Book Tour Review: Shattered Veil

 Pageflex Persona [document: PRS0000040_00013] Title: Shattered Veil

  Author: Tracy E. Banghart

  Release Date: February 28, 2014

  Publisher: Tracy E. Banghart

  Description: 377 pages, New Adult Science Fiction

  Purchase Book: Amazon / Barnes & Noble

synopsis

For Aris, a talented wingjet pilot, war means sacrificing everything: her home, her name, her face—and the one promise she swore she’d never break.

In the small village of Lux, everyone flies wingjets, but nobody flies them like Aris Haan. When she’s not dancing through the skies, she’s spending every minute with Calix, whom she’s loved since childhood. They plan to Promise, but instead he is sent to defend their dominion against a bloody invasion. Determined not to lose him, Aris follows, joining an underground network of women inside the male-only military. Using secret technology that allows her to pass as a man, she becomes “Aristos”, a Flyer in a search-and-rescue unit.

As Aris grows stronger on the battlefield and more comfortable in her guise as Aristos, her personal mission becomes less and less clear. When she and her enigmatic commander, Major Vidar, uncover an astonishing conspiracy that could destroy everything, she must make a choice that will determine not only the fate of her heart, but the future of her dominion.

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To be honest, I expected this book to underscore romance and liaison, which would have been unfit, and maladroit to an extent, in light of the dystopian setting. Be that as it may, Shattered Veil was nowhere even remotely proximate to this foresight, as it turned out to be a reckless, yet intrepid account of love and hope amidst the onslaught of war, a thrilling chase across the endless skies, and an exciting tale replete with twists and turns, each one more impulsive than the previous. And quite frankly, if the typical New Adult books were written in this manner, I would have embraced the genre in no time.

The plot itself was unique to a certain degree, vaguely reminiscent of a cross between Shatter Me and Divergent, but nonetheless a cosmos of its own undoing. I delighted at how the author managed to incorporate the beauty of modern technology into the idea of the diatous veil and make it work for her story, and despite the fact that it was hard for me to reconcile female reference with male semblance and countenance alike, the flawless writing was more than recompense, and the characters themselves followed through with incredible development, and remarkable individuality. All in all, I was more than pleased with the book, and suffice it to say that I am willing to get my hands dirty to secure a copy of the sequel (and don’t even get me started on that exquisite cover).

“Why does anyone fight a war? To protect a way of life, to find or support loved ones. To avenge those lost. Or maybe because it’s a calling. Because someone has to. Because there’s a line no enemy should be allowed to cross.” 

The pacing to this book was unparalleled in its seamlessness, and though at first, all of the anomalous terms were thrown at me one after the other, I wasn’t bothered as such, forasmuch as the world building was impressive, and most of my earlier diffidences were elucidated almost in immediate succession. Though the mysteries with regards to the siege and the politics behind it were unfolded rather unceremoniously (and it was honestly a little frustrating to have answered a question one minute and ask another the next), I loved how this made the book suspenseful in it’s entirety, and suffice it to say that the big reveals, so to speak, were nothing short of astonishing. The storytelling was woven through quite masterfully as well, and many of the junctions made between characters did not feel too forced and peremptory, as per usual, but rather, seemed to have made all the sense in the world.

The characters themselves were mediocre at worst and brilliant to a stratospheric degree at best, and I loved how the main character fully acknowledged her imperfections, channeling them to find her strengths and overcome her weaknesses. And though the romance was a little subpar, especially in terms of graduation, I was able to move past that and appreciate how guileless and deep-rooted the relationships between the characters became. And despite how morbid the story itself seemed, the characters were unwavering in their hope for a better future, and the soldiers of war moved not as individuals within a single unit, but as one unit in and of itself. And being a Citizen Army Trainee myself, believe you me this is a mindset as paramount as it can get. Kudos to the author for managing to portray that, although I do give props to her for having used her own experiences to paint such a vivid, and fantastical picture.

Needless to say, the book was, overall, one of the best reads this year thus far, and I am most definitely looking forward to getting to read more about Aris, whoever she may truly be. So if you’re into a novel on the wonders of science, the strength of an unshakable hope, and unrivaled couraged, set against a backdrop of deceit and betrayal, I do recommend you pick up a copy. Copy?

“There’s a war raging, and we both have skills and desire to help. It’s my duty just as much as it is yours. I am sorry I lied to you. But I’m not sorry for what I did. I know you value the rules, but sometimes… –sometimes breaking them is the right thing to do.”

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So what do you think of this book? If you haven’t read it, will you? Sound off in the comments below!

