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Blog Tour-Deep Blue Playlist

Deep Blue Blog Tour Banner FINAL

Deep Blue has a strong emphasis on music and the magic it can evoke. I had to know which songs helped inspire Jennifer, and here’s what she said

I don’t eat frog eggs for breakfast, or sleep in a bed of  anemones, but one thing I absolutely share with the mermaids of DEEP BLUE is the belief that music is magic. My DEEP BLUE playlist features tunes that combine magic, mystery, and mythology.  Here are a few:

“Hey Orpheus” by Arcade Fire

“Sirens” by Pearl Jam

“Coming of Age” by Foster the People

“Magic” by Coldplay

“Open Your Eyes” by Bea Miller

CoverAbout the Book:
Deep in the ocean, in a world not so different from our own, live the merpeople. Their communities are spread throughout the oceans, seas, and freshwaters all over the globe.

When Serafina, a mermaid of the Mediterranean Sea, awakens on the morning of her betrothal, her biggest worry should be winning the love of handsome Prince Mahdi. And yet Sera finds herself haunted by strange dreams that foretell the return of an ancient evil. Her dark premonitions are confirmed when an assassin’s arrow poisons Sera’s mother. Now, Serafina must embark on a quest to find the assassin’s master and prevent a war between the Mer nations. Led only by her shadowy dreams, Sera searches for five other mermaid heroines who are scattered across the six seas. Together, they will form an unbreakable bond of sisterhood and uncover a conspiracy that threatens their world’s very existence

The trailer for Deep Blue:

ABOUT THE AUTHOR
JenniferDonnellyJennifer Donnelly is an award-winning author of both adult and young adult books, including Deep Blue, the first book in the Waterfire Saga. For adults she has written a trilogy of best-selling books that includes The Tea Rose, The Winter Rose, and The Wild Rose. Her first young adult novel, A Northern Light, received many accolades, among them the Los Angeles Times Book Prize, a Carnegie Medal in the UK, and a Michael L. Printz Honor. Her second young adult novel, Revolution, was named a Best Book of 2010 by Kirkus Reviews and School Library Journal, and the audiobook received a 2011 American Library Association Odyssey Honor. She lives in New York’s Hudson Valley.

Visit the Waterfire Saga website
Visit Jennifer Donnelly at her official website
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Blog Tour- Review of Alias Hook by Lisa Jensen + Giveaway (US)

There have been a few retellings recently featuring Peter Pan so when I saw Alias Hook, which is about Captain Hook, I was sold. I was very excited to be included in the  blog tour as well as getting a chance to read this book prior to its release.  Below you will find my review and information on the book.

Praise for Lisa Jensen’s ALIAS HOOK

“Jensen’s wonderful imagination and devotion to history and myth allow the reader to fly with her through this outstanding adventure – no fairy dust required.”

Publishers Weekly 

“Scintillating description and deep characterization make Jensen’s (Witch from the Sea) Neverland a psychologically intriguing place to visit. Following in the footsteps of Gregory Maguire, Carolyn Turgeon, and Frank Beddor, Jensen offers a humanized take on Captain Hook that will be sure to entertain…”

Library Journal

Alias HookAlias Hook
By: Lisa Jensen
Release Date: July 8th 2014
Publisher: Thomas Dunne Books
Source: E-ARC
Format: Publisher

This is an adult novel so some of the content is for mature audiences.

My Rating:
star

Summary:
“Every child knows how the story ends. The wicked pirate captain is flung overboard, caught in the jaws of the monster crocodile who drags him down to a watery grave. But it was not yet my time to die. It’s my fate to be trapped here forever, in a nightmare of childhood fancy, with that infernal, eternal boy.”

Meet Captain James Benjamin Hook, a witty, educated Restoration-era privateer cursed to play villain to a pack of malicious little boys in a pointless war that never ends. But everything changes when Stella Parrish, a forbidden grown woman, dreams her way to the Neverland in defiance of Pan’s rules. From the glamour of the Fairy Revels, to the secret ceremonies of the First Tribes, to the mysterious underwater temple beneath the Mermaid Lagoon, the magical forces of the Neverland open up for Stella as they never have for Hook. And in the pirate captain himself, she begins to see someone far more complex than the storybook villain.

With Stella’s knowledge of folk and fairy tales, she might be Hook’s last chance for redemption and release if they can break his curse before Pan and his warrior boys hunt her down and drag Hook back to their neverending game.

