Character Spotlight & Giveaway: Demos from Thief of Lies by Brenda Drake

ThiefOfLies_CharacterTourWelcome to Brenda Drake’s THIEF OF LIES Character Tour! Each stop will feature a character profile from book one of the Library Jumpers Series! There is a tour wide giveaway so be sure to check out all the characters for chances to win. You can find a list of the tour dates here. Today, we’re getting to know Demos.

Age: Young Adult
Publisher: Entangled TEEN
Release Date: 01/05/2016
Number of Pages: 400
ASIN: B00YM6RD6M
Genre: Fantasy, Romance

Gia Kearns would rather fight with boys than kiss them. That is, until Arik, a leather clad hottie in the Boston Athenaeum, suddenly disappears. While examining the book of world libraries he abandoned, Gia unwittingly speaks the key that sucks her and her friends into a photograph and transports them into a Paris library, where Arik and his Sentinels—magical knights charged with protecting humans from the creatures traveling across the gateway books—rescue them from a demonic hound.

Jumping into some of the world’s most beautiful libraries would be a dream come true for Gia, if she weren’t busy resisting her heart or dodging an exiled wizard seeking revenge on both the Mystik and human worlds. Add a French flirt obsessed with Arik and a fling with a young wizard, and Gia must choose between her heart and her head, between Arik’s world and her own, before both are destroyed.

Goodreads | Amazon | Barnes & Noble


Thief of Lies Character Tour — Demos
Demos

Demos Nicoli
Age: 17
Sentinel
Battle Globe: Green (Wind)
Description: Joker, flirtatious, and has a hidden sensitive side.

Thief of Lies (Library Jumpers Series Book 1) quote: “Yeah, welcome to your new reality.”

Demos was born in Paltras, Greece. He’s the closet to Arik. The two roomed together while growing up in the Academy. Demos likes to make light of difficult and awkward situations. He got his humor and compassion from his parent faery. She was a silly and fun faery, who doted on him as a baby. Out of all the Sentinels, Demos had the best upbringing filled with love and laughter.

In battle, Demos toys with his opponents. Only a few get to see his sensitive side, and that is a rare occasion. He would be the first to risk his life for those who can’t defend themselves. Demos can be careless at times and has earned many infractions from the Wizard Council. He was almost kicked out of the academy, but Arik went to his defense. Ever since, Arik has kept a watchful eye on Demos, warning him when he’s about to overstep limits or break rules.

Guardian of Secrets (Library Jumpers Series Book 2) teaser with Demos, Gia, and the twins from the Santara haven in Spain:

Demos cannon-balled into the water, drenching everyone. The Sentinels sitting on the side with their feet soaking in the water cussed at him in different languages and accents.

“That was weak,” Pia, one of the Sentinels from the Santara haven in Spain, teased.

Her twin, Reya, nodded. “You weigh as much as a twig and could do better than him.”

Demos laughed as he splashed to the steps. “I’d like to see you try.”

I leaned back and floated on my back, the water flooding my ears, muffling the others’ conversations. It was moments like this when I thought about Afton, Nana, and Uncle Philip. What were they doing at this very moment? The sun played on my eyelashes reminding me of the light blinking through the trees that surrounded the clearing with the grave markers.


I hope you enjoyed meeting Demos. Thank you for stopping by and don’t forget to enter the giveaways for a chance to win a $25 Amazon gift card with an eBook copy of THIEF OF LIES or a signed hardcover copy of FORGET TOMORROW by Pintip Dunn below.

authBrenda Drake, the youngest of three children, grew up an Air Force brat and the continual new kid at school. Keep Her fondest memories growing up is of her eccentric, Irish grandmother’s animated tales, which gave her a strong love for storytelling. So it was only fitting that she would choose to write stories with a bend toward the fantastical. When Brenda’s not writing or doing the social media thing, she’s haunting libraries, bookstores, and coffee shops or reading someplace quiet and not at all exotic (much to her disappointment).

