Tuesday, 7 May 2013

Review: Levitating Las Vegas by Jennifer Echols

Levitating Las Vegas by Jennifer Echols
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.


25 comments:

  1. Once upon a time I was one of the readers who adored her books. I mean I'd probably enjoyed them now too, but they all look the same to me. That's why I gave up on her books. Honestly I didn't know she was publishing the paranormal book. Now I'm really intrigued and maybe I'd like to give it a try. Good thing is that I don't expect a lot. Great review Jasprit :)

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  2. I am a big fan of Jennifer's work but I had no idea this was paranormal, I just assumed it was about a magic show! Sounds interesting and I'm keen to read it, the romance sounds like a nice aspect :)

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  3. I'm generally a fan of Jennifer Echols' writing style, though I think she's much more skilled at writing within the contemporary genre. I'm not sure I'd be able to take this all that seriously, due simply to that. However, I appreciate your honest take on it...it sounds interesting, at the very least! Great review :)

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  4. It sounds like the POV's went a little wrong in this one, annoying that it took you a bit to figure out who you were reading about. That cover confused me when I first saw it, I had to stare at it for a bit and read the title to put it all together (it's early!) I haven't read anything by Echols, so I'm not sure which camp I fall into but I do have Such A Rush on my shelf and hope to read it soon. Fabulous review!

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  5. Nice review Jasprit :D I think it's difficult for Authors to write in different POV's but I think that's when you know when an Author has created the characters well, when you know immediately who's POV your reading. Great review though :)

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  6. I really like the premise of this one Jasprit, and of course the romance is hugely appealing for me, but these "silly" decisions Holly makes have me a bit nervous. I get so frustrated when characters make poor decisions! I haven't read anything by Jennifer Echols, but I'm thinking maybe I'll start with her contemps instead of this one. Glad you seemed to enjoy this one for the most part though!

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  7. The romance and the multiple perspectives sounds great. I haven't heard anything about this one so nice to see a review.
    Brandi @ Blkosiner’s Book Blog

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  8. While the romance in this book does sound sweet, to be honest, this doesn't really appeal to me at all. I'm glad to you were able to enjoy Jennifer's first foray into the paranormal world, but I don't think it would be for me. Great review though Jasprit :)

    And I'm just realising now *slaps forehead* I usually spell your name wrong :0 I'm really sorry, I know that can be very annoying.

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    1. Hey Suzanne, don't worry about it! :)

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  9. Like you, I'm in the minority with Echols. I've liked Going Too Far, but not any of her other books and have written her off, really, but since you liked this, I wonder if I will too. I'll have to look into this, now, despite the flaws. Great review, dear!(:

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  10. I'm a huge fan of Jennifer Echols and I'm so glad that you atleast found one of her reads enjoyable. Though this was totally not my favorite, I came very close to even DNFing it even. Good to see a different perspective.

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  11. I actually haven't read any of Echol's books yet.

    Wonderful review Jasprit! I'm not surprised either that Holly went to learn about the Rez. This sounds like an interesting story.

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  12. I can't remember if I have read an Echols book or not. I don't think if I haven't that this will be the one to pick. It sounds okay overall but nothing that thrills me. I appreciate your honest review as always, Jasprit!

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  13. I only found out recently that this book had a paranormal element, which surprised me a little as I wasn't expecting it based on that cover. I still haven't read an Echols books yet, though I'm not sure if this is the one I want to start with. I'm glad you liked it overall, despite the problems you had. :)

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  14. I also wish we'd get more back story about Rez and the casino people. Glad to see that you liked the romance. Thanks for sharing :)

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  15. Honestly, I've read two books by Jennifer and I liked the first one but didn't like the 2nd one at all. I think I'm going to skip this one but I'm glad you were able to enjoy it at least!

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  16. Thanks for the review; I didn't realize she had a paranormal novel coming out. I haven't read anything by this author yet, so I suppose I need too. I think I'll try her contemporary first though, as that's my first love. The premise sounds interesting but I actually thought it was a contemp at first when reading the summary, and that sounded cool. LOL

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  17. The only Jennifer Echols book I loved was Going Too Far. I think I continue to read every single thing she writes in hopes of finding another one that I would like. To be honest I didn't even know she's venturing into the paranormal! It's good that you liked it enough. I'm still undecided if I'm giving it a shot. Love your honest review Jasprit!

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  18. I actually haven't read anything by Echols yet, but To be honest, I've heard such awful things for this book. To me it seems like it's a little confusing, but at least the romance worked out!It's a shame when books lead up to what seems like an epic ending, and then falls flat. Fantastic review, Jasprit!

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  19. This sounds really great and I haven't read anything by Echols...yet :) The romance sounds absolutely enjoyable and I just overall like your review because it made me add it to my TBR!

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  20. This is where I admit I haven't read a single thing by Echols and run away in shame. *runs away in shame*
    I've already read one X-men-like book set partly in Vegas this year (Transparent), but I enjoyed it and I think I'm ready for another one. Too bad the ending wasn't what you expected, but I suppose I can live with it if the rest is good enough.
    Great review, Jasprit!

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  21. This does seem like an interesting story, but not one I would gravitate towards. I'm glad you liked it. Great review, Jasprit!

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  22. Great review, Jasprit. I haven't reading any Echols novels and this sounds like an okay one to try.

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  23. X-Men in a casino! What a funny idea. I had lukewarm feelings about the one Jennifer Echols book I've read, but so many friends love her that I definitely want to try another one...but it probably won't be this one. "Decent" foray into the genre isn't that encouraging, hah. Thanks for the review!

    Wendy @ The Midnight Garden

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  24. I'm still not sure if I want to read this one or not! So many books, so little time!

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