Win Quarantine: The Saints by Lex Thomas

Thanks to Egmont USA, I have shiny new copy of  Quarantine: The Saints by Lex Thomas  to give to one of you! Entering is easy! Just fill out the widget below.  US mailing addresses only, please.

 

About Quarantine: The Saints by Lex Thomas (Egmont USA, July 9, 2013, $17.99 U.S. / $20.99 CAN.):

McKinley High has been a battleground for the eighteen months since a virus outbreak led to a military quarantine of the school. When the doors finally open, Will and Lucy think their nightmare is finished. But they are gravely mistaken.

As a new group of teens enters the school and gains popularity, Will and Lucy join new gangs. An epic party on the quad full of real food and drinks, where kids hook tip and actually interact with members of the other gangs, seems to signal a new, easier existence. Soon after, though, the world inside McKinley takes a startling turn for the worse, and Will and Lucy will have to fight harder than ever to survive.

The Saints brings readers back into the dark and deadly halls of McKinley High and the Quarantine series.

About Lex Thomas:

Lex Thomas is the pen name for the writing team of Lex Hrabe and Thomas Voorhies. Their first novel, QUARANTINE: THE LONERS, earned a starred review from Booklist, and Huffington Post Books called it "one of the best books that I have ever read."

Lex received a BA in Drama and English from the University of Virginia and has worked as an actor, director and writer. Thomas graduated with a Bachelors of Fine Arts from the Rhode Island School of Design, and now writes, and exhibits his realist oil paintings in Los Angeles.

Lex and Thomas met in a writers’ group in Los Angeles. Their friendship developed as they tried to blow each other’s minds with clips from bizarre movies. In 2005, they became a screenwriting team, and found that writing with a friend is much more fun than doing it alone. Visit them at www.lex-thomas.com.

Here’s what reviewers are saying about Quarantine: The Loners:

“In a frenzy of modern day “Lord of the Flies” type awesome, Lex Thomas delivers a fresh, furious, action-packed, relentlessly exciting read in Quarantine!” — The Bookish Brunette

“It’s easy to see why the movie rights to Quarantine: The Loners were snapped up so quickly… The book is chock-full of action-packed sequences, thrilling mystery, and a blossoming romance in the midst of the worst conditions.” — Novel Novice

“The writing was very dynamic and I had so much fun reading this book. This novel has everything I like in YA horrors/thrillers: a mind-blowing creep factor, dynamic action, plenty of unexpected plot twists, and overwhelming intensity. It was a thoroughly gripping novel, and though at times I felt very disturbed by the horrid events and vividly painted scenes on its pages, I couldn’t bring myself to put it down.” — Bookish Evie

US shipping addresses only, please.

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Interview with P. J. Hoover, Author of Solstice

Please welcome P. J. Hoover to the virtual offices today! P. J. is here to chat about her debut novel Solstice.  Check out what she has to say.

[Manga Maniac Cafe] Describe yourself in 140 characters or less.

[P. J. Hoover] MG/YA SFF author. Prior Electrical Engineer. Solves the Rubik’s Cube. Practices Kung Fu. Plays Wizard101. SOLSTICE (Tor 2013) & TUT (Tor 2014)

[Manga Maniac Cafe] Can you tell us a little about Solstice?

[P. J. Hoover] Sure! It’s a YA dystopian/mythology novel aimed at fans of Hunger Games and Percy Jackson. Solstice is set in Austin, in the future, when Global Warming is destroying the earth. It’s about this girl, Piper, who on her 18th birthday opens a mysterious present and all of a sudden this crazy world of mythology starts to explode around her. Her best friend almost dies, Piper has to travel to the Underworld to save her, and there are Greek gods.

[Manga Maniac Cafe] How did you come up with the concept and the characters for the story?

[P. J. Hoover] I’ve always been a huge mythology buff, so I knew I wanted to do something with Greek mythology. The Persephone/Hades story was one of my favorites, but rather than writing a retelling, I wanted to do more of a “what happens after the myth” take on things. And so Solstice was born.

