Hello everyone, today I will be taking part in the Nerd Blast for Rebel Mages which is the third book in Laurie Forest's The Black Witch Chronicles! I hope you enjoy this post!
Series: The Black Witch Chronicles
Paperback: 608 pages
Publisher: Inkyard Press; Original edition (March 26, 2019)
Praise for THE BLACK WITCH Chronicles
"I absolutely loved The Black Witch and will have a very hard time waiting for the second book! Maximum suspense, unusual magic--a whole new, thrilling approach to fantasy!" ―Tamora Pierce, #1 New York Times bestselling author on The Black Witch
"This briskly paced, tightly plotted novel enacts the transformative power of education, creating engaging characters set in a rich alternative universe with a complicated history that can help us better understand our own. A massive page-turner that leaves readers longing for more." ―Kirkus Reviews, starred review on The Black Witch
"Fans of Harry Potter and Tamora Pierce will gobble down the 600-plus pages and demand the sequel." ―Booklist, starred review on The Black Witch
"...fans will be delighted and begging for the next title-and the cliff-hanger ending promises us there will be one." ―Booklist on The Iron Flower
Twenty years before Elloren Gardner enrolled at the illustrious Verpax University, Erthia was rent asunder during the devastating Realm War. When Tessla Harrow is driven from her home by the fighting, she discovers a depth of power she never knew she had...and an irresistible draw toward Vale Gardner, the son of the most powerful mage her people have ever known-the Black Witch.
Before Elloren Gardner came to possess the White Wand of myth, the Wand was drawn to another bearer: Sagellyn Gaffney. Sage's affinity for light magery, a rare skill among Gardnerians, makes her the perfect protector for the one tool that can combat the shadows spreading across Erthia. But in order to keep the Wand safe from the dark forces hunting for it, Sage must abandon everything she once knew and forge a new path for herself...a dangerous course that could lead to either triumph or utter ruin.
Photo Content from Laurie ForestLaurie Forest lives deep in the backwoods of Vermont where she sits in front of a wood stove drinking strong tea and dreaming up tales full of dryads, dragons and wands. The Black Witch (Book 1.0, The Black Witch Chronicles – OUT NOW) & Wandfasted (Book 0.5, The Black Witch Chronicles Prequel) are her first published novels. Coming in 2018 are Light Mage (Book 1.5, The Black Witch Chronicles) & The Iron Flower(Book 2.0, The Black Witch Chronicles). She is currently ensconced in the woods, hard at work on The Shadow Dryad (Book 3.0, The Black Witch Chronicles).
*JBN is not responsible for Lost or Damaged Books in your Nerdy Mail Box*a Rafflecopter giveaway
I hope that you enjoyed my post! I've been following this series since the first book came out, so I am so glad that I was able to be a part of this Nerd Blast. How about you? Have you read/heard of The Black Witch Chronicles before this post? Let me know down below!
Until next time!
Hello everyone! Today I will be participating in the blog tour for Break the Bodies, Haunt the Bones by Micah Dean Hicks! Besides a review from me, this post will also feature an interview with the author and a giveaway for three copies of this book, so stay tuned!
ABOUT THE BOOK:
Swine Hill was full of the dead. Their ghosts were thickest near the abandoned downtown, where so many of the town’s hopes had died generation by generation. They lingered in the places that mattered to them, and people avoided those streets, locked those doors, stopped going into those rooms . . . They could hurt you. Worse, they could change you.
Jane is haunted. Since she was a child, she has carried a ghost girl that feeds on the secrets and fears of everyone around her, whispering to Jane what they are thinking and feeling, even when she doesn’t want to know. Henry, Jane’s brother, is ridden by a genius ghost that forces him to build strange and dangerous machines. Their mother is possessed by a lonely spirit that burns anyone she touches. In Swine Hill, a place of defeat and depletion, there are more dead than living.
When new arrivals begin scoring precious jobs at the last factory in town, both the living and the dead are furious. This insult on the end of a long economic decline sparks a conflagration. Buffeted by rage on all sides, Jane must find a way to save her haunted family and escape the town before it kills them.
