About Emma Daley
At only the age of three, you could find Emma perched in the center of the dining table, a tape player in her lap, while the other kids gathered to listen to her recite her own creative version of her favorite tales like "Jack and The Bean Stalk" or "Peter Pan". Her imagination was fueled when she signed up for a high school Greek Mythology class. It was there in high school Mythology class that Emma found her dream. Her teacher recognized her talent, and encouraged her to pursue a career in the one thing that brought her imagination to life, writing. As a military wife and with life's fast pace and strenuous demands, it wasn't until she was 26 that she finally decided to pursue those long forgotten dreams. She started her very first novel Propheticus in November of 2008, which will be released in December of 2010 and is working on the 2nd and 3rd sequels, with several other book ideas on the shelf waiting to be dusted off and put into words.
This is a self published, sci-fi fantasy book set in an ancient universe. Four destined characters run into each other by chance and discover their pasts connect them in a prophecy to destroy some of the universes most gruesome creatures. The mystery of Aniah's past begins to unravel when she meets a stranger in the desert outside her ranch on the planet Delucia. Strange things start to happen around the ranch and Aniah experiences horrible nightmares of a dark creature the longer this stranger stays and the more she begins to question her fathers disappearance years ago. This story takes you to other worlds and although the first novel offers a little more romance and mystery with some thriller, the other novels in the series have more action and adventure in them as the characters travel the universe and visit incredible worlds. Sample from the book: There is something frightening about the way a hateful, unknown creature looks back at you. The way its beady red eyes snarl at you, and it's cheek curls with a hiss to reveal the greedy canines beneath. It is one thing to dream of this beastly creature, and it is another to have it inches from your face, its warm ungodly breath on your cheek, and its pallid gray bones reaching to devour you. My name is Aniah, and once my world was safe. But like many others throughout the universe-and here on the planet Delucia-fate would have me meet with the Mangitori de Sangue; an ancient army of blood-lusting creatures who have been frightening and devouring the inhabitants of the universe for decades. My fate brings me deep into their world. In fact, it is written somewhere-and the stories have been told long before I was ever born-of a prophecy wherein a young woman with the heart and soul of an angel will lead the universe in a victory against the Mangitori de Sangue. I am that woman. I just have to stay alive long enough to figure out how.
Author Links:Propheticus Blog
Disclaimer:I decided to post this nonetheless because I really feel that this is not negative, but constructive! Above all, I implore the writer to keep working on her writer because I really feel that she has a lot of promise.
From the outset of the novel, it was a rather laborious, though subtly fascinating read. One of the strengths of this book was the author's ability to convey the rich detail of the varying tribes that were settled on the planet of Delucia, the main planet where much of the novel's action is centered. Also, the author allowed many of the characters to make hints about the greater width of the universe during many conversations between the two main characters, who are closely involved in a rather contrived romantic subplot. Overall, the story's complex universe itself was the best element of the novel, and was the only reason that I endured reading the rest of the novel, even when the problems associated with the romantic subplot began to temper with my enjoyment of the story's rich mythology.At the end though, things were starting to progressively improve. Hopefully, this means that the subsequent sequels are really good.
One of the major flaws of this novel was the forced nature of the romantic subplot. Even though, the element of curiosity created by the author's lavish descriptions of the story's highly detailed universe greatly impressed me and made me have a vested interest in this fictional world, the thinly developed romance element seemed to conspire against my enjoyment. Many times, the chapters even began with rather repetitious depictions of how Aniah or her mysterious love interest both felt a peculiar warmth when in the presence of each other. During their heated exchanges, there were many descriptions of "scarlet cheeks," and the excitement surrounding hugs that might follow a rather sobering story about the story's rich universe or the backstory of Aniah's mysterious love interest. Working through these romantic sequences become drudgery at points, and it really made the novel depreciate in pace, whereas the descriptions of the various tribes that are settled on the planet are wholly interesting. It was these well-written parts that made me wish that the author would have created a finer, more seamless balance between the romantic elements of this book and the mythological/world-building elements. The romance was not necessarily bad by any means; it felt very believable. There were just too much extraneous details that barred it from being subtly beautiful. It just needed a bit of fine tuning, much like other early portions of the novel.
Another weakness of this novel was the clear lack of a real engrossing plot for the first half of the novel. Yes, there is a story surrounding the enigmatic stranger, whom Aniah finds and is greatly besotted with in sheer seconds after encountering the stranger with his electrifying physical features. Most of the novel might depend too strongly on this character's backstory to the extent where the larger story that is alluded to through the early parts of the novel is largely missing towards the beginning, but does eventually come in towards the end abruptly and offers promise beyond this rather mediocre installment.
By the end, there were glimmers of hope of a story filled with depth and characters who had much more nuance than originally expected. I believe that the biggest problem with the story lies with organization. If the book had a bit more editorial work, the small glimmers of genius would become much more prominent and make for an even more enjoyable read. The problem lies with certain elements becoming too over-described, like the development of romance between the two main characters, to the point of feeling contrived. I urge Emma to keep writing, and it is a high possibility that I will try reading the sequels in hopes that the larger story becomes far more expansive and better organized. Evidently, this is Emma's first novel, and I feel terrible for sounding too negative. Its also a shame that the word positive doesn't connote constructive criticism or honesty for everyone. Hopefully, no part of this review comes off as being sardonic. I mean the best for her, and she definitely has great potential at weaving highly believable fictitious worlds. Her strength for now lies in constructing the world, where the characters inhabit. She needs to have more brevity now with her language, and allow the characters to become fully enlivened by the art of subtle writing.
Originally, I was not going to post this review, but I felt that I was succumbing to the demands for something that was impersonal. I blog mostly because I want to engender deep appreciation for literature, and literature or art of any kind sometimes require careful thinking. This was a novel that I wrestled over, and I really believe that giving this book empty praise would not be sufficient for an author, who I think has innate talent and should be encouraged to grow as a writer and not simply languish into obscurity by never
improving. She has a keen eye for details, and a clear love of mythology. Anyone who reads "Propheticus" might actually not discern some of the flaws I saw because I am much too picky for my own good.
Overall, Propheticus certainly makes for a very intriguing read, and I wouldn't necessarily say that the novel is bad by any means. Instead, the tedious romance prevents this novel from being very good, and forces it to become a mediocre book overall. Again, I encourage readers to check out the book for themselves, and then decide whether or not this is the novel for them.