Ending Fear by Deanna Fugett

Welcome to Stop #12!

I’m super excited to be a part of the Blog Tour for Deanna Fugett’s debut YA Dystopian novel, Ending Fear, released just yesterday! Check out the beautiful cover and more about the book:

Teenage girl portrait

From L2L2 Publishing:

Fourteen-year-old Fear learns she was a parachute baby, dumped over the edge of the Gliding Lands as an infant. Fascinated by the floating cities in the sky before, now she’s desperate for answers.

But a slave isn’t likely to get those answers.

When her abusive Downer family throws her from their hovel, Fear takes refuge with a family who shows her love for the first time. Surely they can’t be trusted. Years of abuse and molestation has taught her that.

Then her brother discovers where she’s hiding and tries to kidnap her. Fear will never let him touch her again. Her new family conceals her at The Fallen, a ranch that hides parachute babies from the Uppers who discarded them.

Just as she’s beginning to embrace yet another home, Fear’s new little sister, Happy, is kidnapped and taken to the Uppers’ temple harem. Fear must go against her namesake, find a working hoverpod, and journey to the dreaded Gliding Lands before the little girl’s innocence is ripped from her forever.

Can she save Happy in time?

And will she find answers to the burning question of why anyone would throw her away?


My Review:

There is so much to like about Deanna Fugett’s debut novel! First, I love how she used her characters’ predominant trait as their name (Fear, Hate, Courage…) — so creative and unique. And yet, her characters are so much more than just their dominant trait; she’s crafted a collection of characters with depth and fullness that can both frustrate you and tug at your heart.

And she uses the dystopian genre so fantastically. Her futuristic societies of Uppers (who live in floating cities and are slaves to popularity and pleasure) and Downers (who live on terra firma and are enslaved by poverty and propaganda) are an insightful commentary on our own society and what could happen if attitudes don’t soon change. Yikes!

Ending Fear was a fun read: one that kept me up at night, turning the pages, and wondering how Fear would overcome her namesake and glorify Abba. I highly recommend you snag your own copy of Ending Fear and settle in for a great ride.

Many thanks to Love2ReadLove2Write Publishing for the advance copy of the novel for review purposes. I was not required to give a positive review. All opinions are my very own! 🙂


The Rest of the Good Stuff:

Be sure to sign up for the Facebook Launch Party tomorrow from 7-9 pm MST for fun and prizes!

And don’t forget to add Ending Fear to your Goodreads to-read shelf!

If you’ve missed any of stops on the Ending Fear blog tour, be sure to go back and check them all out. They are all filled with tons of great info on the book, on the coloring book, and on Deanna Fugett.  And if you visit all fourteen blog tour stops and collect all of the words of the sentence (from the images like the one at the bottom of this post), you can enter to win a signed paperback copy of Ending Fear and an Ending Fear Coloring Book (U.S. only; outside the U.S., you can win an Ending Fear e-book). Here are links to all of the stops:

 

To purchase your own copy, visit Love2ReadLove2Write Publishing.

And now what you’ve all been so patiently waiting for: the next clue in Ending Fear’s Blog Tour Scavenger Hunt! And if you’re like me (you tend to not do things in order…), and this is the last word you needed, simply click on the picture to bring up the entry form for the Scavenger Hunt. 🙂

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And be sure to connect with Deanna Fugett on social media:

Website // Facebook // Twitter // Google+ // Pinterest // Instagram // Goodreads

Unblemished & Unraveling by Sara Ella

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From Goodreads: Eliyana has always recoiled from her own reflection in the mirror. But what if that were only one Reflection—one world? What if another world existed where her blemish could become her strength?

Eliyana is used to the shadows. With a hideous birthmark covering half her face, she just hopes to graduate high school unscathed. That is, until Joshua hops a fence and changes her perspective. No one, aside from her mother, has ever treated her as normal. Maybe even beautiful. Because of Joshua, Eliyana finally begins to believe she could be loved.

But one night her mother doesn’t come home, and that’s when everything gets weird.

Now Joshua is her new, and rather reluctant, legal Guardian. Add a hooded stalker and a Central Park battle to the mix and you’ve gone from weird to otherworldly.

Eliyana soon finds herself in a world much larger and more complicated than she’s ever known. A world enslaved by a powerful and vile man. And Eliyana holds the answer to defeating him. How can an ordinary girl, a blemished girl, become a savior when she can’t even save herself?