AMAZON | BARNES & NOBLE | BOOK DEPOSITORY
Praise for BREAK THE BODIES, HAUNT THE BONES:
“A tour-de-force of the imagination. Hicks has created a world that is beautifully and brutally surreal and yet, at the same time, BREAK THE BODIES, HAUNT THE BONES stands as a hyper-realistic psychological portrait of the death of the American factory town. My own identity as an American was disturbed and changed by this novel; some dormant understanding was shaken awake. This is a stunning and profound debut.” ―Julianna Baggott, bestselling author of New York Times Notable Book Pure
“Hicks’ debut novel is a thoughtful tour of the rotted and haunted heart of America. Highly recommended.” ―Jeremiah Tolbert, Shirley Jackson Award-nominated author
“I can’t stop thinking about this book. It’s a haunting story that burrows under your skin like an insect laying eggs that hatch within you in the middle of the night. Hicks’ mesmerizing imagery kept me turning the pages and asking myself ‘How is this book happening? What sort of literary witchcraft am I witnessing?’” ―Maurice Broaddus, author of Buffalo Soldier and The Usual Suspects
“BREAK THE BODIES, HAUNT THE BONES is a breathless wonder of a debut novel… Hicks is a magician with words and has written a spellbinding, haunting and necessary book.” ―Anne Valente, author of Our Hearts Will Burn Us Down
“Hicks has crafted a haunting story with multi-generational appeal, where the very real horror of poverty meets supernatural horror, and social issues like xenophobia, racism and economic anxiety are addressed organically through allegory and gripping storytelling.” ―Chris L. Terry, author of Black Card and Zero Fade
ABOUT THE AUTHOR:
Micah Dean Hicks is the author of the novel Break the Bodies, Haunt the Bones. He is also the author of Electricity and Other Dreams, a collection of dark fairy tales and bizarre fables. His writing has appeared in The New York Times, The Kenyon Review, and elsewhere. Hicks grew up in rural southwest Arkansas and now lives in Orlando. He teaches creative writing at the University of Central Florida.
PHOTO CREDIT: SCOT LERNER 2018
Truly unlike anything I have ever read before, Break the Bodies, Haunt the Bones is rhythmic in its prose and packed with sophistication, a book that utterly demands to be read. From the first page to the last, readers will be unable to put down this book both because of the mesmerizing story and the unspoken truths that it contains.
One of the main parts of the book that promoted its overall theme was its setting. Taking place in the town of Swine Hill, readers will immediately be greeted by a setting that matches its story almost perfectly; rusting iron, miserable faces, and crumbling infrastructure. It is a town of abandoned buildings, few jobs, and a suffering population, something which is more common than people might believe. Through Jane and Henry’s stories, Hicks uses this setting to the best of his ability to prove just how disastrous a town like this could be to its population, along with just how far some people will go to ignore a problem. I also found the town to act as a sort of character of its own at times too. It suffers along with them, rotting from the inside out with their ghosts, but also learns to survive and move on with the cast of characters. Readers would find the portrayal of the town to be fascinating as it depicts just how much a setting could affect society, and how society could affect its setting.
Another aspect of the book that I adored were the characters and the themes behind them. Each living with their own ghost, I found the concept of this overbearing presence to be fascinating as it was almost like an extension of a character’s “self”, like the daemons in Philip Pullman’s books. Both like them and not, the ghosts acted as a support for the characters…but also as a source of pain. For example, to some Jane’s ghost might seem like a gift as it “reads” the thoughts of those around Jane and tells them to her. In reality, Jane is both friends with the ghost but not, glad to hear the extra commentary but also fearful of the pain that it could bring her. Her brother, Henry, is like this too with his ghost that makes him build strange but horrifying machines. To go through the process of building something is one thing, but when the power and evil behind the contraptions are revealed, only suffering ensues. Through these ghosts and their connections to the characters, Hicks explores deep issues such as relationships and what it means to be someone. He also explores social issues such as racism and sexism in a way that comments on how a setting could impact and rip at a certain person. This leads to the characters changing deeply through the story as their situations change as well, and though this might seem like an obvious thing to say about a book, readers will appreciate the insight that Hicks gives on how a place/society could impact who a person becomes.
