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"Under Her Spell" is a prequel to "The Chroma Chronicles". Chroma is a single, fused continent created over former eras of chaos - both from natural disasters and of human conflict. Humanity finally decided to try a new way of living - one based on the edicts of the Ancient Cube. These edicts promoted greater peace on the planet and this extended out into the rest of the surrounding universe. People no longer judged others by skin color or other superficial qualities. However, I was disappointed to learn that people are still grouped by the color of their personality. The prequel doesn't contain enough information to determine whether this is just another way to divide humans. I'm intrigued enough by this culture's connections to the Akashic Records and acceptance of gifts related to the natural, metaphysical and supernatural worlds to want to continue reading "The Chroma Chronicles".

Keme (Kem) and Kit are brothers living on Chroma in this society - they share a cubedel (living quarters) in an area designated for young adults. Kit is older and is a Councilman. Younger brother Kem is a part time Museum Curator and a part time high school history teacher - both jobs being the result of his love of his people's history. Kit and Kem come from a long line of Cubist Masters and his brother Kit, being the oldest, is training to take his grandfather's place. (Their father was killed a short time previous to this story.)

A source of possible conflict is revealed during a scene where Kem is teaching his history class. He describes Man-clouds as shape shifters and tells his class that they can take human form. They use this to try to discover the well kept secrets of the Ancient Cube edicts and use this information for their own nefarious ends.

As the story continues, one begins to wonder about the new ladies in Kit's and Kem's lives, while understanding that the brothers will likely have a role to play in the conflict with the Man-clouds.

I would have given this a 5 star rating as the story sounds very interesting, and the scenes in Kem's history classes, his time in the museum and his relationship with his mom and grandfather are compelling. Dropped in here and there though are scenes with his lady, and although they contribute to the story line, occasionally break up the flow of the story. There is also a lot use of slang terms - again, sometimes interrupting the flow of the story while I tried to determine how to decipher them. This is not a criticism of slang terms - many good writers use them. I also think that there many readers who wouldn't be stopped by the terms because they would understand them. Both of these aspects contribute to the story. The slang needs a bit of surrounding context to help those of us struggling to understand the references. The relationships of Kit and Kem to their ladies needs a less abrupt handling in places.

I understand these criticisms are easier to state than to solve, and I'm not a writer, so I'm not sure I can offer constructive help. :-}

I am looking forward to reading more though, and hope that "The Chroma Chronicles" will provide more of the interesting concepts and ideas introduced in "Under Her Spell".


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