Expectations Exceeded


One of the first books I read when I started writing was Finding Angel by NAF alumna Kat Heckenbach. I fell in love with Toch Island. The descriptions are so vivid I felt like I was there. Something like Narnia for teens. Back in the day when I hated science fiction and fantasy, I would have loved it.


I snapped up Seeking Unseen pretty much as soon as it released. Again I wasn’t disappointed. Melinda is my favorite character, and I challenge any warm-blooded woman to not fall in love with the broody rocker, Kalek. He’s swoon-worthy for sure. Seeking Unseen is like visiting Disneyland after your first trip. Maybe not quite as wide-eyed magical because you’ve experienced it, but your heart still flutters, and you still walk around with a smile the whole time you’re there.


Kat approached me to beta read Legacy Rewound. I’m not sure a synapse even fired before I said, “yes”. But there was a bit of fear. Maybe I’d fallen in love with the first two books before I knew much about writing. Maybe they were mediocre, and I didn’t know better.

That fear vanished immediately. Like pushing away the moldering furs at the back of the wardrobe or running into that pillar at Platform 9 3/4, I was transported back into Toch Island within the first couple of sentences. I’m trying to decide which book is my favorite. Well, that’s impossible. They’re all equally good. It’s really one continuous story and what I love best is each one is self-contained. While they must be read in order, each one ends neatly. No despised cliffhangers. However, there are enough loose threads you want to read more. Legacy Rewound does a fantastic job of tying those up.


What I loved about Legacy Rewound:

While the spiritual content in Finding Angel and Seeking Unseen was subtle, Legacy Rewound is more overt. However, because Toch Island is something of a “godless” world, the message is symbolic. If you know the Bible you’ll get the references immediately, especially the relationship between Talents in the Elves and Humans. Legacy Rewound like the first two books is a mystery, so while there’s the layer of a message, the story focuses around solving that mystery. I love that Melinda and Kalek once again are the main characters but don’t worry, Angel (Anna) and Ayden and the supporting cast play a big role too. All three books have fantastic pacing. It was really hard to put down. Isn’t that the ultimate compliment?


About Gretchen E K Engel

Chemical engineer by day, spec fiction writer by night

2 comments on “Expectations Exceeded

  1. I snapped this up the day it came out. I’m a one-book-at-a-time reader and it’s next. Can’t wait!

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