If you are a fan of horror or thriller novels in YA, this is certainly the book for you. Jammed-packed with meaning and beautiful prose, Break the Bodies, Haunt the Bones is a book that is truly one of a kind. Not too graphic and without the jump-scare tactics of other horror books, Break the Bodies, Haunt the Bones will leave you questioning in the best way possible. I recommend this book for people ages 14 and up because of mild violence.
INTERVIEW WITH THE AUTHOR:
1. Where did you go to find inspiration whenever you were in need of some?
I get most inspired by spending time with other good stories. Fiction, movies, narrative games, even looking at visual art can get me excited about writing again. Whenever I feel burnt out creatively, it usually means I haven’t been reading enough.
Most of my ideas are a response to something else. I read something amazing and think, “I want to do something that feels like this” or “I want to make someone feel this way.” Of course, then I have to find a way to capture that feeling while still creating something original, making it my own.
For this genre-crossing novel that blends so many SciFi concepts, I drew a lot of inspiration from FLCL, American Horror Story, and Jason Chan’s illustration. My literary inspiration is more in the sentences, the bombastic metaphors and similes, and there I have too many influences to know where to start, but there’s a lot of southern gothic DNA in this book.
2. If one of Swine Hill’s ghosts were following you, what type of ghost would they be and what do you think they would make you do?
The ghosts usually latch onto some flaw or insecurity, so my ghost would probably be drawn to loneliness. For most of my life, I’ve had trouble making connections with people. I often feel isolated, even when I’m around others.
If I was haunted by something, I think it would be a smothering cloud wrapped around me, heavy enough to feel it on my back and in my lungs, not letting me see or hear or touch anyone else.
Thankfully, I don’t live in Swine Hill!
3. How much of BREAK THE BODIES, HAUNT THE BONES, was inspired by America’s Rust Belt? And what kind of economic and psychological research did you have to do to set the tone of the book?
I think of Swine Hill as somewhere that could exist in any part of America, so placing it in the Rust Belt makes a lot of sense.
I’m from rural southwest Arkansas and I’ve lived all over the south, so those were the regions I drew on most when writing this book. Growing up, there was this pervasive sense of economic decline. I constantly heard rumors of businesses closing and people worried about employment. When I was in high school, I drove an hour away to work nights at a restaurant. Many of my family members do oil field or offshore work, spending a week or two with their families and then several weeks out of state because there just aren’t good options closer to home.
So that feeling of decline, the crumbling texture of little towns that grow smaller by the year, fears about loss of jobs, and resentment towards immigrants all came together to shape how I wrote about Swine Hill.
4. If you were to give one piece of advice to Jane at the beginning of the book, what would it be?
You can’t save everyone.
ENTER THE GIVEAWAY TO WIN ONE OF THREE COPIES OF BREAK THE BODIES, HAUNT THE BONES:
Check out the other stops on the tour:
I hope that you enjoyed this post! I love getting to post things like this to help promote author's books. Reviewing is the best way to help an author, and I am glad that I am able to do that through posts like this!
Until next time,
Hello everyone, today I am taking part in the Map of Days blog tour! I am so excited to be a part of this tour because I have grown up reading the Miss Peregrine’s Peculiar Children books, and the fact that there is a fourth book that I get to help promote is amazing! So without delaying anymore, here is my post!
Release Date: October 2, 2018
Hardcover Page Count: 496
Having defeated the monstrous threat that nearly destroyed the peculiar world, Jacob Portman is back where his story began, in Florida. Except now Miss Peregrine, Emma, and their peculiar friends are with him, and doing their best to blend in. But carefree days of beach visits and normalling lessons are soon interrupted by a discovery--a subterranean bunker that belonged to Jacob's grandfather, Abe.