Website | Facebook | Twitter | Goodreads

giveawayEnter for your chance to win THIEF OF LIES (ebook) + $25 Gift Card to Amazon OR Barnes & Noble or (2) Touching Fate ebook

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Enter for your chance to win a Signed Copy of FORGET TOMORROW by Pintip Dunn

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Happy reading, 

Jordan

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Blog Tour and Interview: Enthrall-M.R. Reed

syn

After years of being a helpless witness to his alcoholic father’s abuse towards his family, seventeen-year-old Miles Boswell has just about reached his breaking point. He dreams of the day where he can leave everything behind and begin a new life on his own — that is, until he discovers that he has the ability to control people’s minds. Suddenly, the odds are overwhelmingly in his favor.

But what begins as the answer to all of his problems soon causes him to question his every thought when he captures the attention of August Sylvan, who seems to be the girl of his dreams. As someone who has limited experience with girls, Miles can’t help but wonder — where do his powers end, and where does reality begin?

At the same time, he finds himself at constant odds with his morals and his potentially warped sense of justice…and soon discovers that nothing is as simple as it seems

***This book contains strong language, violent scenes, and some sexual content.

int

  1. Enthrall deals with the heavy subjects of alcohol and abuse, was it challenging to write those scenes?

            It wasn’t challenging so much as the fact that it needed to come out. I grew up in a household with an alcoholic mom, and a dad who beat my mom, and it was due time for me to write about it as a way to cope with it myself.

  1. Miles struggles with morality. Sometimes the lines of right and wrong, good and bad can blur, how does this affect Miles’ character?

            It affects Miles’ character immensely! He’s faced with the reality that he can do anything he wants, with no potential repercussions. I think it’s something that anybody would struggle with, because even though –most of us– are taught right from wrong, the lure of getting away with doing immoral things is always going to be there. And his battle with that seduction to the dark side is what begins to distance him from those whom he loves the most.

  1. What do you want the reader to take away from Enthrall?

            Most importantly, I want readers to see that not all relationships run a perfect course. Sometimes people in a relationship mess up, and it shouldn’t be taken lightly. I hate seeing guys being horrible to girls in books/movies, and then the girl pouts a little bit and she’s over it. That’s so insulting to the girl involved, and to anyone who may think that it’s acceptable or normal! So…respect yourself! If you don’t like the way that someone is treating you or the things that they’re doing, don’t be afraid to walk away.

  1. What are some important themes in the book?

            Absolute power corrupts absolutely, for starters. I think it’s a great lesson in what happens when you let your demons take over. The premise may be fictional, but we all have our problems that can take control over us if we allow them. And then there’s the idea that if something seems too good to be true, it probably is. I really love Miles and August, but what’s interesting about a story where nothing ever goes wrong? 🙂 I also really like how August learns to value her family and understand how important they can be in a person’s life.

  1. Do you have a favorite line?

            I have many, but this one definitely stands out: “[It was]One of the most fulfilling and gratifying unions I had ever experienced, teetering on a wire dividing common sense and devotion.”

  1. What are some of the things you love about Miles and August?

            For Miles, one of the things that I love about him is the fact that he thinks he knows everything, but he’s so hopelessly clueless. I find that adorable, for some reason. I also love that he’s so devoted to the people he loves, even if he doesn’t always like to admit it. For August, she’s everything I wish I could have been as a teenager in many ways. She’s not flawless, but the fact that she cares so little about what others think about her is a trait to be desired, especially for a sixteen-year-old. I also admire that she knows the difference between right and wrong — an instinct in which Miles is sorely lacking — and she tries to instill that in him. And even if she’s unsuccessful, she doesn’t stray from what she knows is the right thing to do.

auth
Our formative years are the ones that stick with us the most–you know, those tirelessly frustrating yet unforgettably magical moments that shape us into the people that we will become. The music that I liked as a teenager, the books that I read, the relationships that I created (and destroyed)…those are the things that I think truly formed the adult that I am today. I still love those things. I still think about those things. I still harbor a lot of anger in relation to the events that I experienced as a teenager, and it does nothing but fuel my creative spirit.
 
