Ahead of #WyrdAndWonder, an Audiobook Spotlight | “The Choosing” (The Forest People, book two) by Maggie Lynch (narrated by Rachel Jacobs)

Posted Saturday, 20 April, 2019 by jorielov , , , 5 Comments

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On my connection to this blog tour: I am a blog tour hostess with Audiobookworm Promotions wherein I have the opportunity to receive audiobooks for review or adoption (reviews outside of organised blog tours) and host guest features on behalf of authors and narrators alike. I have been hosting for nearly a year now and I appreciate the diversity of genre selections and styles of stories to choose from whilst I navigate the audiobook realms!

Why I wanted to listen to this story:

When I first learnt of this series, my first instincts were this could be a brilliant way of getting my feet wet back into Speculative Fiction on the Fantasy side of the ledger. However, what truly rooted me in wanting to tackle a trilogy before #WyrdAndWonder is the fact that it isn’t often I find a Fantasy series which intrigues me to read – at least not on the YA side of things. I’ve been spoilt dearly on the #LelandDragons series and thus, I thought it would be a keen idea to take a chance on a #newtomeauthor and see if this particular series could win me over as much as Jackie Gamber’s!

What I have enjoyed thus far along in The Forest People series:

One of the more gutting openings I’ve listened to in an audiobook were within the first sequences of The Awakening and yet it was also the most beautiful. A selfless act of love and the purity of that choice to bring a child into the world bridging two different species together and ultimately uniting the world to reveal an ancient prophecy their species do not wish to see brought to fruition is how this story first begins.

The parents of Camryn (Wynbune to her people, the forest people as they are known in their unity) are both Quatcho (a furry species of tall stature) and Mazikeen (a sub-species of the fey). Not since I’ve started to read short stories of Speculative origins have I seen such an achingly beautiful origin story etched into a Fantasy – this origin of how Camryn came to be bourne and the sacrifices of her parents is singularly one of my favourite opening bridges which anchours her past to her present. Her mother’s release from the forest reminded me dearly of a beloved scene from Avatar but also from the passages of those short stories wherein Earthly magic and native beliefs were the backbone of the mythologies explored in those previous stories I loved reading. They felt larger than their short lengths and they inspired my mind to re-consider the plausibilities of where Fantasy can take you through a character’s journey. In a continued sense of awareness, I loved the instincts Lynch had for giving us Camryn’s rite of birth.

Nakani and Kia shared a special love and their short love story is memorable because of how they had bonded to each other whilst choosing this path to bring a daughter into a world who would not readily accept her but find her disagreeable to the ordered path their species felt was natural. What is so terribly gutting about this love story is how tragic it ends and how the prophecy they nurtured into existence is what foretold their own fates as much as their daughter’s. It was this humbled origin which sprung forth the uniqueness of having a daughter adopted out of both their species and placed into the human world. It was there where Camryn felt her differences the most – if you cross-relate this story to a very well-known series, you’ll immediately spy out the similarities of a child ‘cast-out’ of their kinship and kind only to be re-discovered lateron. However, despite this wrinkle of curious overlay and familiarity there are a few distinct differences – especially because of how Camryn starts to evolve and transmorph as she rises into her sixteenth year.

I wasn’t a bit surprised how this story was tracking through the psychological effects of Camryn coming to terms with how different she was from her adoptive family nor how they had loved her unconditionally. I think if Lynch had taken this to a different level of realisation on both their behalf’s – if her adoptive family had had any conditions placed on their daughter OR if Camryn herself hadn’t been as authentically raw and real in the opening chapters to describe her own afflictions and emotional anguish – I might not have felt as connected to her journey as I had.