[Manga Maniac Cafe] What three words best describe Piper?

[P. J. Hoover] Rebellious, Overprotected, and Passionate

[Manga Maniac Cafe] If Piper had a theme song, what would it be?

[P. J. Hoover] It’s the End of the World as We Know It – R.E.M.

[Manga Maniac Cafe] Name one thing Piper is never without.

[P. J. Hoover] Curiosity

[Manga Maniac Cafe] What three things will you never find in Piper’s bedroom?

[P. J. Hoover] Dead flowers, a heater, wool socks

[Manga Maniac Cafe] What is Piper’s greatest regret?

[P. J. Hoover] Randy Conner’s death

[Manga Maniac Cafe] What are your greatest creative influences?

[P. J. Hoover] J. R. R. Tolkien, Joseph Campbell, and Homer

[Manga Maniac Cafe] What three things do you need in order to write?

[P. J. Hoover] Silence from my kids’ chatter, a computer, motivation

[Manga Maniac Cafe] What is the last book that you read that knocked your socks off?

[P. J. Hoover] I just finished The Madman’s Daughter and loved the story, the characters, and the basis for the novel. I am totally going to watch the Dr. Moreau movie now to compare them.

[Manga Maniac Cafe] If you had to pick one book that turned you on to reading, which would it be?

[P. J. Hoover] The Cave of Time (a Choose your Own Adventure Book from my book fair back in elementary school)

[Manga Maniac Cafe] What do you like to do when you aren’t writing?

[P. J. Hoover] Hang with my family, practice Kung Fu, play Wizard101, and spend time with friends

[Manga Maniac Cafe] How can readers connect with you?

[P. J. Hoover] Thanks for asking! Readers can connect to me through the below places!

Website: http://www.pjhoover.com

Blog: http://pjhoover.blogspot.com

Facebook Author Page: http://www.facebook.com/AuthorPJHoover

Facebook Personal Page: https://www.facebook.com/pj.hoover1

Twitter: http://twitter.com/pj_hoover

Intagram: http://instagram.com/pj_hoover

Tumblr: http://pjhoover.tumblr.com

Email: http://www.pjhoover.com/contact.php

[Manga Maniac Café] Thank you!

About the author:

P. J. Hoover first fell in love with Greek mythology in sixth grade thanks to the book Mythology by Edith Hamilton. After a fifteen year bout as an electrical engineer designing computer chips for a living, P. J. decided to take her own stab at mythology and started writing books for kids and teens. When not writing, P. J. spends time with her husband and two kids and enjoys practicing kung fu, solving Rubik’s cubes, and watching Star Trek. Her first novel for teens, Solstice (Tor Teen, June 18, 2013), takes place in a global warming future and explores the parallel world of mythology beside our own. Her middle grade novel, Tut (Tor Children’s, 2014), tells the story of a young immortal King Tut, who’s been stuck in middle school for over 3,000 years and must defeat an ancient enemy with the help of a dorky kid from school, a mysterious Egyptian princess, and a one-eyed cat. For more information about P. J. (Tricia) Hoover, please visit her website www.pjhoover.com.

Purchase link:

About the book:

Piper’s world is dying.

Each day brings hotter temperatures and heat bubbles that threaten to destroy the earth. Amid this global heating crisis, Piper lives under the oppressive rule of her mother, who suffocates her even more than the weather does. Everything changes on her eighteenth birthday, when her mother is called away on a mysterious errand and Piper seizes her first opportunity for freedom.

Piper discovers a universe she never knew existed—a sphere of gods and monsters—and realizes that her world is not the only one in crisis. While gods battle for control of the Underworld, Piper’s life spirals out of control as she struggles to find the answer to the secret that has been kept from her since birth.

An imaginative melding of mythology and dystopia, Solstice is the first YA novel by talented newcomer P. J. Hoover.

Interview with Polly Holyoke, Author of The Neptune Project and Giveaway!

Please welcome Polly Holyoke to the virtual offices today! Polly is here to chat about her book, The Neptune Project, and afterwards, she has a signed copy and swag to give to one of you!

