the heart of this novel. It asks the question of how much of  Swayze is Daisy and what that ultimately means for her life in complex ways that do not have easy answers. It makes the book more thought provoking than I anticipated. I was constantly asking myself if she was Nate's Daisy and what it meant that she both was and wasn't in many ways. I think this would make a good book  club pick for the conversation that could stem just from this plot point.

Many readers will delight in the swooniness of Nate and Griffin. They, as mentioned, are both great characters. It is, however, Swayze that stood out to me. She goes through hell in this novel mentally and shows a strength that is incredibly satisfying. She isn't afraid to be vulnerable and doesn't handle things perfectly but she manages to still be standing in the end and that is impressive. I love that she is this mix of strong and weak. She is a mess but so driven and focused. It is a type of female character I want to see more of.

I found myself ugly sobbing while reading this without really knowing why. There is, obviously, the unfinished love story of Nate and Daisy, everything Swayze finds herself going through, and the impossible situation Griffin finds himself in. It is all of these things and none of them that is the cause of this book emotionally wrecking me. Bittersweet is the word I would use to describe this duet if I had to choose only one and it is that duality of the despair with the joyous that wreaks havoc on your emotions.

If you love your books to be thought provoking, emotionally impacting, and unputdownable, I highly recommend this duology. It has made me excited to pick up other books by this author and certainly has me anticipating whatever she writes next. 

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