I read this lovely book, Sara Ella’s debut novel, back in February and was absolutely fascinated. She created such an imaginatively unique world in the Reflections, yet managed to firmly anchor the story in the real world at the same time, easily drawing in the reader and keeping them invested.

The story is rife with beautiful emotion, cool imagery, and just the right amount of tension to make you want to keep turning the pages. It’s a fabulous start to a fantastic series.

And Unblemished won the INSPY Award for Literature for Young Adults 2017, and it’s up for awards at the RealmMakers Conference next week!

And, just a note here, the review of the second book in the series, Unraveling, is below, but there are **some spoilers for Unblemished** in the description of the book. Know that, if you choose not to read the rest to keep from ruining the first story, I highly recommend both books, and like the second even more than the first! 🙂

 

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From Goodreads: What happens when happily ever after starts to unravel?

Eliyana Ember doesn’t believe in true love. Not anymore. After defeating her grandfather and saving the Second Reflection, El only trusts what’s right in front of her. The tangible. The real. Not some unexplained Kiss of Infinity she once shared with the ghost of a boy she’s trying to forget. She has more important things to worry about–like becoming queen of the Second Reflection, a role she is so not prepared to fill.

Now that the Verity is intertwined with her soul and Joshua’s finally by her side, El is ready to learn more about her mysterious birth land, the land she now rules. So why does she feel like something–or someone–is missing?

When the thresholds begin to drain and the Callings, those powerful magical gifts, begin to fail, El wonders if her link to Ky Rhyen may have something to do with it. For light and darkness cannot coexist. She needs answers before the Callings disappear altogether. Can El find a way to sever her connection to Ky and save the Reflections–and keep herself from falling for him in the process?

I enjoyed the first book, but I loved the second! Unraveling made some parts of Unblemished make more sense, because as Eliyana learns more about the Reflections, so do her readers. And learn she does! Eliyana grows so much throughout this part of her story, and I seriously look forward to what adventures we will join her on in the next part of the series. We also get to know what drives and shapes some of the other characters and get to see their various facets shining or dimming as the Reflections change around them.

Seriously, I looked back at the notes I made while reading Unraveling, and they were all along the lines of “Wow!” and “Oooh, that’s a cool description.” Sara Ella’s world-building and character development get better with each installation of this series, which definitely bodes well for the next one!

I do highly recommend you read these imaginatively inspiring novels from Sara Ella. They will add a lovely tune to the soundtrack of your reading life.

Many thanks to Thomas Nelson Publishers and NetGalley for the digital copy of Unraveling for review purposes. I was not required to give a positive review. My opinions are my very own! 🙂

And join me on Wednesday as I get to participate in a blog tour to help launch Deanna Fugett’s debut novel, Ending Fear! I’m so excited to be part of the tour and to share the book with you!

The Evaporation of Sofi Snow by Mary Weber

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From the book: “Ever since the Delonese ice-planet arrived eleven years ago, Sofi’s dreams have been vivid. Alien. In a system where Earth’s corporations rule in place of governments and the humanoid race orbiting the moon are allies, her only constant has been her younger brother, Shilo. As an online gamer, Sofi battles behind the scenes of Earth’s Fantasy Fighting arena where Shilo is forced to compete in a mix of real and virtual blood sport. But when a bomb takes out a quarter of the arena, Sofi’s the only one who believes Shilo survived. She has dreams of him. And she’s convinced he’s been taken to the ice-planet.

“Except no one but ambassadors are allowed there.

“For Miguel, Earth’s charming young playboy, the games are of a different sort. As Ambassador to the Delonese, his career has been built on trading secrets and seduction. Until the Fantasy Fight’s bomb goes off. Now the tables have turned and he’s a target for blackmail. The game is simple: Help the blackmailers, or lose more than anyone can fathom, or Earth can afford.”

If you’re like me and you loved Mary Weber’s debut Storm Siren trilogy, don’t expect this series to be the same. It is a completely different world, a completely different genre–but it is just as gripping to read.

It took me a bit to get into the book, because it is so different from her Storm Siren world, but Weber had to build this world, write history for this dystopian Earth society, and give us reason to cheer for or want to strangle her characters (which I absolutely did on both counts). Once I felt at home with the Corps and gamers and ambassadors (and never felt comfortable with the Delonese…), I could not stop reading.

There are so many layers to this story, each one more intense than the one before, and many lessons that can be taught through this book. It could be a great classroom (or dinner table) conversation launcher for issues that we face (or, sadly more often, ignore) in our own society.

But the ending…

 

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*Thanks to BookBub for this pic.

I just have to say, there’d better be another book coming soon! Until then, read it!

Many thanks to Thomas Nelson Fiction and NetGalley for the ARC of this book for review purposes. I was not required to give a positive review. All opinions are my very own! 🙂

 

The Toch Island Chronicles by Kat Heckenbach

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Angel doesn’t remember her magical heritage…

…but it remembers her.

Angel lives with a loving foster family, but dreams of a land that exists only in the pages of a fantasy novel. Until she meets Gregor, whose magic Talent saves her life and revives lost memories.

She follows Gregor to her homeland…a world unlike any she has imagined, where she travels a path of self-discovery that leads directly to her role in an ancient Prophecy…and to the madman who set her fate in motion.

 

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It may be Angel’s wish…..

IT’S BEEN two years since Angel learned the magic chip of wood inside her locket would grant any wish. What is taking her so long to choose?
An alarming discovery about her beloved foster brother Zack makes the decision easy…but everything else gets complicated after she runs into her old friend Melinda, who demands to go along for the return to Toch Island.
…but it’s Melinda’s journey.
MELINDA doesn’t fit in with the magical freaks any more than she did with the losers back in Florida, but she never wanted to belong before. A secret world surrounds her where even the bugs have magic…
She’s more of an outsider than ever.
So when ex-con Doran Ashe slinks out of the shadows and offers her an easy road to powers of her own, Melinda follows him despite—or maybe because of—everyone’s warnings.
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Magic and mystery entwine – hidden in the web of time.

Melinda knew Kalek’s music created powerful visions, but it wasn’t supposed to actually send her into the past!

It definitely wasn’t supposed to bring someone back to the present with her. Especially not someone tied so tightly to Melinda’s own past, someone to prove, once again, that her family ancestry was made up of psychopaths who should never have existed.

Now it’s her chance to change her lineage–and history–forever.


When I began my journey to Toch Island in Protection’s Prison back in February, I knew this series would be good, but I had no idea just how wonderful the stories would be. Kat Heckenbach has created a realm that I long to actually visit. Her descriptions are vivid, her characters are full and complex, her plots are engrossing. I giggled, I cried (which I hate doing…thanks, Kat!), I didn’t want the stories to end.

I, very honestly, read all three of these novels in one day…I could not stop! I was sucked in instantly and did not want to leave. And to keep from dropping some spoilers, I’ll leave it at that. Great for everyone from tweens in age to teens at heart, the Toch Island Chronicles are books that I would highly recommend to all fantasy lovers. 🙂

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Invitation by Bill Myers, Frank Peretti, Angela Hunt, & Alton Gansky

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From the book: “Four strangers with gifts they don’t understand. A world falling into darkness. This is Harbingers.

“You’re invited on a journey of suspense and the supernatural as four of your favorite bestselling authors team up for a unique series.

“From the minds of Bill Myers, Frank Peretti, Angela Hunt, and Alton Gansky, Invitation compiles the first four episodes of HARBINGERS, each following a different character.

  • Brenda — the street hustling tattoo artist who sees images of the future
  • The Professor — the atheist ex-priest ruled by logic
  • Andi — the professor’s brilliant but geeky assistant who sees inexplicable patterns
  • Tank — the naïve, big-hearted jock with a surprising connection to healing power

“Brought together for the first time in “The Call,” the four soon realize pockets of darkness are emerging throughout the world. Whether it involves a mysterious house, the unexplainable death of animals around the world, or an otherworldly little girl, each puzzle they solve brings them closer to the ultimate explanation of what’s happening. But will they discover the truth in time?”

The idea of this series of collected novellas is wonderful: as they explain in the introduction, this group of author friends wanted to write engaging stories that could be read in one to two sittings. They see it as a kind of game for authors. Each author writes from the perspective of one of the four main characters, and each story builds off of the one before it. The stories are all unique, but work so well together.

They’re creepy and they’re kooky, mysterious and spooky, but altogether pretty darn cool, and I’d seriously recommend you pick up a copy of Invitation, HARBINGERS Cycle #1, as soon as possible. Happy reading!

