The Light of Asteria by Elizabeth Isaacs
Publisher:  iUniverse
Published  March 22nd 2010
Paperback, 380 pages
Challenges:  100 Books in 2011, YA Series

If Nora Johnson hadn’t been on campus that day she would have never known her true destiny. Helping her friends move into the dorm that she wanted to call home, Nora accidentally collides with mysterious stranger, Gavin Frey. His very first touch sends flames through her heart. The world seems different-something within her has changed. 

Nora tries to resume her mundane life, but she is now consumed with the one whose very presence ignited her soul, the one with eyes of emerald. Nora soon learns that an energy buried deep within has been unleashed. She now wields unimaginable power and has become Gavin’s source, his strength.

Her newfound joy is shaken when she discovers that Gavin is not who he appears to be and she has been thrust in the middle of a war of mythical proportions. Negativity has allowed all things evil to flourish, the earth is under siege. The fate of creation hinges on the power within her heart. Will she be strong enough to survive?

There are many novels out there that try to combine the fantastical with elemental and paranormal while attempting to remain ‘real’.  Sadly most of these novels are not as successful as one would hope in bringing these, and many more, elements together to create a beautiful harmonic tale.  Elizabeth Isaacs’ The Light of Asteria is the EXCEPTION.  I will be honest, I was timid when I first started to read this book.  While Elizabeth Isaacs’ writing is far from dull and horrible, it’s synopsis seemed too far fetched, but there was still something about it that kept me going.  To say I was not disappointed is one of the understatements of the year.  

There is something wholesome and honest about the main characters.  Nora… I dare you to find a bad bone in her body.  Despite not being able to go to college with her best friends she finds the silver lining, knowing that her place is with her foster mother Edna.  Edna is everything you could want in a mother, a grandmother, and a best friend.  Like Nora, she lives life everyday to the fullest, refusing to be anything but happy.  Then of course enters our main man, Gavin.  When they literally collide into each other spark literally fly, and I mean literally.  From that moment on, everything changes for not just Nora but everyone surrounding her.  

It is hard to describe much about this amazing book without giving too much away.  Nora and Gavin are connected in a way everyone dreams about – it is almost the perfect romance and relationship while remaining true and honest to reality.  While at times things got a little sappy between the two, their relationship grows with every page, developing into something amazing and perfect.  But what is an amazing novel without the remaining characters.  I fell in love with every main character in this book (except the bad ones of course).  Gavin’s elf family each had their own distinct personality that flew off the page. 

Beyond the romance and excitement and relationships, Elizabeth Isaacs creates an entirely different type of main character you would not think of: the setting.  As this book focuses on elemental aspects (earth, wind, fire, etc.) it is very important for not only the characters but the readers to have respect for the setting itself.  The connection created between the characters and the elements are crucial to the entire book – without it there would literally be no purpose for this book.  

Elizabeth Isaac has created the perfect book for anyone to read.  While it is on the heavy side of page numbers, and is a feat, it is worth every page.  Isaacs’ writing makes you feel you are actually there with Nora experiencing everything she is.  When she feel happiness you feel happiness, when she feel pain you feel pain.  It is impossible to describe every aspect of this book that makes it what it is – You just have to read it for yourself.

My Rating:

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** Disclosure: I received this book from The {Teen} Book Scene in exchange for an honest review.

Elizabeth Isaacs was born in Louisville Ky. She spent her childhood summers at her grandparents’ farm learning how to blanch, quart, and freeze anything from strawberries to corn, paint endless fences, and go frog gigging. Elizabeth grew up in the Baptist church where her mother taught her to read music from the hymnal. She continued to cultivate her love of the arts throughout her high school years by participating in band, drama, and writing. In 1983, Elizabeth received a full music scholarship to Morehead State University. There she met Vasile Venettozzi, her mentor and vocal coach, who taught her a strong work ethic and to always believe in her dreams. With Mrs. Venettozzi’s encouragement, Elizabeth accepted a graduate assistantship to Austin Peay State University and moved to Tennessee, where she obtained a master’s in music performance and briefly considered a career in opera. Her heart eventually led her back home though, and she became the director of music at a private early education center. During that time, she also was a national presenter for Resource Profiles, a consultant company, where she developed teacher seminars designed to foster creative brain stimulation for the preschool child. When she became the music teacher at a local elementary school, she rekindled her love of writing. Helping at risk students improve their writing skills was a catalyst for Elizabeth, and she started to write in her free time. It wasn’t until her daughter reached high school that the story for The Light of Asteria, Kailmeyra’s Last Hope came to her. A now single mom with two kids and two jobs, Elizabeth got up every day at four a.m. and wrote. The story so strong in her mind, she often averaged only three to five hours of sleep. It was in the wee, small hours of the morning that Nora and Gavin came to life. Elizabeth originally wrote the story as a gift for her daughter, a lesson of what love is supposed to be, but with the encouragement of her children and her friends, she decided to publish in the spring of 2010.
Elizabeth is currently working on the second in the Kailmeyra series “The Secret of the Keepers, Kailmeyra’s Strength”, which is slated to be released in the fall of 2011. She resides with her two children in Lexington Kentucky, where she continues to write and teach.