[Manga Maniac Cafe] Describe yourself in 140 characters or less.

[Polly Holyoke] I’m a short, cheerful, energetic writer/reader/mom with a great imagination and a good sense of humor. I’m also an excellent teacher and a terrible cook.

[Manga Maniac Cafe] Can you tell us a little about THE NEPTUNE PROJECT?

[Polly Holyoke] THE NEPTUNE PROJECT is set in a future where global warming is out of control. As people fight over scarce resources like food and water, a group of desperate scientists genetically alter their own children to live in the sea. Nere Hanson, a shy dolphin trainer, suddenly finds she has to give up her entire future on land and lead her companions on a dangerous journey to her father’s undersea colony.

[Manga Maniac Cafe] How did you come up with the concept and the characters for the story?

[Polly Holyoke] I’ve always thought that if we mess up the land of our planet too much, we might be forced to live in the sea someday. THE NEPTUNE PROJECT grew out of that basic premise. What would it be like for a group of teens to suddenly give up everything they know to live in beneath the waves?

[Manga Maniac Cafe] What three words best describe Nere?

[Polly Holyoke] Shy, brave, determined

[Manga Maniac Cafe] Name one thing Nere is never without.

[Polly Holyoke] Her dolphin family.

[Manga Maniac Cafe] What three things will you never find in Nere’s pockets?

[Polly Holyoke] Well, since she lives in the sea… matches, paper and a cell phone!

[Manga Maniac Cafe] What is Nere’s greatest regret?

[Polly Holyoke] That her mother died before Nere could tell Gillian that she did forgive her for putting her through the Neptune transformation.

[Manga Maniac Cafe] What are your greatest creative influences?

[Polly Holyoke] I think the fantasy authors I read as a kid still influence me today. I loved books like Lloyd Alexander’s Prydain series and THE CHRONICLES OF NARNIA which transported me to other worlds, worlds that were so vividly described that I almost believed they existed.

[Manga Maniac Cafe] What three things do you need in order to write?

[Polly Holyoke] Quiet, my computer and a good cup of tea (with lots of milk and sugar, thank you very much!) I usually have a couple of cats supervising me, too.

[Manga Maniac Cafe] What is the last book that you read that knocked your socks off?

[Polly Holyoke] I’m still thinking about Maggie Stiefvater’s THE SCORPIO RACES. That book definitely took me to a different reality with such a haunting premise (horse-lover that I am) that I can’t forget it. A book about mythical man-eating horses just shouldn’t work, but of course, this one does brilliantly.

[Manga Maniac Cafe] If you had to pick one book that turned you on to reading, which would it be?

[Polly Holyoke] THE SWISS FAMILY ROBINSON by Johann David Weiss was one of the first books to turn me on to reading. My father and grandmother had to read it to me several times because I couldn’t get enough of the story of a young Swiss family shipwrecked on a deserted island and all the clever ways they found to survive. When my family got tired of reading this book to me, I picked it up and realized I could read it to myself!

[Manga Maniac Cafe] What do you like to do when you aren’t writing?

[Polly Holyoke] I love to read good books, watch good and some not-so-good movies with my kids, and take long walks. When I can get back to my home state of Colorado, I hike, camp and ski in the high country.

[Manga Maniac Cafe] How can readers connect with you?

[Polly Holyoke] They can send me a tweet at @pollyholyoke or leave me a message on my website: www.pollyholyoke.com.

[Manga Maniac Cafe] Thank you!

GIVEAWAY TIME!!

Ready for your chance to win a signed hardcover of The Neptune Project and a dolphin necklace/bookmark?  Just fill out the widget below. Earn extra entries for following.  US addresses only, please.

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Didn’t win? You can order a copy of The Neptune Project from your favorite bookseller or by clicking the links below:

About the book:

THE NEPTUNE PROJECT is set in a future where the seas are rising and global warming is out of control. Nere Hanson and her teen companions are shocked to learn that they have been genetically altered by their desperate parents to live in the sea. Protected by her loyal dolphins, shy Nere leads the rest on a perilous journey to her father’s new colony. Fighting off government divers, sharks and giant squid, can Nere and her companions learn to trust each other before their dangerous new world destroys them?

