Monday, June 30, 2014

BLOG TOUR: The Buried Life by Carrie Patel - Author Interview

Hello! Today we're really excited to be hosting Carrie Patel, author of The Buried Life, as part of the pre-release blog tour for The Buried Life, out soon from Angry Robot! Carrie stopped by to answer a few questions about her book, her writing practices, and some other things. We're really excited for this book, and hope you are too!

Before we get to the interview, here's a little bit more about The Buried Life and Carrie. There's also an extract from the book at the end of this post, so be sure to take a look and read a little bit of The Buried Life before it's published!


About the Book


Title: The Buried Life (Buried Life #1)
Author: Carrie Patel
Publication Date: July 29, 2014 (US/Can)
7 August 2014 (UK)

Discuss and Review The Buried Life at Goodreads.com

Synopsis: The gaslight and shadows of the underground city of Recoletta hide secrets and lies. When Inspector Liesl Malone investigates the murder of a renowned historian, she finds herself stonewalled by the all-powerful Directorate of Preservation – Ricoletta’s top-secret historical research facility. 
When a second high-profile murder threatens the very fabric of city society, Malone and her rookie partner Rafe Sundar must tread carefully, lest they fall victim to not only the criminals they seek, but the government which purports to protect them. Knowledge is power, and power must be preserved at all costs…

UK Print & Ebook
Amazon.co.uk | Book Depository | Waterstones | WHSmith

North American Print & Ebook
Amazon.com | Amazon.ca | BarnesandNoble.com | IndieBound.org



About the Author



Carrie Patel was born and raised in Houston, Texas. An avid traveller, she studied abroad in Granada, Spain and Buenos Aires, Argentina.

She completed her bachelor’s and master’s degrees at Texas A&M University and worked in transfer pricing at Ernst & Young for two years.

She now works as a narrative designer at Obsidian Entertainment in Irvine, California, where the only season is Always Perfect.

You can find Carrie online at www.electronicinkblog.comand @Carrie_Patel on Twitter.





The Interview!

If you could spend time with any Inspector, real or fiction, who would it be and why?
I’d enjoy a glass of wine and some high culture with Agent Aloysius Pendergast of the Douglas Preston and Lincoln Child novels. He’s a renaissance man, and so I’d end up learning something new and insightful from him.


How would you describe The Buried Life in 140 characters or less?
Two inspectors chase a murderer, dodge politicians, and unearth a conspiracy in an underground city.


How does your writing routine usually go?
I wake up early and write for a couple hours before work. Sometimes I work from my desk at home, and sometimes I walk to a nearby coffee shop--whatever feels right. I'm generally a morning person, and it's easiest to set aside time before I've gotten my day started with anything else. I like to make time after work, too, and on weekends, when I can get out and enjoy the incredible SoCal weather.


What was the last book you read and loved? 
I recently finished Annihilation by Jeff Vandermeer. It's a brief but gorgeous story about exploration and the unknown. It's speculative fiction with some literary leanings, and it's definitely one I'd hand to anyone who's on the fence about science fiction. The exploration of character is incredible—they’re deep and nuanced and lifelike enough that they still surprise you. 


Why did you decide to set The Buried Life in an underground city? 
Subterranean spaces--both natural and manmade--have always fascinated me. I'm not entirely sure why. I suppose part of it lies in the knowledge that there are these vast, amazing spaces under the earth that are so removed from the things we typically consider beautiful--they're dark, filled with rocks, and generally barren of plant life--and yet they're breathtaking. There's also something naturally intriguing about underground spaces in that you can only ever see as far as the next curve up ahead. You don't have the kind of visibility you have in a regular city, where streets are laid out, buildings rise in the distance, and you can generally get a sense of what's around you. Underground, you're stuck with whatever's immediately around you, which makes each step an act of discovery. I wanted to bring that sensibility into the story.


What are some of your all-time favorite books?
Snow Crash, The Name of the Rose, and Smilla’s Sense of Snow. Those three books are rather different from one another, but they each have it all—incredible characters, rich writing, and fantastic plots.  


Has your experience in writing games affected how you write books? 
I'm relatively new to the industry, but in writing characters in games, you often have to get the characterization across quickly. You don't have as much text to spend working up to this, so the "flavor" of the character--disposition, mannerisms, goals, etc.--should be clear quickly. This sense of economy is a great lesson for any kind of writing, and I try to apply it to my story- and novel-length fiction, as well.


Which city (or country) would you most like to visit?
Iceland. I’ve never been, and it seems so unlike any place I have.


What do you like to do in your spare time?
A lot of reading, writing, and gaming (and I'm still convincing my family that the latter is a legitimate work-related activity for me now). My husband and I love to travel together, so we try to visit someplace new every year.


Do you currently have any books on your nightstand? 
I just started George Wright Padgett’s Spindown. It’s a hard sci-fi novel about clones escaping from a mining outpost on Ganymede.


Read an Extract!




Thanks for stopping by!


--Ashley & Paul

RELEASE DAY: Primordial Dust by Sarah Daltry + GIVEAWAY!

young pretty kissing wedding couple against sky

Hi guys! Today is a really exciting day - it's the release day for Sarah Daltry's newest book, Primordial Dust! This is Sarah's first adventure in YA Fantasy, and we can't wait to read it! We've got some information about the book and Sarah, as well as an excerpt, dream cast, Sarah's Top Ten Fantasy Movies, and a GIVEAWAY!

Make sure to fill out the Rafflecopter form at the end of this post for your chance to win a signed paperback of Primordial Dust or a $25 gift card to Amazon, Barnes & Noble, or iTunes!

Book Info:


Title: Primordial Dust
Author: Sarah Daltry
Genre: Fantasy (Romance/YA)


A princess, trained to behave. An assassin, betrothed to her. A thief, whose eyes she dreams of at night. A kingdom at war, torn apart by the suppression of magic and truth, as well as family secrets that threaten to destroy decades of peace.

Questions of loyalty, of morality, and of free will culminate in a fantasy novel about forging one’s own path and choosing one’s own destiny.

Buy Links:



pdwar

Excerpt:


Alusia smiles wanly. “What happened in Kooram?” she asks.

“There was a party. We were dancing. Seamus and I were celebrating our engagement...” I pause, ashamed. He sits beside me, unaware of my role in this, oblivious to my own deception. “It was my fault.”

Seamus takes my hand. “Alondra, stop. You know this has nothing to do with you.”

“It has everything to do with her,” Alusia interrupts. “And her mother.”

“Look, although Alondra seems thankful for whatever you want to share with her, I don't care what these secrets are. This is not her fault and she does not need you blaming her.” Seamus's anger is new to me. I have been so amazed by his calm, his kindness; he is more like a Demorian now than I have ever seen him, and I have watched him cut a man's throat.

Alusia sighs. “I do not mean to assign blame. But we can no longer pretend that this was a rogue attack, that these events have not culminated in bringing you here, that fate has not worked its magic to get this book into her hands.” She runs her fingers along the book on her lap.

“It's fine,” I say. “But it was not fate. Maybe I did not make the only bad choices, but choices got us here. And I, for one, am tired of hearing about fate.”

“The attack,” Seamus continues. “It was sudden. A siren spell warned us before the mages were slaughtered. I don't know how they breached the Demorian guard, but without the dying spell of an elder mage, no one would be sitting here right now with you.”

“So you ran?” Alusia asks.

“I don't run,” I argue. “In fact, I am only here because someone kidnapped me in my sleep.”

“It was her father's wish,” Seamus mumbles.

“The forces came quickly. We spread the word to meet in the caves and Kooram split into two groups: those who were running for the caves, and those who would stay behind. My parents were with those running, but I stayed. Ereditus, our commander, rallied the troops. Seamus was already by my side. My friend, Lormander...”

I stop and think of that moment. Sanara's face, broken by the choice he was making, is etched into my memory. I watched her fingers slowly fall from his hand and the agony in her glance as she turned back to see him one last time tore me asunder. And now, somewhere, are they reunited? Did she lead everyone to Tallagut? Did he stay behind in the caves to face his death, remembering her kiss as the blade entered his heart? I choke on the images and tears rest on the precipice of my eyelids.

“We stayed,” I repeat. “There were so many of them. It was chaos. Smoke billowed from the streets, from our homes, from everything that was my childhood. I saw young boys, thinking they were brave, split in twain as the attackers stepped over the corpses, trailing death. What I remember most was the sound. The crash of swords, the screams of the fallen, the crackle of burning. The details are hazy. We left Kooram in ruins when we saw that we were outclassed. I walked through fields of carnage to the caves, only to wake on the other side, in a mirror world, yet untouched.”

“The king, he asked that we come here. He said you had the answers, the only weapon we could use against him,” Seamus adds. My shattered body sits beside him, but my mind and my soul are still with the dead.

“I am an old woman, and a forgotten mage,” Alusia says. “I am also the keeper of secrets and memories. I do not forge steel. My only weapon is knowledge. But that I have in abundance, and I believe it is time Alondra take her share.”

She rises from the dusty chair and approaches. I sense my hands as they lift to take the book she offers; the leather cover is hardened, but smooth to touch. I run my hand along the spine and trace the embossed seal.

“Please take this to your room. You will need time, and you will need privacy. When you are done, I will be waiting for your questions.”


Dream Cast:


alondra
Alondra

A princess of a kingdom lost in time and wrapped in secrets. Snarky and difficult, because life has always been easy, she is unprepared to be the leader she needs to be when her city falls.


seamus2
Seamus:

A trained assassin tasked with keeping his own city, and all the cities of the kingdom, safe. Betrothed to Alondra for diplomatic reasons. Much kinder than his profession reveals.


layla
Layla:

A young girl trained to be an assassin, sent to kill the son of the king. Her hopes rest on succeeding in her quest, because if she fails, there is no alternative but death.





tevlinTevlin:

The mysterious man who captures Alondra’s heart on a night before the world fell apart. His eyes whispered secrets, but they may be secrets that led to the ruin of everything she held dear.





About the Author:


Sarah Daltry writes about the regular people who populate our lives. She's written works in various genres - romance, erotica, fantasy, horror. Genre isn't as important as telling a story about people and how their lives unfold. Sarah tends to focus on YA/NA characters but she's been known to shake it up. Most of her stories are about relationships - romantic, familial, friendly - because love and empathy are the foundation of life. It doesn't matter if the story is set in contemporary NY, historical Britain, or a fantasy world in the future - human beings are most interesting in the ways they interact with others. This is the principle behind all of Sarah's stories.

Sarah has spent most of her life in school, from her BA and MA in English and writing to teaching both at the high school and college level. She also loves studying art history and really anything because learning is fun.

When Sarah isn't writing, she tends to waste a lot of time checking the internet for pictures of cats, shooting virtual zombies, and simply staring out the window.

She has written several books, most notably Bitter Fruits, an urban fantasy in the Eden’s Fall series, Backward Compatible: A Geek Love Story, and the six book New Adult Flowering series, including Forget Me Not, Lily of the Valley, Blue Rose, Star of Bethlehem, Orange Blossom, and Ambrosia.

Social Media Links:



Top Ten:

Sarah’s Favorite Fantasy Movies


The Princess Bride

Labyrinth

The Neverending Story

Brave

The Wizard of Oz

Shrek

Pan’s Labyrinth

Harry Potter (all of them)

Bridge to Terabithia

Mirrormask



The Giveaway!


Win a signed paperback of the novel or a $25 gift card to Apple, Amazon, or B&N!


a Rafflecopter giveaway





Thanks for stopping by and supporting Sarah!


--Ashley & Paul

BOOK BLAST: Primordial Dust by Sarah Daltry + GIVEAWAY




Primordial Dust by Sarah Daltry is finally here! Read a little bit about the book, Sarah, and don't forget to enter the giveaway for a $25 Amazon Gift Card, one of three e-books, and a swag pack! Just fill out the Rafflecopter form at the end of this post!

You can find the master post at Book Nerd Tours by clicking on the banner above.

About the Book





A princess, trained to behave. An assassin, betrothed to her. A thief, whose eyes she dreams of at night. A kingdom at war, torn apart by the suppression of magic and truth, as well as family secrets that threaten to destroy decades of peace.
Questions of loyalty, of morality, and of free will culminate in a fantasy novel about forging one’s own path and choosing one’s own destiny.







About the Author


Sarah Daltry writes about the regular people who populate our lives. She’s written works in various genres – romance, erotica, fantasy, horror. Genre isn’t as important as telling a story about people and how their lives unfold. Sarah tends to focus on YA/NA characters but she’s been known to shake it up. Most of her stories are about relationships – romantic, familial, friendly – because love and empathy are the foundation of life. It doesn’t matter if the story is set in contemporary NY, historical Britain, or a fantasy world in the future – human beings are most interesting in the ways they interact with others. This is the principle behind all of Sarah’s stories.

Sarah has spent most of her life in school, from her BA and MA in English and writing to teaching both at the high school and college level. She also loves studying art history and really anything because learning is fun.

When Sarah isn’t writing, she tends to waste a lot of time checking Facebook for pictures of cats, shooting virtual zombies, and simply staring out the window.

Twitter | Facebook | Website | Goodreads

Giveaway!



Giveaway is open Internationally | Must be 13+ to Enter

3 Winners will receive an E-Copy of Primordial Dust by Sarah Daltry.
1 Winner will receive a $10 Amazon gift card and Swag pack by Sarah Daltry.
1 Winner will receive a Swag Pack by Sarah Daltry.








Thanks for stopping by! 


--Ashley & Paul

Sunday, June 29, 2014

Perfected by Kate Jarvik Birch - Ashley's Pre-Reading

*I received this book as an eARC from Entangled Publishing on NetGalley in exchange for an honest review*

Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Goodreads

Title: Perfected
Author: Kate Jarvik Birch
Publication Date: July 1, 2014

Synopsis: As soon as the government passed legislation allowing humans to be genetically engineered and sold as pets, the rich and powerful rushed to own beautiful girls like Ella. Trained from birth to be graceful, demure, and above all, perfect, these “family companions” enter their masters’ homes prepared to live a life of idle luxury.


Ella is happy with her new role as playmate for a congressman’s bubbly young daughter, but she doesn’t expect Penn, the congressman’s handsome and rebellious son. He’s the only person who sees beyond the perfect exterior to the girl within. Falling for him goes against every rule she knows…and the freedom she finds with him is intoxicating.

But when Ella is kidnapped and thrust into the dark underworld lurking beneath her pampered life, she’s faced with an unthinkable choice. Because the only thing more dangerous than staying with Penn’s family is leaving…and if she’s unsuccessful, she’ll face a fate far worse than death.

For fans of Keira Cass’s Selection series and Lauren DeStefano’s Chemical Garden series, Perfected is a chilling look at what it means to be human, and a stunning celebration of the power of love to set us free, wrapped in a glamorous—and dangerous—bow.

Why?: I read Kate's book Deliver Me not too long ago and really enjoyed it. So I was really excited to find out that she had another book coming out so soon! This sounds like something totally different from Deliver Me, but still sounds really interesting and unique. 


Expectations: Perfected is compared to Kiera Cass's Selection series, which I really enjoyed. Between that and having enjoyed Kate's earlier book, I have pretty high expectations for this book. I'm expecting romance, mystery, and also a little bit of social commentary. I'm also expecting some gorgeous writing and world building!


Judging a book by its cover: I actually really love this cover. Since it's about humans being sold as pets, I really like the dress inside the bird cage. I love how the blue stands out against the white, and how simple the cover actually is. I would totally pick this up if I saw it on a shelf in a bookstore or library somewhere. It's actually what drew me to the book in the first place! 



--Ashley

Saturday, June 28, 2014

Split Second (Pivot Point #2) by Kasie West - Ashley's Pre-Reading

Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Goodreads

Title: Split Second (Pivot Point #1)
Author: Kasie West
Publication Date: February 11, 2014

My Pivot Point Review

My Pivot Point Pre-Reading

Synopsis: Life can change in a split second.


Addie hardly recognizes her life since her parents divorced. Her boyfriend used her. Her best friend betrayed her. She can’t believe this is the future she chose. On top of that, her ability is acting up. She’s always been able to Search the future when presented with a choice. Now she can manipulate and slow down time, too . . . but not without a price.

When Addie’s dad invites her to spend her winter break with him, she jumps at the chance to escape into the Norm world of Dallas, Texas. There she meets the handsome and achingly familiar Trevor. He’s a virtual stranger to her, so why does her heart do a funny flip every time she sees him? But after witnessing secrets that were supposed to stay hidden, Trevor quickly seems more suspicious of Addie than interested in her. And she has an inexplicable desire to change that.

Meanwhile, her best friend, Laila, has a secret of her own: she can restore Addie’s memories . . . once she learns how. But there are powerful people who don’t want to see this happen. Desperate, Laila tries to manipulate Connor, a brooding bad boy from school—but he seems to be the only boy in the Compound immune to her charms. And the only one who can help her.

As Addie and Laila frantically attempt to retrieve the lost memories, Addie must piece together a world she thought she knew before she loses the love she nearly forgot . . . and a future that could change everything.

Why?: When I read Pivot Point earlier this year, I knew I would absolutely have to read the sequel. Especially after that ending! I need to know how Addie's life changes based on her decision, and I want to know if Laila is ever able to restore her memories. 


Expectations: I really enjoyed Pivot Point, so I have really high expectations for this book. I expect it to be fast paced, but I also expect Addie to spend a lot of it confused and trying to figure out why things that should be brand new to her seem so familiar. I also expect that most if not all of my questions will be answered, since this series is a duology. 


Judging a book by its cover: I kind of like this cover. I like how intense the girl on the front looks, and I like that it's so similar to the cover for Pivot Point. I think that it's different enough from most other YA covers out there that it would stand out on a shelf, and that I would pick it up based on the cover alone.



--Ashley

Friday, June 27, 2014

City of Cruelty and Copper (Temperance Era #1) by Rhiannon Paille - Ashley's Review

Amazon | Goodreads

Title: City of Cruelty and Copper (Temperance Era #1)
Author: Rhiannon Paille
Publication Date: May 28, 2014

Synopsis: Nuclear warfare destroyed Earth, setting it off its axis. A group of survivors escaped to Antarctica, discovering a city under the permafrost. Fable Ketterling was thirteen when the bombs went off.


She was fifteen when she and her parents escaped.
She was fifteen when she found the fountain of youth.
She was fifteen when the fountain made her immortal.
She was the only one.

-------------------------------------------------------


Review: The premise behind this story is something that sounds so unique and has a lot of potential. Nuclear warfare destroying Earth, people living beneath the permafrost, a fountain of youth. All of those things should come together and make for one epic story that would be completely unforgettable. 

And for the most part, I think it accomplishes that. I couldn't read this book fast enough, and I had so many questions that I wanted answered. Some of them were answered, but most were not. Which is fine, because this is only the first book in the series and (hopefully) the next part will be out sooner rather than later! I have to know what happens to Fable next. 

The part that kind of threw this book off for me though was that the middle section was not from Fable's perspective. Instead, we're given a glimpse into what Temperance Day is like from the viewpoint of one of Fable's descendants. It was interesting, sure, but I'm not entirely convinced at this point that it was entirely necessary. Maybe if this was a full length book instead of a novella, and his character was developed a little bit more. I felt like it was an aside that only added a little bit of world-building and not much else. 

