Publisher: Pocket Star
Publication date: May 7th 2013
My rating: 3.5 stars
Nothing up her sleeves...or so she’s been led to believe. Showgirl Holly Starr is sick and tired of assisting her dad, a celebrity magician, in his Las Vegas casino magic show. As soon as he keeps his promise to her and shares the secrets to his tricks, she can break out on her own. But can she really make it? For years Holly has taken medication to stave off crazy hallucinations that she can levitate objects. Just when she thinks she’s ready to make a career and a life for herself, her medicine—and her luck—run out. Elijah Brown suffers from a similar delusion—that he can read minds—and he’s out of medicine too. Determined to save himself and his old flame Holly, he kidnaps her and takes her straight to the source, a town high in the Rockies where their medicine is made. What they discover there leads them to suspect their powers are not imaginary after all...and neither is the intense attraction they feel for each other. They make a pact to stick together as they return to Vegas to confront the people who kept them in the dark so long. But soon they’re pitting their powers against each other in a dangerous world where the nightlife is seductive, domination is addictive, the sex is beyond belief...and falling in love is murder.
Jennifer Echols is an author with whom I always fall in the minority with. Whereas my blogging friends devour her reads up, I am still yet to find a novel of hers to fully win me over. So when I heard about her first foray into the paranormal genre, I was interested to see whether she would be able to pull it off.
Levitating Las Vegas has an X-Men type vibe about it, most of the employers in the casino where Holly’s family works have some sort of powers; levitation, mindreading, telekinesis or mind control. Holly and Elijah are the only ones kept in the dark about their ability. When they were both 14 years old, an emotional event triggered their abilities at the same time. Both were unaware that they were going through a similar experience, as their family banned them from going out and had a “Dr.” lead them to believe they were suffering from a mental adolescent dysfunction and only certain pills which they had to constantly take could keep their disorder in check. They were also forbidden about discussing their disorder with anyone else. So for the next seven years, Holly and Elijah were drifting in and out of each other’s lives thinking about what could have been between them. It’s not until the Rez; a group with similar abilities but different ideas pose a threat to everyone at the casino that leads everyone to agree that Holly and Elijah deserve to learn the truth.
Being kept in the dark for so long, I don’t know why Keeley (Holly’s friend and flatmate who was in on keeping Holly in the dark) believed that Holly and Elijah would remain loyal to them and not go running off to the Rez. If I was lied to for the past 7 years and told I couldn’t see the boy I liked I would sure be curious to find out what the other group had to offer.
The Rez kept me on my toes with their little appearances over the course of the book. We were given snippets into their power and what they were capable of, but never truly learned what their real incentive was, just led to believe what they had in mind by Keeley and the rest of the casino staff. I liked the clashes we had between both groups, but probably would have enjoyed getting more of a back story about the Rez.
I enjoyed the multiple narratives we were given in Levitating Las Vegas, this way we were able to learn about secrets kept away from other characters. But sometimes when the narrative shifted to another character it took me a while to get my head around whose narrative it was, this was further made confusing by Elijah’s ability (he can read minds) so sometimes I didn’t know whether it was Holly thinking or Elijah picking out her thoughts from her head.
The romance in the novel I did appreciate, it was nice how seven years later Holly and Elijah still felt the same way about each other, but with all the barriers in the way, it did take a long time to get together. What surprised me in this novel was that Elijah was always assumed to be the dangerous character, apparently people with his ability could manipulate your thoughts and feelings and so that’s why Holly was always warned to stay away from him, but she didn’t know why. But in the end it was funny how Elijah came on top as the calm and collected one in stressful situations, whereas Holly just made rather impulsive and silly decisions in my eyes.
Overall I think Levitating Las Vegas was a decent attempt by Jennifer Echols into the paranormal genre. I enjoyed learning about different abilities and she laced the story nicely with a romance and some action packed scenes. My only complaint being I expected more from the ending, there was a lot of build up and then nothing. If Echols does decide to follow up this story I’m sure I will be picking it up.