REVIEWS…REVIEWS…REVIEWS



 

The Coldest Heart is a thrilling story that invokes all your senses. Helen Rena bends your heart as the story twists and turns in this dystopian novel. A must-read for the adventurous of heart!” —Gina Henning, author of Going Pecans


 

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“The synopsis for this book was A-M-A-Z-I-N-G! First we met Ever. Ever is 15 years old, and trapped in an abandoned mall in New York City. She was fearless, manipulative, and pure awesomeness. Later into the book, we discovered that Ever was blind, and that she used other people’s eyes to see. Her eyes were two different colors. One a dark, dusty blue, and the other, a light blue. She was also gifted with the power of a heart, which was basically the deadliest talent of all. Being able to channel any feeling into any person anywhere in the world. But can Ever really do all that is expected of her?

I really enjoyed the pace of this book. I mean, the events were all chronologically put together and flowed really well as one piece. The characters, on the other hand, not so much. Fox- the main protagonist’s love interest- was quite annoying. Ever, on the other hand, made me smile and laugh. All of the characters were… different. Their personalities were vastly unalike. The romance was steamy and everything that you’d look for in a good YA romance.

Overall, I really enjoyed this read. There was action right from the beginning to the end, and it didn’t disappoint me one bit. I usually don’t read stand-alones so often but when I find the time to, I cherish those moments. Into the Blind by Helen Rena was definitely a read to remember.” —Alex Ang, The Books Buzz Blogspot


 

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“Everyone is born with a gift. I wonder what gift I would have been born with?
I think the idea is an intriguing one for sure! The possibilities are endless!
The situation they find themselves in and how they deal with it is a good premise as well!
Sad, but scene setting with the kidnapping and the abuse.

This book twists and turns and you can’t help but follow it. Many aspects can be interpreted in different ways making this book more personal than some.
The way you see the characters, their struggles, the interactions between the teens. Makes for a great plot line!

The glimpses into other worlds and the final coming together of the story were fantastic!
I was not expecting that!, well, mostly anyway!

The only thing I would have liked was more.
In the end, all I was thinking was the author has just twisted the story on me and I loved it!

Great read! Would recommend!” —Angela Withrow, Red’s Reads Blog

 

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“I still can’t quite get my head around everything that happened because it was so surprising, but what I do understand without a doubt, is that I loved it. It was fast-paced, thrilling, dramatic and unbelievably enjoyable. What really made this book though was the ending… that ending… just wow…

I can’t say what happened because it would be such a major spoiler, but I can say that it had me gaping at the book like a beached goldfish as my mind in denial failed to comprehend. You simply need to read this book, so then you get it and we can rave together!

What’s even better is that it isn’t just this moment which made me love this book, but all the little ones up to it. Many authors can come up with a big twist every now and then, but not all can make you just as interested in the downtime moments and care just as much about the characters when nothing (I say nothing but there was always something going on in this book) is happening to them. Helen Rena is one of the amazing few. So I need more of her work.

As I’ve already mentioned her talent for writing is undeniable, the characters she creates feel incredibly real and easily relatable so the connections you have with them feel just as real. In particular was the main protagonist Ever, she is incredibly brave and you can’t deny she’s been through a lot already but still there is more to come. I loved following her journey of self-discovery; watching her change and develop, and not just in her powers.

It was also interesting seeing how she acted with her friends companions.

In the end, with a story that had intrigued me simply from the synopsis and characters that had me from the get go: Into the Blind is a suspenseful read that I can’t express how much I enjoyed. My only problem is that I need more! It works well as a stand-alone, yes, but I simply want to know what happens next. Instead I’ll just have to re-read another time so I can see it from the different perspective, after all because beggars can’t be choosers.” —Anna, Enchanted by YA

 

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“This book is hard to review. Not because it was a poorly written book, or that it doesn’t work, but because it’s hard to write about it without talking about the twists and spoilers! The world of The Coldest Heart is one where in the 1950s or so (I could be a bit off on the year, but the point was is that it was a bit in the past), it was discovered that children were now being born with a genetic difference that causes them to develop a strong talent. Some are born graceful, with a natural sense of rhythm and are called ‘Dancers’. Some are born with the ability to grow in size and strength and are called ‘Gods’. Others have the ability to influence the emotions of themselves and those around them. These are called ‘Hearts’ and are incredibly rare and considered dangerous and often evil. One of the most famous ‘Hearts’ was Hitler for example.

Our protagonist, Ever, is a ‘Heart’. As a child she was sold to Traffickers and raised along with three other children with promising abilities. She has spent her entire life trapped in a bookstore.

