Rise of the Hearts

Fiction - Fantasy - Urban
198 Pages
Reviewed on 02/03/2018
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Author Biography

Antoine Bonner loves nothing more than using his experiences as inspiration for fascinating stories. His goal is to entertain the world.

    Book Review

Reviewed by Lex Allen for Readers' Favorite

Nathaniel’s always been a loser—his only friend is his sister, and girls want nothing to do with him. His mother is an alcoholic and prostitute, never there when he needs her, but provides money to support both him and his sister. His future looks bleak. But when he’s given a miraculous gift that allows him to attract the girl of his dreams, he realizes that a gift can also be a curse. Rise of the Hearts by Antoine Bonner produces a fascinating tale that is, in my experience, unequaled in off-the-wall situational humor and dialog, paranormal events, horrific scenes, coming-of-age, urban romance novels.

I am a stickler for verisimilitude in fiction. The story must provide the reader with a solid sense of reality to give the reader the opportunity to suspend disbelief. Having said that, Rise of the Hearts is by far the most unrealistic novel I’ve ever read. What earned this book a five-star review, however, is the consistency of unreality throughout the story. Bonner expertly uses the first person point-of-view as the lead character, Nathaniel, describes his thoughts and the improbable, impossible events that affect his life. As several hilarious and weird events lead to the revelation of his “gift,” Nathaniel (or depending on the situation, Nate) meets a variety of characters, all of whom portray skewed characteristics borne upon the paranormal view that is Nathaniel’s reality. I loved the ending. There is no cliffhanger, no clue to a sequel. Rise of the Hearts ends categorically, and that is the single piece of verisimilitude in the book! Fantastic imagination, well written. Loved it!

Gisela Dixon

Rise of the Hearts by Antoine Bonner is a fiction fantasy novel set in contemporary, modern times. Nathaniel is a young college-going kid fresh out of school. Rise of the Hearts begins by showing us the fairly close relationship he shares with his sister, Kim, who is both his friend and confidante. In college, Nathaniel meets and falls for Amanda, a young student, and tries to attract her attention. Since he usually hasn't had much luck with girls, he is not confident about making an impression. However, things change when he realizes that he possesses a unique gift that allows him to woo and win over girls. This gift is both a boon and a curse and slowly his life, as well as the novel itself, take a somewhat dark turn. This is a novel that keeps one in suspense till the end and may even be classified as a thriller.

Rise of the Hearts by Antoine Bonner is a surprising read. I didn't quite know what to expect from the story, but the harmless sounding plot quickly turns mysterious and even dark. I liked how Nathaniel's character has been portrayed and I found myself rooting for him and even feeling sorry for him. His sister, Kim, and his mother also provide a solid cast and are portrayed vividly. I felt that the novel covers many genres simultaneously: fantasy, urban, thriller, etc. The writing is taut and moves at a fast pace. The unusual plot and somewhat dark story line make this a good read for fans of these genres.

Anne-Marie Reynolds

Rise of the Hearts by Antoine Bonner is an urban fantasy story. Nathaniel is nothing special. He only has one real friend and that’s his sister. She’s always having to protect him from the other kids and the girls just don’t want to know him. His first day at college looms and his sister is not there to protect him, as she kindly points out to him. His first class looks set to be boring until a late student arrives. A girl, the girl of Nathaniel’s dreams, but she doesn’t even look twice at him. After drifting off in class, Nathaniel notices something strange happening to a heart he drew on the page, and then his classmates disappear, leaving just one. Was it a dream? Nathaniel now has a gift, a gift that will draw the girls of his dreams to him, but it doesn’t take long for him to realize that it isn’t just a gift, it’s also a curse.

Rise of the Hearts by Antoine Bonner is an interesting story. It is a blend of paranormal, romance and urban fantasy all rolled into one, a story that keeps you hanging on till the end. I experienced a mixture of emotions in this book - laughter, horror, disbelief at times and a general feeling of contentment that I had read a masterpiece, one that I hope continues to a sequel. Coming up with a new idea is tough these days, but this is most definitely a unique tale with a genuinely good plot. The characters fit it perfectly and there is plenty to keep the reader hooked to the very end. I thoroughly enjoyed this book; highly recommended for anyone who likes urban fantasy stories and wants something a little bit different.