Welcome to my stop on the Endless Blog Tour, hosted by Chapter By Chapter! Today you can read my review of this romantic romp through time.
Endless by Amanda Gray
Publication date: September 10, 2013
Publisher: Month9Books, LLC.
ISBN eBook: 978-1-939765-76-5
IN A RACE AGAINST TIME, HOW DO YOU KEEP THOSE YOU LOVE SAFE?
Jenny Kramer knows she isn’t normal. After all, not everybody can see the past lives of people around them. When she befriends Ben Daulton, resident new boy, the pair stumbles on an old music box with instructions for “mesmerization” and discover they may have more in common than they thought.
Like a past life.
Using the instructions in the music box, Ben and Jenny share a dream that transports them to Romanov Russia and leads them to believe they have been there together before. But they weren’t alone. Nikolai, the mysterious young man Jenny has been seeing in her own dreams was there, too. When Nikolai appears next door, Jenny is forced to acknowledge that he has traveled through time and space to find her. Doing so means he has defied the laws of time, and the Order, an ominous organization tasked with keeping people in the correct time, is determined to send him back. While Ben, Jenny and Nikolai race against the clock — and the Order — the trio discovers a link that joins them in life — and beyond death.
In a word: Thrillingly romantic with fascinating historical facts, a time travel story with twists and turns, with engaging characters and lots of action that will keep you turning the pages.
Endless turned out to be much more complex than I expected, and I enjoyed it immensely! Usually time travel stories make my head spin. I must be missing a certain brain synapse that allows me to understand physics, because the idea of traveling through time, let alone the concept of multiple time lines existing at the same time, is enough to make me stop reading. But Endless takes time travel and weaves it with Russian history and romance, and adds a dash of mystery, danger and secrets. The pace of the story started slowly but quickly built into a frenzy by the end of the book. And the time travel aspect focuses more on the romance—the idea of soul mates—so you won’t be bogged down with scientific explanations.
Jenny can sense events in a person’s past simply by touching that person, and so she wears gloves wherever she goes to avoid contact with people. She’s also an artist, and her paintings reflect the sad and painful visions she sees. But as hard as she tries to avoid her visions, weird things are starting to happen. Jenny begins to dream about a girl named Maria and a boy named Nikolai, who seems oddly familiar to her. And when a boy named Ben moves into Jenny’s neighborhood, he and Jenny discover an old music box in the attic whose music sends them both into a dream state.
When the Nikolai in her dreams appears in the flesh, Jenny realizes all these coincidences might be adding up to something, and so she and Ben decide to find some answers. Who are the strange monks from the monastery? What was Jenny’s mother hiding? And who is Nikolai, really?
There were so many interesting bits and pieces to Endless and I was constantly entertained while reading it. Gray adds such details as the history of the Romanov family, architecture, painting, and a complicated (yet fascinating) take on time travel. The story alternates between the present and the past, and the author slowly reveals the story of Maria and Nikolai until past and present meet up. I love this device and I’ve been seeing it in lots of books lately, probably because it works.
Even though the three main characters are a girl and two guys, Endless doesn’t have your typical love triangle. When Jenny first meets Ben, she can’t stand him. He’s rude and mean and obviously wants nothing to do with her. But I ended up loving Ben, mostly because of his sad family situation, but also because he turns out to be a loyal friend to Jenny when she most needs one. When Nikolai comes into the picture, you can feel the tension, but it isn’t overdone, and I appreciated the fact that Jenny and Ben are able to remain friends, even as Nikolai and Jenny grow closer.
The ending wraps things up, but does leave room for a sequel (however, I haven’t seen any evidence of one, so we’ll have to wait and see…). Do you believe in soul mates? Even if you don’t, Amanda Gray might convince otherwise. And you’ll wish you had a soul mate of your own.
Many thanks to the publisher for supplying a review copy.
Where to find Endless:
About Amanda Gray:
Amanda Gray believes in magic and fantasy and possibilities. She is a team of two bestselling authors who live only miles apart but have never met in person. They talk on the phone and are the best of friends and between them have written more than a dozen novels and novellas and have had their work appear on television.
Big thanks to Chapter By Chapter for hosting this tour! Click the link or the image below to see all the stops on the tour: