Sunday, June 28, 2015

Book Review of ALIVE by Scott Sigler

This month I have the pleasure of reviewing the young adult novel, ALIVE, by Scott Sigler, the first in the exciting new Generations Trilogy.

Before I hop into my thoughts, I'll give you a sneak peek of the cover and the synopsis of the story.



Synopsis:

From New York Times bestselling author Scott Sigler comes something utterly new: a gripping sci-fi adventure trilogy in the vein of The Hunger Games, Divergent, and The Maze Runner. A group of young adults awake in a mysterious enclosed space with no knowledge of who they are or how they got there…and an indomitable young woman must lead them not only to answers but to survival.

A young woman awakes trapped in an enclosed space. She has no idea who she is or how she got there. With only her instincts to guide her, she escapes her own confinement—and finds she’s not alone. She frees the others in the room and leads them into a corridor filled with the remains of a war long past. The farther these survivors travel, the worse are the horrors they confront. And as they slowly come to understand what this prison is, they realize that the worst and strangest possibilities they could have imagined don’t even come close to the truth.


***

Sound interesting? I can assure you it was. I read all of ALIVE on a plane flight, and I'm pretty sure that if we had crashed, I wouldn't have even noticed, I was so busy flipping through the pages. 

The stakes are high in the book. The pace is quick. The characters are sharp and well-developed. As stated above, the story is reminiscent of great young adult works like The Hunger Games and The Maze Runner (I'm not a huge fan of the Divergent books). The book is more than 350 pages long, and I buzzed through it in a little over two hours. 

Sigler had me guessing what the grey dust, exactly where the characters were, and how they came to be in their world up until he explained it all. Holding my interest so absolutely is a difficult thing to do, but I can tell you that Sigler managed it. I'm very much looking forward to reading (and hopefully reviewing) the rest of the trilogy. 

All that said, I gave the book 4 out of 5 starts on Goodreads. I withheld the final star for a couple of reasons. It's hard to write a main character--especially in first person--who is the opposite gender as you. Before I became familiarized with Savage, I confused her with being male. She reads very masculine, and here and there, had several lines that, as a female, I couldn't identify with. 

Beyond that, each character is marked with a symbol on their foreheads. I never felt as if I got a good sense of what the symbols meant. This could have been a lack of observation on my part, as I did read the book so quickly, but I felt like I wanted more. The same went for the Catholic school uniforms that the characters woke up in...Why Catholic uniforms if we're so far in the future? Again, just small anomalies that I wanted to explore further. 

ALIVE is set to be released on July 14th. I absolutely recommend readers snap up a copy of this book. I can very easily see it being made into an equally gripping movie and hope that I will get to see the characters and their world on the big screen. 

For more information about Scott Sigler and his writing, click here. This link will also take you to a page where you can pre-order a copy of ALIVE for your very own. 

If you read ALIVE and have comments, feel free to leave them on my blog! I'll see you next month, readers!

Tuesday, June 16, 2015

Spotlight Tour--Cover Reveal for Children of the Gods by Jessica Therrien

Hi Readers!

In June of 2013 (how long ago that seems!), I reviewed UPRISING by Jessica Therrien, the second book in the young adult Children of the Gods trilogy.

Jessica's trilogy has been so successful and so loved by so many readers that it's now being re-released with all new covers. I'm happy to be able to bring you those new covers today.

In case you missed the series before, I'm also including a synopsis for each book in the post.

Enjoy!




Synopsis of OPPRESSION (Children of the Gods #1):

Elyse knows what it means to keep a secret. She's been keeping secrets her whole life. Two, actually. First, that she ages five times slower than average people, so that while she looks eighteen years old, she's well over eighty. Second, that her blood has a mysterious power to heal.

For Elyse, these things don't make her special. They make life dangerous. After the death of her parents, she's been careful to keep her secret as closely guarded as possible. Now, only one other person in the world knows about her age and ability.

Or so she thinks.

Elyse is not the only one keeping secrets. There are others like her all over the world, descendants of the very people the Greeks considered gods. She is one of them, and they have been waiting for her for a long time.

Among so many of her kind, she should not be very remarkable—except for the prophecy. Some believe she will put an end to traditions, safeguarded by violence, which have oppressed her people for centuries. Others are determined to keep her from doing just that. But for Elyse, the game is just beginning—and she's not entirely willing to play by their rules.




UPRISING (Children of the Gods #2)

Elyse has done everything she can to protect her friends from The Council's reach. As long as they believe she's dead, she has time to rest and train for war. And war is inevitable.

When Kara arrives with the news that Anna and Chloe have been captured, Elyse is faced with the realization that no one is safe until The Council is stopped and Christoph is destroyed. She doesn't need a prophecy to tell her to lead an army. Christoph has done the one thing that ensures she'll fight to the death. He's threatened the people she loves.

It will take more than the words of an oracle to help them fight against the most powerful Descendant alive. To break The Council's oppression and rise up against a plot so many years in the making, Elyse will need to get dangerously close to her enemy. So close, in fact, she may not survive.




REDEMPTION (Children of the Gods #3)

Lead Council member, Christoph, is dead by Elyse’s hand, and Descendants have begun to emerge, exposing their secret to the world. Some see this as the prophecy come to fruition, but the prophecy caries a heavy consequence. It was never meant to be as peaceful as most had hoped.