The world is laid out carefully and deliberately. We’re introduced to an ability at a time. Things aren’t thrown at us too quickly. Rena also establishes the personalities of our four main characters cleverly and quickly through the opening scenes. The tensions we will experience throughout the entire novel are set up in those scenes.

The plot begins with their escape and how they find the outside world is nothing like they imagined it from the books in their store. It’s a Wonderland-esque nightmare with everyone against them and time running out. There are themes of choices, power and most of all obsession.

I found myself locked into the book with this ever-present feeling of dread. The whole set up reminded me of so many nightmares I’d had of being trapped, of people being after me, of running but feeling like I wasn’t getting anywhere. As I’m almost positive that’s how I was supposed to feel while reading the book, I’d say Rena did a pretty fabulous job.

In conclusion, I think that the writing and the idea behind this book are it’s strongest points. For those looking through books that have come out recently, this is not one to pass over. It’s hard to summarize who this book would appeal to, however. It’s got the desperate feeling of a dystopia, though it’s not quite one. It’s got world-building aspects similar to the Gone Series by Michael Grant and X-Men, with a different twist. I think mostly, however, it is a book that would appeal to those who enjoy plot lines that remind them of Alice in Wonderland, of falling down the rabbit hole into a place that makes absolutely not sense.” —Sam, A Journey Through Pages

 

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“The first thing that grabbed my attention was the promise of gifted people. It reminded me of all the things I love about X-Men. I was even more intrigued by the trafficking aspect as well. Not often do you see that combination.

From the beginning you get a sense that the world of the book operates by its own rules. The dark and dangerous is thrust upon you from the first page where we see a trafficking deal go down.

Then once we meet Ever, you get a sense of how dire the situation is with these kids and their entrapment. That desperation never leaves the book entirely which helps build the suspense.

However, even knowing the title of the book, I didn’t make the connection that Ever was blind until it was said. Even being blind, she could see through the eyes of others. There were times I found myself forcing to remember that she was blind.

With the different abilities the trapped kids had, I felt that they fit their personalities well. Especially Ever being heart, the most powerful abilities there is. Maybe their personalities were shaped by the abilities they were born with.

There were times when I felt very confused by the flow of events or even the choices the characters were making. However, overall it was an unique and solid read.” —Nikki and Keira, Lazy Booklovers


 

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“I thought that Helen Rena’s “The Coldest Heart” was a really fun read. The opening has you aware of the fact that you’re dealing with two big situations. A world that has, sadly as ours does child and human trafficking.

The thing that makes these kids worth selling into a very miserable and dangerous life is their “gift”.

Since that “Gift” which in Ever and Fox’s case seem more like a curse since theirs hasn’t budded yet. While being held in a miserable form of captivity two of these kids build a bond. Ever and Fox were really well thought out characters. The specific gifts they each had added another layer to the complications in their situation.

Helen Rena certainly keeps you on your toes during this book. The descriptions are vivid and the characters are filled out so you’re seeing the story flow by in your imagination.

It has suspense, emotional and upsetting moments. It’s defiantly a roller coaster ride from the first page on.

I’d recommend this to the YA genre. I think both guys and girls would get enjoyment out of the variety of characters and what they go through in the way! Mousehead & Tales gives “Into the Blind by Helen Rena 3 3/4 stars. I’ll be keeping my eye on this author. I suggest you add her immediately to your to be read list! Thanks for checking in.” —Mousehead & Tales


 

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“A world where everyone is born with a gift and someone is kidnapping all the babies and carrying them to live in a mall. Ever, Fox, Sinna and Demi all have ability or a gift and they are lucky that they have gotten to live in a bookstore in the mall. While being kept hostage at the mall in the bookstore they have the opportunity to read lots of books and educate themselves. But I don’t actually think that all of the books could possibly be non-fictional books. But to them books never lie there is truth in every book.

Ever, Fox, Sinna and Demi have lived in the bookstore for fifteen years. They never get to go outside. Like go on a date or have other friends to play with or family that they can go and visit. All they have is each other and they all in some way or another depend on each other for one reason or another. Ever depends on Fox most of all. Fox never wants Ever out of his sight. He has this wired way of keeping her close and never letting her does anything that he has not told her do. All through the book I couldn’t quite figure him out. Does is really love Ever or is he just a “you belong to me” controlling kind of person. He loves Ever more than his own life or that is what he says. But with his attitude it is very hard to tell if he really loves her or not. Maybe is only afraid of losing her and never seeing her again.

