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In the battle of her life, Aisling Green must survive the Kramer Scholars to save the world from a demon, but only one will stand victorious.

Earthen witch Aisling Green wakes to find herself in the Kramer Scholar’s torture dungeon. She needs to escape and rescue her fiancé, Connor before they’re both killed.

But they can’t just escape the dungeon. They need to escape Germany. Not just to find their way home, but to fight a demon that was summoned to destroy the world. He’s tearing his way from the West Coast, collecting corrupted souls along the way. Aisling needs more strength than ever but finds herself in danger at every turn. Can they escape and save the world before it’s destroyed?

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Before I begin, I just want to talk briefly about what an idiot I am. I have been pronouncing Aisling’s name wrong for the past two books. I’ve always looked at her name and thought “How exactly is that pronounced?” and it only occurred to me moments ago that I could Google it.

Anyway *clears throat* Check out my review for the first book in the Earthen Witch series here!

Having read and loved Just Breathe, I was super excited to jump back into Aisling and Connor’s world, a world in which magic exists and everything is possible.

I feel when the two books are compared side by side, Just Breathe very much acts as an introduction to the world in which readers suddenly find themselves in. It introduces the key characters in the series – Aisling, Connor, Shadow, Liam (my favourite), Angela and Salvatore – and briefs us on the weird and wonderful world in which they live. Focus is built upon the strong foundations of Just Breathe, showing us how the characters have grown since the events of the first book and how that growth has strengthened each of them, Aisling in particular. I noticed she’d become a lot more confident, both in herself and with her power. In books, but especially in series, character development is so important. As people, we’re shaped by the challenges we face and overcome and if a character can do this as well, it proves that they’re more than just a simple character. They’re more than just words on a page. They’re people, just like you and I. It shows an author’s gift for writing when they can render something that began as a mere concept into an apparent living being.

Focus was a lot darker than I was anticipating, but this isn’t a criticism.  The novel’s antagonist is a demon called Bilu, who arrives on Earth in the form of Bannerst. There are chapters narrated from his perspective and while reading them, I would find myself shuddering as I looked at the world through his eyes, thinking things like “C’mon, Aisling, either eradicate this guy or take charge of the narration!” and for me, this is a sign of excellent writing. As I was saying previously, characters need to be more than characters. They need to be people and, like people, they need to have their own individual personalities and traits. Sarah has very much succeeded in this. Each of her characters have their own mannerisms, making them both believable and original. The fact that Bannerst’s narration gave me the creeps shows how effectively his evil, menacing persona has been conveyed.

There are many things that I loved about this book but one was Aisling’s new found sense of belonging. With Connor, Shadow and Liam and his people, she’s found a family and reading of the strong emotions that bind them together was so incredibly heartwarming. There’s this awesome scene near the beginning of the book where Aisling has been kidnapped and Connor, Liam and the others go to find her. When they arrive, it’s just incredible. They’re all armed with swords, crossbows etc, walking straight for the Kramer Scholars guarding the building in which Aisling is being held…and while reading this scene, I was listening to this song and I was imagining the whole scene in slow motion and it was just…so epic. They were just so determined to reach her!

Focus is so many things; it’s dark, it’s dramatic, it’s heartwrenching, it’s humorous in places and it’s an incredibly emotional journey to embark upon, side by side with this array of wonderful characters.

Definitely a series I’m looking forward to continuing.

Rating: 5 out of 5

Song: Metallica’s Master of Puppets 

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This book is available in e-book format on Smashwords, Kobo and iTunes.

 

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