Polly’s social media links -

http://www.pollyholyoke.com
http://www.goodreads.com/PollyHolyoke
http://www.facebook.com/PollyHolyokeAuthor
http://www.pinterest.com/PollyHolyoke
@Polly Holyoke

Cover Shot! Contagion by Tim Lebbon

Cover Shot! is a regular feature here at the Café. I love discovering new covers, and when I find them, I like to share. More than anything else, I am consumed with the mystery that each new discovery represents. There is an allure to a beautiful cover. Will the story contained under the pages live up to promise of the gorgeous cover art?

I am enjoying Tim Lebbon’s Toxic City series.  The third book, Contagion, is slated to hit stores in November 2013.  I like these covers, with the characters in the foreground, and the devastated city sprawling out behind them.  Are you reading these? What do you think of them?

 

Jack and his friends are in a race against time to save the remaining inhabitants of a postapocalyptic London from a nuclear bomb.

Two years after London is struck by a devastating terrorist attack, it is cut off from the rest of the world, protected by a large force of soldiers (known as Choppers) while the rest of Britain believe that their ex-capital is a toxic, uninhabited wasteland. But that’s not true. Jack and his friends know that the truth is very different-and incredible: the few remaining survivors in London are changing; developing strange, fantastic powers; evolving. And the Chopper force guarding London is treating the ruined city as its own experimental ground.

Now, Jack’s powers are growing. His friend Lucy-Anne’s powers are developing too, and Nomad-that mysterious woman who started it all-is close by. But the Choppers have initiated their final safeguard-a huge nuclear bomb that will wipe out London, and everyone still within its boundaries. Jack and his friends must spread the news of the bomb and save everyone they can. Before that can happen, Jack must face his father, the deadly Reaper, in their final showdown.

Interview with Sherri L Smith, Author of Orleans

Please welcome Sherri L Smith to the virtual offices today!  Sherri is the author of the recently released ORLEANS, as well as Flygirl.  She very graciously agreed to chat about her books and let us get to know her better.  Check out what she has to say!

[Manga Maniac Cafe] Describe yourself in 140 characters or less.

[Sherri L Smith] I am a writer who likes to eat chocolate chip cookies.

[Manga Maniac Cafe] Can you tell us a little about Orleans?

[Sherri L Smith] ORLEANS is set in a not-to-distant future in the former city of New Orleans.  After a series of man-made and natural disasters give rise to the deadly Delta Fever, the U.S. Government builds a quarantine wall from Florida to Texas and abandons the region to its fate.  In old New Orleans, now called Orleans, the survivors have gone tribal.  The story follows Fen, a sixteen-year-old girl in this world, as she tries to save the life of a new born baby.

[Manga Maniac Cafe] How did you come up with the concept and the characters for the story?

[Sherri L Smith ] My mom was a New Orleans native and Katrina survivor.  The initial idea for the story came from my experience in getting my mother out of New Orleans after the storm.  Fen popped into my head one day and just started talking.  I left myself a voicemail with her words, and went from there.

[Manga Maniac Cafe] What three words best describe Fen?

[Sherri L Smith] Strong, loyal, fierce.

[Manga Maniac Cafe] Name one thing Daniel is never without.

[Sherri L Smith] His datalink, even when it can no longer help him.  How many of us carry around cell phones long after the batteries have died?  It’s like a security blanket.

[Manga Maniac Cafe] What three things will you never find in Fen’s pockets?

[Sherri L Smith ]Paper money, lipstick, cell phone.

[Manga Maniac Cafe] What is Fen’s greatest regret?

[Sherri L Smith] Not being able to save her tribal leader, Lydia.

[Manga Maniac Cafe] What are your greatest creative influences?

[Sherri L Smith] Other books, my dreams, people’s personal stories.

