As a fantasy writer, I keep an eye on other authors work, and try to get involved where I can. And this week, I’m talking about Ellie Di Julio‘s latest book — the first in a new series!
I’m also particularly thrilled by this as I was one of her beta-readers back in August last year — and I loved it!
I don’t tend to read first person stories, but for Ellie I make an exception.
I was really drawn in, and read the book in a matter of hours. There were beautiful descriptive lines like “Spring makes the town itself burst into life; fall sets it on fire”, creating a vivid landscape for the story to move through. The characters had distinctive voices, which also added to the scenery; seeing the world through their words and their eyes.
Although I have very limited knowledge of theories behind quests and different gods and afterlives which are mentioned, I found this book held everything together to create a believable and enticing world; with enough information to keep the reader leaning forward, trying to see ahead to what happens next.
“Average family. Average job. Average existential crisis.
After thirty boring years, nothing about Cora Riley’s life has measured up to her childhood dreams of being truly extraordinary. It’s too bad that the night she decides to seek out her specialness she crashes on a rural highway.
Cora wakes in the clutches of the Mistress of the underworld who sets her a seemingly impossible quest. If she wants a second chance at life, Cora must find her way through the dozen heavens and return to the castle in three days.
With the help of an unusual guardian angel named Jack and a little boy named Xavier, Cora navigates the afterlife doorfield and quickly learns that gods and monsters are very real indeed. Terrifying and tempting obstacles litter her path; only the power of belief – in the Otherworld, in her companions, and in herself – will return her to the land of the living.”
The Transmigration of Cora Riley is the first novel in the Forgotten Relics urban fantasy series. It brings together the primary heroes, Cora and Jack, and lays out the system of gods, monsters, humans, and belief that shapes the world. Themes of trust, doubt, and redemption are interwoven with mythology both new and old to create a story that reminds the reader there’s always more to what we think we know.