Many thanks to Bethany House for the copy of this novel. I was not required to give a positive review. All opinions are my very own! 🙂

Dreamlander by K.M. Weiland

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From the book: “What if it were possible to live two very different lives in two separate worlds? What if the dreams we awaken from are the fading memories of that second life? What if one day we woke up in the wrong world?

“Every night, a woman on a black warhorse gallops through the mist in Chris Redston’s dreams. Every night, she begs him not to come to her. Every night, she aims her rifle at his head and fires. The last thing Chris expects—or wants—is for this nightmare to be real. But when he wakes up in the world of his dreams, he has to choose between the likelihood that he’s gone spectacularly bonkers or the possibility that he’s just been let in on the secret of the ages.

“Only one person in a generation may cross the worlds. These chosen few are the Gifted, called from Earth into Lael to shape the epochs of history—and Chris is one of them. But before he figures that out, he accidentally endangers both worlds by resurrecting a vengeful prince intent on claiming the powers of the Gifted for himself. Together with a suspicious princess and a guilt-ridden Cherazii warrior, Chris must hurl himself into a battle to save a country from war, two worlds from annihilation, and himself from a dream come way too true.”

I stumbled across K.M. Weiland while on a blog hop, where I was so hoping to win some new books. Alas, I did not win (bummer), but I still managed to snag a book for free. I’ll admit that I’ve gathered quite a collection of free e-books, and many of them have been free for a reason, shall we say — unfortunately, not all of them are well-written, well-edited, or well-done. Dreamlander, on the other hand, was a very pleasant surprise.

With overtones of classics like Lord of the Rings and recent fantastic reads like Carr’s Darkwater Saga, not only is this book very beautifully crafted, with striking imagery, intense emotion, and complex characters, but it drags you into this land of dream vs reality and does not easily let you get back to your own normal, boring life. The story presents such a great premise (“What if your dreams were actually your other life lived in another place?”) with such rich detail and tangibility that you almost find yourself questioning what is real in your own life. It is a story that makes you think and feel and question and evaluate and really want to know what happens after the novel ends.

There is nothing better than a story that grabs you and won’t let you go, even after you’ve gotten to the last page, and Dreamlander is one of those novels for me. I would definitely recommend you snag your own copy. And, to make it even sweeter, it is currently free on Amazon or from K.M. Weiland’s website. Happy reading!

Firstborn by Tosca Lee

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From the publisher: “From New York Times bestselling author Tosca Lee comes the much-anticipated, fast-paced sequel to The Progeny about the powerful descendants of the most notorious female serial killer of all time.

“All at once, she remembers. The memories Audra had erased have returned. And now she knows why she did it.

“Now she must find her archenemy, the Historian, and put an end to the centuries old Progeny/Scion war once and for all. But first she has to rescue Luka, who is being held prisoner by the Scions, all while on the run from the law and struggling with her growing powers and their painful side effects.

“But when a bitter betrayal stalls her plans, Audra doesn’t know who to trust. With the help of a heretic monk, her Progeny friends, and the hacker, Jester, Audra fights to defeat the Scions and find a way to save other Progeny in the process. The final confrontation with her surprising nemesis will put her powers to the ultimate test.”

Seriously, I have been waiting (rather impatiently, I might add) more than a year for this sequel to Tosca Lee’s first book in the Descendants of the House of Bathory series (The Progeny, which I reviewed last year). And I actually had to force myself to put the book down and go out into the real world (although the whole time, my mind was flashing back to the story, wondering how it would all work out in the end)!

For me, the final book in a series is often a bit of a downer — it means that I don’t get to live with those characters anymore and, honestly, it hardly ever turns out the way I wanted it to. Not so with Firstborn. While I’m sad that I won’t get to experience life on the run with Audra for the first time ever again, I was totally satisfied with the conclusion of her story. The fast-paced plot twisted and flipped just as much as the first book in the series keeping my attention riveted (especially when I should have been paying attention to other things…). And even though I managed to kind of figure out some of the surprises beforehand, Tosca Lee wrote them in such a marvelous way that I still found myself gasping and smiling as I read.

Do yourself a favor — pick up a copy of Firstborn (and The Progeny, if you have not read it yet. And if you haven’t, what are you waiting for??). Firstborn is available for pre-order now and releases May 2.

Many thanks to Howard Books and NetGalley for the copy of this novel. I was not required to give a positive review. All opinions are my very own!! 🙂