I also thought that this whole this book could have been novel length instead of novella length, and that it was just missing a lot of information about the world and the characters. Sure, I sympathized with Fable and felt all of her emotions as if they were my own, but I just wanted more. I think this would be a really good series to read once it's all completed, and I would recommend it to fans of YA sci-fi and dystopian stories. I'll definitely be keeping an eye out of the next installment! 3/5


--Ashley

Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Utrom Empire by Paul Allor - Ashley's Review

*I received this book as an eARC from Diamond Book Distributors/IDW Publishing on NetGalley in exchange for an honest review*


Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Goodreads

Title: Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Utrom Empire
Author: Paul Allor
Publication Date: July 29, 2014

Synopsis: "Utrom Empire" takes us to the Technodrome where Krang's plans to destroy the Earth are ramping up. 


Little does he know that Baxter Stockman plans to harness its power for himself! 

As the two villains scheme, one imprisoned robot holds the key to success - Fugitoid! 

Will he be able to reach out to the Turtles in time? 

All this, plus the long-awaited story of the alien Utrom race!


------------------------------------------------------

Review: I love the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, and it's rare that I don't at least enjoy any of their incarnations. This comic was no exception! Although the turtles make only a brief appearance, it's still a really interesting story and situation.

I've never really read much of the background stories for most of the villains. I mean, I know the basics. But it was pretty neat to find out a little bit more about the Utrom empire and the alien Utrom race. I learned some new things all while biting my nails and hoping that Fugitoid would come through! I think these comics paint the villains in a different light and makes them easier to sympathize with. 

Krang, for example, only wants to save his people. Everything he does is to save a dying race, and if it means taking over Earth then so be it. He's willing to risk himself and his planet as long as his people will make it through. And Stockman is just so conflicted about everything. I wish that more of the movies and the TV shows had shown more of Stockman. Sure, he's definitely one of the more major villains, but he's certainly not around as much as, say,  Shredder. 

I would totally recommend this comic to any fans of the TMNT universe! I enjoyed learning some more about characters other than the turtles, but I also enjoyed seeing how their actions affect the turtles. And I can't wait to continue this story and find out what happens next. Especially with who all Fugitoid contacted! A 4/5. 


--Ashley

Thursday, June 26, 2014

The Body in the Woods (Point Last Seen #1) by April Henry - Ashley's Review

*I received this book as an eARC from Macmillan Children's Publishing Group/Henry Holt & Co (BYR) on NetGalley in exchange for an honest review*


Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Goodreads

Title: Body in the Woods (Point Last Seen #1)
Author: April Henry
Publication Date: June 17, 2014

My Pre-Reading

Synopsis: 
In this new series told from multiple perspectives, teen members of a search and rescue team discover a dead body in the woods.


Alexis, Nick, and Ruby have very different backgrounds: Alexis has spent her life covering for her mom’s mental illness, Nick’s bravado hides his fear of not being good enough, and Ruby just wants to pursue her eccentric interests in a world that doesn’t understand her. When the three teens join Portland County Sheriff’s Search and Rescue, they are teamed up to search for a autistic man lost in the woods. What they find instead is a dead body. In a friendship that will be forged in danger, fear, and courage, the three team up to find the girl’s killer—before he can strike one of their own.

This first book in April Henry’s Point Last Seen YA mystery series is full of riveting suspense, putting readers in the middle of harrowing rescues and crime scene investigations

------------------------------------------------------------


Review: I've never really read a book about a search and rescue group. Not that they don't interest me... I just think they're underrepresented in a lot of contemporary YA fiction. So I was pretty excited when I came across this book that dealt with a search and rescue team! Plus some mystery, secrets, and an investigation? Count me in!

The plot and the story itself definitely held my attention. I couldn't turn the pages fast enough to find out what was going to happen next, and I spent most of the book trying to figure out "whodunnit" on my own. There were times when I thought I had it figured out only to be proven wrong, and even a couple of times when I actually did have it figured out but somehow managed to convince myself otherwise. The mystery part is very well written, and it was really interesting to see snippets from the killer's point of view.

I didn't, however, really connect with any of the three main characters. Nick's chapters are very bland and he's always just trying to prove himself to his brother or his mom. I mean, I guess I can understand why, but you'd think after so many years he'd be over that. And I think there was a little bit of a crush on Alexis going on there, but that's not really developed at all either so I wasn't upset with how that worked out. Alexis has to deal with a mentally ill mother, but we're never really told HOW she deals with it, besides worrying all the time. So I missed a connection there as well. And the romance in her section feels so unnecessary. 

Ruby was the only character who I thought was actually really interesting. She's different, and she has certain obsessions, but she's very focused once she gets her mind set on something. I thought it was neat to follow along with her thought process and to find out what she remembered about...well, everything. Every time the detective blew her off, I felt her aggravation. I sympathized the most with her, and I almost wish there were more chapters from her perspective. 

I think this book is well written as far as the plot and the content goes (there was definitely a lot of research into how search and rescue teams do their job!), but it fell short for me when it came to the characters. I think maybe a younger crowd would enjoy this book more - it's not too gory or anything, and is pretty informative, but I'm not sure that the older YA readers would enjoy this as much. I'd recommend it if you like mysteries and are looking for something a little bit different though! 3/5.


