Monday, March 16, 2015

Blog Tour: The Infinite (Gates of Thread and Stone #2) by Lori M. Lee | Review + Giveaway

Blog Tour: The Infinite (Gates of Thread and Stone #2) by Lori M. Lee | Review + GiveawayThe Infinite by Lori M. Lee
Series: Gates of Thread and Stone #2
Published by Skyscape on March 10, 2015
Genres: Fantasy
Pages: 378
Format: eARC
Source: Netgalley, Publisher
Buy on Amazon
Goodreads
4 Stars

The walls of Ninurta keep its citizens safe.

Kai always believed the only danger to the city came from within. Now, with a rebel force threatening the fragile government, the walls have become more of a prison than ever.

To make matters worse, as Avan explores his new identity as an Infinite, Kai struggles to remind him what it means to be human. And she fears her brother, Reev, is involved with the rebels. With the two people she cares about most on opposite sides of a brewing war, Kai will do whatever it takes to bring peace. But she’s lost her power to manipulate the threads of time, and she learns that a civil war might be the beginning of something far worse that will crumble not only Ninurta’s walls but also the entire city.

In this thrilling sequel to Gates of Thread and Stone, Kai must decide how much of her humanity she’s willing to lose to protect the only family she’s ever known.

TheInfiniteBlogTour

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I was a big fan of Gates of Thread and Stone so when I saw The Infinite on Netgalley I knew I needed to download it immediately.  The first book tied up pretty neatly but I wanted more of Kai, Avan, and Reev’s story.  I got just what I wanted from The Infinite but it definitely left me eager for more.

The Infinite picks up right where Gates of Thread and Stone left off.  Kai is settling into her new life though she doesn’t have her powers any more and she’s not sure what that means.  Avan is also settling in but it’s a bit easier for him seeing as he has no memories of his old life to confuse him.  Then there is Reev who is an awesome big brother but comes across pretty sketchy at times.  I never knew if I should trust his intentions or not.  There are many people in Kai’s life that have secrets and it’s extremely hard to tell who those secrets are going to hurt when they come out.

I’m  happy to say that The Infinite does not suffer from second book syndrome.  To be honest, I had no clue where this book was going to take Kai’s story when I started it.  Like I said, things tied up pretty neatly at the end of the first book so I didn’t know what Lori M. Lee had in store for her characters this time around.  There are definitely things from the first book that come into play in The Infinite but it also introduces a new story that kept me hooked from start to finish.  I also really appreciated the character growth in this one.  It was hard for me to see Avan as this new character without his memories of Kai.  While he had the same body as the Avan from Gates of Thread and Stone he was very much a different character and that was unusual.  Then there was Kai who really showed growth and new strengths that I definitely appreciated.

Overall, The Infinite continues the awesomeness of Kai’s story that started with Gates of Thread and Stone.  Once again, I’m eager for more but I have no clue what Lori M. Lee is going to do next.  Fantasy fans need to check out this series!

What others are saying about The Infinite:

What Happened to the Wallflower’s review: “Basically, what I’m trying to say: in the total of about 360 pages, I was never once bored.”

Room 22 Epic Readers’ review: “The Infinite was absolutely amazing. I didn’t want to put it down!”

Check out the rest of the blog tour for more reviews as well as interviews, giveaways, and more!

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Lori is the author of young adult fantasy novels Gates of Thread and Stone and The Infinite. She has a borderline obsessive fascination with unicorns, is fond of talking in capslock, and loves to write about magic, manipulation, and family. She lives in Wisconsin with her husband, kids, and a friendly pitbull.

 
 
 
 

Find Lori M. Lee online here:

Website: http://www.lorimlee.com
Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/7084159.Lori_M_Lee
Twitter: https://twitter.com/LoriMLee
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/LoriMLee
Tumblr: http://lorimlee.tumblr.com/
Pinterest: http://www.pinterest.com/lorimlee/
Instagram: http://www.instagram.com/lorimlee82

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Tuesday, November 11, 2014

Blog Tour: Earth & Sky by Megan Crewe | Review + Interview + Giveaway

Blog Tour: Earth & Sky by Megan Crewe | Review + Interview + Giveaway

Blog Tour: Earth & Sky by Megan Crewe | Review + Interview + GiveawayEarth & Sky by Megan Crewe
Series: Earth & Sky #1
Published by Skyscape on October 28, 2014
Genres: Science Fiction
Pages: 306
Format: eARC
Source: Netgalley, Publisher
Buy on Amazon
Goodreads

Seventeen-year-old Skylar has been haunted for as long as she can remember by fleeting yet powerful sensations that something is horribly wrong. But despite the panic attacks tormenting her, nothing ever happens, and Sky’s beginning to think she’s crazy. Then she meets a mysterious, otherworldly boy named Win and discovers the shocking truth her premonitions have tapped into: our world no longer belongs to us. For thousands of years, Earth has been at the mercy of alien scientists who care nothing for its inhabitants and are using us as the unwitting subjects of their time-manipulating experiments. Win belongs to a rebel faction seeking to put a stop to it, and he needs Skylar’s help--but with each shift in the past, the very fabric of reality is unraveling, and soon there may be no Earth left to save.

picadillyblueEarth & Sky is a member of a genre that I don’t often read: science fiction.  I’ve never really been interested in things to do with aliens, other worlds, and time travelling but Megan Crewe did a wonderful job with Earth & Sky.  I was intrigued from the start and couldn’t stop reading once I started.