[Manga Maniac Cafe] What three things do you need in order to write?

[Sherri L Smith] A computer or notebook and pen, a cup of tea, a snack.

[Manga Maniac Cafe] What is the last book that you read that knocked your socks off?

[Sherri L Smith] Raiders! The Story of the Greatest Fan Film Ever Made by Alan Eisenstock, Eric Zala and Chris Strompolos.  I went to film school with Eric, but it wasn’t until years later that I found out he and his best friend from childhood had spent a decade of their lives remaking “Raiders of the Lost Ark” shot for shot.  They started at the tender ages of 11 and 10.  This book tells the story of that adventure.  It’s incredible, honest, and very funny.  I’ve seen the movie—it will make you cheer.  So will the book.  The “how will they do that?!” factor is insane.  (how do 10-year-olds make a giant rolling boulder?)  What surprised me the most was the wraparound story.  Eric and Chris are from Ocean Spring, Mississippi.  The book starts in the aftermath of Katrina.  It really struck home for me, seeing the destruction and then traveling into their childhood to learn exactly what these ruined houses once were, and how they formed the foundations of their lives. That was an unexpected angle that brings such bittersweet depth to an otherwise raucous romp.  Well, there’s more heart strings being pulled than that.  Suffice it to say, it was wonderful.  Definitely check it out.

[Manga Maniac Cafe] If you had to pick one book that turned you on to reading, which would it be?

[Sherri L Smith] Charlotte’s Web by E. B. White.  I read it over 100 times as a kid.  I know I read little books before that, but Wilbur and Charlotte are burned into my memory as true friends.

[Manga Maniac Cafe] What do you like to do when you aren’t writing?

[Sherri L Smith] When I’m not writing, I like to read.  A lot.  And I love to travel.  I like to cook.  I bake a lot of cookies.  Oh, and let’s not forget sleep.  I love that.  To sleep, perchance to dream! 

[Manga Maniac Cafe] How can readers connect with you?

[Sherri L Smith] You can find me through my website, www.sherrilsmith.com and my blog, The Middle Hundred (www.middlehundred.blogspot.com).  I’m also on Twitter, @sherri_l_smith, and there’s a Facebook page where updates are posted.  But don’t try to contact me through Facebook.  I’m generally too busy writing to check it.  I do respond to email if I can.

[Manga Maniac Cafe] Thank you!

[Sherri L Smith] Thank you, Julie!  It was fun.

You can purchase ORLEANS or any of Sherri’s other novels from your favorite bookseller or by clicking the links below:

About the book:

First came the storms.
Then came the Fever.
And the Wall.

After a string of devastating hurricanes and a severe outbreak of Delta Fever, the Gulf Coast has been quarantined. Years later, residents of the Outer States are under the assumption that life in the Delta is all but extinct… but in reality, a new primitive society has been born.
Fen de la Guerre is living with the O-Positive blood tribe in the Delta when they are ambushed. Left with her tribe leader’s newborn, Fen is determined to get the baby to a better life over the wall before her blood becomes tainted. Fen meets Daniel, a scientist from the Outer States who has snuck into the Delta illegally. Brought together by chance, kept together by danger, Fen and Daniel navigate the wasteland of Orleans. In the end, they are each other’s last hope for survival.
Sherri L. Smith delivers an expertly crafted story about a fierce heroine whose powerful voice and firm determination will stay with you long after you’ve turned the last page

Review: Redemption Erica Hayes and Giveaway! Win a Kindle Fire!

 

 

 

 

Title:  Redemption

Author: Erica Hayes

 

May Contain Spoilers

From Amazon:

 

Japheth the Tainted is on the hunt for a mysterious demon vampire. But meeting her face-to-face might disarm his warrior spirit—and spark an unquenchable passion with apocalyptic consequences.

As a fallen angel, Japheth is determined to make his way back to heaven by staying pure and slaying hellspawn. With a new scourge of vampires unleashed by a blood-drinking demon, the Prince of Thirst, there’s plenty to be done. But Japheth is after one vampire in particular—the one they call the Angel Slayer.