Clues to Abe's double-life as a peculiar operative start to emerge, secrets long hidden in plain sight. And Jacob begins to learn about the dangerous legacy he has inherited--truths that were part of him long before he walked into Miss Peregrine's time loop.
Now, the stakes are higher than ever as Jacob and his friends are thrust into the untamed landscape of American peculiardom--a world with few ymbrynes, or rules--that none of them understand. New wonders, and dangers, await in this brilliant next chapter for Miss Peregrine's peculiar children. Their story is again fully illustrated by haunting vintage photographs, but with a striking addition for this all-new, multi-era American adventure--full color.
Ransom Riggs is the #1 New York Times bestselling author of the Miss Peregrine's Peculiar Children novels. Riggs was born on a farm in Maryland and grew up in southern Florida. He studied literature at Kenyon College and film at the University of Southern California. He lives in Los Angeles with his wife, bestselling author Tahereh Mafi, and their family.
Picking up where Library of Souls left off, A Map of Days continues Jacob’s tale with the Peculiars. Now back in Florida with the rest of his friends, Jacob thinks that the hardest thing he’ll have to do is teach them how to be normal. But with the discovery of Jacob’s grandfather’s subterranean bunker, clues to his double-life as a peculiar operative start to emerge, revealing long hidden secrets. As Jacob begins to learn about the dangerous legacy he’s inherited him and his friends are thrust into the untamed landscape of American peculiardom.
This book was an amazing return to the world of Miss Peregrine’s Peculiar Children. For starters, the writing was even more beautiful then I remembered. Often times when an author of a book I liked as a child comes out with a new book in the same universe, the writing comes off as a tad childish and meant for readers the same age I was when I originally read them. But not once during this book did I think that. As soon as I read page one, I knew that this would not be like other books, and that it will stand out beautifully.
The characters followed this theme as well. When I began the book, I expected them to be the same old characters I loved from the original trilogy that maintain the spirt of the time I originally read them, but they were not. It wasn’t that they were different in anyway, but like they had somehow matured since Library of Souls without it being overdone. I love these qualities because it shows that the author can both keep with the times and captivate his original audience, but also keep newer readers on the edge of their seats.
The plot was yet another thing that kept with this theme. As a reader of the original trilogy, I was always looking forward to the day when Jacob’s parents get to meet Miss Peregrine and the rest of the Peculiar children. And though we did ~almost~ get it, it wasn’t until Map of Days that it finally happened for time. This of course is not a spoiler as it happens in the first two chapters, but I do think it is a defining moment. I think this because for so long, readers have been waiting for certain things, like this, to happen. And now, Riggs is embracing that and fueling his fans in a beautiful way, a way that is also full of promise for the rest of this series.
A Map of Days is the first book in the continuation of Miss Peregrine’s Peculiar Children. Appealing to both fans young and old, it would be hard to be disappointed in this thrill ride as it proves that even childhood favorites can continue to grow.
I hope that you enjoyed this post! I am so happy that I was able to be a part of this tour and that I was able to promote a book from a series that I loved so dearly in my childhood. Thank you so much to Penguin Teen for including me! If you are interested in this book, don't hesitate to check it out along with the rest of the series.
Until next time,
Hello everyone, today I am please to say that I will be taking part in the Give the Dark My Love by Beth Revis blog tour, featuring a guest post from the author herself! I am so excited to be part of this tour as I love helping authors promote this book, plus this book is described as a dark fantasy where the hero turns into a villain which I absolutely love. If you love this just as much as I do, check out the guest post and the book, I promise you won't regret it!
A young alchemist turns to dark magic when a deadly plague sweeps through her homeland in this epic fantasy from New York Times bestselling author Beth Revis.
Seventeen-year-old Nedra Brysstain leaves her home in the rural, northern territories of Lunar Island to attend the prestigious Yugen Academy with only one goal in mind: master the trade of medicinal alchemy. A scholarship student matriculating with the children of Lunar Island's wealthiest and most powerful families, Nedra doesn't quite fit in with the other kids at Yugen.
