The Sound of the Stones by Beth Hammond

The Sound of the Stones by Beth Hammond

Publisher: CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform

Publication date: January 3, 2017

My rating: 4 out of 5 stars

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Publisher's description:

Nephilim, aliens, gods – They’ve been called by many names, but when Frankie stumbles onto an ancient book, the truth about the past reveals a more startling reality. What she reads about Ashra and the powerful Krad race makes her question her place in this world. The birthmark on her arm begins to burn as she reads the book, the birthmark that looks eerily similar to the symbol on the first page.

In Ashra's world, the oppressive Krad race use crystals to hold humans hostage. Unknown to the Krad, Ashra has the gift to manipulate crystals. Keeping her power a secret becomes more difficult by the day. The time to rise up is now, but standing up to an entire race seems impossible. Then strangers bring a message from a land she never knew existed - Ashra is the one they’ve all been looking for.

Frankie and Ashra are separated by fiction and reality, but in the end, the barrier shatters. The ancient book about the past holds the future, and Frankie is the key.

My review (first shared January 12, 2016):

I received a complimentary copy of this book in exchange for my honest review. All opinions shared are 100% my own.

The world-building in this fantasy novel was intriguing and went a new direction than what you typically see in fantasy. Humans have it pretty badly in this world where god-like creatures procreate in the human world through dreams - breeding a large, superior race who has imprisoned and subjugated humanity for so long there is no memory of a time before.

While the world-building and writing in the main part of the book were good and I enjoyed them, I did actually have to debate over a 3-star versus a 4-star rating. The Sound of the Stones is supposed to be a book within a book - the story of Ashra being a fiction book modern-day Frankie is reading. According to the description, the reality-fiction barrier is shattered. Without going too much into spoilers, let's just say no - not so much shattering. I wish the author had just written Ashra's story and left out the bit about Frankie. It came across as grossly incomplete, barely relevant, and a distraction from an otherwise really good fantasy book. About a third of the way through reading the book, it occurred to me that I'd just been reading a book about a girl in a bookstore, and what book was that? - oh yea - the one I'm reading now! I kept waiting for the story to go back to Frankie and it just never did. I'm not sure what the author was trying to go for with the book within a book tactic but I really felt like that it fell short and took away from the book. My enjoyment of the fantasy tale in the book earned the book a 4-star rating though - I just couldn't give the book overall only 3-stars even though I felt the book-in-a-book premise really missed the mark.