When the story grew a bit more  interesting is when Ohar and Camryn are in the forest – where the overlays of the world are stronger and where we gleam more about Lynch’s vision for The Forest People. The struggle of will inside Ohar isn’t overly examined – it was almost as if that one scene with his Mum was the deciding moment of where he chose to go against her wishes and to do what was right – not for himself but his species, for the sake of their existence and the perservation of their beliefs. His strength is rooted in how he views his purpose and how he chooses to accept his destiny. And, yet, I felt part of his character was a bit under-developed as it was very much matter of fact without contest or argument. I thought for sure there would be more to say about how he would determine his own path outside of his mother’s will – even though she did threaten him, I felt this part of the ominous bits of the world we were entering were left undone or rather unresolved. They simply became a non-issue – as you readily observe once Ohar and Camyrn return to the forest.

Whilst their in the forest, I couldn’t sort out why Lynch was radically changing our perception about Camryn – as she felt older in the chapters leading into this one – although, part of me questioned if her descending age or behaviour patterns had to do with the effect of her crossing into the realm where she was bourne vs the world in which she was raised. There is a difference in place and time, and when your dealing with the fey in most stories, there is a uniqueness of ‘where’ you are vs how you are in other places – almost as if your behaviour, mannerisms and natural essence are influenced by your setting. Or rather, I suppose I ought to say, perhaps by going back to the forest, this newer version of Camryn was her original self trying to come back into her skin? It just felt a bit muddled even though it was quite the compelling quest for Ohar to take-on as a lot was brokering on his success.

Lynch has a knack for developing the world within The Forest People which reminds me of why I personally have become attached to the stylings of Urban Fantasy. She has co-anchoured this journey of Camryn firmly between the world in which she was raised (ie. amongst humans) and the ethereally enchanting forest which in of itself is dimensionally greater than it appears. Like most Urban Fantasies which take us on the journey through the conventions of dimensional time and the conceptional awareness of our world as it is viewed on the surface and not between what is veiled from human sight – Lynch endeavours us to take this journey with her characters; to seek what is beyond.

Part of Lynch’s world-building is to prepositional us into how her world is set to a rhythm of belief where all of life is connected to each other and the difference truly lies in the perception of what is understood. Meaning, for the Forest People themselves – their awareness is more acute rather than the humans’ perception is stunted and limited. It is a perceptional novel in many regards – how you choose to perceive yourself, how others perceive you (outside of your own image) and how the perception of our time within our lives can alter what we can accomplish if we’re hindered by this crippling sense of ‘otherness’ which isn’t our truest sense of self.

One interesting thing to note is how I felt she was written Camryn in a descension of age – meaning, the more time Camryn spent in the forest after her imprisonment and confinement, the more she seemed to regress and age progressively ‘backwards’ rather than forwards. And, then rather suddenly she would be increasingly moving towards a maturity for her species – caught between being a girl and a woman with all the confusing emotions interspersed with the changes in her mood, attitude and emotional balance.

-quoted from my review of Chameleon: The Awakening

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Ahead of #WyrdAndWonder, an Audiobook Spotlight | “The Choosing” (The Forest People, book two) by Maggie Lynch (narrated by Rachel Jacobs)The Choosing (Audiobook Spotlight)
Subtitle: Book Two of the Forest People
by Maggie Lynch
Source: Scribd | Audiobook Subscription
Narrator: Rachel Jacobs

A human chameleon. An endangered mythical forest. Can she bond with a dragon in time to save her new family?

Camryn Painter has enough identity issues without discovering a deadly new magic coursing through her veins. Though her chameleon-like abilities herald her as the forest people’s savior, she’s terrified by the growing dark power within her. And it only gets worse when she realizes that to control this new magic she’ll have to bond with a deadly Thunder Dragon…

As Camryn embarks on her dangerous quest, she discovers that the same human tyrants who experimented on her are behind multiple grisly murders as well. To fulfill her destiny, she may just have to infiltrate her former prison.

Can Camryn master her new abilities to stave off more death, or will power-hungry humans destroy her magical home for good?

Chameleon: The Choosing is the second book in The Forest People YA paranormal fantasy series. If you like heroic challenges, original creatures, and frightening battles between dark and light, then you'll love Maggie Lynch's rousing adventure.