Until she meets Greggori "Grey" Astor. Grey is immediately taken by the brilliant and stubborn Nedra, who he notices is especially invested in her studies. And that's for a good reason: a deadly plague has been sweeping through the north, and it's making its way toward the cities. With her family's life--and the lives of all of Lunar Island's citizens--on the line, Nedra is determined to find a cure for the plague.
Grey and Nedra grow close, but as the sickness spreads and the body count rises, Nedra becomes desperate to find a cure. Soon, she finds herself diving into alchemy's most dangerous corners--and when she turns to the most forbidden practice of all, necromancy, even Grey might not be able to pull her from the darkness.
Give the Dark My Love Releases on September 25th, 2018
Get Give the Dark My Love:
Beth Revis is the author of the New York Times bestselling Across the Universe series, the twisty contemporary novel A World Without You, and the New York Times bestselling Star Wars: Rebel Rising. Beth lives in rural North Carolina in a house full of boys--her husband, son, and two massive dogs--and she forces them all to watch reruns of Firefly and Doctor Who. Visit her at bethrevis.com and follow her @bethrevis.
Tell us about the research you did for the book because of how scientific the premise is, and how you incorporated it into your fantasy world
The world of Give the Dark my Love is one where alchemy has replaced science. This isn't that far-fetched, historically--during the Middle Ages, alchemy worked hand-in-hand with science. The only difference is, in the world of my story, alchemy actually works.
Although, truth be told, alchemy worked in the medieval era, too. It's a precursor to chemistry, and some discoveries that happened along the way were legitimate chemical discoveries. Although we tend to think of the big "failures" of alchemy--the quest for the philosopher's stone (which could provide immortality) or the attempts to turn lead into gold--alchemists during the Middle Ages were actually doing science. They refined methods of distilling, they explored and observed chemical reactions, and they applied the scientific method to their work. In 1669, Hennig Brand was attempting to create the philosopher's stone when he discovered phosphorus. (Look up the ingredients he used...I mean, they were at least golden in color...)
In the world of Give the Dark my Love, I used vessels instead of chemicals to create alchemy. "Crucibles" are, by definition, a container that can melt metals or other substances. The crucibles in Nedra and Grey's world are used to conduct power.
Early on, I decided to play with the idea of certain metals being linked to certain powers. I chose to focus on three: copper, gold, and silver.
Copper crucibles are used for transactions--put something in, get something else out. You can hide something in a copper crucible and it will only be revealed when you pay the price to retrieve it.
Silver crucibles are for transformation. You can--at least temporarily--transform one object into another by putting it into a silver crucible. The change isn't permanent, particularly if you're transforming one thing into something very different.
Golden crucibles are used to transfer. Specifically, medicinal alchemists use a golden crucible to transfer pain from a person into a lesser creature, such as a rat.
There is a fourth crucible, although it is forbidden throughout the lands. This crucible is made of iron. Iron is an amazing metal. It exists in the land--those of you whose soil is reddish-brown or red clay walk across iron-rich ground. It exists in your blood, giving it red color. Legend has it that some battlefields of ancient wars are found by geologists thanks to the high concentration of iron from the bloody fighting.
A crucible made of iron is for transcendence.
A crucible made of iron raises the dead.
I hope that you enjoyed this post! I am so happy that I was able to be a part of this tour. Thank you so much to Penguin Teen for including me! If you are interested in this book, don't hesitate to check it out!
Until next time,
Hello everyone! Today I will be posting something a bit different from what I usually post about. As some of you may know, I love to write, and hope to become a published author one day. What I talk about less though, is the fact that as both a book blogger and person living in Los Angeles, I have had a lot of opportunities to meet local authors and learn about writing and the publishing process through them. I've even arranged for authors to speak about their craft at my local high school!
But of course, not everyone has the same opportunities as I do when it comes to meeting and learning about writing. Recently, I've found out about an amazing resource called the Write-Publish-Profit Super Stack. With the Super Stack, you will be able to access tons of materials to help aspiring authors, for a fraction of the price they might have usually been. I'm pairing up with them to help promote their product as it is currently on sale for only $47.95! Learn more about the Super Stack and what it has to offer below!