Rose Harley never wanted to be a vampire, but the Prince of Thirst can turn even the kindest soul into a soldier of hell. Feeling abandoned by God, she stalks the West Village taking revenge on his angels—until she meets her match.

When Japheth and Rose encounter each other, the battle is fierce and charged with desire. But when they discover a common enemy—the Prince of Thirst himself—they form a dangerous alliance that could either cost them their eternal lives, or spark a love more powerful than heaven or hell


Review:

I don’t read many paranormal romances, and I’m not sure why.  I enjoy them on the odd occasion when I do pick them up, and Redemption was no exception.  This is the second book in Erica Hayes’ The Seven Signs series, and I didn’t have much trouble figuring out what was going on, even though I haven’t read the first book, Revelation (which has a zombie virus, so I will be reading it, hopefully soon!).  The series features the war between angels and demons and the prophesied end of the world.  I enjoyed how the angels were portrayed in this story; just because they are angels didn’t mean that they were “good.”  What was even better; Japheth, a Tainted angel, is working tirelessly for his redemption, so he can return to Heaven.  His fellow Tainted behave like fraternity boys; drinking, chasing women, and partying in between missions slaying demons and hellspawn, and trying to stop the Apocalypse from happening.

Michael is in charge of the angels, and he’s a ruthless jerk.  I hated him.  He’s power hungry and cruel, and he doesn’t hesitate to sacrifice his angels if it will fulfill his ambitions.  He sends Japheth to kill Fluvium, the Prince of Thirst, and recover the vial of wrath in his possession.  Japheth doesn’t know why Michael cast him out of Heaven.  He’s always been brave, righteous, and dedicated to serving God.  All he wants is to be let back into Heaven.  He lives a life a purity, distaining pleasures of the flesh, and obeying orders to the letter.  What does he get for his sacrifices?  A never ending hard-on and no sense of humor.  Poor guy.

Rose Harley is Japheth’s unlikely match.  Like Japheth, she’s been tricked, and now she’s a vampire, the slave of Fluvium.  He’s ordered her to steal Japheth’s soul, or he’ll throw her into Hell.  Terrified of the never-ending agony of Hell, Rose is determined to carry out his commands.  She’s killed angels aplenty – they don’t call her Angel Slayer for nothing.  When the two meet, however, they both discover that they have clearly met their match.  They are both fierce warriors, they are both driven to carry out their mission at all costs, and they both have preconceived notions about the other that are wrong, wrong, wrong.  Circumstances have fooled them both, and robbed them of their dreams.  Rose has lived through the horror of being a demon lord’s plaything, and Japheth is the casualty of another’s powerful ambitions.

I enjoyed the world building in Redemption.  I loved how the lines between the hellspawn and the angels blurred, leaving me wondering who was good and who was truly evil.  There is a large cast of characters, and I want to know more about several of them, both angels and demons.  I’m sure they’ll be back for future installments of the series.  What I really want is to see the characters I dislike meet their comeuppance.  There are several who deserve the wrath of both heaven and hell.

The pacing is blistering.  After all, Japheth is racing to complete his mission and put a stop to the Apocalypse, all at the same time.  He’s saddled with Rose, a vampire he doesn’t trust, but is forced to rely on.  He has nothing but contempt for Rose, and he won’t even consider that there might be more than he realizes about her turning into a vampire.  Nope, she’s hellspawn scum, and the sooner he finishes his mission, the sooner he can put an end to her cursed life.  Nice guy!  Maybe he’s not so righteous after all?

Though he took a while to warm up to, I did come to like Japheth.  His fall from grace was only possible because he couldn’t see the evil in those he served.  He was the ideal warrior – fighting for the faith he believed in with all his heart, making his betrayal that much more bitter.  It takes him a long, long time to come to terms with what he believes his fellow angels should be, and the reality of what they are.  I wouldn’t want to have to trust any of these guys, because I wouldn’t trust them as far as I could throw them.