Humans and Descendants struggle to live together in a world that isn’t ready for such a change. America is divided. Those who glorify the supernatural race believe Descendants truly are the gods they claim relation to.

Others see them as a threat.

When Elyse gives birth to the next generation oracle, she sees one final vision—war. The destruction of the country’s major cities, and the end of America as we know it.

After her daughter is born, Elyse finds herself without the ability she needs to predict the future. Desperate to save the world from such conflict, she puts her faith in the hope that Descendants are the key to survival. After all, they have the power to supply a broken society with the means to survive.

Only from of the ashes can a new world be born.


***

The new books with never before read chapters will be released on the following dates: September 2nd (OPRESSION), October 2nd (UPRISING), and November 2nd (REDEMPTION).

Trust me, this is one trilogy that you won't want to miss. Happy reading, and I'll see you next time!

Saturday, June 13, 2015

Spotlight Tour--Guest Blog by Linda Joyce (Author of BAYOU BECKONS)

Hi Readers!

I'm happy to report that the Spotlight Author Tour continues this Saturday with guest blogger Linda Joyce whose book BAYOU BECKONS (the third in the Fleur De Lis trilogy) just came out on June 3rd, 2015.

Linda, a dear friend of mine, prepared this wonderful and brilliant post specially for the readers of this blog and fans of romance. I dare you not to buy her trilogy after what you read today.

Thank you, my friend, and without further ado...

***

Left Brain? Right Brain? Make an Apple Pie! Then follow the call: BAYOU BECKONS.





Does apple pie correlate to left-brain or right-brain dominate? I think so. I’ll lay out premise for you to decide; however, you’ll actually have to do some work. Quiz Time! I hope you’ll share your results.

Learning style and brain dominance are a science. Frankly, when doing research for this topic, reading very clinical papers made my head hurt. In simplest terms, I learned the difference in the power of the left and right brain has to do with how we process information.

All of us have two sides to our brain. The left side takes in information in a logical and sequential order and houses our language skills. For intuitive and random information processing, the right side steps up. If we process with only one side of our brain, we will get lost in the world.

Communication between people with different brain dominance can be tricky. For example, when purchasing a dress with my husband along, I’ll ask his opinion. Then, I’ll rebut his “looks fine to me” comment. He doesn’t appreciate the nuances of my airy-fairy descriptions about why the dress doesn’t work for me. To him, the comment requires ‘yes or no.’ Which demonstrates husband and I process information differently. We make decision using different sides of our brains.

So battle lines are now drawn between the left and the right…I’m still talking about the brain here—not the political scene. However, to get the most out of life, seeking balance between our brains allows us to broaden our learning, thus life experience.

This is where the apple pie comes in. Baking is said to be an art. How the pie looks with a braided or scalloped edge enhances the visual appeal of the dessert. It’s said we eat first with our eyes—and when the pie is pulled from the oven all golden brown and steaming with aromas of apples and cinnamon, my eyes get big and my tummy shouts, “Yum!”

However, to reach that mouth-watering experience, we begin with the left brain—logical and sequential ordering. Baking, more so than other type of cooking, requires precision measuring. Too much flour or too much fat and the crust isn’t flakey. Too much brown sugar and cinnamon masks the apple flavor. Accurate handling of the ingredients is needed to have a tummy-satisfying experience.  

My point: To be your best, no matter what you do—writer, poet, accountant, or physicist—learning to strengthen the less dominate side of your brain will enable you to have a fuller life experience. However, before undertaking a cure to have whole brain usage, you have to know which you are—Left or Right Brain Dominate.

For those of you who don’t have time to bake a pie, I’m including two websites with quizzes to determine your dominance. The Left Brain Right Brain Quiz will score your brain-side use, showing what’s higher and lower. The second one is Left Brain Right Brain Quiz for Teens. Even though you may be past your adolescence, I think you may find the analysis paragraph when you’re finished very insightful.



Now, how does this fit with Bayou Beckons? It’s a story about a woman seeking redemption and the man who lassos her heart. But he’s very unforgiving about infidelity, which is the ugly secret from her past. Do they make apple pie? No, but you’ll experience food through their eyes. The one thing I hear over and over again about my stories: Your books make me hungry! I’m a foodie, and I incorporate the sensations of good food and eating into my books. So when the Bayou Beckons you, heed the call. Even if your brain is confused, your emotional stomach will bless you.


***

Linda Joyce is an award-winning author published in poetry, memoirs, and contemporary romance. Born in Biloxi, Mississippi, Linda’s southern root run deep. If you wander in New Orleans cemeteries, you’ll find many of her family buried there. Her grandfather captained the General John Newton and her grandmother retired from the New Orleans police department. Linda’s a foodie, a big fan of jazz and blues, and a dog lover. General Beauregard, Gentleman Jack, and Masterpiece Renoir are her constant canine companions. She now lives in Atlanta, Georgia with her husband and four-legged boys. Please visit her at www.linda-joyce.com.




BAYOU BECKONS, book three of the Fleur de Lis series is her third novel with The Wild Rose Press. BAYOU BECKONS: http://www.amazon.com/Bayou-Beckons-Fleur-Series-Volume/dp/150920122X/ref=tmm_pap_title_0

Please connect with Linda on Facebook and Twitter.
Twitter: @LJWriter  https://twitter.com/LJWriter