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.

mythoughts

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.”

rating

svcard

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

IMG_4645

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

photo

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! 🙂

ShatteredVeilTourBanner

(This banner will take you to the tour schedule)

Did you miss me? Till next time!

siggy

Advertisements

ARC Review: When The World Was Flat

 when the worldTitle: When The World Was Flat (And We Were In Love)

 Author: Ingrid Jonach

 Release Date: September 3, 2013

 Publisher: Strange Chemistry (Thank you!)

 Description: 312 pages, Young Adult Fiction

synopsis

When sixteen-year-old Lillie Hart meets the gorgeous and mysterious Tom Windsor-Smith for the first time, it’s like fireworks — for her, anyway. Tom looks as if he would be more interested in watching paint dry; as if he is bored by her and by her small Nebraskan town in general.

But as Lillie begins to break down the walls of his seemingly impenetrable exterior, she starts to suspect that he holds the answers to her reoccurring nightmares and to the impossible memories which keep bubbling to the surface of her mind — memories of the two of them, together and in love.

When she at last learns the truth about their connection, Lillie discovers that Tom has been hiding an earth-shattering secret; a secret that is bigger — and much more terrifying and beautiful — than the both of them. She also discovers that once you finally understand that the world is round, there is no way to make it flat again.

An epic and deeply original sci-fi romance, taking inspiration from Albert Einstein’s theories and the world-bending wonder of true love itself.

mythoughtsA Parallel Universe

Truth be told, I wanted more than anything else to love this book with reservation. Dismally enough, such may only occur in a parallel universe. I know for a fact that I’m not into science fiction as much I should be, so in that light, I give the book credit for captivating me with it’s premise. Though the book featured a myriad of plot holes, loose threads, and unsettled qualms that worked only to fluster and throw me off balance, I didn’t find myself as despondent and upset with the outcome as I had previously been anticipating.  The book began quite languidly, though I was hardly bothered by this. I actually admired how Lillie gathered her thoughts, and thought that she was an unyielding and independent person whose lack of self esteem was a product of her upbringing instead of innate. However, the consistent slut-shaming was disturbing and vexatious, and while the plot did not come to sorry a compromise in terms of originality, the complicated science behind the story was explained, and nowhere near adequately so. Suffice it to say, the book did not meet any of my previous expectations, unless you count the fact that Tom Windsor-Smith only stopped short of being a god (which, as it is, served only to aggravate me further).

design

Science And Faith

Lillie Hart was a simple-minded girl who lived most her life in the shadows, not daring to dream outside of the dreary Nebraskan town that she called, but did not believe, to be her home. I, at first, was fascinated by her peculiar mindset and the living, breathing idiosyncrasy that was her mother. However, I completely shunned the way with which she usually described her so-called “best friends”, and as aforementioned, the slut-shaming in this book was endless. At some point, I began asking myself why I was even reading it in the first place. And though it pains me to say so, due to the circumstances that surrounded Lillie’s romantic encounters, I wasn’t able to truly feel any real connection between her and Tom, not even when everything was starting to (somehow) fall into place. Nevertheless, I’m not going to badger on about her innumerable pitfalls and weaknesses– on the flip side, I was able to appreciate how stable she was in the face of her nightmares, and how easy it was for her to forego her rash decisions and instead listen to the guidance provided by her friends and family. And though her instant attraction to Tom proved nothing, she at least decided not to give up too easily on him. Considering the alternatives, the ending was quite preferable.

design

The Theory Of You And Me

Tom was the epitome of perfection, supremacy and transcendence. He was drop-dead gorgeous, had a British accent, had everyone wrapped around his pinkie finger and  could probably buy out the entirety of Green Grove without breaking a sweat. Logically enough, he then proceeds to noticing (duh) a nobody like Lillie. As such, he didn’t feel authentic or human to me, and I found it hard to understand what his deal was. Though I can admit that many of his scenes with Lillie were heartwarming, I could have done with a smoother development as opposed to the change that took place within him, which seemed forced more than anything else. However, I am going to give his appearance credit, because he certainly provided an element of mystery to the book, making it a fast-paced read that I would have given up on had I not felt the urge to turn one page after another.

