Tuesday, October 1, 2013

BLOG TOUR: The Waves (The Island #2) by Jen Minkman - Ashley's Review + GIVEAWAY!

Today, we're so excited to be a part of the tour for Jen Minkman's new novella The Waves! Find out more about the book, the series, & Jen, enter to win both novellas, and check out Ashley's review of The Waves below!

You can also find the full tour schedule at Girls *Heart* Book Tours

Amazon | Goodreads

Title: The Waves
Series: The Island #2
By: Jen Minkman
Publication Date: October 4th, 2013

Ashley's Review of The Island

Blurb: The first memory I have of my grandfather is of a moment that we share together.

I’m sitting on his knee looking out over the harbor. Grandpa is smoking a pipe. He points at the horizon. “Look, Walt. Our ships are out there. And one day, another even more beautiful ship will appear at the horizon. A mighty ship to take us all away. And Annabelle will be at the front deck with open arms, inviting us all to join her on board.”

“Why don’t we sail to her ourselves?” I inquire wide-eyed.

“Because she promised she would come,” granddad replies. “And in that promise we trust. It’s only the Unbelievers who think they can do everything themselves. They have no faith in the Goddess.”

Walt lives in Hope Harbor, an island community that has put its trust in salvation from across the sea. The townspeople wait patiently, build their ships to sail out and welcome the Goddess, and piously visit the temple every week. Horror stories to scare their children are told about the Unbelievers on the other side of Tresco.

But not all is what it seems. Walt has questions that no one can answer, and when his best friend and cousin Yorrick is killed in an accident, he digs deeper to find out the truth about the origins of Hope Harbor’s society… and the secrets of the temple.

Return to the world of The Island and discover what Walt's life was like before and after he met Leia! 

About the Author: Jen Minkman (1978) was born in Holland, in the town of Alphen aan den Rijn. When she was 19, she moved between The Hague, Salzburg (Austria), Brussels (Belgium) and Cambridge (UK) to complete her studies in intercultural communication. She is currently a teacher of English, career counselor and teenage coach at a secondary school in Voorburg, Holland. She tries to read at least 100 books a year (and write a few, too!). She is a published author in her own country, and translates her own books from Dutch into English for self-publication.

In her spare time, she plays the piano, the guitar and the violin. For every novel she writes, she creates a soundtrack.

'I have always been drawn to writing. My first book was a sci-fi novel at the age of eight, which I painstakingly typed out on my dad's typewriter and illustrated myself. Nowadays, I stick to poetry, paranormal romance, chick lit and/or fantasy. In my home country, I am the first-ever published writer of paranormal romance, and I will gradually make my books also available in English (seeing I have to re-write and translate the books myself, this will take some time!).

Find Jen online: Goodreads | Website | Twitter | Facebook 

Ashley's Review: When I read The Island earlier this year, I was pleasantly surprised! Although it had heavy references to Star Wars, it was a story and a concept all its own. The Waves tells that same story, but from the other side of the island and with significantly fewer references to Star Wars. It takes place pretty much at the same time that The Island takes place, and I thought it was really cool to see what happens over in Walt's world.

Walt was definitely an excellently written character. He's smart, funny, determined, and has many qualities that a good leader should have. He's experienced joy and tragedy, and has several great adult role models. I think religion was dealt with very well in this story too, and shows that even though there might not be a reason, people will still believe in whatever gives them hope - or joy, in Walt's case. I really loved getting to know Walt better, and to see things from his perspective instead of just through Leia's eyes.

Compared to The Island, I think The Waves has much better pacing and flows more evenly. We aren't flooded with unnecessary details, and I think it helps to have the background knowledge of what's going to happen. I spent a lot of the time waiting for things to cross over from The Island, and it was pretty cool when they did.

One of the things I had a real problem with though was the inconsistency of character names from the Unbelievers side. All of a sudden, Leia's brother is Colin, when he used to be Luc. Every time I read the name "Colin" I just got confused. Maybe I'm misremembering something from The Island, but I'm pretty sure she calls him Luc the whole time. And Sol is now Saul, which I can kind of understand since the two are pronounced similarly in my mind and Walt wouldn't know the difference. But still, it was a little off-putting.

Overall, I would totally recommend this novella to anyone who has read The Island. It's an excellent companion, and it made the world so much richer and fuller for me. I loved getting to know old characters better and meeting new ones, and seeing how the other half of the island lives before the two merge. If you're looking for a quick sci-fi/dystopian read, definitely pick this one up! I would give this novella a 4/5.

And now it's time for a giveaway! 

Don't forget to add the Tour to your events on Facebook! Tour | Blast 

--Ashley and Paul

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