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What kind of resources are included?
It's hard to summarize quite how much information is included in the Super Stack, but here’s a quick list of just some of the info that’s included:
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Jonathan Green tells you how to get paid upfront as a writer for hire, and how to find the most loyal (and lucrative) clients. He also shares his best strategies as a ghostwriter, and how he’s able to write 5,000 words every day before lunch.
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I hope you enjoyed my post about this amazing opportunity! I know that good writing resources could be hard to find, so definitely take advantage of this and check it out!
Until next time,
Hello everyone, today I will be closing the blog tour for Blood Will Out. This is the first dark thriller I have read in awhile so I was very excited when I found out I was able to take part in this tour! And after my review, stay tuned for a guest post from the author herself!
About the Book:
Ari Sullivan is alive—for now.
She wakes at the bottom of a cistern, confused, injured and alone, with only the shadowy recollection of a low-pitched voice and a gloved hand. No one can hear her screams. And the person who put her there is coming back. The killer is planning a gruesome masterpiece, a fairytale tableau of innocence and blood, meticulously designed.
Until now, Ari was happy to spend her days pining for handsome, recent-arrival Stroud Bellows, fantasizing about their two-point-four-kids-future together. Safe in her small hometown of Dempsey Hollow. But now her community has turned very dangerous—and Ari may not be the only intended victim.
AMAZON | BARNES & NOBLE | BOOK DEPOSITORY
About the Author:
Jo Treggiari was born in London, England, and raised in Canada. She spent many years in Oakland, California and New York, where she trained as a boxer, wrote for a punk magazine, and owned a gangster rap/indie rock record label. Her novel Ashes, Ashes, a YA post-apocalyptic adventure published by Scholastic Press, was a multiple award nominee and bestseller. Her acclaimed novella Love You Like Suicide, appeared in the Fierce Ink Press anthology Becoming Fierce: Teen Stories IRL and as a limited edition of the long-running zine Cometbus. Her most recent YA is Blood Will Out, a psych-thriller, published by Penguin Teen (2018). She has a second yet-to-be-named thriller coming from Penguin in the summer of 2019.
Photo credit: Madeleine Kendall
Blood Will Out is the bloody and dark horror thriller by Jo Treggiari that will take everything you thought you knew about YA thrillers and throw it away. The book follows Ari Sullivan, a girl who wakes up at the bottom of a well injured and alone. With no one to hear her screams except the person who put her there, she’s not sure she will be able to get out. But as someone who used to spend her days fantasizing over her crush and their future together, Ari begins to realize that she might not be the killer’s intended victim, and that getting out of the well may be the least of her worries.
This was definitely and interesting book. Treggiari wrote a plot perfect for those aspiring sleuths who love examining every angle of the crime. From the start, she flings potential suspects at the reader, adding to the atmosphere of confusion that the author built up. I loved how the author kept this tone consistent throughout the book, making sure everything had her signature touch. Even the flashback scenes of happy times the author included, had this dark air to it.
I also fell in love with the murder’s point of view. Though it did feature some animal abuse, which readers easily triggered should be weary of, the rest of their perspective was still quite entertaining. This is especially so as the author wrote those gruesome details to add to the realism of the book (which I later found out through her guest post featured below). I loved getting into their mind as they told their story, something the killers of stories don’t often get to do. It was also interesting to follow them as they got to where they were during the events of the story, with Ari.
Lastly, I loved the setting of the book. Set in a dark and mysterious small town where things were bound to go wrong, I love how the author put a new twist on it. Because of her writing style, things just felt so much more real then they often do with other small-town set books.
If you are a fan of spine tingling thrillers, this book is definitely for you. But be warned that there are scenes where blood and gore are mentioned along with graphic descriptions of animal abuse. Though, these themes are not frequent through the book, they do occur in a few significant spots. Because of this, I would recommend this book for older readers of at least 16 years of age.
