Reviews

Sunbolt, by Intisar Khanani

laraa93's review against another edition

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5.0

Even though I have heard many readers highly praise Intisar Khanani before, I had never read any book of hers, so I really did not know what to expect when I first started reading this book. Well, after reading Sunbolt, I now understand why her books are so well loved by readers. This story was so beautifully well-written and thoroughly enjoyable from start to finish.

Sunbolt is set in Karolene, where Hitomi lives, and where she hides a big secret – she’s a Promise - a magical talent who was secretly trained by her parents to use her powers. Now, they are both dead and she is left alone to fend for herself while hiding her secret from anyone who might want to abuse her powers. As the story progresses, we get to know more about Hitomi and the life she has led, while encountering new characters that have become part of her life.

Initially, the pace of this book was moderate but once the story progressed, things really took off and the story continued at a great pace so I quickly found myself immersed into the world that the author has created. At this point, I simply could not put this book down and had fallen in love with every single element in this book. The setting was a perfect backdrop to the story and the characters were very well-developed. I especially loved Hitomi who was such a strong character that you couldn’t help but root for.

When trying to think about the downside to this book, I could literally find nothing to fault. Sunbolt was a book which has really left me wanting more. I can’t believe that I have to wait for the next book to be released so that I can find out what happens to the characters I fell in love with in this book!

Overall, I think that this book is magically beautiful and I would recommend to it anyone looking for something new to read. Sunbolt is a book that you must certainly put at the top of your TBR pile!

nikkibee's review against another edition

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3.0

I'm very mixed on this book. Its very well written and uses some fairly original ideas when it comes to the creatures and monsters in this book. It's also very short. It feels like the first part of a book rather than the first book in a series. I got to the end and was surprised it was over already. I notice the next book in the series is double the size so maybe that book will cover the massive hole left by the plot line. There are far too many threads left unknown for me to rate this book as higher.

colleenrec's review against another edition

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4.0

Beautiful writing, and a story with a hundred twists and turns. Hitomi is a great character - loyal and determined. She knows her weaknesses and lack of training, but doesn't let that stop her from helping those who need it. The first in a series, Sunbolt creates an intriguing world that leaves me excited to revisit.

whit2ney's review against another edition

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4.0

While the magic system took a while for me to catch onto, I thought it was really fun and interesting. Hitomi has some pretty incredible powers with surprising consequences. I was impressed by how much she could do and how clever she was. It’s a fresh take on the hero’s journey—she’s fully capable but keeps her abilities secret to draw less attention to herself. Also, the villains are pretty interesting—you’ve got something akin to a vampire, a werewolf and a soul reaper/Dementor involved in this story, but I like Khanani’s take on these types of creatures. I don’t want to reveal too much, so read it and let me know if my comparisons were on point or not.

I also liked how Hitomi was such a realist. Nothing gets past her. Following her in the story was fun because you know you’ll get a realistic view of her options and it’s crazy to watch her deal with crazy issues and she either shrugs out of it, or takes what’s been dealt to her.

Another enjoyable thing: the story is short! Khanani is able to give a really riveting story in such a short amount of time. The edition I got (via F-BOM) also comes with an additional story, which I can’t wait to read. So if you like an interesting story that gets right to the point, then you’ll love this story especially.

I’m normally pretty bad at remembering details from books, and it often does take me a while to get settled into a setting or a character. While I was immediately enchanted by Hitomi, it took me a while to figure out the magic rules in the novel. Also, some of the characters in Karolene are shapeshifters, which took me a while to pick up on. Since the novel is written in first-person present, you sort of have to pick up details as you go along. I had to reread stuff because I wasn’t fully paying attention.

Whether or not that’s my fault, it’s something that made it hard for me to give the novel 5 stars. I guess if you enjoy books that treat its readers like they are extra clever and observant, then this might not bother you at all. This novella doesn’t wait for you to catch on, so hang tight through the whole ride.

This novel is very clean. I’m not sure if it was intentional or not, but the plot is very much like a Bollywood movie: no sensual romance (not even kissing), and hardly any foul language. You can definitely give this to a teenager without any worries.

Sunbolt is also a great book to introduce to kids or to your own reading repertoire if you’re looking for more diverse reads. The character is definitely a fish out of water in Karolene and learns to blend despite looking different from the others, while repaying the locals for their kindness.

skittledog's review against another edition

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5.0

A really nice little novella (note it is definitely shorter than a full book - but still a good chunk of story). I liked the world, I liked the characters, I want to see more of them. The world is believable and the magic system/magic-type people are introduced organically and are convincing. Hitomi is both likeable and believable as a central character, and although her story is only getting started here, I thoroughly enjoyed it. Need to read more now.

lilacglow26's review against another edition

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4.0

4/5 stars
I really enjoy reading this book.
And I cannot wait to read more from this author!!!

christhedoll's review against another edition

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4.0

Part of my F-Bom subscription!

heyitsnf's review against another edition

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3.0

I couldn't sleep so I finished this book.

Plus I'm craving more of Intisar-land.

The book is short, following street burglar and illegal half-bred Hitomi. It started with a chasing scene and a secret mission to save a family. There are power hungered mages, an untold backstory of the protagonist and a secret society to bring justice.

It's a nice escape though needs some figuring out on your own at the beginning. Once you're in, you're in though. It's a short read, 140-ish pages. There is no love interest in the first book and I fond myself appreciating it.

Can't wait to read what is next for Hitomi.

queenofdonuts's review against another edition

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4.0

WOW. This was REALLY good. I don't read many self-published books, but really, I didn't expect it to be so good. The characters and world building are amazing. I love that they called vampires 'fang' in the book, and that there are other creatures called Breathers (they 'eat' souls ).

My only complaint is that the book is too short. *cries*

kir's review against another edition

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2.5 ⭐ maybe.
Started out interesting but I felt like there was a u-turn in what story was being told that threw me off the ride.