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Monday, June 7, 2021

Xpresso Tours Presents: Constellations Of Scars by Melissa Eskue Ousley; #BlogTour, #ComingSoon, #TBR, #PreOrder, #ReleaseBlitz, #Giveaway

Constellations of Scars
Melissa Eskue Ousley
Published by: Midnight Tide Publishing
Publication date: June 9th 2021
Genres: Adult, Dark Fantasy, Fantasy
Rating:  4 Stars
Told in the first person.

Disclosure of Material Connection:  I received this book for review from Xpresso Tours and the author. I was not compensated nor was I required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am posting this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission's 16 CFR, Part 255: "Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising".

Not all gifts are a blessing. Some are a curse.

When Amelia turned 12, she began growing pearls. Every month, a crop of beautiful pearls bursts from the skin on her back. Her mother, Denise, believes her daughter is blessed, and sells the pearls to put food on the table. Amelia sees her condition as a curse. As the pearls form, her body aches and her skin grows feverish. The harvest of pearls brings temporary relief from the pain, but leaves her back marred by scars. Denise hides Amelia away from the world, worried that Amelia’s gift will be discovered and she will be abducted for the wealth she can provide. Now a young woman, Amelia realizes she has become her mother’s captive, and plans her escape. When she runs away from home, she finds a new family in a troupe of performers at a museum of human oddities. She soon discovers the world is much more dangerous than her mother feared.

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“An indelible story of loving yourself in a world of dreadful realities.” – 
Kirkus Reviews (starred review)

My Thoughts:

This story combines the real world with the unexplained.  Could see it being featured on Ripley’s Believe It Or Not.  It has a lot of unhappy moments that may have you wishing that you could comfort Amelia.  

One thing I applaud the author for doing was by having the reader get to know our main character before even knowing her name.  We get some idea of what her circumstances are and what she’s feeling.  Plus, how sheltered she has been.  Hers seemed to be a very lonely life.  Parts seemed real enough that you might think of the teenagers that have had to deal with life on the streets.

Sometimes when reading a fantasy, I wished that I could become the character – even if for a little while.  In Amelia’s case, not so much.  She had to go through so much to achieve what she feels might be her ideal.  She’s like an immigrant not knowing how to navigate her new world.  

There was a lot to take in with this story but the author made it to be an interesting experience.  We get to see the world through the eyes of someone who doesn’t have much experience in our world.  It’s not really made for someone that is different but who wants to fit in.  She didn’t have the nurturing support of a loving family and seemed to have to figure out things for herself.  Something else the author touches on is how some people take advantage of those that appear weaker than they are.  That’s just one more thing that blends reality with fantasy.  Our author’s ending seemed more of a beginning of Amelia’s next chapter.


Author Bio:

Melissa Eskue Ousley is an award-winning author living on the Oregon coast with her family, a neurotic dog, two charming cats, and a piranha. Her suspense novel, Pitcher Plant, is set in Seaside, and won a 2018 Independent Publisher Book Award. Her young adult novel, Sunset Empire, debuted in a bestselling boxed set. Her short stories have been included in Rain Magazine, The North Coast Squid, and various anthologies. When she’s not writing, she can be found volunteering for her local wildlife center, caring for injured owls and hawks.

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