They have lived in this mall for the past fifteen years which is all of their life. They are tired of always being locked up. They want their freedom to be able to do what they want and not what someone tells them to do. They are tired of being some else’s puppet on string. They have been working on plan a way out of the bookstore and out of the mall too. So one day they decide that it is time to leave. So they take off and escape. When they get outside they discover that they are in New York but it is a lot different than what all of the info that they have read in the books tells them about New York.

After they escape and find their way to the city they realize that they can’t stay there for long they only have a matter of hours to find their way out of New York before they are trapped their forever. They meet a lot of different people on their little expedition on their way through the city. Some of these people do try to help them even though they have no idea how to get out of the city either.

Fox is always telling Ever never to use her gift under any circumstances. He is afraid that if she uses her ability he will lose her forever and that is something he doesn’t think he could do. He can’t imagine life without his love right there beside him.

Talk about sitting on the edge of your seat waiting for what is going to happen next is an understatement with Into the Blind. Helen Rena has you hanging on by the hair of your head with all the suspense that is bouncing all over the place. I love the world that she built in Into the Blind. It is very hard at times to figure out what is real and what is not. Now that is one amazing authors when they can do that. Yes it is a fictional book but you are always wondering if it is real or not. You are wondering if what is happening to Ever, Fox, Sinna and Demi is real or not. At times you are thinking that it is not real that they are being made to do what they are doing. Or that someone is having a bad nightmare because you are thinking that is the only answer.

If you love a good book that is spilling over with suspense, mystery. and the thrill of your life then Into the Blind is the book for you. Do you like your books that keeps taking you in different directions every time you turn around and you never know where you are going to turn up next then Into the Blind is your next read. The ending has a very surprising turn of events it is an ending that in lots of ways you never saw it coming. The writer knew just how much to throw out there to keep you hanging on and coming back for more.” —Nancy Storey Allen, The Avid Reader


 

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“This was a really interesting book! From the description, it’s like of like X-Men, but with groups of people with the same ability, vs. lots of individual abilities. And then there’s Ever. Who’s supposed to be able to channel emotions into people. But who hasn’t yet actually showed any sign of having that amount of power.

Well, besides the fact that she can see out of other people’s eyes since her own eyes are blind, but only her “family” of 4, the other 3 kids in the book store know about it. But that’s not really the same thing, and so not the reason why Ever’s trapped in the book store.

I didn’t really like Fox. He was so high and mighty, like he was so much more important then the rest of them. He was the one that taught himself, and then the others, how to read. But that didn’t mean that the rest of them were stupid! Mostly it was in the word choices that he made when he was talking, you’d expect that kind of taking from a 60 year old old money lady, or something, not Fox.

I really enjoyed that twist at the end, and how Ever grew up quickly, and yeah, I don’t know if I want a sequel or not, because yeah, I’d like to go back to this world, and there are some things resolved, but it ends on a good note, so yeah, I don’t know!

Yeah, this was a pretty darned good, and I enjoyed it!” —Louisa Paarsmarkt, Writing Crazy Me


 

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“The Coldest Heart is a glimpse into a different world where everyone is born with a talent, and babies are kidnapped and raised by “guards” until they’re old enough to come into their power. The guards are sadistic and abusive, and I felt infinitely sad thinking about these children being bought and sold, then raised in what amounts to be a prison. Sadly, child trafficking in real life does exist, and this book did remind me of that.

Ever, the main character, is blind but can see through the eyes of others around her. She has the most special talent of all: she’s a heart child and can channel feeling into any person anywhere in the world. When she comes into her power, she can make people adore her or writhe in pain. I felt connected to her right away.

Fox, Sinna, and Demi are “raised” alongside Ever. I really didn’t like Demi – she treats Ever horribly, which I think stems from jealousy of her. Sinna and Demi are in a relationship, but I think Sinna cares more about Ever than Demi would like. Fox is the leader of the group. He’s worked out an escape plan, and each of the four has a role to play to make it happen.

You get to know these characters and quickly become emotionally connected with them. Though I’m not fond of Demi, I also felt for her and didn’t want to see anything bad happen to her. To say you’re on the edge of your seat while reading Into the Blind would be an understatement. I felt as though I was on an emotional roller coaster, and the suspense was thick enough to be palpable.

The Coldest Heart reminded me of the show Heroes (which I still miss like crazy!) except with a darker twist. I loved Ever right away. She seemed younger than her years and innocent though she was surrounded by the evil of the guards and her captivity. I think the love between Fox and Ever saved her. I can’t say in the end if it destroys her or not – you’ll have to read and decide for yourself!- but with the twists and turns plus the action and emotional pull, you’ll race through to the end.” —Jennifer Ricketts, Donnie Darko Girl

 

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