And that’s what I like to write about: Teenagers, and all of their idiosyncrasies, and concerns, and that whole unintentionally egocentric view that they have about their worlds. I find it fascinating. I’m thankful every day that I’m no longer a teenager, but I have to admit that it’s a interesting time to look back on.
Miles and August encompass a lot of me, and my experiences, and my observations. The music, books, and beliefs that I held at that time inspired me to write about the events that take place in Enthrall. My intense hope is that somebody reads it and is able to relate, or get through a difficult time, and just know that somebody understands what he/she is going through (at least a little bit.) That’s what music and books did for me. I hope to pay it forward.
Keep reading, 
Jordan

 

ARC Review: Thief of Lies-Brenda Drake

Thief of liesGoodreads/Amazon/B&N/iBooks

Release Date: January 5, 2016

synGia Kearns would rather fight with boys than kiss them. That is, until Arik, a leather clad hottie in the Boston Athenaeum, suddenly disappears. While examining the book of world libraries he abandoned, Gia unwittingly speaks the key that sucks her and her friends into a photograph and transports them into a Paris library, where Arik and his Sentinels—magical knights charged with protecting humans from the creatures traveling across the gateway books—rescue them from a demonic hound.

Jumping into some of the world’s most beautiful libraries would be a dream come true for Gia, if she weren’t busy resisting her heart or dodging an exiled wizard seeking revenge on both the Mystik and human worlds. Add a French flirt obsessed with Arik and a fling with a young wizard, and Gia must choose between her heart and her head, between Arik’s world and her own, before both are destroyed.

review4/5 Stars

***I received this eARC as a gift in exchange for an honest review via NetGalley & Entangled.

READ THIS BOOK IF:

  • You’re a fan of The Pagemaster or The Neverending Story 
  • You’ve secretly dreamed of exploring all the world’s libraries and/or living in them
  • You’re looking for a blend of magic, romance, and prophecy with a twist
  • You like books 😉 

Thief of Lies is a fast-paced and engrossing adventure that will suck you right in just like Gia and her friends in the story. Full of magical creatures, diverse characters, a sassy heroine, a complex plot, AND romance, Thief of Lies will hold you captive til the very end. 

PROS:

  • Gia is a saucy, feisty little thing. I ADORE her. She’s courageous, take charge, and puts herself out there in the line of fire for her friends. She’s not shy about admitting she’s scared and that makes her all the more strong. She’s confused when it comes to her heart and it’s so easy to identify with her struggles to figure out what she wants. A true spitfire with mad fighting skills. 
  • Gia and Arik. Be still my teeny tiny heart. They’re romance is sweet and playful without being in your face. The moments they spend together when they’re not trying to stay away from each other are small but intimate, you feel how much they like each other with touches and smiles, kind words, and timid looks. Arik is a tempting little flirt. Be ready to swoon. 
  • The story concept is brilliant and there’s a solid follow through. So many times a story will start amazing and fizzle out by the end, I’m crazy happy to say that this book just keeps on giving. 
  • Secondary characters are memorable and each have their quirks. There’s a ton of diversity. 
  • The combination of action, mystery, intrigue, and romance will have you flipping the pages excitedly, you won’t be able to put it down. 
  • Twists. Twists on twists. There’s so many layers of plotting and secrets that each new reveal is like a perfectly wrapped present. 
  • Fight scenes are EPIC. Swords, blood, magical orbs and vicious creatures all come together to make explosive scenes that will have you on the edge. You never know what’s going to happen. Several times, I’m pretty sure my heart stopped. ANXIETY & ANTICIPATION. 

CONS:

  • The villains were predictable and a bit cliché. You’ll see it coming.
  • Some of the plot lines were distracting and didn’t add to the story. 

If you like any of the following, you’ll enjoy this:

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Magical reading, 

Jordan

ARC Review: Thicker Than Water-Brigid Kemmerer

thicker thanGoodreads/Amazon/B&N/iBooks

synOn his own, Thomas Bellweather hasn’t been in town long. Just long enough for his newlywed mother to be murdered, and for his new stepdad’s cop colleagues to decide Thomas is the primary suspect.

Not that there’s any evidence. But before Thomas got to Garretts Mill there had just been one other murder in twenty years.

The only person who believes him is Charlotte Rooker, little sister to three cops and, with her soft hands and sweet curves, straight-up dangerous to Thomas. Her best friend was the other murder vic. And she’d like a couple answers.

