Book Review: Crimson Return

Happy Monday everyone! Hope the weekend treated you well. Today I’m reviewing Crimson Return by Daelynn Quinn. This is the second book of a series, and also the second book of Daelynn’s I have had the fortune to review. If you haven’t read the first book, please be advised that there may be some spoilers in this review. You can find the author at, on Facebook and on Twitter.

Crimson Return

Crimson Return © Daelynn Quinn 2013

Crimson Return, the second book of the Fall of Venus trilogy, picks up a few months after the events of Fall of Venus. Once again, we follow Pollen McRae, a young woman, who like all the world’s population, has suffered unimaginable loss and grapples with the new reality, that their world is now uninhabitable.

Pollen is now safe from the Trinity, three of the worlds most rich and powerful, and orchestraters of the world’s demise, in the stronghold of COPS, along with her niece Evie, and Marcus, another escapee from the Trinity’s safehouse/prison, the Crimson Survivor Refuge. In the safety of COPS, they both have found a way to contribute to the continuation of the human race, to help escape the runaway global warming catastrophe facing them.

As they settle in, Pollen’s ex-fiancee Glenn mysteriously shows up. Glenn, who had sided with the Trinity and became a Crimson Enforcer, but ended up helping his ex and her niece and new boyfriend escape, His appearance triggers a crisis for Pollen and the COPS. Should Glenn be trusted? Should he be allowed to remain?

He upsets Pollen’s certainty in regards to her new boyfriend Marcus, and begins to drive a wedge in her relationship. Later, when plans go missing, and equipment sabotaged, this confirms to COPS and to her that Glenn cannot be trusted. Before his sentence is carried out, he delivers a bombshell, someone she believes to be dead is in fact being held captive by the Trinity.

Crimson Return is about survival against all odds, and fighting for what is right and for those who you love. It’s about the struggle against the establishment that puts their own financial well-being above the lives of the poor and weak. It’s about the value of life, and the premium we sometimes are forced to pay in order to live it.

But in its essence, it’s about the struggles of a young woman trying to live her life in the midst of an epic catastrophe. Can she do what is right or will she fail at the first sight of temptation? Will she be faithful to the love of her life, or will she be seduced by the memory of another?

It is in the setting then, that we see that even when facing such adversity, the will of the human spirit to persevere is great, and the dramas of life, both big and small, continue, bringing with it both great joy and terrible heartaches. There are consequences to accept, and new realities to overcome.

Of Pollen McRae, a young woman in her early twenties yet very much a child in thought, the events of this book will push her to the precipice and she will have to choose between the naiveté of youth, and the cold pragmatism of maturity. As the fate of the world is at stake, and as life succumbs to the stranglehold of a moribund planet, this is still one woman’s journey into adulthood.

Crimson Return sets the stage for the conclusion of the series, will Pollen accept responsibility? Will she be able to fight for the ones she loves and for the survival of a people facing extinction?

Of the author, Daelynn Quinn matured as a writer between the first book and second book. While I had some trouble getting into the first book, I fell back into an easy and comfortable rhythm with this one. She has done a fantastic job creating a world and populating it with characters you can care about. Not only do I recommend reading Crimson Return, I urge you to go back and read Fall of Venus. I know you will not be disappointed.

List of Book Reviews
Next Review – The Woman Who Sparked the Greatest Sex Scandal of All Time
Previous Review – Birth of Vengeance

Book Review: Minutes Before Sunset

For this month’s installment of Book Review, I chose the novel Minutes Before Sunset. The novel was written by Shannon A. Thompson, an awesome young writer, and someone whose promising career I plan to follow. I discovered Shannon’s book via her blog and thought it would make an interesting read.


© 2013 Shannon A. Thompson

Minutes Before Sunset tells the story of two high school students as they live their regular, seemingly uneventful lives. We’re first introduced to Eric, a surly teen and someone who harbors a secret. He is not truly human.

He is, in fact, a shade, a member of the Dark. Shoman, Eric’s shade name, is a warrior of the Dark, and the fulfillment of an ancient prophecy. The Dark is at war with the Light, and in a twist, the Dark protects humanity from evil while the Light is the true evil in the world.

The second student is Jessica, the new girl in town. Jessica has always known that she was adopted, but has no idea who her biological parents are, knowing only that they are dead. She knows that she was born in Hayworth, and since she is back in town, Jessica wants to use the opportunity to find out more about her origin, and her family, much to the chagrin of her adopted parents.

Eric, in his human form, is standoffish, to put it mildly, while Jessica is trying to acclimate to a new school. The pair is forced to work together when their science teacher assigns partners for a science project. Their partnership is tenuous at first as Eric is openly antagonistic towards his partner, but Jessica’s tenacity in confronting him wins him over. While it would be a stretch to call it friendship, a respectful understanding develops between the two.

In his shade form, Shoman meets a new shade. Of concern to him, the stranger is unfamiliar with what she is, and as such, poses a threat to the Dark community. He befriends her, despite the inherent danger, and promises to teach her about what she is. He also decides to keep her presence secret from the Elders, to protect her, fearing that the Elders would kill her to protect their community.

It is clear from the beginning that the mysterious shade is Jessica, but because she grew up outside of the Dark, she has not gone through the naming ceremony as is, therefore, unnamed. As shades, they quickly become friends, never suspecting who the other is in their human form. Unbeknownst to the pair, their relationship had been prophesied, and puts in jeopardy the hopes of winning the upcoming battle, one that could end the conflict once and for all.

What I like about the novel is how it is written from both Eric’s and Jessica’s point of view. Each POV is distinguished by a new chapter which is titled by the character’s name. It took me a few chapters to grasp what the author had intended, but once I did it made it easy to follow.

Thematically, the story deals with issues of prophecy and destiny, responsibility and free-will, and friendship and love. It deals with how people compartmentalize their lives, keeping a public face while at the same time harboring a private identity. We see how Eric has a difficult time with his human side while Jessica manages with apparent ease.

Honestly, I have to say that it was an enjoyable read, so much so that I immediately read it again. The litany of names had me confused as some of the characters have both a shade name and a human name, and trying to figure out who was who became a small challenge, but not so much so that it distracted from the story.

Overall, my impression is that this is a well-written story. The main characters are interesting as separate people, but it is the tension between the duo as they come together that makes them compelling. You cannot help but root for them, and feel for them as the are swept into the prophecy.

I most definitely recommend that you buy her book. Minutes Before Sunset is the first in a trilogy, the second of which is scheduled to be released this fall. I confess that I’m intrigued, and I cannot wait to get my hands on the next book.

You can find her book on Amazon, and on Barnes and Noble. Please follow her Facebook and her on

List of Book Reviews
September’s Review –  Fall of Venus
July’s Review – Winter Howl