--Ashley

Wednesday, June 25, 2014

The Deep (The Island #3) by Jen Minkman - Ashley's Review

*I received this book as an eARC from the author in exchange for an honest review*

Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Goodreads

Title: The Deep (The Island #3)
Author: Jen Minkman
Year Published: June 3, 2014

Ashley's The Island Review
Ashley's The Waves Review

Paul's The Island Review

Synopsis: 
‘The world is never-ending.


I never realized just how much space there is – how far and wide the water around our island stretches out. Somewhere in the back of my mind, I may have believed that a second Wall ran around Tresco, containing the infinite waters so we wouldn’t all wash over the edge and plummet down into the depths.’

Leia and Walt are on their way to the Other Side, where the legendary land of Cornwall awaits them. Tony, their new friend, has told them that all wars of the past have been forgotten and the citizens of Bodmin and Dartmoor live in peace. People adhere to the tenets of an old religion that preaches forgiveness and non-violence.

However, Walt and Leia soon discover that even a peace-loving, ideal society like this one may have its flaws. While on a forbidden trip to Exeter, the old city of their ancestors, the two Islanders discover more about the new world than they ever bargained for.

Secrets run dark and passions run deep in this thrilling conclusion to the Island novella series.

---------------------------------------------------


Review: I absolutely loved Jen's novellas The Island and The Waves, and I figured that would be the end of the story. So you can imagine my excitement when I learned there was a third installment. AND it's novel-length! And honestly, The Deep did not disappoint in any way! 

This time around, we get to see the story unfolding from Leia and Alisa's perspectives. Leia has left the island with Walt and Tony and anyone else who wanted to see what was on the other side of the waves, and Alisa has remained behind to help the Fools and Unbelievers still on the island. I really enjoyed seeing what things were like on the Other Side, and I think it's really interesting that even this new world that's supposed to be better than life on the Island has its secrets and its disadvantages. Leia and Walt learn that people are people, and maybe their lives before weren't as bad as they thought. 

And then there's Alisa, who struggles to accept Saul, who had been cast as a dangerous criminal. Even though she still struggles with losing Yorrick, I think Alisa's story is really important to showing forgiveness and that people will often surprise you. I really enjoyed reading about things from someone else's perspective, since we've already seen things from Leia and Walt. Seeing old characters from another viewpoint was interesting and helped me to understand them better.

Like the rest of the Island series, Jen's writing in this book is absolutely gorgeous. The world-building and character development is phenomenal, and I loved every second ofi t. I couldn't put this book down, and read most of it in one sitting! There are still some loose ends, and I would totally read more of this series if Jen ever decides to continue it. Most of the story is complete though, and I would be happy with it ending here if she decides not to write more in this world.

I would recommend this book to anyone who has read The Island and The Waves. It expands the world and the characters, and answers questions about the Other Side and Tony's people. I would also recommend the series to any fans of YA sci-fi and/or dystopian books, especially if you enjoy books with subtle (and not so subtle) Star Wars references. This is an excellent series, and I'm so glad I was given the opportunity to read it! 4/5!


--Ashley

The Walking Dead: The Fall of the Governor: Part One by Robert Kirkman and Jay Bonansinga - Ashley's Pre-Reading

Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Goodreads

Title: The Walking Dead: The Fall of the Governor: Part One
Author: Robert Kirkman and Jay Bonansinga
Publication Date: October 8, 2013

My The Walking Dead: The Road to Woodbury Review
My The Walking Dead: The Road to Woodbury Pre-Reading
My The Walking Dead: Rise of the Governor Review
My The Walking Dead: Rise of the Governor Pre-Reading
My The Walking Dead: Compendium 1 Review

Synopsis: The third book in Robert Kirkman's New York Times bestselling series, The Walking Dead: The Fall of the Governor!


The Walking Dead original novel series, set in the universe of Robert Kirkman's iconic universe, continues with The Fall of the Governor. From co-authors Kirkman, creator of the Eisner Award-winning comic book and executive producer of AMC's blockbuster TV series, and Jay Bonansinga, Stoker Award-finalist and internationally acclaimed author, comes the gripping third novel in this richly woven, page-turning literary saga, which began with The Walking Dead: Rise of the Governor.

In Rise of the Governor, uber-villain Philip Blake journeyed from his humble beginnings directly into the dark heart of the zombie apocalypse, and became the self-proclaimed leader of a small town called Woodbury. In The Road to Woodbury, an innocent traveler named Lilly Caul wound up in the terrifying thrall of Phillip Blake’s twisted, violent dictatorship within Woodbury’s ever tightening barricades.

And now, in The Fall of the Governor, the Governor’s complex story continues in a tour de force of action and horror. Iconic characters from the comic book, including Rick, Michonne and Glenn, finally make their entrance onto this nightmarish stage, and fans of The Walking Dead will see these characters in a whole new light.