Genres: Fantasy Fiction, YA Fantasy, YA Paranormal Suspense, Young Adult Fiction

Places to find the book:

Add to LibraryThing


Also by this author: The Awakening (Audiobook Spotlight), The Awakening

Also in this series: The Awakening (Audiobook Spotlight), The Awakening

Published by Windtree Press

on 8th May, 2018

Format: Audiobook | Digital

Length: 5 hours and 23 minutes (unabridged)

Published by: Windtree Press

The Forest People series:

Formats Available: Paperback, Ebook and Audiobook

About Maggie Lynch

Maggie Lynch

Maggie Lynch is the author of 20+ published books, as well as numerous short stories and non-fiction articles. Her fiction tells stories of men and women making heroic choices one messy moment at a time. Maggie is also the founder of Windtree Press, an independent publishing cooperative with over 200 titles among 20 authors.

Her love of lifelong-learning has garnered degrees in psychology, counseling, computer science, and education; and led to opportunities to consult in Europe, Australia, and the Middle East. Since 2013, Maggie and her musician husband have settled in the beautiful Pacific Northwest where she now enjoys the luxury of writing full-time. Her fiction spans romance, suspense, science fiction and fantasy titles. Her current non-fiction titles are focused on helping career authors succeed in the business side of writing and publishing.

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why I am choosing to spotlight this audiobook:

Photo Credit: Unsplash Photographer Sugar Bee. (Creative Commons Zero)
Photo Credit: Unsplash Photographer Sugar Bee.
(Creative Commons Zero)

To be honest, I simply ran out of the hours to listen to this series over the course of the past week. I wanted to listen to it a bit at a time, as there were approx. 10 hours left to hear of the story but for whichever reason, my April has been a rather adverse month start to finish. I didn’t get to tuck into the audiobook until late on Friday for the second week in a row and even though I was able to hear the first few hours of the story, my stamina wore out and I started to notice I didn’t feel especially well to sit long enough to hear the story conclude. I decided at the last minute to switch my third tour stop for the Forest People blog tour to a Spotlight with updated Notes about my concluding takeaways about “The Awakening”.

Whenever I am reading a series, I like to revert back to how the previous installment ended before carrying on with my thoughts on behalf of the next story in sequence. In this regard, it allows me to refresh my memory about the story I’m reading and also gives me a chance to share new information with my readers about a series I am contemplating as much as I am progressing through it once story at a time. For The Forest People, I felt there was a bit more to share and say – as initially when I had concluded my review for “The Awakening” I had left the door open to see how Lynch would streamline us into the second novel “The Choosing” whilst having the foundation of the first novel make a bit more sense in the second or third as there were aspects of the first novel which didn’t quite sit well with me but overall, I was smitten with the premise.

I truly felt connected to Camryn, Sela (her nurse), Ohar and Dagger – there was just something about this fantastical world which drew you into its depths even if you didn’t agree with everything happening or how it was being disclosed, there was a compelling reason to stay tethered inside the series. For me, it had to do with the legacy of Camryn’s birth origins and how she was an important figure in her origin society. It is a complex series as it involves a lot of exploratory topics of interest such as dimensional travelling, shapeshifters, dragons and the intricacies of dissecting the world through a moral and ethical lens as countered against modern beliefs in science, religion and an humanistic approach to understanding individual destiny and purpose.

I am going to re-attempt to listen to the final two stories of this series this coming week, whilst giving me the chance to conclude my thoughts on behalf of The Forest People on the final Saturday of April – wherein I have discussed this series in one way or another for all four Saturdays It has become quite the experience for me and I was most delighted and overjoyed finding the author has dropped by to visit with me as well. I haven’t been online – something which most of my followers might have picked up on as my Twitter feeds didn’t start to regenerate until yesterday and seemed to be in stasis celebrating my 6th Year as a Book Blogger from the 31st of March!

I am pulling my forthcoming notes from my next review on this series to share a glimpse of what has left me museful about this world but also what I am enjoying about how Ms Lynch has approached writing it. May this final week be a better week for me and may the hours I need to hear the conclusionary chapters be ones where I can stay rooted in place and enjoy the final revelations of what this series will be evoking to contemplate, ruminate and consider.

