You may remember a few months back, I posted the cover reveal of an upcoming novel. Well, because Rachelle is so anxious to share her dream with the rest of the world, I was given an ARC (advanced reader copy) of The Sound of Diamonds and asked if I would review it. And because I will ever be a lifelong fan of watching a dream come true, I accepted.
After I accepted, I grew very, very nervous. I had to write a review, and God knows I don’t know how to write anything other than honest reviews. What if I hated it?
This was a legitimate concern, especially since The Sound of Diamonds is a giant leap outside the typical genres I read. I don’t do Christian fiction anymore, I’m only drawn to Historical stories on occasion, and I never, ever touch Romance.
So here I am, breaking all my own rules because the internet has blessed me with this tenuous connection to Rachelle Rea and God has blessed me with a love for her that is beyond all logical reason.
The Premise (in Rebekah’s Paraphrase):
There’s this girl named Gwyneth and she’s in a bit of trouble, but she doesn’t realize how much trouble she’s in until this guy, Dirk, shows up to save her. However, she hates Dirk because, as far as she’s convinced, the jerk killed her parents. So of course she doesn’t go willingly, and Dirk sort of has to abduct her, which is another crime altogether, so he’s doing a really sloppy job of clearing his soiled name. But, hey, whatever. He has an entire cross-country trip to convince her of his innocence… which should give him just enough time to fall in love along the way.
Rachelle wrote a book! And it’s being published!
That was seriously on the forefront of my mind the entire time, so it was impossibly hard to focus on reading/reviewing.
But, seriously, for all you readers out there… I was mostly impressed with how Rachelle handled all the aspects of faith in her debut novel. I find most Christian fiction to be a little preachy and cliché—like someone who wanted to preach a sermon decided it would be cute to dress it up as a story.
The Sound of Diamonds is definitely not a sermon, even though there were countless Biblical truths scattered throughout the plot. While the setting of the Iconoclastic Fury presented a perfect opportunity to debate the differences between the Catholic and the Protestant faith, Rachelle managed to do so without straying from the storyline. The author’s relationship with God resounds clear as diamonds, and the characters’ purposes are further fulfilled through their expression of faith.
My greatest dislike in the reading of this book can probably be summed up by the simple fact that it is a Romance. This was not a cute little story with a dash of romance in it; it was ultimately about Dirk and Gwyn falling in love.
Well, duh, you’re probably thinking. That’s what a Romance is.
And you would be right. That is what a Romance is, and that is precisely why I don’t read that genre. I don’t believe in love at first sight, and romantic clichés leave me rolling my eyes or fighting a gag reflex. (This fact surprises most people, especially the ones who know I live and breathe fairytales. Call me a contradiction, but it’s just the way I work.)
So, the love story was hard for me, as I prefer a little less mooning over each other and a lot more butt-kicking action.
But I will say, The Sound of Diamonds did have a touch of that fairytale magic that I live for. Not the pumpkins or witches or hundred-year-curses that can be summed up in a handful of pages, but the kind of magic where blind eyes are given sight and the rogue becomes the redeemed and good triumphs in the end. (Oops. Spoiler alert.)
Not bad, Rachelle. Not bad at all. Sorry that Dirk and Gwyn couldn’t quite win me over with their love story. Maybe they’ll have another shot at it in Book 2.
Rachelle Rea plots her novels while driving around the little town she’s lived in all her life in her dream car, a pick-up truck. As a freelance editor, she enjoys mentoring fellow authors in the craft. A homeschool graduate and retired gymnast, she wrote the Sound of Diamonds the summer after her sophomore year of college. You can find her online at www.rachellerea.com
The Sound of Diamonds releases this very Monday—June 15th—so go check it out on Amazon.