REVIEW: Nolander (Emanations) by Becca Mills

Of all the beings that have lived on Earth, what if just a few had the power to make new realities, according to their desires? What would they create? The Second Emanation. A shadow world where ancient creatures persist, where humanity’s dominance is far less certain, where wonder competes with horror. A world like an autumn forest, its realities as multiple and layered as fallen leaves. The world that gives us our gods.

In Nolander, the Second Emanation crosses paths with a seemingly ordinary young woman from the American Midwest. It’ll never be the same again.

Amateur photographer Beth Ryder sees plenty wrong with her life. At twenty-three, she feels trapped in her small Wisconsin town. The guy she’s been seeing lately wants nothing more to do with her, and her sister-in-law is doing her best to push Beth out of the family.

Then one day, Beth takes a picture no one can explain. Her quest for answers leads her far from her small-town roots and opens her eyes to the unseen world around her. Sucked into a dangerous organization responsible for policing visitors from Earth’s shadow world, Beth discovers that humanity is far from alone, and that its fellow creatures, many endowed with disturbing abilities, do not wish it well.

As events spin out of her control, Beth must leave her restrictive but safe life behind. Thrown into a frightening new world, she struggles not to surrender more than she can bear to lose, and not to become something she can’t bear to be.

At 99,000 words, Nolander is a full-length novel, the first in Mills’s Emanations fantasy series.


Nolander was a highly entertaining read. Each time I thought I had a handle on what was going on and what was going to come next the plot would take a turn to something completely unexpected. Becca Mills has created a very vibrant world full of unique creatures and happenings where just about anything you can imagine is possible. This is definitely not a book for children but would be suitable for older teens as there is profanity and some built up sexual tension throughout the book.

Beth Ryder the main character of the book is portrayed as a very believable character. Upon finding out about another world within and attached to her own but only visible and known by a small group of people she does what any normal person would and freaks out about it. She doesn’t just accept that it is the truth and plunge forward, at least not until she sees more evidence to support these new ideas and have a chance to absorb the new reality she has discovered. The book is written mostly through Beth but also here and there through a being known as Ghosteater which makes for a very intriguing outlook on things. Without giving too much away I want to include that one of my favorite parts of this book is when Beth gets sent to “Octoworld” and befriends strange but friendly tree-dwelling octopi.

Nolander is a an excellent first novel in a series and gives you a lot of answers to the unknown, however, it does leave a few loose ends which sets it up perfectly for a second book in the series. I am excited to see what happens next and where this new world takes Beth and Ghosteater.

Available at Amazon: Nolander (Emanations) in the US in the UK

For more about the author visit:

Book received from author in exchange for an honest review.


Posted on June 30, 2012, in Reviews and tagged , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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