One of the draws of Earth & Sky is that it’s not super scientific or futuristic.  It’s set in a world like ours full of people like us.  Skylar in particular is very normal, just with a special ability.  She suffers from terrible panic attacks.  For most of her life she’s tried to hide them from people and learned how to deal with them on her own.  However, Win tells her that they aren’t typical panic attacks.  They are triggered by something truly wrong in the world, something that only a few people can actually sense, Sky being one of them.  As for Win, he may be an alien but that’s not to say he’s not just like a regular guy.  He just happens to have some really big jobs on his plate, such as finding a weapon to destroy a satellite.  No big deal.

This is not the first book I’ve read by Megan Crewe and it will definitely not be my last.  Earth & Sky reaffirmed my love of her writing style.  It’s simple and easy to read making her books even more fast-paced than they already are.  Her writing style also helps keep the story a little more simple since there is a lot going on.  It would be easy to make Earth & Sky a very hard to follow story but that was not the case.

The romance in Earth & Sky was a bit lackluster.  It was hard to tell if there was something blooming between Win and Sky.  I don’t know about you guys but I’m a huge fan of romance and I actually like books less when there isn’t some steaminess.  At first I thought there might be some romance between Sky and one of her classmates but that didn’t seem to go anywhere and things could maybe go somewhere between Win and Sky in future books but there wasn’t much action this time around.  I definitely don’t think that’s a huge drawback but for me it did take away some enjoyment.

Overall, Earth & Sky is a unique science fiction story that can appeal to all readers, even ones like me who aren’t the biggest fans of sci fi.  I recommend giving this series a shot and I definitely look forward to seeing where things go in future installments.

What others are saying about Earth & Sky:

Feisty Little Woman’s review: “The time-travelling in Earth & Sky is creative and well-thought out.”

Nick’s Book Blog’s review: “Earth & Sky was an entertaining read and offered something unique in the YA scifi genre.”

megan About the author:

Like many authors, Megan Crewe finds writing about herself much more difficult than making things up. A few definite facts: she lives with her husband, son, and three cats in Toronto, Canada (and does on occasion say “eh”), she tutors children and teens with special needs, and she can’t look at the night sky without speculating about who else might be out there.

Where to find Megan online:

Website: http://www.megancrewe.com
Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/megan.crewe
Twitter: http://twitter.com/megancrewe
GoodReads: http://www.goodreads.com/author/show/2839407.Megan_Crewe
Tumblr: http://megancrewe.tumblr.com/

 

 

Interview

Thanks so much for stopping by the blog as part of the blog tour!

Thank you! I’m glad to be here.  🙂

Describe Earth & Sky in 140 characters or less. 

Teen girl joins alien rebel on a journey through history and around the world to stop his people’s time manipulating experiments on Earth.

What made you decide to write YA?

To be honest, it wasn’t so much a decision as a realization. When I first started writing novels, I was in my teens, so I wrote about teenaged characters because that was what I knew. As I got older, I found most of my story ideas still involved teens and that I enjoyed writing about that period in people’s lives the most. It’s such an intense time, with so many firsts and issues people are often only just becoming aware of, and it’s also a period of so much change as you grapple with your identity and whether it fits who you want to be. There’s a lot to explore there as an author.

Do you have a favorite character from Earth & Sky?  If so, why?

My main characters are almost always my favorites, and I am very fond of Skylar. She’s had to deal with a lot and still manages to find the courage to take all the risks she does to protect the people she cares about, but she isn’t afraid to stand up for her own needs either.

Do you have any must-haves while writing?

As much quiet as I can get—I have trouble focusing with music or chatter around me. Wrist rests to prevent muscle strain, especially necessary because when I’m drafting I’ll be on the computer for long stretches at a time. And an outline so I know where I’m going.

Do you know how a story is going to end when you start it?  Is it easier to figure out the beginning or the ending of a book/series?

See above about outlining—I’m very much a planner, and always work out the major details before I start a story. With a series, I need to have at least a vague idea where the overall story is going to go across all of the books, though I generally don’t figure out the specifics until I’m finished each book before.

As to beginnings vs. endings… I find beginnings really hard in general. It’s tough balancing introducing your characters and their world with getting into the action quickly enough. Whereas I love bringing everything together for a grand finale. But on the other hand actually figuring out the details of the ending is usually more difficult just because there are many different elements that need to be coordinated and built-up properly, whereas at the beginning I’m just getting the ball rolling.

What is next from you?  More books in the Earth & Sky world?

There are two more books to follow Earth & Sky–The Clouded Sky and A Sky Unbroken—which will be out in spring and then fall 2015. I don’t have any further books lined up yet, but I do have a couple projects waiting for their turn to be considered and another I’m in the process of writing, and I hope to have news to share about one or more of those before too long!