design

In A World Full Of Strangers

While I wasn’t too impressed with how the story handled the science behind it, I do commend the book for piecing together various formulas and theories from history and using them to create a pioneer world more riveting and incredible than our own. However, I do wish it focused a bit more on the science, instead of piling up countless queries only to rush into answering them seconds later. It may have been that I didn’t understand the why’s and how’s simply because my knowledge of Einstein’s work is severely inadequate, although I do believe that you don’t have to be a quantum physicist of sorts to be able to read this book and enjoy it. Needless to say, it didn’t work for me the way it should have. Though Sylv (slut-shaming victim) may have been my favorite character in this book, I do believe that with a  little less unnecessary drama, and a little more character and plot development, When The World Was Flat wouldn’t have to fall flat.

If you’re looking for an exciting, romantic read, and do not give two shits about my opinions (and even if you did, and are not ready to give up) I suggest you try this book out. Who knows, it may be more to your liking than mine 🙂

design

myrating

2 hearts

P.S. Please don’t mind the live redesigning of my blog. I don’t have time to go on a hiatus. I hope you like the changes though. I’ll try too coordinate previous posts with newer ones if I get to.

P.S. Because this book was an ARC copy that may yet be corrected and edited before publication, I will not include any direct quotes from the book.

siggy

Review: The 5th Wave

 5th waveTitle: The 5th Wave

 Author: Rick Yancey

 Release Date: May 7, 2013

 Publisher: Putnam Juvenile

 Description: 457 pages, Young Adult Fiction

synopsis

After the 1st wave, only darkness remains. After the 2nd, only the lucky escape. And after the 3rd, only the unlucky survive. After the 4th wave, only one rule applies: trust no one.

Now, it’s the dawn of the 5th wave, and on a lonely stretch of highway, Cassie runs from Them. The beings who only look human, who roam the countryside killing anyone they see. Who have scattered Earth’s last survivors. To stay alone is to stay alive, Cassie believes, until she meets Evan Walker. Beguiling and mysterious, Evan Walker may be Cassie’s only hope for rescuing her brother—or even saving herself. But Cassie must choose: between trust and despair, between defiance and surrender, between life and death. To give up or to get up.

my thoughts

Trust No One

Honestly, I don’t possess ardency enough for the science fiction genre to have truly delighted in any novel labeled as such. However, I do admit to devouring this book immediately– it was, in my opinion, such a gripping tale of love and loss, friendship and enmity,  hope and tragedy, that sent me into a world I immediately embraced despite the pandemonium. It was, comprehensively, impossible to feel the most trifling desire to put the book down and save the story for later. Though sometimes I don’t appreciate feeling an intense need for resolve, I was largely impressed with the way Yancey approached his own definition of dystopia. The flashback scenes and the multiple POV’s backed the story immensely in terms of world-building, and it helped that the protagonist, Cassie, was a very rational thinker who never lost hope and didn’t try to commit suicide every time the opportunity presented itself. Both her male leads, Evan and Ben, were also audacious but not foolhardy, cautious but not completely distrusting, and I admired all three almost as much as I did the entire book, which was fantastic.  And because the sweeping carnage in Cassie’s world was the sort of exodus I’d pick last for a preferred apocalypse, I found myself completely entwined with the world of the characters– the book was riveting and interesting despite the fact that it was almost entirely heartbreaking. There was a sense of hope for the light at the end of the tunnel, as well as an undying faith in humankind that I find hard to grasp even in reality, and I guess that in itself made me love the book and the story behind it.