Answers that could get them both killed, and reveal a truth Thomas would die to keep hidden…

review3/5 Stars

***I received this eARC as a gift in exchange for an honest review via NetGalley & Kensington Books.

PROS:

  • Thomas is sensitive, yet elusive. He evades and keeps to himself but when he opens up, it’s packed with honest, raw emotion that will have you falling for him just as hard as Charlotte. His sadness is poignant and his confusion will make you second guess everything. Thomas’ emotions propel the story forward and add to the mystery. They’ll make you keep reading, you’ll have to know whether or not he did it.
  • Charlotte and Thomas have killer chemistry 😉 the wide-eyed innocence meets full-frontal flirting will leave you laughing and charmed. They’re adorable together. The sweet blushes, indecent thoughts, and the fact that they keep coming back to each other, no matter the risk, the heat is undeniable. Some parts are mature for the younger YA audience. Alternating POVs let you get every second of tension and dirty thoughts as their relationship evolves. 
  • Secondary characters were all engaging, unique, and memorable. They had flaws and lots of personality that made you want more of each of their stories. Charlotte’s BFF Nicole is ballsy, hilarious, and a lot pervy. She’s great for one liners and creative, inappropriate musings. Ritz crackers. That is all. 

CONS:

  • The twist was shocking, yes, satisfying, no. It’s one of those moments where you ask yourself was that necessary and wonder why the author took that turn when the original path was already incredibly engrossing. Because of this “twist”, the story reads like two separate books that don’t quite fit together. While it does slip into the plotline, it’s far from seamless and a little messy.
  • Some sections are slow. There’s a lot of internal dialogue that rambles a bit, though it increases the emotional connection to characters. 
  • It’s hard to believe. Not only the twist but the detective work in general. That there would be an arrest so quickly without evidence and so many leaps and bounds in the investigation, all assumptions took away from the authenticity of a true crime story. Had there been more detail on the murder itself, what was missing, what evidence they did have, maybe more information from the many, many cops involved and mentioned, it would have added a layer of believability. Instead, it feels like the investigation is hanging on by a thread and kind of a joke, despite the severity of the murder. 

If you like any of the following, you’ll enjoy this:

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Pleasant reading, 

Jordan

ARC Review: Forget Tomorrow-Pintip Dunn

FINAL COVERGoodreads/Amazon/B&N/iBooks

“He nestles his chin on my head and we fit together perfectly, like two pieces of a jigsaw puzzle. Perfectly, like two halves of a broken heart.”

***

“Maybe when we built a world based on images of the future, we bargained away our dreams. We traded in the passion of our souls, the passion that burns on hope and desire and possibility. And all we got in return was security. Goals already achieved. A life already lived.”

synImagine a world where your destiny has already been decided…by your future self.

It’s Callie’s seventeenth birthday and, like everyone else, she’s eagerly awaiting her vision―a memory sent back in time to sculpt each citizen into the person they’re meant to be. A world-class swimmer. A renowned scientist.

Or in Callie’s case, a criminal.

In her vision, she sees herself murdering her gifted younger sister. Before she can process what it means, Callie is arrested and placed in Limbo―a hellish prison for those destined to break the law. With the help of her childhood crush, Logan, a boy she hasn’t spoken to in five years, she escapes.

But on the run from her future, as well as the government, Callie sets in motion a chain of events that she hopes will change her fate. If not, she must figure out how to protect her sister from the biggest threat of all—Callie, herself.

review4/5 Stars

***I received this eARC as a gift in exchange for an honest review via NetGalley & Entangled: Teen

READ THIS BOOK IF:

  • You have a siblings.
  • You’re looking for scifi that isn’t overwhelmingly scientific or supernatural.
  • You’re a fan of friends to lovers romances.

