Sunday, May 13, 2012

Review and Author Interview - Morning Star (Ethos #1) by Desiree Finkbeiner

Morning Star (Ethos, #1)Morning Star by Desiree Finkbeiner
My rating: 4 of 5 stars
Published March 28th 2012 by Hydra Publications
Source: Author for review

'When a mysterious stranger interrupts Brianna’s mundane routine, her eyes are opened to the dark underbelly of reality… immortal rogues, ancient conspiracies, prophetic revelations, savage tribes, mammoth dragonflies…

She’s thrust into a race for her life when Kalen, a warrior from Ethos, discovers that she is harboring a secret… a secret that he’d give his life to protect.

There’s just one little problem… they are tempted by a forbidden romance, which threatens to compromise a divinely appointed mission. They are faced with a choice… love eternal, or the end of the world…'

My Thoughts:
Wow, what a story! From the moment I started reading Morning Star I got excited. It contained all the elements that I personally love in a book. Real, strong characters that capture you straight away with how likeable they are, a unique and intriguing world that captures the imagination from that start and a fast moving plot that is descriptive but not to the point where it's bogged down in too much detail where you feel you lose the path of the story.

The world of Ethos is described in such a vivid way that I could easily imagine all the main elements as I was reading. I could jut picture the tribe with their council heads and warriors, the advanced technology we get introduced to, the forest with its unique wildlife and all the laws and ways of living for all Ethorians. This book has everything you would want. Romance, adventure and fantasy and a world you will find yourself daydreaming about.

Most of all, I found myself getting a soft spot for the humble dragonfly. After reading this book I don't think I will ever look at one the same again.

I have to admit thought that sometimes I found myself thinking that Brianna's resiliance was just too good in certain situations. She hardly seemed surprised at being thrown in the midst of a foreign world without much preparation beforehand and was way too easy going at taking certain events in her stride. To me, a normal person would have needed a bit more of an adjustment period before being so receptive to their new situation. On the other hand, maybe this is a good characteristic though as it's a refreshing change to all the books I've read in the past with female characters that just fall apart at the slightest thing.

Also, I just have to point out, how good is this cover? I must admit that I am a sucker for book covers and this one won me over before I even had any idea what the book was about.

Overall, I think this is a very entertaining book and a definite page turner. I found myself a bit deflated at the end though because it's an ending that obviously points to a sequel and I really want to know what happens now. I don't like being made to wait!

Author Interview:

The author Desiree Finkbeiner was very kind to answer some interview questions for me:

Tell us a bit about your favourite character from the book.
Kalen is definitely my favourite. He’s the hero, a perfect gentleman yet intense when it comes to passion and duty. What woman wouldn’t love Kalen? But if I had to choose a supporting character, it would have to be Athena. She’s the tach mah (wild jungle beast) that befriends Brianna (the heroine) and becomes her companion animal. She has a secret, but it won't be revealed until book #2. Athena plays a fairly minor role in this book, but in book 2, she’s very important to the plot. 

What was one of the most surprising things you’ve learnt about yourself while writing?
It would have to be my ability to trust God. I don’t rely on my own imagination to write, because if I did, I’d never finish anything or write anything worth reading. Whenever I’m not living my life the way I know God would have me live, I can’t write… inspiration leaves me if my mind is dark with negativity. So I’ve had to rely a lot on prayer and proper living to keep the creative juices flowing. 

What do you think makes a good story?
Strong characters that people can relate to. It doesn’t matter how good a plot is if the characters are weak or unlikeable. So I spend the most time developing my characters. Then plot and imagery fall into place. Writers should never assume the readers see what’s in their mind. A good writer describes it for them so they can see it too. I can’t tell you how many books I’ve read where the author left me hanging when it came to the surroundings of the scenery. The better the descriptions, the easier it is for a reader to get lost in the fantasy world.

What was your inspiration behind this book?
It started with a vision of a dragonfly, then I built the world around the dragonfly and wanted it to be an important element in the story. I also wanted to add a popular fantasy element, like fairies, and give them a unique twist. The rest has just fallen into place. I am trying to go against the grain with most of the mythical creatures in this story, just to give readers something out of the ordinary.

Are there any authors that inspire you?
Too many to name really, but most of my recent literary inspiration comes from scripture and other ancient texts.

What’s your favourite way to spend your spare time?
I love to be with my family first and foremost, but when I need to do something for myself, I write or create art. I also really enjoy camping and hiking. I also love linguistics and enjoy learning foreign languages. I can speak simple conversational Spanish and French, and hope to learn more.

What's one piece of advice you would give other aspiring authors?
Read, read, read… It’s amazing how much you can learn by reading other books- plot formation, character development, scene transition, dialogue do’s and don’ts, and what type of descriptive writing is appealing or over done. Granted everyone likes different styles, but by reading other author’s work, you will learn to form your own voice by taking metal notes of what you liked and what you didn’t like.

Also, avoid people who do not lift you up as an artist/writer. Surround yourself with people who love you for who you are, who will be happy when you have small victories. People who constantly criticize your attempts to become great, will never achieve anything, because they aren’t willing to strive for greatness themselves. Keep writing!

If you weren't a writer, what else would you be doing?
Art and music, or traveling the world (if I had the money to do it ha ha)

Do you have a favourite scene in this book (without giving the story away too much)?
I’m a sucker for action! I know a lot of women want romance but the guys are not going to stay interested if I don’t keep it alive with more adventure. I think one of my favourite scenes in this book would have to be the epic battle towards the end, with the dragonfly chase, or the fight and rescue scene in the scrap yard. I am such a tomboy, so anything I read needs serious action and suspense to keep me reading, so naturally, that’s what I am going to enjoy writing too.

Do you have any pets?
Not at this time. I love animals so much, but we live in a tiny house in town and don’t really have room (or time) for pets right now. I crave animal companionship but it will have to wait till we move to a more suitable environment for pets. I grew up on a farm and I’ve had some pretty exotic pets over the years: aside of just dogs and cats, I’ve had raccoons, opossums, rats, ferrets, guinea pigs, horses, cows, goats, pigs, skunks, chickens and fish.

What’s one thing that many people wouldn’t know about you?
I talk to myself in different dialects and languages when no one else is around HA HA!

I want to say a big Thank You to Desiree for allowing me the pleasure of reading her book and conducting an interview!

Important Links:

Amazon purchase link Morning Star (Ethos) :
Publisher: Hydra Publications (March 28, 2012)
Author facebook fanpage:
Action Adventure Fantasy Book Trailer #1:
Paranormal Romance Fantasy Book Trailer #2:


  1. Thanks for the review & interview. Definitely makes the book more interesting to me. I especially liked the last Q on your interview :)

    1. Thanks for giving such a nice comment :-) It's much appreciated.

  2. I really liked your interview! I am about to do my first interview and I am excited and a little nervous all at the same time!
    Great Job!

    I am a new follower. I also found you on Book Blogs.

    1. Haha! You'll do fine. This was my first ever interview too. Just think of things that you'd like to know if you were meeting the author for the first time and do a bit of research to see how other bloggers conduct their interviews too.
      Have fun!


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