John J Blenkush
Dystopian Magical Realism Fiction
Independently published
June 13, 2020


In OF THE HEART, the 1st volume in the epic SOLSTICE SERIES, Blenkush pens an engaging story of sorrow, courage, and learning how to love by overcoming fear. The first-person narrative features a young woman (Julissa) who is desperately trying to pick up the pieces of her shattered life after the death of her boyfriend and the disappearance of her father within a year’s time. Amid hardship, Blenkush tightly weaves Julissa and Aaron’s slow-building relation within an engaging plot. Replete with a well-developed quasi-dystopian cast, Blenkush manages to throw in light-hearted moments. Of course of key interest—aside from Julissa and Aaron’s budding romance, Blenkush spends a great deal of time incorporating within his plot historical information about the mysticism behind Mt. Shasta, the lost city of Telos, Mu (the cradle of mankind), and the Lemurians’ connection with another lost city: Atlantis.

Available at Amazon.

Reviewed by Linda Tonis

Member of the Paranormal Romance Guild Review Team

Julissa Grant has had to overcome the loss of her father, her uncle and her boyfriend and having her mother move them from Minnesota to Shasta City, California. A new school, a new home, a mother who can’t accept the death of her husband and finds solace in a bottle is a lot for a sixteen year old girl to have to deal with but it will only be the tip of the iceberg.

Julissa has found a friend in Cherrie, older and at a different school but living next door. Cherrie is a very unique character who encourages Julissa to skip her last class and join her looking for boys who rock climb. It was there that her life would take a turn because it was there she saw Aaron Delmon for the first time and she knew instantly she wanted to be with him. According to Cherrie the Delmon’s are anti-social and there is no way she will ever get Aaron to speak with her but Cherrie was very wrong.

Aaron has powers that begin to show over time and Julissa has to question whether he uses them for good or evil. She is convinced that he, his cousins and godfather are Lemurians, highly advanced beings from a secret city inside Mount Shasta who like vampires require the use of humans, vampires take blood and Lemurians take energy. Julissa finally confronts Aaron about who and what he is but doesn’t get all the answers she craves.

I have to be honest and state that when I was first approached to read this series my answer was “no”. I was sure that I would have no interest in this story but I finally decided to give it a try and I am happy I did. The book is full of historical facts about the Lemurians, the secret city in Mount Shasta and about Atlantis so if those topics are of interest to you then this book will definitely be too.

The entire story is told in first person by Julissa a character I grew to love. I also loved Cherrie who knows more about what is going on then she first admits. Aaron cares for Julissa and that is definitely reciprocated but there is so much she and I have to learn. The story ends in a cliffhanger but that is not a problem since all the books have been released and I will just pick up book two and read on.

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