Boundless is a book that I’ve been dying to read but at the same time reluctant to read because I didn’t want the Unearthly trilogy to end. On the surface I shouldn’t love this series – it’s about angels, and the ultimate love triangle after all, but love it I do. A lot of the anticipation has to do with who the heroine Clara will choose, Tucker or Christian, in one of the most heart-wrenching love triangles in YA. Beyond that, there is the question of Clara’s purpose and what she chooses to do with her gift. The ending is satisfying and answered many of my questions, while also leaving me craving another story centered on this world.
As the final chapter of the Unearthly series begins, Clara, Angela and Christian transition to college life at Stanford. The three are all having visions they need to decipher, and try to balance school and angel responsibilities. Clara worries about Jeffrey, and is concerned about the Black Wing following her around. Tucker is miles away but still in her thoughts and dreams. Not much else I can say really about the set-up- there are a lot of twists and surprises you’ll have to discover when you read the book. Clara’s journey is emotionally satisfying and included appearances of many of my favorite characters.
Speaking of characters, the author does a great job with keeping an air of mystery around them. She kept me guessing the character motives throughout the series, particularly the angel characters. Are they all good or all bad, or shades of gray like some of the angels’ wings? Clara has to decide who is trust worthy, especially with life or death at stake.
The love triangle, sigh. Cynthia Hand certainly keeps the suspense going! I like both Christian and Tucker and kept an open mind, though I’m ultimately Team Clara and had faith that she’d make the right choice in the end. The epilogue is a nice touch.
The writing is one of my favorite things about this series. I felt an emotional connection to Clara and the other characters and felt invested in the outcome. Obviously this installment is more dramatic as all of the elements come to a head, but there are some smaller touching moments as well.
Cynthia Hand has done a wonderful job with this series, and I’d read anything she chooses to write. Hopefully she will revisit this world with a spin-off or prequel. It felt to me that there are more stories to tell. And Hand’s teasing morsels about the past and future leave me eager for more. My favorite genre is contemporary, and these books do have a lot to offer contemporary fans, even though of course there is a big paranormal element. (Read this amazing interview with Cynthia Hand on The Midnight Garden to see what she’s working on now!) I am sad to see this series end.
I wasn’t ready to let go of this series after Boundless, so I picked up the novella Radiant right after, and that helped to give me more closure. I did feel like I was missing a piece of the puzzle about Angela and Clara’s summer trip to Italy, and that is covered in Radiant.
Radiant is Angela and Clara’s story of their summer trip to visit Angela’s family. I think this is the first time we have heard Angela’s POV, so it’s interesting to get a peek inside her mind and some of her backstory and feelings about Clara and her place in the world. This story also fills in some of the blanks about Angela’s mysterious romantic interest in Italy.
I don’t really like this novella trend, and would prefer that all the pieces were included in the actual novel. But, this novella is better than average and the fact that Angela’s perspective is included is a plus in my book. I think if I had read the novella before reading Boundless I would feel more of an investment in Angela’s situation. Overall, I think Radiant is worth your time and provides additional character insight.
I’m thrilled to be part of the Jaguar Sun blog tour. Today author Martha Bourke will talk a little about what sets Jaguar Sun apart from other YA paranormals, and how her background in teaching shaped the book. You also can enter for your chance to win a Jaguar Sun skinned Kindle 3G!
About Jaguar Sun:
December 21, 2012
Will that fateful day destroy our world, or did the Mayans have something else in mind? Maya Delaney knows. Unfortunately.
Maya Delaney is just an average sixteen-year- old. She’s busy dealing with exams, her soon to be ex-boyfriend and fitting in. But Maya’s got bigger problems. She’s hiding a major secret from her dad and having strange visions she can’t control. In her struggle to figure out who she is, she learns that she is meant to fulfill an ancient Mayan Prophesy and bring forth a New Age on earth. Will the spirit magic Maya wields be enough to defeat Toltec, an evil society bent on keeping her from her destiny? Or will that destiny destroy her?Will that fateful day destroy our world, or did the Mayans have something else in mind? Maya Delaney knows. Unfortunately.
