So I must say, Melokai begins on a strong note. This self published title immediately introduces a ruthless land ruled by women, prosperous under the leadership of Melokai Ramya, but heading swiftly toward a dangerous prophecy. Quite an intriguing premise!
Unfortunately, after a beautifully promising opening, I found myself quickly losing interest in the way this story unfolded. More than anything, I just couldn't keep myself fully engaged as I read through new character introductions and events, which made for a rather slow reading experience for me personally.
I rather enjoyed author Rosalyn Kelly's writing style. She captures a multitude of diverse landscapes, bringing each one to life in its own unique way. Thanks to this, the world building aspect succeeds in creating depth both far and wide across multiple kingdoms.
At times, dialogue between characters felt a bit bland & caused the wide cast of characters present here to read similarly. But Kelly's action scenes were on point, being both gruesome & well choreographed.
My biggest issue with Melokai is that I couldn't fully get on board with any of the main characters or their actions. I felt as though I was wading through decisions & events without really understanding why they were occurring. This prevented me from really identifying with anyone & thus contributed to my overall lack of engagement.
Unusual details arose in a way that took me by surprise. Strange romantic formations that felt a bit all over the place, unclear physical appearances, lots of sexual encounters, and contrived conflicts often plagued my reading of this story.
There is a lot of writing talent here & a solid foundation (and of course a stunning cover!), afraid the actual story itself just wasn't my flavor. I'm certain this story will work for others where it didn't for me. I would most recommend this book for hard core Grimdark Fantasy Fans!
***Special thank you to Rosalyn Kelly for sending me a beautiful review copy of Melokai!***