Why?: I love the TV show and I love the comics, and I've enjoyed the other two books in this series, so it only makes sense to continue with The Fall of the Governor! Plus, I'm excited to see more familiar characters in a new form, and I hope that this book will give more information about them. 


Expectations: I'm expecting a story about Phillip Blake's downfall full of zombies and characters that fans of The Walking Dead already know and love. I'm also expecting to learn new things about old characters. 


Judging a book by its cover: I think this might be my favorite cover in the series so far! I like the zombies (or people? I'm not sure, which makes me like it even more) in the background, and Phillip's eye patch in the foreground. I would totally pick up this book if I saw it on a shelf! 



--Ashley

TITLE REVEAL: Rhiannon Paille's Outer Space Book!

Hi guys!

Rhiannon Paille, author of The Ferryman and The Flame series, is currently working on a new series! And she's kept the title secret until now... because today is the day she's revealing the title for the book she keeps saying is about outer space and that has something to do with Jupiter (but also nothing to do with Jupiter at the same time).

Confused yet?

It will all make sense soon!

Before the title reveal though, how about a little about Rhiannon?


About the author

Rhiannon is an up and coming Indie Author that writes Young Adult Fantasy books and some non fiction. She has a PhD in Metaphysical Science and Parapsychology. When she’s not writing books she’s reading minds, singing karaoke, burning dinner and sipping iced cappuccino despite her allergy to coffee. Some day she’d like to own a unicorn—as long as it doesn’t eat her. She's sold over 25,000 copies of her books worldwide.


Amazon | Facebook | Goodreads | Twitter | Web








So, are you ready for the title yet?


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And the title is...







So, what do you think of this title? Are you excited to read it? Let us know in the comments! 



--Ashley & Paul

Tuesday, June 24, 2014

BLOG TOUR: The Silver Sickle by Ellie Ann - Ashley's Review + GIVEAWAY!




Hello! We're really excited to be a part of the blog tour for The Silver Sickle by Ellie Ann today! We've got Ashley's review of the book for you, as well as a pretty nice giveaway. In celebration of the blog tour, Ellie Ann is giving away a $25 Amazon Gift Card to one lucky winner! So be sure to fill out the Rafflecopter form at the end of the post for your chance to win.

Be sure to stop by the rest of the stops on the tour for more reviews and excerpts. You can find the list of stops by visiting the tour schedule.


About the book



Title:The Silver Sickle
Author: Ellie Ann 
Published by: Stonehouse Ink
Publication date: July 2013
Genres: Science Fiction, Young Adult

Synopsis: The Silver Sickle is for fans of steampunk, cyberpunk, Veronica Roth, Scott Westerfield, and Allie Condie.

The end of humanity will come through the Silver Sickle . . .

Farissa lives every moment with reckless abandon, for it may be her last. Any day now, the alien goddesses will harvest her and take her to the mysterious Silver Sickle, never to return. She’s accepted that. What she can’t accept is this new idea of freedom Zel has planted in her head. She’d give almost anything to be with Zel, but how can she run from her destiny if it means putting the whole kingdom in danger?

Everyone in the desert kingdom believes the goddesses are immortal, but Zel has invented a way to kill them. Now all he has to do is convince Farissa to run away with him and plant a seed of hope in her heart that she’s not destined to die. Little does he know that one seed of hope could change the course of the future.


About the author


Ellie Ann is a New York Times and USA Today bestseller of science fiction, comics, and thrillers.

I was born in the jungles of Thailand, was raised in a small farming village in Iowa, lived in the middle of a Texan desert, and now abide in the Ozarks.
I like writing fairy tales, tall tales, thrillers, science fiction, and am seriously interested in transmedia storytelling.

I’m a creative editor for Stonehouse Ink. I’m a producer of interactive books at Noble Beast.

Come say hi! I don’t bite. Unless I’ve been turned into a zombie.




Ashley's Review


The Silver Sickle is a wonderful mix of sci-fi, romance, steampunk/cyberpunk, and good vs. evil. There's action, adventure, secrets, romance, aliens, and all kinds of things that make a story great! Once I got a few chapters in, I was sucked into this world and the characters and had a hard time putting this book down. 

There is quite a bit of world building, and I felt like it was enough to know a little bit about the structure of the world and why things are the way they are. It's enough to know that the Amar are worshiped as goddesses, there's a king who rules the people but worships the Amar, the cogsmen are metalmen who function as the king's guard, and there are people who are "harvested" as sacrifices to the Amar. But I still had so many questions about this world, and I finished the book feeling like I had been told more things than I had been shown. I wanted more, and I still have so many questions about this world and its people. Also about the world the Amar came from, but I think that's a story for a different day.

I did really enjoy how the romance was done though. There's no instalove, which was really nice. Zel and Farissa are in love from the beginning of the story, and it's implied that they have been for quite some time. The only thing standing in the way of their happily ever after is the Amar - they've marked Farissa as one of the consecrated and there is no way she can escape without them finding her. They both are forced to make choices and sacrifices that could ruin their plans to run away together, but they do it because they love each other. Friendships and rivalries are also dealt with, and I really enjoyed the way Ellie handled all of the relationships in general. 