Check out the Book Trailer:
Interview with Author Martha Bourke:
I’m sure there are as many answers as there are people. My great interest in it comes from a historical and sociological perspective. I tried to stay very positive about the Mayan prophesies in Jaguar Sun. I emphasized a shift to a New Age, rather than the end of the world. In reality, that’s much closer to what Mayan leaders themselves believe. As far as choosing the topic as a reader, I think people truly love a hero. And can there be a bigger hero than one that saves the world?
How does your background in teaching and foreign languages influence the story?
Honestly, I don’t think there would be a Jaguar Sun if I hadn’t been a Spanish teacher. Most of my ideas were born out of having taught Latin American culture in the classroom. My knowledge of languages is also found throughout the book in small ways and I think it lends more authenticity to the story.
What inspired you to write a YA paranormal romance?
I was inspired by that genre mostly because my friends and I read buckets of them. And I love a good, strong YA voice, especially if it’s in the first person. I guess I really identify with the age group through teaching as well. I’ve been obsessed with both the paranormal and fantasy genres since I was a kid. One of the first short stories I ever wrote was a ghost story.
What sets Jaguar Sun apart from other books in the genre?
I would say that the Mayan aspect certainly sets the book apart. I think that both the use of the culture and also the mythology makes it quite different from anything out there right now. There is a multicultural aspect to it that is quite unique. There is a genre called multicultural fantasy that is up and coming. I’m hoping to see some great books come out of that.
What are your favorite YA paranormal romance books and why?
Wow, we’d be here the rest of our lives. Let me tell you what my two favorite YA paranormals from last year are. The first book is Anna Dressed in Blood by Kendare Blake. I loved that book. I’m a sucker for a good old-fashioned ghost story. I also loved Daughter of Smoke and Bone by Laini Taylor, because it’s unlike anything else I’ve ever read.
Do you listen to music when you write? What would be the theme song for this book or the series?
I don’t. I can’t focus. I love music so much that I always find myself paying more attention to the music than my writing. I do write with the TV on in the background quite often. It’s good company. For some reason that’s works and music doesn’t. I always create a playlist though. I listen to it around the house and in the car. It helps to keep me inspired. I’ll be sharing Jaguar Sun’s playlist later in the Tour.
What are your favorite scenes or lines from Jaguar Sun?
I’ll give you part of one scene. And it’s a major one!
That’s when he pulled me to him and kissed me. Oh, God. It was like my whole body woke up. Something was different. I could feel his strength and power, the perfection of his being. I ran my hands along his chest, slid my hands under his shirt, felt the heat of his skin. I wasn’t just some high school junior with a schoolgirl crush anymore. I wasn’t nervous. I wasn’t trying to figure out what he was thinking. I didn’t wonder where we stood. Every muscle, every nerve ending, every fiber of my being was completely attuned to him. He was my mate. I was home.
Any hints on what to expect in the sequel Jaguar Moon?
Expect a major new central character and a step up in the action for some of the secondary characters. And possibly a jaw-dropping revelation or two. Other than that, my lips are sealed!
Thanks so much Martha for stopping by to tell us a little about the book. I love the multicultural aspect of Jaguar Sun and hope to see more multicultural fantasy books like it on the shelves. Love the scene you chose to highlight too!
KINDLE DEAL ALERT:
Friends, mark your calendars for April 15 and 16th when the kindle edition of Jaguar Sun will be available for free download on Amazon.com.
Thanks again to Kismet for hosting the tour. Follow the next stop on the tour at Fictional Distraction tomorrow. Be sure to click here to see all the tour stop information and to enter the GRAND PRIZE GIVEAWAY.
Contest details: One winner will receive a Kindle 3G skinned in the sleek Jaguar Sun cover art and loaded with a copy of Jaguar Sun. Click here to enter the Rafflecopter giveaway. Open to US/Canada entrants – see full contest rules here.
As part of The Savage Grace blog tour I’m excited to host author Bree Despain for an interview about The Dark Divine series. Make sure to read through to the end to enter a giveaway to win all three books in the series.
I asked Bree some questions about the Dark Divine series as a whole and to find out what’s coming up next. Congrats to Bree on The Savage Grace that is out in stores today!
Thanks for stopping by on your launch day, Bree! To start off, I was wondering which book of the trilogy was the hardest to write and why?