The action is intense, and the sparks between Japheth and Rose are blinding.  As they begin to trust each other, their attraction for each other blazes out of control.   If only Japheth wasn’t trying to stay so pure! 

Redemption is a fun, action-packed romp through a nightmarish vision of the Apocalypse, where the lines between good and evil aren’t all that clear.  The romance between Japheth and Rose, two strong and noble characters who have had their faith and trust shattered, is hot and steamy and will leave you believing in their HEA.

Grade:  B

Review copy provided by Bewitching Book Tours

GIVEAWAY!!

Enter the Tour Wide Giveaway for a Kindle Fire or if the winner lives outside the US they will receive an equivalent value Amazon gift card!!

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More about the book:

Redemption
The Seven Signs, Book 2 by
Erica Hayes

Publisher: Berkley Sensation

ISBN: 978-0425258385

Number of pages: 330

Cover Artist: Kris Keller

Paperback: Amazon BN Book Depository

Ebook: Amazon BN iTunes

About the Author:

Erica Hayes was a law student, an air force officer, an editorial assistant and a musician, before finally landing her dream job: fantasy and romance writer.

She writes dark paranormal and urban fantasy romance, and her books feature tough, smart heroines and colourful heroes with dark secrets.

She hails from Australia, where she drifts from city to city, leaving a trail of chaos behind her. Currently, she’s terrorizing the wilds of Northumberland.

http://www.ericahayes.net

http://erica-hayes.blogspot.com

http://www.facebook.com/ericahayes.author

http://www.twitter.com/ericahayes

http://www.goodreads.com/author/show/2922003.Erica_Hayes

Cover Shot! Viral Nation by Shaunta Grimes

Cover Shot! is a regular feature here at the Café. I love discovering new covers, and when I find them, I like to share. More than anything else, I am consumed with the mystery that each new discovery represents. There is an allure to a beautiful cover. Will the story contained under the pages live up to promise of the gorgeous cover art?

Ah! This cover is so awesome! Look at that bulldog!  And Clover is autistic?  I can hardly wait to get my hands on this book!

 

 

After a virus claimed nearly the entire global population, the world changed. The United States splintered into fifty walled cities where the surviving citizens clustered to start over. The Company, which ended the plague by bringing a life-saving vaccine back from the future, controls everything. They ration the scant food and supplies through a lottery system, mandate daily doses of virus suppressant, and even monitor future timelines to stop crimes before they can be committed.

Brilliant but autistic, sixteen-year-old Clover Donovan has always dreamed of studying at the Waverly-Stead Academy. Her brother and caretaker, West, has done everything in his power to make her dream a reality. But Clover’s refusal to part with her beloved service dog denies her entry into the school. Instead, she is drafted into the Time Mariners, a team of Company operatives who travel through time to gather news about the future.

When one of Clover’s missions reveals that West’s life is in danger, the Donovans are shattered. To change West’s fate, they’ll have to take on the mysterious Company. But as its secrets are revealed, they realize that the Company’s rule may not be as benevolent as it seems. In saving her brother, Clover will face a more powerful force than she ever imagined… and will team up with a band of fellow misfits and outsiders to incite a revolution that will change their destinies forever.

Review: Breathe by Sarah Crossan

Title:  Breathe

Author: Sarah Crossan

May Contain Spoilers

From Amazon:

Inhale. Exhale. Breathe. Breathe. Breathe . . . The world is dead. The survivors live under the protection of Breathe, the corporation that found a way to manufacture oxygen-rich air.

Alina has been stealing for a long time. She’s a little jittery, but not terrified. All she knows is that she’s never been caught before. If she’s careful, it’ll be easy. If she’s careful.

Quinn should be worried about Alina and a bit afraid for himself, too, but even though this is dangerous, it’s also the most interesting thing to happen to him in ages. It isn’t every day that the girl of your dreams asks you to rescue her.

Bea wants to tell him that none of this is fair; they’d planned a trip together, the two of them, and she’d hoped he’d discover her out here, not another girl.

