Review: ‘Faelorehn’ by Jenna Elizabeth Johnson

 In all of her seventeen years, one of the lessons Meghan Elam has learned is to keep quiet. She learned early on that psychiatrists and rounds of drugs were in her near future if she told her adoptive parents about the odd things she sees and hears. Unfortunately, her classmates have not let her forget about this strangeness. Most people seem to sense that Meghan is different and stay away. Fortunately, to her band of friends, outcasts themselves, this does not matter.

After successfully ignoring visions and her strange, recurring dream for a while, it seems that there is an amping up of sightings. First, there is a raven, though this raven is much larger than any she’s seen before. Plus, those glowing red eyes… Then an old, homeless man starts hanging around outside Meghan’s school. Then, walking home from school one day, Meghan is chased by a herd of…gnomes? And not the cute ones with the red pointy hats.

One night her dream changes. Instead of her being the toddler she was when she was found wandering around Los Angeles, she is her current age. Also appearing is the great white dog who is always beside her in her dream. Unfortunately, this is no dream. Meghan has slept-walked into the clearing behind her house – and she is not alone. Suddenly surrounded by horrible rotting dogs, she is saved by the white dog and a young man.

“Meghan,” he sighed and looked away for a minute, “like me, you are of the Otherworld. You are not human, but immortal. You are one of the Faelorehn.”

Meghan awakens the next day with an odd feeling, but otherwise no memory of what happened in the clearing. There are those scrapes on her arms, but she does not remember where they came from. Eventually, the white dog comes to get her and takes her to meet Cade, the man who saved her. He knows too much about her, so she freaks out and leaves. After an encounter with bullies at school, Cade drives up and saves Meghan. Then he tells her what she is – Faelorehn. Then the unthinkable happens; Cade is in trouble, and his girlfriend, a beautiful woman, tells Meghan that only Meghan can help him…in the Otherworld.

After recently reviewing many books requested by authors, every time a start a new one, I know that a part of me sort of expects the works to not be great. Not necessarily bad, you understand, but, at worst, inept grammar, bad spelling, inane metaphors, or high drama; or, at best, stodgy overworked prose that does not flow. You can see the wizard behind the curtain, you know? As I started reading Faelorehn, my favorite thing happened. I forgot I was reading a book. I was drawn into the story and was never rudely jolted back into reality by ineptitude. Hooray! Ms. Johnson’s love for celtic lore (as well as a minor in Celtic Studies, no less) is evident in the story. Far from being pedantic, I found it exciting and entertaining. As I have ancestry from all parts of the British Isles, I love the folklore from that area of the world.

For you romantics out there, I can see potential between Meghan and Cade. Too many series tend to force a relationship in the first volume when the characters aren’t ready for that. I also appreciate the well-formed home and school life that Meghan has. Again, when a book is so hell-bent on getting to the storyline that it ignores “reality,” the tale does not resonate well. I can’t wait for the series to continue so I can find out what happens when Meghan breaks the geis, or taboo, put on her by her birth mother. For this was the only thing keeping her safe in her own world.

4 of 5 Stars

Faelorehn by Jenna Elizabeth Johnson was published June 1, 2012 by CreateSpace. Faelorehn is book one of the Otherworld Trilogy. A free copy of this book was received  by Ink and Page in return for an honest review.



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