The third book in the trilogy, THE SAVAGE GRACE, was the hardest to write because there were so many things that needed to come together, and so many characters that needed their stories brought full circle. It was really important to me to find a way to wrap up the story in a way that would leave readers satisfied. While this was the hardest book to write, I think it is also the most exciting. The main characters really have a chance to grow into the people they are meant to be–plus, there’s a lot of action in this book.
I absolutely agree that The Savage Grace is the most exciting! It is gratifying to see the character growth in the book as well. Will you continue to write about these characters? Which character deserves their own book?
Right now, I have no plans to write any more books in the Dark Divine world–but I’m not going to say that I never will. I do have a couple of short stories in mind.
Once I was brainstorming ideas for a spinoff book and came up with idea that I thought was pretty funny. Just for fun, I wrote up a short synopsis of a book about “Baby” James as a16 year old. James is sick and tired of all the paranormal craziness his family has to deal with all the time, and he just longs to be normal. All he wants in life is to earn enough money to buy his own car so he can drive as far away from Rose Crest and the Divines as he can get. So when a job comes along that will get him enough money to facilitate his great escape, he jumps at it–only to find himself thrown into the middle of turf-war between rival werewolf packs. In order to stop the packs from destroying his town and family in the wake of their battle, James must save the life of a kidnapped werewolf-mafia-princess whom he can’t stand–at least not at first . . .
I sent the synopsis to a critique partner and my agent, meaning it to just be a funny joke–but they both wrote back saying that they liked the idea and thought it would make a fun book. I don’t know if I’ll ever write it, but it still amuses me to think about from time to time.
That is a fun idea, actually. I did get the feeling that baby James could be important in TSG. And after reading the book I definitely could get on board with a spin-off. Maybe about a certain werewolf? Speaking of which, when you are not writing, what are your favorite werewolf or other paranormal books to read?
I love Holly Black’s Curse Worker series. I also enjoy books by Becca Fitzpatrick and Rachel Hawkins. I think EVERNEATH by Brodi Ashton, HOURGLASS by Myra McEntire, and UNDER THE NEVER SKY by Veronica Rossi are three of the best books I’ve read recently. I purposely chose not to read any other werewolf books while I was writing the Dark Divine trilogy, but I have several like SISTERS RED, RAISED BY WOLVES, CLAIRE DE LUNE, and 13 TO LIFE waiting for me on my bookshelves. I am happy that I get to delve into them now.
I love that you have all these great werewolf books ready to read. I enjoyed SISTERS RED a lot and I’ll have to check out the Curse Worker series sometime.
Changing topics a bit, religion plays a role in the series and sets it apart from other paranormal books. Does the spiritual aspect reflect your own faith?
Yes. While Grace and I do not share the exact same religious background, I really wanted to write a book from the point of view of a character who deals with questions of faith, religion, and living up to expectations in her everyday life because that reflected my own personal teenage experience.
I think the spiritual theme ties in very well to Grace’s story, and it actually reminded me in a way that the series LOST referenced religious themes in the storytelling.
Switching gears again, what were your musical inspirations when writing this book or the series as a whole? What would you say is the theme song of the series?
I have a soundtrack/playlist for each book. I listened to a TON of Florence + The Machine while writing TSG. It felt like almost every single song in their Lungs album was pertinent to this book. I pretty much had it on repeat while writing. I don’t know if I have a theme song for the entire series, but I do have one for each book. THE DARK DIVINE is “Such Great Heights” by the Postal Service, THE LOST SAINT is “Giving Up The Gun” by Vampire Weekend, and THE SAVAGE GRACE is “Orange Sky” by Alexi Murdoch. Hmm, perhaps that last song is the theme song for the entire series.
I will have to dig out some Florence + The Machine to listen to now that I’ve read TSG. I love The Postal Service and Vampire Weekend.
All three book covers of the series are so gorgeous. The Savage Grace cover is a little bit of a departure in that we see more of the models upper body as opposed to waist down only. Any significance to the change?
I didn’t have any say about the changes. I don’t know what were the designer’s intentions, but I personally like to think that the strong image with the strong typeface is a reflection of the growth in strength that main character experiences in the book.
That sounds like a good explanation to me! I like that the covers are pretty and mysterious, and actually you’d never guess they are about werewolves.