 

About The Author

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Tracy E. Banghart is a cheesy movie–loving, fantasy football–playing (go Ravens!), globe-trotting Army wife who began “practicing” her craft at the age  of five, when she wrote her first story. She loves visiting the international friends she met while pursuing her MA in Publishing and spends a portion of every summer at her family’s cabin in Canada, where she finds inspiration and lots of time to relax on the dock. She lives with her husband, son, two lazy dogs and one ornery cat. When not writing or spending time with her family, she is on a mission to bake the perfect cupcake.

Website / Goodreads / Facebook / Twitter

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If you’re interested, do participate in the TOUR WIDE GIVEAWAY, and get a chance to win a $50 Amazon Gift Card (INTL), or one of three swag packs which include a notebook, magnet, button, 2 signed bookmarks, and Shattered Veil- themes temporary tattoos (US/CAN)

Thank you very much to Giselle and Xpresso Book Tours for letting me review this title! 🙂

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(This banner will take you to the tour schedule)

Did you miss me? Till next time!

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Review: Ignite Me

  ignite Title: Ignite Me

  Author: Tahereh Mafi

  Release Date: February 4, 2014

  Publisher: HarperCollins

  Description: 416 pages, Young Adult Dystopian

synopsis

Juliette now knows she may be the only one who can stop the Reestablishment. But to take them down, she’ll need the help of the one person she never thought she could trust: Warner. And as they work together, Juliette will discover that everything she thought she knew-about Warner, her abilities, and even Adam-was wrong.

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After waiting a full half-year for Ignite Me’s release, it is with elation and the utmost indulgence that I divulge that this book was miles and miles away from a disappointment. Though I was honestly expecting something a little more different and incommensurable, the storytelling itself was exceptional to a scintillating degree, and the character portrayal was profoundly exhilarating. And while I do to admit to having missed Mafi’s bizarre manner of writing, featuring exorbitant strikethroughs, derisive metaphors, and flimsy run-on sentences, I did approve of the relatively austere and pretenseless writing in this one, which was in every way as ardent and sententious as before.

“Words, I think, are such unpredictable creatures. No gun, no sword, no army or king will ever be more powerful than a sentence. Swords may cut and kill, but words will stab and stay, burying themselves in our bones to become corpses we carry into the future, all the time digging and failing to rip their skeletons from our flesh.”  

First and foremost, Juliette’s character improvement was something of a welcome surprise, as I sure didn’t expect her to gather the grit and tenacity enough to rise above all odds after having the crap beaten out of her barely even a week erstwhile. She went from diffident and averse to headstrong and open-minded, and I loved how she handled her emotions maturely, as opposed to conceding to possible coercion into something she may regret for the rest of her life. Despite the unceremonious change in mindset, however, I never thought it was too hasty to be believable, because even then Juliette struggled and bent over backwards to take full control of her powers, and based on her travails and conviction, she deserved everything good that came her way.

Adam, on the other hand, despite having been bitter and ill-tempered for almost the entire duration of the book  (undoubtedly Mafi’s way of catering to her solid Team Warner readers, myself included), was someone I could not possibly detest or execrate for more than five seconds. The thing was, I completely understood where he came from, and why he chose to act irrationally, because love is a bitch sometimes, even if it isn’t even love in the first place. I couldn’t bring myself to forget everything he did to keep Juliette safe either, and everything he had to go through to keep his brother alive—he deserved reciprocation even just for the happy medium (though I refuse to spoil the outcome of the love triangle any further).

But holy crapola, those sexy times! The scenes between Warner and Juliette were scorching hot, and I shamelessly admit that they were by far my favorite parts of the book. The chemistry between them was just so damn overpowering, such that I found it hard to think straight, and could hardly keep myself from blushing beet red. Just another reminder of why I’m even on Team Warner in the first place. Oh and by the way? 55 is the new 62.

“I promise myself then, in that moment, that I will hold him forever, just like this, until all the pain and torture and suffering is gone, until he’s given a chance to live the kind of life where no one can wound him this deeply ever again.” 

Apart from the obvious gratification derived from Warner pulling those dead sexy moves, I also delighted in the manifold plot twists introduced into the story, undeterred by the partial absence of an actual plot. Many of the qualms and ambiguities I had in mind were given justifiable answers, and I caroused at how the characters fed on a sense of companionship and camaraderie. Needless to say, Kenji did not disappoint, though I hardly expected anything less, and his relationship with Juliette was probably the most refreshing and adorable sort of ardor, a love of the pure, platonic variety. Seriously. He just cannot get any better.

The only thing that made me scratch my head as I read was the fact that the pacing was a little off balance, because the remaining members of Omega Point spent at least seven-eighths of the book training for battle, as opposed to engaging in actual war. I couldn’t complain nevertheless, because I would have been much less satiated without some of the fundamental turn of events that took place as Juliette and her friends (and her ‘best friend’, if you catch my drift heehee) prepared for the onslaught, especially in terms of Warner’s relationship with Adam and Juliette alike. I still do believe, however, that we all could have done with a more climactic and unhurried conclusion.

But overall, I completely approve of the conclusion to this series, and despite not having been nearly as mind-blowing The Infernal Devices’, which closed the doors upon any and all apprehensions regarding the characters’ future, I drew solace from the fact that victory or otherwise, Juliette learned and grew enough to keep any of her efforts from futility.

So if you’re looking for a seductive, gorgeously written, character driven and overall stunning conclusion to a critically acclaimed trilogy, this book is definitely your one way ticket to satisfaction.

“Ignite, my love. Ignite.”  

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So what do you think of this book? If you haven’t read it, will you? Sound off in the comments below!

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Top Ten Tuesdays: Futuristic Novels

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This is a weekly meme hosted by The Broke And The Bookish 🙂

I’ll admit that I’m not much of a futuristic reader– however, this was the setting that seemed to me the least humdrum or run-off-the mill. I read a lot of dystopias, though only a few of them were staggering. For reasons parallel, I decided to put up a list of seven of my favorite futuristic (dystopian) novels, and hope that you find them to your liking! I added three of the books I am at this moment exceedingly anticipating, just to complete the ten. I’ll add a synopsis and a link to Goodreads, in case you’re interested in adding any of these to your own shelves. Happy reading, and have a great Tuesday everyone 😉

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BOOKS I’VE READ

1. Divergent (Veronica Roth)

Divergent

In Beatrice Prior’s dystopian Chicago world, society is divided into five factions, each dedicated to the cultivation of a particular virtue–Candor (the honest), Abnegation (the selfless), Dauntless (the brave), Amity (the peaceful), and Erudite (the intelligent). On an appointed day of every year, all sixteen-year-olds must select the faction to which they will devote the rest of their lives. For Beatrice, the decision is between staying with her family and being who she really is–she can’t have both. So she makes a choice that surprises everyone, including herself.

During the highly competitive initiation that follows, Beatrice renames herself Tris and struggles alongside her fellow initiates to live out the choice they have made. Together they must undergo extreme physical tests of endurance and intense psychological simulations, some with devastating consequences. As initiation transforms them all, Tris must determine who her friends really are–and where, exactly, a romance with a sometimes fascinating, sometimes exasperating boy fits into the life she’s chosen. But Tris also has a secret, one she’s kept hidden from everyone because she’s been warned it can mean death. And as she discovers unrest and growing conflict that threaten to unravel her seemingly perfect society, Tris also learns that her secret might help her save the ones she loves . . . or it might destroy her.

2. The Scorch Trials (James Dashner)

Scorch Trials

Solving the Maze was supposed to be the end. No more puzzles. No more variables. And no more running. Thomas was sure that escape meant he and the Gladers would get their lives back. But no one really knew what sort of life they were going back to.

In the Maze, life was easy. They had food, and shelter, and safety . . . until Teresa triggered the end. In the world outside the Maze, however, the end was triggered long ago.

Burned by sun flares and baked by a new, brutal climate, the earth is a wasteland. Government has disintegrated—and with it, order—and now Cranks, people covered in festering wounds and driven to murderous insanity by the infectious disease known as the Flare, roam the crumbling cities hunting for their next victim . . . and meal.

The Gladers are far from finished with running. Instead of freedom, they find themselves faced with another trial. They must cross the Scorch, the most burned-out section of the world, and arrive at a safe haven in two weeks. And WICKED has made sure to adjust the variables and stack the odds against them.

Thomas can only wonder—does he hold the secret of freedom somewhere in his mind? Or will he forever be at the mercy of WICKED?

 

3. The Hunger Games (Suzanne Collins)

Hunger Games

Katniss, 16, takes her sister’s place in the televised annual Hunger Games, competing against Peeta, the boy who gave them bread to survive after their father died. The cruel Capitol forces each of 12 districts to submit a boy and girl 12-18, to fight to the death. Only one can survive and be rewarded. President Snow manipulates behind the scenes.