PROS:

  • The concept is brilliant. The hidden depths that the society will go to to protect their fragile tech-based utopia is sickening and demoralizing. The sheer disregard for human life for the sake of progress in horrifying and in the vein of Ray Bradbury. Punishment before the crime, completely dismisses free will. Everyone is a prisoner but fooled into believing they’re free. 
  • Sisterhood. The moments between sisters are short but beautiful and important. You feel every smile, every worry, everything builds wonderfully. The bond is strong enough to overcome all and risk everything. 
  • Callie and Logan. I adore romance that builds slowly over time. From sweet childhood memories to rekindling of feelings that had been long buried. Callie and Logan have an innocent, honest romance built on the fact that they’ve never forgotten who they were as children, the good and the light at the core of their souls. Parts are sensual, others are perfectly awkward as are with any budding relationship. They’re learning each other and it’s refreshing.
  • THAT ENDING. I’m still trying to come to terms. Shocking and unexpected don’t even begin to describe that twist. 

CONS:

  • The pacing alternates between achingly slow and absurdly fast. There’s no middle ground. The shift from adrenaline-packed danger and fear to menial, survival tactics was sharp and jarring, it felt like two stories that didn’t link up as well as they could have. Despite the connections between the Underground and the safe haven to the main society, that whole section felt like Callie was looking at it from the outside. 
  • Some parts were a little predictable and others were loose ends. There are mentions of time travel and other clues that may evolve into book two but left tons of questions by the end. 

If you like any of the following, you’ll enjoy this:

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Pleasant reading, 

Jordan

Interview: Forget Tomorrow-Pintip Dunn

FINAL COVERGoodreads/Amazon/B&N/Kobo/iBooks/Book Depository

Publisher: Entangled TEEN

Release Date: November 3, 2015

synImagine a world where your destiny has already been decided…by your future self.

It’s Callie’s seventeenth birthday and, like everyone else, she’s eagerly awaiting her vision-a memory sent back in time to sculpt each citizen into the person they’re meant to be. A world-class swimmer. A renowned scientist.

Or in Callie’s case, a criminal.

In her vision, she sees herself murdering her gifted younger sister. Before she can process what it means, Callie is arrested and placed in Limbo-a hellish prison for those destined to break the law. With the help of her childhood crush, Logan, a boy she hasn’t spoken to in five years, she escapes.

But on the run from her future, as well as the government, Callie sets in motion a chain of events that she hopes will change her fate. If not, she must figure out how to protect her sister from the biggest threat of all-Callie, herself.

int

  1. What sparked the idea for this unique dystopian society?

I was lying down for a hazy, mid-afternoon nap with my son and contemplating my writing career. Wouldn’t it be great, I thought, if a future me could send a memory back to myself, so that I would know if I succeeded as an author and whether those long hours and heartache were worth it? My mind immediately jumped to the next thought: “Hey! That would make a cool world for a book.” I’d already decided I wanted to write my next novel about sisters, and in particular, the protective, maternal love a teenage girl can have for her much younger sister. What would be the worst memory a girl like this could receive? I asked myself. The answer was obvious: a memory in which she saw herself killing the sister she swore to protest. And voila! Even before my son woke up from his nap, a story was born.

2. Logan is a surprisingly endearing and warm character. What would you say makes him a contender for the next book boyfriend? (I’ve certainly got my list)

Ha! I completely adore Logan. He had my heart from the moment he appeared on my page. I would say some of his best qualities are as follows:

Thoughtful: He used to bring Callie a red leaf every day to remind her of the sun.

Brave: At great personal risk to himself, he rescued Callie from Limbo, a hellish prison for those destined to break the law.

Sensitive: Logan cares deeply about his family and is haunted by his inaction five years ago, which he believes put his brother in jeopardy. 

Capable: Logan is the consummate outdoorsman. There’s nothing he can’t do — build a fire, navigate a map, side-stroke across a river, dragging Callie on his hip. 

Believes in Callie: When Callie has doubts and fears the person she will become, he believes in her strength and her love for her sister. 

3. What are the most important lessons learned from Forget Tomorrow?

I think the most important lesson in Forget Tomorrow is that you have to live for today. In this world, the people have placed all of their hopes and dreams into the future, and everything is a countdown to the day that they receive their future memories. The students call each other by their birthdays, and they are ordered in their classes, not by height or grades or alphabetical last names, but by the time remaining until they receive their future memories. 