How to write an appropriate psychological thriller for younger audiences
What I tried to do was write suggestively. Meaning that although there are dark themes in the book (which there had to be since this is partially the story of a serial killer told in the first person!) I write around actual occurrences. The action skips from the beginning to the end of some of the more graphic scenes and the reader fills in the space in their own mind. The animal torture scenes in particular were very difficult for me as an animal lover and long-time vegetarian but I knew from my research that animal abuse is a commonality in the serial killers that have been studied. There is a trifecta of warning signs and that is one of them.
A serial killer who is just starting out was one of the scariest things I could think of. The book had to be terrifying—because no one wants to read about a cuddly, charming psychopath— and getting inside the killer’s mind helped me to achieve that. It was important to me that their character be well-developed so that even though they were becoming a monster (as society sees it) there were moments the reader could connect with. Instances where the reader could think to themselves: ‘Well I’ve felt that way.’ Or, ‘I would react that way too.’ Just a tiny hook that brought the reader on side. I needed to cultivate some kind of understanding of what could make a person behave like that.
It was hugely important that the strongest thread through the book was the fierce friendship between my main character, Ari and her best friend, Lynn. I wanted to capture that love, that loyalty, the lightness that comes from sharing all the moments in your life with your closest companion. Through flashbacks I was able to show how solid and strong they were with each other and incorporate some humor and levity. And later it is the impetus Ari needs to act and to take control of what is happening to them. Their bond was a good true thing and it directly counterbalanced the darkness in the rest of the book.
Check out the other stops on the tour:
I hope that you enjoyed this post! I love getting to post things like this to help promote authors books. Reviewing is the best way to help an author, and I am glad that I am able to do that.
Until next time,
Hello everyone, today I will be taking part in the Emma in the Night Nerd Blast! I hope that you enjoy this post and become as interested as I am in checking this book out!
Hello everyone, today I will be taking part in the I am Still Alive blog tour! I am Still Alive was my first book in awhile that made me stay up all night reading as it was filled with vivid imagery and high stakes. I hope you check it out and for now, enjoy my stop!
About the Book:
Cheryl Strayed's Wild meets The Revenant in this heart-pounding story of survival and revenge in the unforgiving wilderness.
Jess is stranded in the woods. She has few supplies and only her dog for company. Her survival skills are limited, and she has disabilities that make physical labor a challenge. And winter is on its way. How did she get here?
Alternating between the past and the present, this tightly-paced novel tells the story of a girl who survived a car crash that killed her mother, then was pulled from foster care and sent to live with her estranged survivalist father in the remote Canadian wilderness. Jess was just beginning to get to know her dad when a secret from his past paid them a visit, leaving their cabin burned to the ground and Jess's father dead. Now, Jess must fight with everything she has to forage and hunt for food, build shelter, and keep herself warm. But she will survive. She has to survive. Because she wants revenge.
About the Author:
Kate Marshall lives in the Pacific Northwest with her family. She works in the gaming industry as a writer and designer, most recently focusing on educational games for kids of all ages. She spends her winters cheerfully avoiding the rain, and during the summer ventures out to kayak and camp along Puget Sound. As Kate Marshall, her short fiction has appeared in venues such as Beneath Ceaseless Skies and Crossed Genres.
Interested to hear more? Check out my review:
*I received a copy of this book in exchange for my honest opinion. All the thoughts below are my own*
I Am Still Alive tells the story of Jess, a teenage girl whose mother recently died in the car crash that injured her leg, making it hard for her too walk. So when she’s sent off into the Canadian wilderness to live with her survivalist father, she knows she will hate it. But just as she starts getting to know him, men from her father’s past come and kill him, leaving her stranded and left to fend for herself. With only her father’s dog to keep her company, Jess begins to feel like she will become yet another victim of starvation in the forest. But, one thought keeps her from letting it take her. She knows her father’s killer, and she won’t let him go without giving him a taste of his own medicine.