The book is told from three perspectives - Farissa's, Zel's, and Gira's. Gira is the leader of the Amar, and her chapters really made me think about why she does the things she does and about how the "evil" characters aren't always totally bad. I wish there were more chapters from her, because I think it would have been interesting to learn more about the Amar from their leader. I mean, we learn about why they're there and what they're planning and how they mourn and think, but I really felt like there was just so much more to be learned. I also kind of wish there was a fourth perspective so that we could have learned more about the cogsmen. They were my favorite characters, and I feel like I don't know enough about them!

Overall, I think this book had a lot of potential. I think it might have made a good duology, especially if more information was included about the Amar and the cogsmen. Or maybe some short stories to go along with it would be nice. I enjoyed the stories and the characters, but I always felt like something was missing. I definitely think sci-fi  and steampunk fans would enjoy The Silver Sickle, especially if you like a little bit of romance and dystopia thrown in. I would give it a 3.5/5, but I will definitely be looking in to more of Ellie Ann's works! 


The Giveaway!





Thanks for stopping by today! 

--Ashley & Paul

Sunday, June 22, 2014

The Kiss of Deception (The Remnant Chronicles #1) by Mary E. Pearson - Ashley's Pre-Reading

*I received this book as an eARC from Macmillan Children's Publishing Group/Henry Holy and Co. (BYR) on NetGalley in exchange for an honest review*

Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Goodreads

Title: The Kiss of Deception (The Remnant Chronicles #1)
Author: Mary E. Pearson
Publication Date: July 15, 2014

Synopsis: 
In this timeless new trilogy about love and sacrifice, a princess must find her place in a reborn world.


In a society steeped in tradition, Princess Lia’s life follows a preordained course. As First Daughter, she is expected to have the revered gift of sight—but she doesn’t—and she knows her parents are perpetrating a sham when they arrange her marriage to secure an alliance with a neighboring kingdom—to a prince she has never met.

On the morning of her wedding, Lia flees to a distant village. She settles into a new life, hopeful when two mysterious and handsome strangers arrive—and unaware that one is the jilted prince and the other an assassin sent to kill her. Deception abounds, and Lia finds herself on the brink of unlocking perilous secrets—even as she finds herself falling in love.

Why?: I've heard really excellent things about this book and it's a YA fantasy, so I definitely had to read it for myself! I'm looking forward to learning about this world and the characters in it, especially since some of them apparently have gifts. It also sounds like a pretty exciting plot, with the whole running away, taking a new identity, and being chased by an assassin and a prince.

Expectations: I have pretty high expectations for this book even though I've never read anything by Mary Pearson. So many people are talking about how good this book is that I really want it to live up to all the hype! I'm also expecting quite a bit of world building, since this is a fantasy book.

Judging a book by its cover: I think I like this cover? I like how it's dark and stormy, and I like the look of the title. I'm not sure how I feel about the girl though. I don't know that it would stand out on a shelf in a bookstore or a library, but I would probably pick it up if I stumbled across it. 


--Ashley

Thursday, June 19, 2014

Some Fine Day by Kat Ross - Ashley's Pre-Reading

*I received this book as an eARC from Angry Robot/Strange Chemistry on NetGalley in exchange for an honest review*

Be sure to stop by our post from the pre-release blog tour for Some Fine Day to read about Kat Ross' Top Ten Hybrid Creatures!

Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Goodreads

Title: Some Fine Day
Author: Kat Ross
Publication Date: July 1, 2014

Synopsis: 
Sixteen-year-old Jansin Nordqvist is on the verge of graduating from the black ops factory known as the Academy. She's smart and deadly, and knows three things with absolute certainty:


1. When the world flooded and civilization retreated deep underground, there was no one left on the surface.
2. The only species to thrive there are the toads, a primate/amphibian hybrid with a serious mean streak.
3. There's no place on Earth where you can hide from the hypercanes, continent-sized storms that have raged for decades.

Jansin has been lied to. On all counts.

Why?: I think the idea of environmental disasters making the world as we know it entirely uninhabitable is really interesting. Terrifying, but interesting. Because who says it can't happen? I'm really interested in learning about the hypercanes and the toads, and finding out why all three things that Jansin knows for certain are all lies! This sounds like it's going to be a really exciting read.

Expectations: I definitely expect there to be a lot of world building, since the world is flooded and people have moved underground. Also, I'm expecting all kinds of strange and terrible weather events, like the hypercanes. I think there might be a lot of military type people and things too, since Jansin is graduating from a black ops factory. I'm not really sure what else to expect though, since I've never read anything of Kat's! 

Judging a book by its cover: This cover is really simple, and I kind of love it. I love how there's a storm in her eye, since the hypercanes seem like they'll be an important part of this book. I also really like how the eye stands out against the all-white background. I definitely think it would stand out on a shelf, and I would totally pick it up if I saw it! 


--Ashley