However, as Callie finds out, sometimes the future doesn’t tell you want you to want to hear. As she goes from Limbo to Harmony, she meets people who have been paralyzed by their futures, As she witnesses them sacrificing their own happiness for what may or may not occur, she learns that the only way to live — the only way to continue breathing — is to forget about tomorrow and live for today. 

4. Have you started on book 2?

Yes! I am writing book 2, Remember Yesterday, right now and having a blast doing it. The story is completely worked out; I’m just in the process of putting words to paper. I’m so excited for everyone to read Jessa’s story, and I’ve even seen the cover for this book already. Hint: it is STUNNING. I might even be more in love with it than the cover for Forget Tomorrow, if that’s possible. (Okay, maybe not possible. Lol.)

You can read more about Remember Yesterday on Goodreads. You can even pre-order it on Amazon! 

5. Do you have a favorite quote that shows what captures the feeling of the story?

I’d love to quote you some song lyrics from “Crystal Ball,” which was a song written by David Elliott Johnson and Kimberly Brown for FORGET TOMORROW. These are not my words, but they perfectly capture what Callie is thinking and feeling at the beginning of the novel. So much that I cried the first time I heard this song: 

You’re not alone
Not on your own
You’ve got me I’ve got you
For everything you’re going through
If you believe
In what I see
You won’t worry about tomorrow at all
cause I can show you in my crystal ball

The lyrics are even more beautiful when Kimberly Brown sings them with that stunning, crystal-clear voice! This song just kills me every time I hear it.

If you haven’t heard “Crystal Ball” yet, you can listen to a teaser of the song here: 

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=M0qpJyUltrs


6. What inspires you to write?

Nothing and everything. What do I mean by that? Nothing, because when you write for a profession you can’t wait for inspiration. You have to write every day (or almost every day) because otherwise, the book will never be finished. Many times, my best inspiration will come after I sit down and start putting words to paper. 

Everything, because I take inspiration from everything that I do, from the people I see, from the thoughts I have, and from the emotions I feel. I will say, though, that witnessing something beautiful — in particular, nature — fills me up with an emotion that I want to express. However, the way it is expressed often takes place in the form of ideas that I get from going about my daily life. 

7. Do you have any bizarre writer’s quirks?

I think my writing process is pretty unique. After I get an idea and spend a bit of time brainstorming and plotting, I write what I like to call a “zero draft.” This “zero draft” is essentially the same as as the “fast draft” that many writers do — write the story down as fast as you can, without editing and making sure your words are “pretty.” The difference is that most writers will then take this draft and revise and polish it. I throw the entire thing away, hence the “zero draft.” I then re-plot, working out any story or character problems, and then I rewrite the entire manuscript slowly. During the “zero draft” stage, I’ve written 14k words in one day. During the slow re-write, it is more like 1k a day, although this will ramp up towards the end. 

Oh, and I write on my iPhone. Because of long-standing fibromyalgia/RSI, I can’t type on a keyboard without considerable pain. So my last four novels have been written on my iPhone!

8. Do you have advice for aspiring writers?

Persevere. The path to publication is long and hard and riddled with rejection — at least it is for most people. You don’t need a particularly thick skin, but you do need the ability to get up when you’re knocked down and try again. 

Moreover, unless you are one of the lucky few, story-telling is truly a craft that must be learned through years of practice and thousands of words upon the page. If you truly love it, stay the course — and that will put you miles ahead of the others who have quit when the business got too hard. Hint: the writing business is always hard. 

9. What’s your favorite part of the writing process?

Gosh, this is a hard question, because I kinda like all of it! I think my two favorite are the “zero draft” stage (see above) because this is when the story comes to life and then the re-write stage, where I get to make my words pretty. So, surprise, surprise my favorite parts are the writing parts. Like I said, I do enjoy editing but that feels more like “work,” while the writing feels more like joy. 

authPintip cropped-2Website/Facebook/Twitter/Instagram/Goodreads

Pintip Dunn graduated from Harvard University, magna cum laude, with an A.B. in English Literature and Language. She received her J.D. at Yale Law School, where she was an editor of the YALE LAW JOURNAL. She also published an article in the YALE LAW JOURNAL, entitled, “How Judges Overrule: Speech Act Theory and the Doctrine of Stare Decisis,”

Pintip is represented by literary agent Beth Miller of Writers House. She is a 2012 RWA Golden Heart® finalist and a 2014 double-finalist. She is a member of Romance Writers of America, Washington Romance Writers, YARWA, and The Golden Network.