Design A

Cassie Is For Cassiopeia

Cassie was a witty and defiant girl with a spunky attitude, who might have deserved a bitch slap because of her constant sarcasm.  She was far from anything like that, however, because she was completely believable and altogether human, and I found it easy to connect to her emotionally. I never could imagine going through any of the things she had to, and I guess that aided me in excusing her rash behavior, seeing as though she was in the middle of an alien invasion. I found myself completely agreeing with all of her decisions, whether it was to hold back or to completely open up, especially in terms of Evan. Because of the betrayal that lead to the death of many of her loved ones, she tried to shut herself out from the rest of civilization by adopting the strategy that brought her to trusting no one.  Though a kiss from an otherwise gorgeous boy would not have made her any surer that he wasn’t secretly plotting her brutal murder, I was quite satisfied with the romantic build-up and excited by the tension that existed between Cassie and Evan. Though I was bothered by the semi instant love, the back story on the mysterious rescuer who never seemed to get hurt was unfolded and brought before me, and the resolve I got by the end of the book was highly satisfactory. Even though a thousand other questions were brought to the surface, this only increased my anxiety for the next installment in this phenomenal series.

Design A

The Zombie and The Silencer

Both Ben and Evan seemed to me the most drop-dead gorgeous and excruciatingly good-looking male leads on the planet, which shouldn’t have been saying much since they were in the midst of a mass genocide. However, I found myself more attached to Ben Parish’s character, who, despite being a former playboy and Cassie’s not-so-former object of desire, evolved into a disciplined and independent person who tried his best to attend to the needs of the people around him. Though it was hard to understand him at first, because of his glorious star status, I found myself increasingly attracted to him. I of course, could have done with a little less confusion in terms of the transition between his POV’s and Cassie’s, which, unless I am blind, did not actually exist. Evan Walker, on the other hand, was a mysterious and beguiling boy whom I was intimidated of at first. I didn’t get him as much because of his feelings for Cassie, which seemed to stem from a total void, though I was glad to find out that the end of the book explained a lot of the things that needed explaining. The rest of the characters were also quite interesting (and there weren’t many of them really). Overall, I held no complaints in terms of the personalities of any of them, save for Sammy, who was a kid that could not help but feel superficial. In the greater scheme of things though, his depth, or lack thereof, was hardly even accounted for.

“But if I’m it, the last of my kind, the last page of human history, like hell I’m going to let the story end this way. I may be the last one, but I am the one still standing. I am the one turning to face the faceless hunter in the woods on an abandoned highway. I am the one not running but facing. Because if I am the last one, then I am humanity. And if this is humanity’s last war, then I am the battlefield.”   

Design A

The Dawn Of The 5th Wave

In conclusion, this book was an amazing read that kept me on my toes for pages and pages on end. Though many found the book lackadaisical, and all too gradual in terms of the build up of plot and tension, I was relieved that it had the opposite effect on me– it wasn’t stagnant, but compelling, and the lack of immediacy didn’t serve to make me grow increasingly impatient as it did make me increasingly enthusiastic. Consequently, the action and suspense climaxed greatly for me, and I thought the way the main characters maneuvered themselves out of trouble was exciting.

This book is definitely a recommended read for fans of science fiction and dystopia, as well as for those who don’t mind a slow but delicious build-up into an ending that isn’t as extravagant as it is emotional and heartfelt. But for once-skeptics like me, I encourage you to try out as well. Consider me indoctrinated 😉

 

 “I thought I knew what loneliness was before he found me, but I had no clue. You don’t know what real loneliness is until you’ve known the opposite.” 

Design A

my rating

A

On a side note, I feel wholly apologetic for going AWOL– I didn’t mean to disappear without warning, but like I said, I’m in the midst of a high school life, and am quite burdened by tons of homework. I just took my College Admissions Test this morning, and had to brush up on past lessons in preparation. Additionally, I had to study for long exams during the days I was away, so if you’re willing to forgive me my absence, please do, as I’m back! 😀 Periodical exams commence next week though– so wish me luck! And please don’t forget to fill out my blog survey (sidebar) if you haven’t already.

siggy