And as they walk into the Outlands with two days’ worth of oxygen in their tanks, everything they believe will be shattered. Will they be able to make it back? Will they want to?


Review:

The premise of Breathe hooked me and made me what to read it.  I am a huge fan of dystopian fiction, and though I have been disappointed by many of them lately, Breathe kept me completely engaged in the plot.  That’s not to say that there weren’t any flaws, because there were quite a few, but I was so caught up in the story that I overlooked most of them.  One that was hard to overlook was the personality reversal of Petra, the leader of the Resistance.  When the chips were down, she went from being tough as nails to completely caving in and giving up.  I don’t understand how she was the leader of this rebel group for so long, how she sent her people out on dangerous, life-threatening missions that lead to many of their deaths, when she couldn’t even find it in herself to fight back when she’s confronted with a war.  Yes, the odds were so against her people that it didn’t look like they had a chance in Hell of winning, but just rolling over and giving up without a fight made me dislike her even more.  How she ever became the leader of the resistance in the first place is beyond me.

When Bea and her best friend, Quinn, head out of the pod for a short camping trip, their plans are disrupted by Alina, a member of the Resistance, who is fleeing from the Ministry.  Alina’s crime? She stole some plants.  Yup, in this horrific vision of the future, all plant-life has been destroyed, the oceans have been polluted, and as a result, there isn’t enough oxygen left in the atmosphere to support life.  The oppressive Breathe, the corporation that developed the pods and the life giving machines that fill them with breathable air,  making a fortune selling air to the citizens of the pod.  If you think having a gas meter or an electric meter is a pain, imagine having a monthly bill for the air you breathe.  The poor struggle to make ends meet, while the wealthy have so much money they can splurge on personal air tanks so they can jog or play sports.  Stewards patrol the streets, punishing those who walk too fast, or carry burdens without a permit.  In the public areas of the pod, there are strict rules dictating how quickly you can move or what you can do because you are sucking up all of that valuable free air into your lungs.  I love the concept behind this story!

After Bea and Quinn help Alina, their lives are thrown into chaos.  Quinn’s father holds a high ranking position in Breathe, and as a Premium, there is little that Quinn has had to do without.  Bea, on the other hand, has parents who are working themselves to death to pay for her air.  As she attends school and works hard to be promoted, Bea is consumed with guilt.  Her parents are always so tired, and always so worried about everything.  When she fails to secure a spot in the Breathe Leadership Program, she is devastated.  That was going to be her ticket to an easier life for her and her parents, and she blew it.  So a trip outside, to the Outlands, sounds like just the thing she needs to clear her head and forget her disappointment.  Quinn is providing everything she needs for the trip, so she might as well go and enjoy herself.  And she is, until they run into Alina.  Quinn, a very clueless, privileged young man, sees Alina, finds her beautiful, and immediately falls for her.  He’ll do anything in his power to help her.  Even hurt his best friend, Bea, who has loved him forever.

The love triangle did get a little annoying, because I didn’t think Quinn was worthy of Bea’s unyielding devotion, and Alina wasn’t my favorite character.  While I thought that Quinn and Alina deserved each other,  I didn’t want to see Bea hurt, because she is so kind.  She is willing to risk herself for others, without hesitation. Neither Alina nor Quinn have her best interests at heart when they both have the power over her to keep her from harm.  That was disappointing, because after everything that they had been through together, I expected better behavior from both of them.  Plus, Bea would have put herself in harm’s way to protect both of them, and they didn’t deserve that.

The ending is one of those non-endings that seem inevitable in YA books, and it left me disappointed.  I have been trying to resist starting new series until most of the books are out, but this was sitting on the library shelf, and despite a few reservations, I checked it out.  Now. When I knew the next book won’t be out until later this year.  Ugh.  I am glad that I read it now, but I worry that I won’t be in the same frame of mind when Book 2 hits shelves.

If you are in the mood for a fast-paced dystopian with a compelling premise, give Breathe a try.  I gobbled it up in a few short hours, and was engaged in the plot the entire time.

Grade:  B

Review copy obtained from my local library