She lives with her husband and children in Maryland. You can learn more about Pintip and her books at www.pintipdunn.com

Keep reading and check back for my review of Forget Tomorrow on November 3rd!

Jordan

ARC Review: Illuminate-Tracy Clark

IlluminateGoodreads/Amazon/B&N/iBooks

synCan one girl be the light in a world spiraling toward darkness?

Haunted by the loss of her loved ones, Cora Sandoval, one of the remaining few of an extraordinary race known as Scintilla, holds the key to disentangling the biggest conspiracy in human history…and its link to the fate of the human race. As Cora follows a trail of centuries-old clues and secrets, she collides with a truth not only shocking, but dangerous.

With enemies both known and unknown hot on her trail, Cora must locate each of the ancient clues hidden in the art, religions, and mythologies of humankind. And through it all, she must keep her heart from being torn apart by the two boys she loves most. One is Scintilla, one is Arazzi.

Save herself. Save the Scintilla. Save the world.
Or die trying…

review4/5 Stars

***I received this eARC as a gift in exchange for an honest review via NetGalley & Entangled: Teen

Illuminate is a breathtaking and beautiful conclusion to the Light Key Trilogy. Part cosmic puzzle, mythology, and romance, this epic battle of Light vs Dark ends in a stunning, explosive burst of hope and heart. 

READ THIS BOOK IF:

  • You love films like National Treasure and The Da Vinci Code 
  • You’re hungry for a maddening puzzle filled with art and literature references
  • You want your heart to feel so full it might burst from the sheer outpouring of love and hope

PROS:

  • Wow. This book. It’s incredible. A puzzle that crosses the lines between history, art, religion and myth, you’ll rush to decipher clues and piece everything together before it’s too late. I was insanely impressed with how well everything fit together. You’ll want to believe. An adrenaline rush of constant adventure and unexpected connections, have your phone handy to look up the art references, it gives the story a whole new dimension.
  • THAT ENDING. You know those far and few moments in a story where you’re so moved that you know that scene will stay with you forever? This was it for me. Think the end of The Amber Spyglass. 
  • Cora has come so far from the beginning of the book. She’s a dazzling, fierce young woman who lives her beliefs. She’s courageous, endearing and easy to relate to. Her relationship struggles are full of confusion and angst. Her heart is open and has loved so deeply, for different reasons, it really shows that true love and connection can happen on the soul-level more than once. Cora’s selflessness super charges her compassion. Her willingness to give herself freely is uplifting and deeply moving. 
  • Finn is conflicted. He wars with the thirst inside him to take and the giving side that wants nothing more than to share his love freely with Cora. His loyalty to his heritage, the secrets he unravels all put him in a precarious situation and in the middle of both groups. Finn’s devotion to Cora is beyond swoon-worthy, it’s transcendent. She is everything to him and despite everything working against them, destiny included it seems, he refuses to let her go.
  • Giovanni is fiery, impulsive and stubborn but intense and driven. He makes decisions and easily falls into the role of a leader. For the first time, Giovanni understands what it means to be grounded, to find a home, and to have something precious worth fighting for. The threat of losing more than his life makes him grow up fast and he becomes an irresistable force. 
  • The romance is complex and passionate. Each pairing has different complications but the love radiates off the pages in piercing bursts of understanding and adoration. It’s about more than lust, it’s about that forever kind of love that can move mountains, that can change the world. 

CONS:

  • The story is high stress, high danger and because of that, there aren’t many light, carefree moments. While there’s a lot of love, the silly, flirty fun that was in previous books was absent. I found myself missing Finn’s cute accent, roguish quips, as well as Giovanni’s intensity. 
  • Some story elements felt incomplete. The situation with Claire, the Catholic priest, the role of the Church, it was all a little rushed and a stronger, clear picture of the exact intentions and the shared responsibility with the Arazzi would have helped with the magnitude and reach of the danger. 

If you like any of the following, you’ll enjoy this:

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Jordan