Author: Zachary P Chopchinski
Synopsis: Gabrielle is driven by her will to explore and see new things. When she moves to the small town of Envisage, she is drawn to a hidden antique shop and its mysterious owner. When Gabrielle is given a strange gift, she suddenly finds herself in the middle of an epic battle between good and evil. Follow Gabrielle as she ventures through the lives of many with the experience of only her own. It’s a journey through history, life, and love unlike anything that could be imagined—except perhaps by a curious young girl.
Overall Rating: ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️
Trigger Warning for: Sexual assault
- Fun world building
- Vivid imagery
- Fast-paced plot
- You’ll want to know more
- It wasn’t predictable, which is very refreshing
- Pretty generic main protagonist
- Be prepared for A LOT of heavy description
- There were a handful of typos
In-Depth Review: Warning: May contain spoilers.
So I’ve made it a goal of mine to read more self-published books, largely because of the negative stigma surrounding them. I hate the idea of judging a whole category of books by a couple (maybe more than a couple) of bad apples. So, I want to start by saying that this book definitely surpasses the general expectation for self-published books. I didn’t find myself thinking, “no wonder this didn’t make it into a big publishing house…” or anything of that sort. If you want to start reading self-published books, Gabrielle is a pretty good place to start.
Getting into the story, I once again didn’t actually have any clue as to what this book was about. I should get better about reading synopses, but I kind of like the excitement. when it first starts off, it just seems like an awkward kid making friends with an older woman. Nothing too exciting. However, as the story goes on, it takes so many twists and turns that I found myself wondering if I misread the entire first half of the book because I wasn’t entirely sure how I ended up there. By the ending, everything ties together nicely and you suddenly have that eureka moment of clarity that makes you glad you picked it up in the first place.
The main protagonist is 13, which would ordinarily be a turn off for me as I’ve long since past that age bracket, but there was a style to the writing and the plot line that made up for the character’s age. It felt like falling into the world of Harry Potter where, even though the protagonist isn’t necessarily someone you can relate to immediately, the world sucks you in and you can tell that it’s definitely going somewhere great. That in mind, if you’re looking for a story with largely adult themes, lots of romance, or even just a mature protagonist, this isn’t the read for you. If you’re looking for adventure, exciting new worlds, mystery, and a way to escape the mundane world you live in, you’ve come to the right place.
Finally, the book was quite short for a fantasy novel. This isn’t necessarily good or bad, but there’s more to come if you’re interested in continuing Gabrielle’s story. Oh, and be warned, it ends on a cliffhanger!
Final Verdict: I’ll be reading book two
“You only know what you are waiting for when it presents itself to you.”
“The things that I have downstairs and up here in my home are as alive as you and I are sitting here right now. They have history. They have their very own pasts and they could talk to you if you would only take the time to listen. Each piece of history that I own has a story that’s dying to be told. They can feel warmth, love, and pain.”
“Our past is the most important part of us; what we have done often negates what we will do. If we cannot learn from our past, we are doomed to repeat it.”