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The Forest People promo banner provided by Audiobookworm Promotions

from where we left the first installment of The forest people:

At the end of The Awakening, Camryn is taught about how she needed wake into the new realities of her heritage and her birth origins amongst the Forest People. Kaska is her teacher at this junction – where she is still cocooning through her transitional period of evolution. Kaska is a shifter, of the feline variety and one of my favourite supporting cast members as she had a very unusually pivotal role to play in Camryn’s life. Camryn meanwhile is in a sleepy dream-state of reality but she’s cautioned about the forthcoming tests where she will be cast into the void – a place where she will truly find out about the world she was bourne and the ramifications of her birthright. Lynch has a lot of things for readers to chew on whilst she is endeavouring us to explore the world of the Forest People. Topics include dimensional space, the time continuum, cellular travelling and the uniqueness of how perception is altered by how a person identifies their reality. Ohar and Dagger were key components of how Camryn was assessing for herself what she wanted to choose to believe and how she wanted to choose to live – as this is a key aspect of the initial story-line – Camryn was ‘coming-of age’ and thereby, what she was going to ‘choose’ was of most importance to everyone involved – irregardless if they sided with the Light or the Dark. Her choice was everything.

If I hadn’t read The Clan Chronicles, I think I might have found the kind of dimensional travelling Camryn was about to undertake in this world to be a bit more complex and confusing than it actually was to understand. When it comes to dimensional travel, if you can see past what you can readily see – you can believe in the paths which are there but lie unseen. It was interesting finding how two different writers elected to approach similar passageways of travelling – especially as when you enter into the layers of dimensional space, you also have to see the science through the concept as it is rather a thought-provoking theory to imagine if for every one dimension of life there is an alternative reality which co-exists within a different framework of ‘now’ elsewhere from whence life is being lived in what we call the ‘present’ but someone else might have a wholly different experience of as they are dimensionally alive on a different plane than we are experiencing ourselves. Technically, my reading of Flatland and A Wrinkle in Time ahead of it also played a strong role in seeing the science being explored in both series.

Dagger came to Camryn’s aide when she needed a guide – someone to introduce her to the dimensional rules of travel but also, someone who could give her a strong impression of what it would be like to embrace her Forest People’s roots in a way that was not just an ‘addition’ to the girl she felt she had been but rather, to become the woman she was destined to be – which was part of the new life she was forging to sort through coupled together with her desires and needs. Dagger gave her the intermediate needs she was seeking – the knowledge of the Forest, the ways of the People and a glimpse into how everything in this world could become manipulated or adjusted depending on her moods, her powers and her interpretation of it all.

You can’t tell if you like Dagger’s new role as it had been the role Ohar had had himself when they were first meeting together in the Forest shortly after her escape from the asylum but one thing is for certain: each of the boys was given a chance to mentor Camryn whilst at the same time, they were both strengthening their attraction towards her despite their inherent beliefs they would not force the issue for her to choose one of them as a life mate.

Finding Sela had returnt was a nice surprise – as I was hoping Camryn’s nurse at the asylum might make a return visit in the story-line though of all the characters introduced there, Sela was the only one I was curious about finding returning. As the backstory expanded to explain why Sela and Camryn had come together, a part of me questioned if that particular place had a greater importance towards the end of the series – there was an ominous reason for it to exist and I had a feeling it wasn’t completely out of Camryn’s life just because she had escaped to the Forest.

As Ohar rejoined Camryn along her quest to find her biological father, the more you saw the discrepancies in what Ohar and Dagger wanted her to understand about her role in their world. There are deeply rooted feelings about the two species of her biological parents – where Ohar and Dagger stand on different sides of the disagreement which is attempting to shift this world in one direction or the other. What I appreciated the most is how Lynch was showing how choices in life are not completely black or white – how what is perceived to be good is not entirely the whole truth and neither are the choices which are more negative in nature. Lynch is painting a wider picture about the complexities of choice and the consequences of action vs inaction when it comes to the most important choices we all have to make in our lives.

