In Scotland, Anna searches for answers. She finds cold rain, steep hills... and terror. When she sees the ancient broch, the ruined building triggers a terror she can’t explain. Scenes from her past lives provide glimpses of the web of events linking her to the broch and the man she’s lost countless times before.
Trapped in an eddy of Fate invariably ending in blood, Anna tries to break the chain and protect what she lost before. Her tealeaves and tarot cards lead her, but the weight of the past may be too heavy.
Her books delve into the riddles of life and the occult—Karma, reincarnation, psychic powers, mysticism, ancient cultures, and good old fashioned “ghosties and ghoulies and long-legged beasties and things that go bump in the night.” Separating the real from the imagined and the earthly from the unearthly are the challenges her characters face. But supernatural experiences aren’t the only scary things in her books. People manage to get themselves in the most terrible messes without any supernatural influence at all.
A proud member of the Ross clan, Sorchia incorporates all things Celtic (especially Scottish) into her works. She likes a good sip of scotch now and again and can often be found at Scottish events.
Find Sorchia DuBois
A few days ago, I was approached by our author to review this novel. I'll tell you guys, my review turnaround process is usually MUCH longer than few days, but something about this read just hit me and said "Ethan, check this out!". I've been on a roll lately with good reads and have been knocking these incredible manuscripts out like nobody's business. That being said, I'd be completely lying if I said I was 110% certain I was going to like this book from the beginning. Why?
This novel feature some awesome paranormal elements in the form of past lives. I'll be honest, this is not my favorite paranormal sub-genre. The multi-storyline format often becomes more trouble than it's worth to me. More times than not, these types of novels do not receive the greatest of reviews from me. I read to get away from life, not to have my mind confused as I try to piece the puzzles of the novel together. Thankfully, Sorchia DuBois had all of her ducks in a row and only confused me slightly!
Genre. So this is one of those topics than can be debated extensively when it comes to this novel. First and foremost, this is an adult read. Strictly. Intended for adults. I liked the maturity aspect of it, but unfortunately I was unable to relate with any of the characters on almost any level. Paranormal? Yes. The main character is a seer/fortune teller, with a twist! Historic fiction? I'd say yes. This could definitely count as a period novel. The three setting for the novel involve the seventeenth century, and pretty much the entire last 80 years of the twentieth century. Romance? Definitely. Most definitely. This was probably the only part of this read where I was a little turned off from it. There is definitely a lot of romance here, but it wasn't overbearing by any means. Just a forewarning though, there is lots of Scottish sex. How is it different? It's got more... kilts and accents and... slang... Haha! Seriously though, it was well written and not erotica by any means, which I can appreciate. I will say there was a whole lot of description of the male MC's physical appearances and that was a little rough to read, but I was able to read through it with little difficulty. The author has a great knack for description.
Theme. This novel is among the most original and unique that I have read in quote some time. While the whole star-crossed lovers thing seems to be the main theme here, I really liked to think of it as a more 'love through the ages' thing. The idea of two individuals being together in various past lives or incarnations really intrigues me when it is written correctly. Unfortunately it is kind of hard to do this in novel format, because the characters have different names and actions in each period. I will openly say that I feel like the entire seventeenth century storyline could have been cut out of this novel, because even after finishing it, I really don't know how it tied into the story. It was, by far, the weakest link in our past life chain for me. Themes of family ties, starting anew, and acceptance were littered throughout this read while was a refreshing breath after so many 'one track' novels I have read lately.
Setting. This was the very first novel I have read that was set in the Scottish Highlands. For me this has always been one of those 'unreadable settings'. I have always associated it with steamy Harlequin Romance novels that you find at the Dollar Store. Novels full of sexual tension, adultery, sword fights, and deflowering fair maidens. A whole lot of nope from this guy. Nothing I've ever been interested in. That being said, I was more than a little hesitant to read that this novel was also set in the Scottish Highlands. Unlike those other authors, DuBois really was able to change my mind. Not only does DuBois do an incredible job of painting the landscape, she really takes the cake when it comes to outlining the cultural practices of Scotland. The vernacular, the clothing, the entire Scottish atmosphere, DuBois did it to perfection. In fact, this may have been my favorite part of this novel. DuBois is clearly well versed and extremely proud of her Scottish heritage and it shows in this novel!