Short answer:

Bad Boys or Good Boys? Good boys—I like to see heroines treated with respect.

Happily ever after or happily never after? Somewhere in between–realistically hopeful, let’s say

Series or standalone? Reading: standalone; writing: both

Love triangles or soulmates? Between the two I’d have to take love triangles, but I really prefer two-person love stories that are romantic without it having to be a destiny/forever soulmates type deal.

Write at night or write during the day? Day.

Write in silence or write with music? Silence

Print, audio or eBooks? Print for collecting; eBooks for convenience

(Sorry, I’m obviously not very good at answering shortly.  😉  )

Giveaway

One grand prize winner will receive a Kindle Paperwhite with custom EARTH & SKY cover and preloaded with the ebook, and nine others will receive a signed paperback copy of the book. All winners will also receive an EARTH & SKY swag pack including star candies in Win’s favorite Earth flavors, signed bookmark, magnet, and sticker. (Open internationally)

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Wednesday, August 20, 2014

Gates of Thread and Stone (Gates of Thread and Stone #1) by Lori M. Lee | Review

Gates of Thread and Stone (Gates of Thread and Stone #1) by Lori M. Lee | ReviewGates of Thread and Stone by Lori M. Lee
Series: Gates of Thread and Stone #1
Published by Skyscape on August 5, 2014
Genres: Fantasy
Pages: 335
Format: eARC
Source: Netgalley, Publisher
Buy on Amazon
Goodreads
4 Stars

In the Labyrinth, we had a saying: keep silent, keep still, keep safe.

In a city of walls and secrets, where only one man is supposed to possess magic, seventeen-year-old Kai struggles to keep hidden her own secret—she can manipulate the threads of time. When Kai was eight, she was found by Reev on the riverbank, and her “brother” has taken care of her ever since. Kai doesn’t know where her ability comes from—or where she came from. All that matters is that she and Reev stay together, and maybe one day move out of the freight container they call home, away from the metal walls of the Labyrinth. Kai’s only friend is Avan, the shopkeeper’s son with the scandalous reputation that both frightens and intrigues her.

Then Reev disappears. When keeping silent and safe means losing him forever, Kai vows to do whatever it takes to find him. She will leave the only home she’s ever known and risk getting caught up in a revolution centuries in the making. But to save Reev, Kai must unravel the threads of her past and face shocking truths about her brother, her friendship with Avan, and her unique power.

picadillyblueGates of Thread and Stone is a strong debut from Lori M. Lee and a wonderful start to a new fantasy series.  It’s got a little something for all readers and I think it’s a great introduction to fantasy if that’s not a genre you’re familiar with.

The story starts off strong and continues that way throughout.  I was hooked from the very first page.  The pacing was fabulous and I never felt the urge to put the book down.  It’s a quick read that will leave readers wanting more.  There is mystery, romance, action, and deception woven through every page.  I never could guess what was going to happen next.  (Until the very end when I had a tiny inkling that something might happen!)  Like I said, this book really has a little something for everyone.  Also, the fantasy aspect of it wasn’t quite as strong as other young adult fantasy novels like Rae Carson’s or Leigh Bardugo’s.  I don’t mean that in a bad way though.  I think this would be a great introduction to the fantasy genre for people who may be a little intimidated by some of the other fantasy novels out there.

The characters were a little bit lacking for me.  I never felt truly invested in their stories.  When one of them was hurt or taken, I didn’t get all that upset.  Kai, Avan, Reev, and the others felt a little unreal to me.  I never got enough information about them to feel like I knew their stories.  I know this is only the first in a series but by the end of the book I felt like I should have cared more than I did for the characters.  They were far from terrible though.  Kai was strong and self-sufficient.  She didn’t require saving every other page.  She could take care of herself and in fact, she could help others too.  Avan and Kai shared a lot of characteristics and I think that was part of why they fought so much.  They both wanted to look out for the other when really both of them could easily look out for themselves.  Avan was a true gentleman though.  He was protective of Kai but he didn’t try to stifle her independence.  I liked that he was confident enough in himself to not need to put her down.  Reev was the most lacking for me.  I liked him but there were a lot of mysteries surrounding him and I feel like some of those mysteries still weren’t cleared up at the end of Gates of Thread and Stone.

Kai’s ability was another big issue of mine for most of the book.  It went unexplained for quite some time.  Kai would use her ability but as the reader, I didn’t have a clue what she was doing, how she was doing it, or how it could possibly help her.  Not until one of the last few chapters was her ability explained and I felt confused about it even then.  I think there will be a lot more exploring of Kai’s powers in the next book.

Overall, Gates of Thread and Stone didn’t wow me like I hoped but it did get me interested enough to check out the next book.  Fantasy fans will enjoy this one.

What others are saying about Gates of Thread and Stone:

Hell Is Cold’s review: “Yet another very, very mediocre novel that tries to be whimsical and epic in scale but ultimately falls short in all respects.”

Library of a Book Witch’s review: “I will continue on to the second one being that I’m really curious what it’s about.”

The Starry-Eyed Revue’s review: “Things definitely take an unexpected turn toward the end of this book, both in terms of plot and world-building, but I’m on board.”