There are more shifters in this installment – the focus is on the cat shifters similar to Kaska and Mica however, the numbers of shifters represented in this pack of shifters was far larger than the numbers of cats shifters known previously. And, this is only the tip of where Lynch is attempting to take you visually before the first installment concludes. She also makes it hard for you to settle your emotions as you are drawn closer to understanding what is preventing Camryn’s father from living a life which is free from isolation and captivity. It is an emotional story from that one angle as it is hard to reconcile what has become of her father against the love story at the beginning of The Awakening.

on the fantastical writing style of maggie lynch:

What is most impressive is how Lynch has expanded this world – how she deepened the curiosities of Camryn into the wider scope of her pursuit of the truth behind the fate of her biological parents. She has a lot of vision for how to write a complex world, built round conceptional science within our own world and how those conceptions can become re-explored in this world where there are different factions trying to accomplish a power grab and secure the power they believe is the most important pursuit of their lives rather than to admit that without equality the power would be a false celebration.

This is partially where Camryn comes into the story – she is one of the breakers of the thought processes of the Forest People – where her own experiences before entering the Forest influences how she is reflecting on the Forest People. She has seen the wider world and has had experiences that many of the Forest People haven’t been privy to themselves. This makes for a unique situation – where Camryn wants to assert her own knowledge and thoughts into the arguments for how rule and order is meant to become the mainstays of this world. It is a world that has very definitive rules and there are consequences to breaking outside the ‘box’ of how they feel they ought to live. This is why Camryn needed to find her biological father because it was the hope of what he might be able to tell her and better understand why she is the chameleon. In this, Lynch presents us with a conflict of not just embracing the vision she had for the series but to better understand the message she wanted Camryn to share about how to rise through your adversities and remain true to yourself at the same time.

About Rachel Jacobs

Rachel Jacobs

Rachel is an actor, singer and voice artist based in Los Angeles. She received a BA from Oberlin College’s Theatre Program and did intensive study with the American Conservatory Theatre, the National Theater Institute & Shakespeare and Company. She began voiceover work while on tour in Hong Kong, dubbing live action shows and voicing many characters for cartoons.

After returning to the states she toured the west coast as a resident performer with California Theatre Center and has been narrating audiobooks since then. When not recording books Rachel makes hair bows and headbands for her shop on Etsy and can be seen running around as a who-fairy princess in Universal’s Grinchmas.

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If your on the blog tour, what have you’ve enjoyed thus far? And, if your taking part in #WyrdAndWonder – is this the kind of Young Adult Fantasy which draws your eye towards exploring it further?

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 This blog tour is courtesy of Audiobookworm Promotions:

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Whilst participating on:

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{SOURCES: Cover art of “The Awakening”, “The Choosing” and “The Summoning”, book synopsis, author & narrator biographies, photographs of Maggie Lynch and Rachcel Jacobs as well as the Audiobookworm Promotions badge and the audiobook tour badge were all provided by Audiobookworm Promotions and used with permission. Post dividers by Fun Stuff for Your Blog via Pure Imagination. Tweets embedded by codes provided by Twitter. Wyrd and Wonder banner created by Imyril and used with permission. Blog graphics created by Jorie via Canva: Book Spotlight Banner and the Comment Box Banner.}

Copyright © Jorie Loves A Story, 2019.

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About jorielov

I am self-educated through local libraries and alternative education opportunities. I am a writer by trade and I cured a ten-year writer’s block by the discovery of Nanowrimo in November 2008. The event changed my life by re-establishing my muse and solidifying my path. Five years later whilst exploring the bookish blogosphere I decided to become a book blogger. I am a champion of wordsmiths who evoke a visceral experience in narrative. I write comprehensive book showcases electing to get into the heart of my reading observations. I dance through genres seeking literary enlightenment and enchantment. Starting in Autumn 2013 I became a blog book tour hostess featuring books and authors. I joined The Classics Club in January 2014 to seek out appreciators of the timeless works of literature whose breadth of scope and voice resonate with us all.

