Hope Changes Things

Fiction - Fantasy - General
320 Pages
Reviewed on 05/18/2021
Buy on Amazon

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Author Biography

Born and raised in rural Butler, Pennsylvania, Elle Mae O'Donnell has always had a love of writing. At just twenty years old, she introduced her debut novel, Dóchas, which combines her love of supernatural and romance novels. She currently majors in psychology at the University of Pittsburgh in Greensburg and spends her free time writing or talking with friends.

    Book Review

Reviewed by Jose Cornelio for Readers' Favorite

Dóchas: Hope Changes Things by Elle Mae O'Donnell is a spellbinding fantasy with enough drama to keep any reader entertained. Eden is the ruler of Geraldia and a woman with the mysterious gift of controlling the weather and an insatiable thirst for vengeance. Miles Everest is her prisoner, one of the enemy soldiers who desires nothing but escape. He plans to get into Eden’s good graces, win her trust, and find a way to escape. But he immediately gets entangled with Dulcie, a girl with a fondness for books and a rare sense of humor. She loves him and she has a plan to help. But then he begins to have feelings for Eden, and they are strong. Can he ignore the obvious attraction he has for Eden and go through with Dulcie’s plan, or ditch Dulcie after all this time and take a chance with Eden?

This is an interesting story with strong, believable characters who are well developed, from Miles to Eden, and Edgar and Dulcie, and a host of others. Dulcie is one of my favorite characters. She is as limpid as the moon, and the quirkiness with which she is written will easily rub off on the reader. The plot is twisty, and while it explores a young captive’s predicament, the author gives meticulous care to the characters. They are sophisticated and the use of the first-person narrative is accomplished with such ingenuity that it gives depth to the characters while allowing their inner worlds to blossom through streams of consciousness and interior dialogues. Elle Mae O'Donnell’s prose is exquisite and her storytelling craft impeccably good. Dóchas: Hope Changes Things is emotionally rich, a tale that captivates as it entertains with a strong romance. The conflict is robust and it explodes with the emotional complexity in the characters. It is a book that expertly explores the dilemma of choice.

Foluso Falaye

"I was only sure of one thing anymore—whatever or whoever I chose, I would lose the other." Miles is a soldier captured by Eden, the ruler of an enemy town. Initially, Miles' plan was to gain his captor's confidence and escape with his lover, Dulcie. However, he finds himself falling for his enemy as he proceeds with his plan. The captor, Eden, also finds she is falling for Miles. Eden is no ordinary woman, however, as she can control the weather and lightning flows through her body. Plus, the memory of how she was betrayed by her previous lover and how she lost her family is still fresh in her mind. Will Eden be betrayed again if she gives in to her feelings? Find out in Dóchas by Elle Mae O'Donnell.

When deep character development is combined with a captivating turn of events, you have an addictive story that's hard to put down. Books like Dóchas take complete control of your emotions and make you gasp every time a secret is about to be revealed. I enjoyed the flirting, the magical abilities, the elaborate worldbuilding, and the thrill of playing with danger. Elle Mae O'Donnell creates a compelling and striking story by building her plot around the themes of forbidden love, fantasy, gods, betrayal, vengeance, and family. The story, which switches between Miles' and Eden's viewpoints, moves at a calm and enjoyable pace. It was very exciting to discover Eden's godlike abilities through a mortal lover's viewpoint and watch him battle with his dilemma. If you enjoy fantasy, love stories, and suspense-filled books, look no further; Dóchas has got you covered!

Pikasho Deka

Dochas: Hope Changes Things is a young adult fantasy romance novel written by Elle Mae O'Donnell. Eden is the Ruler and General of the land of Geraldia, blessed with the unique ability to manipulate the weather on her whim. Meanwhile, Corporal Miles Everest who belongs to the enemy town of Cois Sleibhe, wanders into Geraldia pursuing a fair maiden and in doing so gets himself captured by the authorities. Coaxed by his lover Dulcie, Miles hatches a plan to gain Eden's trust to escape his captivity. However, his plan falls apart when the time spent with Eden causes the two of them to start developing feelings for each other. Will the relationship between the two kindred souls withstand Eden's traumatic past and Miles's secret?