This was the perfect example of a book I didn’t expect to love, but absolutely did. The author was able to weave the perfect novel that would keep fantasy lovers like me entertained, while also making sure nothing was to crazy and unbelievable that the usual reader of contemporary would not be put off, with a thriller twist. She accomplished this through both her accelerating plot and unique writing style that made readers not only engaged in her words, but taking notes. I am Still Alive was written in a series of ‘before’ and ‘after’ chapters, both of which revolving around when her father was killed. This made is so whenever the reader was at one part of the narrative, they would wonder about how it might connect to the other, seeking connections and pulling on strings the author masterfully put in order to trick readers. Several times while reading, I remember thinking that this was when Jess will be saved, or that will be the death of her. But the author continued to prove that nothing is what it seems when you are out alone in the wilderness.
Another thing the author did to engage the reader, was that she added in real survival tricks the main character used throughout the book. As someone who could never imagine themselves camping, I was surprised about how much I was interested in these tidbits of information. But the author did not add these on accident. She did so to make her readers connect with Jess on a deeper level that most characters don’t often reach. When Jess was dragged out to the wilderness, she wasn’t an outdoorsy person. In fact, she immediately knew that she wanted to leave. This makes her relatable to the readers as she dodges the stereotype of the protagonist-who-already-knows-how-to-do-awesome-things, making her more lifelike.
This was the next thing that made this book so good: the characters. Jess for one, is a character who was forced into a terrible situation and tested again and again to see if she would survive. Often times, characters like hers are given few, if any, hurdles to dodge, and go through the wilderness like it was their home. And while it technically was Jess’s home, she hated it the whole time and barely left her father’s cabin when it was still there. I found this to make her character so much more relatable then others I’ve seen. She isn’t your typical adventure loving girl who reveled in the knowledge that she was surviving on her own, but she was someone who wished she could be anywhere but there and wanted something most survival/thriller novel protagonists don’t: safety.
But the author made sure to not only make Jess a well-rounded character, but also her father, his friend Griff, and the other side characters like that too. Each of them were unique in their own ways, having character traits that made them seem real and tangible. Griff, for example, was your typical scruffy quiet mountain guy who was awkward yet cuddly. But the author also made sure to add dimension to him, making him have thoughts and desires unlike other characters like him. For example, he had a daughter who he didn’t see often but wished he could. A daughter who was in another city, but he would fly there to be with her anyway, even if it meant not being there for his friend. I mention this because characters like him are usually extremely loyal and stagnant, while he was willing to risk going after his daughter and leaving his comfortable lifestyle to get a job. Marshall also put great effort into her antagonists. Though it is hard to learn much about them because we only see them a few times throughout the book, she still wrote characters that will give the readers goosebumps. Whenever they appeared, I instantly got nervous for Jess, wondering if this would finally be the end of her.
Finally, this book contained some of the best writing I have read in a while. I was drawn to her words as she described the forest and its depths, making me stay up all night just to finish the book. Marshall’s descriptions of the nearby lake and the cabin felt so real to me, painting vivid pictures in my head as the story progressed. This added to the suspense the readers experience while reading this book because her writing just made everything feel so real, sticking with readers as they go through the plot and its twists. This also made the plot feel much more alive than it might have otherwise, especially since much of it is Jess’s own thoughts as she survives in the wilderness
I would recommend this book for anyone who loves suspense, no matter what genre you typically read. This might also be a good book to give to someone who doesn’t usually read because of how vivid and entertaining it is. I for one know I would be recommending it to my brother who loves all things physical and adventurous. If you love a protagonist who shows you that in times of trouble, anyone could succeed, I am Still Alive is the book for you.
I am Still Alive is out July 24th, 2018!
I hope that you enjoyed my stop on this tour! I would like to say a special thank you to Penguin for including me! If you would like to preorder a copy of I am Still Alive, check out one of the links below.
Until next time,
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Welcome to the Book Enigma! I review different genres of books from young adult fiction to sci-fi. Enjoy!
Aspiring author who, along with reading YA and with other genres, also fosters kittens, and play the piano and cello!
“A room without books is like a body without a soul.”