4. Monsters Of Men (Patrick Ness)

Monsters of Men

“War,” says the Mayor. “At last.” Three armies march on New Prentisstown, each one intent on destroying the others. Todd and Viola are caught in the middle, with no chance of escape. As the battles commence, how can they hope to stop the fighting? How can there ever be peace when they’re so hopelessly outnumbered? And if war makes monsters of men, what terrible choices await? But then a third voice breaks into the battle, one bent on revenge.

5. Pretties (Scott Westerfeld)

Pretties

Tally has finally become pretty. Now her looks are beyond perfect, her clothes are awesome, her boyfriend is totally hot, and she’s completely popular. It’s everything she’s ever wanted.

But beneath all the fun — the nonstop parties, the high-tech luxury, the total freedom — is a nagging sense that something’s wrong. Something important. Then a message from Tally’s ugly past arrives. Reading it, Tally remembers what’s wrong with pretty life, and the fun stops cold.

Now she has to choose between fighting to forget what she knows and fighting for her life — because the authorities don’t intend to let anyone with this information survive.

6. A Million Suns (Beth Revis)

A Million Suns

It’s been three months since Amy was unplugged. The life she always knew is over. Everywhere she looks, she sees the walls of the spaceshipGodspeed.

But there may be hope: Elder has assumed leadership of the ship. He’s finally free to act on his vision—no more Phydus, no more lies.

But when Elder learns shocking news about the ship, he and Amy race to discover the truth behind life on Godspeed. They must work together to unlock a mystery that was set in motion hundreds of years earlier. Their success—or failure—will determine the fate of the 2,298 passengers aboard Godspeed. But with each step, the journey becomes more perilous, the ship more chaotic, and the love between them more impossible to fight.

Beth Revis catapulted readers into the far reaches of space with her New York Times bestselling debut, Across the Universe. In A Million Suns, Beth deepens the mystery with action, suspense, romance, and deep philosophical questions. And this time it all builds to one mind-bending conclusion: They have to get off this ship.

7. Shatter Me (Tahereh Mafi)

Shatter Me

Juliette hasn’t touched anyone in exactly 264 days.

The last time she did, it was an accident, but The Reestablishment locked her up for murder. No one knows why Juliette’s touch is fatal. As long as she doesn’t hurt anyone else, no one really cares. The world is too busy crumbling to pieces to pay attention to a 17-year-old girl. Diseases are destroying the population, food is hard to find, birds don’t fly anymore, and the clouds are the wrong color.

The Reestablishment said their way was the only way to fix things, so they threw Juliette in a cell. Now so many people are dead that the survivors are whispering war – and The Reestablishment has changed its mind. Maybe Juliette is more than a tortured soul stuffed into a poisonous body. Maybe she’s exactly what they need right now.

Juliette has to make a choice: Be a weapon. Or be a warrior.

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8. Angelfall (Susan Ee)


Angelfall

It’s been six weeks since angels of the apocalypse descended to demolish the modern world. Street gangs rule the day while fear and superstition rule the night. When warrior angels fly away with a helpless little girl, her seventeen-year-old sister Penryn will do anything to get her back.

Anything, including making a deal with an enemy angel.

Raffe is a warrior who lies broken and wingless on the street. After eons of fighting his own battles, he finds himself being rescued from a desperate situation by a half-starved teenage girl.

Traveling through a dark and twisted Northern California, they have only each other to rely on for survival. Together, they journey toward the angels’ stronghold in San Francisco where she’ll risk everything to rescue her sister and he’ll put himself at the mercy of his greatest enemies for the chance to be made whole again.

9. Under The Never Sky (Veronica Rossi)

Never Sky

Aria has lived her whole life in the protected dome of Reverie. Her entire world confined to its spaces, she’s never thought to dream of what lies beyond its doors. So when her mother goes missing, Aria knows her chances of surviving in the outer wasteland long enough to find her are slim.

Then Aria meets an outsider named Perry. He’s searching for someone too. He’s also wild – a savage – but might be her best hope at staying alive.

If they can survive, they are each other’s best hope for finding answers.

10. Prodigy (Marie Lu)

Prodigy

June and Day arrive in Vegas just as the unthinkable happens: the Elector Primo dies, and his son Anden takes his place. With the Republic edging closer to chaos, the two join a group of Patriot rebels eager to help Day rescue his brother and offer passage to the Colonies. They have only one request—June and Day must assassinate the new Elector.

It’s their chance to change the nation, to give voice to a people silenced for too long.

But as June realizes this Elector is nothing like his father, she’s haunted by the choice ahead. What if Anden is a new beginning? What if revolution must be more than loss and vengeance, anger and blood—what if the Patriots are wrong?

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So what do you think? If you have any opinions or suggestions, please don’t hesitate to comment and tell me!

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