Do you have anything exciting in the works that you can tell us about?
I have a new book I am working on that is slated for publication in Fall 2013. i don’t know how much I am allowed to say about it, but I can tell you that it is a story I started working on before THE DARK DIVINE was published and I am excited to be working on it again.
Can’t wait to hear more about it! Thanks so much for stopping by to share some behind the scenes info on your series, Bree. Congrats again on today’s release of The Savage Grace.
In support of the release of The Savage Grace the e-books for the first two books in the trilogy and the novella (The Dark Divine, The Lost Saint, The Lost Letters of Brother Gabriel) are $1.79 each. The sale ends March 19th.
GIVEAWAY has ended:
Have you read The Dark Divine series by Bree Despain yet? Wanted to let you know about a special e-book promo that’s going on right now for a limited time. You can get the first two books in the trilogy for only $1.99 starting today. The promo runs for two weeks to get readers caught up for the series finale The Savage Grace. The link to the Amazon kindle page is below. Updated: also added the Nook e-book link:
On Sale March 13th
I am participating in The Savage Grace blog tour so check back the week of March 13th for a review, interview, and cool giveaway!
Book: Shadows (Lux series, prequel to Obsidian) by Jennifer L. Armentrout, YA Paranormal, Entangled Publishing, February 21, 2011
Format/pages: Own Kindle edition, also available in paperback – 180 pages.
Rating: 4 / 5 Stars
The first book in the Lux series, Obsidian, caught me off guard with its fresh and exciting brand of Sci-Fi action romance. Obsidian is pure fun and entertainment and leaves you craving for more. I jumped at the chance to read this novella to learn more about the mysterious events hinted at in Obsidian and to get more insight into the alien world.
The setup of the series is a group of displaced aliens set up home in West Virginia, including the Black triplets: Dawson, Daemon, and Dee. They are supposed to keep a low profile, blend in and stick to themselves, while fighting off another evil faction of aliens that’s after their powers. The first book focuses on Daemon and the challenges that occur when sparks fly between him and human newcomer Katy. In this prequel we find out the story behind Dawson’s ill-fated romance with human Bethany.
At first I thought I wouldn’t be as engaged with Dawson and Bethany’s story as I was with Daemon and Katy’s. But, I was quickly won over by Dawson’s sweet nature, and rooting for a different outcome than the inevitable. They are really interesting characters in their own right and help to round out the group. Their story also helps shed some character insight into stormy Daemon’s behavior. The brothers couldn’t be more opposite, but have a fierce family loyalty all the same. If you found Daemon too mean or over the top, prepare to be won over by Dawson.
The story is told in dual narration so we get to see Bethany’s reaction to the alien family, and get cool tidbits from Dawson’s life at home. Bethany likes to paint, and she has an adorable baby brother. She is less feisty than Katy, but rolls with the punches pretty well considering the circumstances, and the frosty reception from the other alien sibs Ash, Adam and Andrew. Dawson and Bethany’s romance is bittersweet but I remain hopeful that their story will continue somehow.
The novella is a generous size at 180 pages and it packs in a lot of story that adds a new dimension to the Lux series. Even though it is a prequel, I think it works better to read it after Obsidian. Shadows is a worthwhile read for Obsidian fans and a nice distraction while waiting for the next installment. I’m even more eager to read Onyx, due out this August.
So, you’ve read Bloodlines and you’re sad that The Golden Lily release date is still ten months away. Don’t fret Richelle Mead fans! The release date for Richelle Mead’s next book is right around the corner. The sixth and final installment of the Georgina Kincaid series, Succubus Revealed, will be released next Tuesday, August 30. I know that personally I’m ready to find out the end of Georgina’s story, and to get my Carter fix. Lucky for those that can’t wait for their preorder to arrive, there are a few sneak peaks to tide you over.
Richelle Mead teases the book and weighs in on Seth and Georgina’s relationship:
Read the first chapter of Succubus Revealed now here:
Read chapter two on Richelle Mead’s website here.
I’m eagerly waiting to read the conclusion of the series, but at the same time will be sad to see this series end. If you have read the Georgina Kincaid series, do you have any theories or predictions you’d like to share? I can’t wait to find out if any of my theories will come true. Look for my review of Succubus Revealed next week.