Characters. I'll start out by saying that I LOVED the characters in this novel, they were so incredibly fun! Anna and Davy proved to be the most unlikely of duos and their chemistry was perfect. The character development that we see with their characters was incredible. I will say that my favorite characters in the novel ended up being some of the more minor characters. Barney was my favorite. We follow Barney's story for nearly 50 years. I feel like he really does a great job of grounding the story. Another one of my favorite characters was Fiona. I have a soft spot for the bad guys, especially ones whose storyline ends the way hers does. I have so much respect for that. Moira and Alex were also two of my favorites, they really did a great job of balancing their youth and the timelessness of the story. It was really refreshing. I love a good 'generational' read and DuBois did a great job of showcasing some of the greatest traits in her characters that were passed down over the years. One more character I would have liked to known more about would have been the ancestor of Anna's that left Europe for America and why. That really would have been fun to see! Maybe it was there and I missed it, which is entirely possible because the cast of characters in this read was HUGE. I had a real hard time keeping them straight. Overall though, I feel as though DuBois does an incredible job with her character development and that always plays a big part in my reviewing process!
Paranormal Element. As you guys all know, paranormal reads are always my favorite. Nothing gets me going like a great supernatural vibe in a novel. This novel definitely had that going for it. While it may not have been as "active" as I would have liked, our MC, Anna, is pretty awesome. Anna comes from a long line of fortune tellers who all have a knack for foretelling the crazy. Isn't that the best part about being a seer? Anna is extremely skeptical and hesitant with her gifts, but over the course of the novel, we get to witness her slow, but sure transformation into acceptance. The author does a really great job as painting these gifts as 'natural'. They don't seem fake or forced in any capacity and that was one of the greatest parts of the novel. The only other glaring paranormal element in this novel was the presence/existence of ghosts. The ghosts definitely were amusing, but I really don't understand how any, but one, actually played into the storyline.
Length. I will say that this was one of my larger critiques of this novel. It was long. Unfortunately the formatting of my ebook version was a little off so each of my pages read as a half-page. So my copy was technically double the amount of pages it says it was. No fault of the author, of course. This read took me a long time to really get into, and even longer to get to a resolution. It was relatively slow moving, but there really was never a lull in the storyline. It was just a whole lot of build up for little events here and there. Like I mentioned before, I feel like one of the three storylines could have been completely removed, as I do not feel it added much to the storyline. That would have shaved quite a bit of time off of this read. These are just my thoughts, of course. Other reviews have mentioned that they loved that particularly part of the story. Unfortunately, it just caused the storyline to drag a bit for me. And then that ending! Bring on the feels!
The Conclusion. This is where I will say the novel really excelled for me and only left me slightly disappointed. While all the loose ends were tied up, I was left with a lot of "why did this even matter in the end"? It really came down to, for me, a really evil antagonist who really had no reason to be as incredibly evil as he was. I will say that DuBois did a phenomenal job playing to the Scottish heritage and cultural part of this. A large part of this story revolves around family fueds going back many, many generations. In modern-day America, people really couldn't care less about their great-great-great grandparents' enemies. It was a neat way to also show how important the family legacy is to the Scottish culture. I'm also kind of glad that DuBois was able to wrap this all up into one story, because I'm not sure how this would actually work as a series. ALTHOUGH, I do have to say I am interested on one huge part of the plot that our main characters ultimately decided to shrug off. That being said, I really feel like this novel could have ended with an epilogue set a few months after. I really would like to know how a few things played out! I guess I'll just have to play it out in my head!
Anybody still here with me? Do you see what I mean when I say that this is one unique read? I hope so, because I cannot place enough emphasis on that! While it may not be the read for every peep in the book world, I am so glad I took a chance on it. All-in-all, I am granting Just Like Heaven a very well deserved 4-star review! While there were a few things that didn't necessarily work for me, I still found the novel to be enjoyable and fulfilling. I cannot wait to read more from this author!
Alright readers, that's all I have for you on the topic of Just Like Gravity by Sorchia DuBois. An extremely unique and original novel that left me more than thrilled to have read it. Kudos to you Mrs. DuBois on an incredible novel. I cannot wait to see what the future has in store for you! What do you guys think? Sound like a read that would appeal to you? Be sure to check out the purchase and Goodreads links above! Already read it? Let me know your thoughts in the comments below!
Until next time, Happy Reading!