"I write my heart out and own my writing after it has spilt out of the pen." - self quote (Jorie of Jorie Loves A Story)

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Posted Saturday, 20 April, 2019 by jorielov in Audiobook, Audiobookworm Promotions, Blog Tour Host, Book Spotlight, Fantasy Fiction, Indie Author, Scribd, Self-Published Author, YA Paranormal &/or Paranormal Romance

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5 responses to “Ahead of #WyrdAndWonder, an Audiobook Spotlight | “The Choosing” (The Forest People, book two) by Maggie Lynch (narrated by Rachel Jacobs)

  1. You continue to amaze me with your understanding of the story at such a deep level. Thank you for that. I’m excited to hear how you feel about the third book when you get to it. I am so happy you understood the dimensional travel. I have had readers tell me that part should be left out because it was confusing. And it IS confusing to Camryn too which is part of the point. I think it’s important for her to grasp that in order to be able to fully come into the powers she will need in the third book.

    Thanks again for taking the time to write this and to feature my books. I REALLY appreciate it.

    • Hallo, Hallo Ms Lynch,

      You must have felt I fell in or something! :( My apologies for taking a small gap in listening to your lovely series and relaying my ruminations on its behalf – I have rescheduled my listening of “The Choosing” and “The Summoning” to run during @WyrdAndWonder – it will be part of the schedule of stories I will be revealling lateron today as we kick-off #WyrdAndWonder on May Day! :) I was hoping you might be available to join us? I will be contacting you by email to discuss if perhaps you’d like to have a guest feature run on Jorie Loves A Story but also, if you are going to post on your blog/site or social channels? I never had the chance to email ahead of May – the past two months were quite adverse for me personally and all the hours simply evaporated out from under me! :(

      In response to your lovely comment, I wanted to tell you – this was a pleasure of JOY for me to put together for you! I can’t wait to continue my revelations on behalf of the series – from your world-building to the characters themselves. This is one thing I feel is an advantage when writing reviews about the Speculative stories I’m reading – I like to dig into what makes them “fantastical” if their Fantasy and what makes them dearly Sci Fi bent if they are on the other side of the spectrum completely! Of course, I also read Cosy Horror and that is a bird of its own feather to discuss! lol

      Ooh I definitely was on the mark with how you were writing your dimensional shifts!! It harkens back to a senior h.s. convo I had about 10 dimensional space and my own self-direct pursuit of AstroPhysics, Cosmology and Quantum Mechanics and Physics – I like digging into the ‘science’ behind Hard Science Fiction inasmuch as I love reading it. Although, in truth I also learnt a great deal about ‘ley lines’ and dimensional travelling from both Stephen Lawhead and Anna Belfrage – which in effect, cross-relate to the Forest People rather smashingly but then again, it also behooved me to have previously read A Wrinkle in Time *and!* Flatland.

      You’ve given my heart a boost of JOY this past April – seeing your comments arriving on my blog were the best lift of JOY I could have received!! I was so very appreciative of your time and of your conversational feedback. Thank you for blessing me with your presence and your open discussions about your stories. I’ll be responding back in earnest soon!

    • Hallo, Hallo!!

      Thanks for stopping by – I am thankful you’ve spied my ruminative thoughts on behalf of this series! My posts throughout April were a bit cut-short due to having a limited time to hear the series overall. I hope you were able to see what I had to say on my full review for “The Awakening” which I shared at the start of the tour block for book one? I’ll be continuing my posts this MAY wherein I’ll be doing a full review for “The Choosing” and “The Summoning” as I start to focus on my co-hosted event @WyrdAndWonder where I’ll be celebrating the magically lovely worlds of FANTASY. It is quite fitting in some ways I was able to extend the joy of sorting out my thoughts on the Forest People in May,.. though I have been wicked curious about what I’ll find inside it.

      Let me know if you decide to listen or read this series – I’d love to know your thoughts?

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