Dochas: Hope Changes Things is an entertaining debut novel by Elle Mae O'Donnell mired in rich Irish culture. The romance between Eden and Miles is filled with heartfelt moments, and it drives the narrative. Author Elle Mae O'Donnell deftly captures the intimacy and understanding shared by lovers, where people from vastly different backgrounds meet and form a connection to make each other complete. The characters are witty and entertaining, and their backstories give them an added sense of depth. I found myself immersed in the setting as the worldbuilding felt authentic and wondrous. Despite the fantastical elements of the story, it's set in the modern era, as verified by the usage of modern technology and urban vocabulary by the main characters. Anyone itching for a tale of star-crossed lovers with a flavor of the supernatural should grab a copy of Dochas: Hope Changes Things.

K.C. Finn

Dóchas: Hope Changes Things is a work of fiction in the fantasy genre. It is aimed at mature teen and adult readers and was penned by Elle Mae O’Donnell. The book follows Miles, a soldier who has been captured by the Geraldian army and is now the prisoner of their ruler Eden. Eden is on a mission of vengeance, but that won’t stop Miles from trying to use his wiles to get her to lower her guard so he can escape. But will that plan withstand temptation as she shows him the potential for his perfect life, and the two begin to feel the first sparks of love toward each other?

This novel is a master class in character growth and development, with its key players slowly unfurling and developing under the pressure of a slow-burning and unyielding situation. With each move that Miles makes, we see how much he will risk for freedom. With each new layer of Eden exposed, we see her transition from a god-like conqueror to a vulnerable and lonely person seeking comfort in an unkind world. Elle Mae O’Donnell has taken all the trappings of fantasy and romance and woven them into a unique world with a compelling human story about love and vengeance at the center of it. Dóchas: Hope Changes Things is a powerful novel that manages to be both huge and intimate in its storytelling, exploring universal themes about being hurt and healing from it, being in love and not able to face it, and being desperate to survive but not enough to lose sight of who you are.

Tammy Ruggles

Dóchas: Hope Changes Things, by Elle Mae O'Donnell, is an immersive, entertaining fantasy novel with an irresistible plot and magnetic characters. Let's begin with Eden, who rules Geraldia, and has the power to control the weather. This was enough to intrigue me, and the plot just keeps getting better as it goes along. Besides this awe-inspiring power, she has revenge on her mind. Add a second powerful character, Miles, who is an enemy soldier, but now a captive in her army. He yearns for freedom, but he needs Eden's trust in order to do that. He finds himself in a world most would give anything to experience: a world fit for an awesome fantasy novel like this. He is torn between escaping and letting himself love her. The tricky thing is, Eden could be falling for him too.

Fantasy novels have their themes, but this one really stands out as original, thanks to Eden's monumental power. This isn't a woman you would want on your bad side. Lightning lives inside her. And she hasn't forgotten how an ex-lover treated her. The loss of her family still haunts her. This is a character with a lot going on, and O'Donnell shapes her into a living, breathing person, not a caricature. Being a former social worker, I appreciate the psychological aspects of the story and the characters, as well as the conflicts and drama. The multiple points of view really add textured layers to the narrative, and the will-they-won't-they romance elements add to the suspense. The story itself is just sheer entertainment, complete with suspense, crackling dialogue, and unpredictable events. I like that it gets into the plot on the first page. Dóchas: Hope Changes Things, by Elle Mae O'Donnell, is a thoroughly entertaining read.

Vincent Dublado

Eden, the ruler of Geraldia, has the power to control the weather. A reluctant leader to her people, she desires revenge for what happened to her parents. Corporal Miles Everest is an enemy soldier who is accused as a spy and taken captive by Eden’s army. Miles needs to escape, and the only way to do that is to win Eden’s confidence. He connives with his lover, Dulcie, the daughter of Eden’s butler. The plan is for him to flirt with Eden, get her to trust him, and then slip off so they can run away together. But in the process, Miles begins to question if it was his fate to meet Dulcie or be taken prisoner and fall in love with Eden. While Miles is beginning to get torn between two lovers, Geraldia is under threat as the myth of the White Lady becomes a reality. This is the story of Dóchas: Hope Changes Things by Elle Mae O'Donnell.

This is a story with a spark of ingenuity as it is filled with conflict from both internal and external angles. You will largely care for the fate that will befall both Eden and Miles. Eden may have godlike powers resembling the X-Men character, Storm, but pitting her against an equally formidable antagonist gives validity to Ella Mae O’Donnell’s rationale that having superpowers may not always be the answer. And then there is the love triangle that Eden is not even aware that she is involved in—there’s plenty of juicy conflict here. Geraldia’s richly detailed environment is another thing that you will remember about this story, and the narrative has a balanced trajectory as it alternates between Eden's and Miles’ points of view. If you enjoy stories like Weathering With You, then I highly recommend that you read Dóchas: Hope Changes Things.