The Story:
I’m not overly familiar with Peter Pan, though this was my second retelling I’ve read recently. I feel like we generally see things from the ‘good guys’ point of view but in this novel Jensen delves into who Hook was and the person behind the known villain. We traverse the story through James Hook’s point of view and flip flop between his present day and past. I absolutely loved the glimpses into his past and found that Jensen did an exceptional job bringing life to the setting and character.

Jensen’s writing was lush but dense, soaked in beautiful details which at times might bog down a reader that prefers faster paced reads. I found the prose to be done beautifully. Here’s an example from the ARC so it might be changed in the final version,

Stars scatter like diamonds across the black sky when we finally break the surface of the lagoon. All is still but for a lazy chittering of insects.
(55% into the ARC)

I was drawn into Neverland in a way I’d never been before. Jensen was able to turn everything I’d ever thought about it on its head and have me seeing things completely anew. I loved this aspect of the novel and was impressed with her creativity.

The classic locations present in the films and stories was also included in Alias Hook in new ways which was compelling and delightful. I especially enjoyed Jensen’s take the Mermaid Lagoon. I found the description of the location and the mermaids to be detailed and I was clearly able to picture the setting,

Clusters of glowing, incandescent crystals, unimaginable in the world above, thrust downward from the rock ceiling like gaudy chandeliers, bathing everything in rainbow hues: turquoise green, cobalt blue, ruby, violet.  Soft, dark shadows gird the perimeter of this enclosed space so far from the sun, but a luminous mineral haze hangs in the air, and the water glows velvet green. (51% into  the ARC)

You can really visualize that can’t you? I love “mineral haze” and found all the descriptions in this book to be so beautifully executed. Imagine that level of detail for every location in the classic Peter Pan as well as the characters and you’ll have a good grasp of this novel.

That being said, the storyline was impressive. I enjoyed reading the flashbacks from Hook’s past as well as his growth in his present state in Neverland. I felt that each gave such deep insight into his character and motivations.

The Characters:
Jensen did an impressive job adding her own twist to these classic characters. I found the time spent on Hook’s backstory, when he was known as James Benjamin Hookbridge to be some of my favorite sections because it was very easy to see how his character developed. For me, this was the first look into what he might have been like beyond being the villain of Peter Pan. His personal demons and journey were done exquisitely well having me completely wrapped up in his story even when I hated a good amount of his actions past and present.

Another strong character in Alias Hook was Stella. She was headstrong and a perfect addition to Hook’s demeanor. I enjoyed their dialog but did feel that the romance between them went heavy faster than I would have liked. I’m all for a slow burn so I was disappointed that things between them happened as fast and in the depth it did so suddenly. Don’t get me wrong, it didn’t feel like insta-love I just wanted to have their affections denied for a longer amount of time.

I was most impressed with the imagery that Jensen provided surrounding the boy that never grows up, Peter Pan. I would never have fathomed how Peter Pan could be shown in a negative manner but Jensen was able to do it easily. I was disgusted with him though I was still able to find the slightest amount of empathy towards his situation.

Final Thoughts:
I would say that of all the Peter Pan retellings I’ve read Alias Hook has been the strongest. I loved Jensen’s reimagined Neverland as well as her new takes on characters we all felt we knew fairly well. Her descriptive prose was lyrical, vivid and beautifully executed. If you are a reader that prefers a faster paced novel this might not be for you since the pacing was slow as well as the novel long.

Giveaway:

This giveaway is US only since the lovely folks at Thomas Dunne are providing the book.
a Rafflecopter giveaway

Review of Deep Blue by Jennifer Donnelly

Deep Blue (Waterfire Saga, #1)Deep Blue (Waterfire Saga #1)
By: Jennifer Donnelly
Release Date: May 6th 2014
Publisher: Disney Press
Source: ARC

A copy of this book was given to me by the publisher in exchange for an honest review.

My Rating:
star

Summary:
Deep in the ocean, in a world not so different from our own, live the merpeople. Their communities are spread throughout the oceans, seas, and freshwaters all over the globe.

Read More »

Stacking the Shelves

This last week (July 14th) marked my eight year wedding anniversary! I can’t believe it’s been that long. My husband and I are so bad at remembering our anniversary date…we have both forgotten almost every year. We hadn’t remembered this year until I got an email saying something about Bastille day and that made me think…oh yeah! That’s my anniversary. haha. Thankfully, we are both horrible at remembering so it’s never a big deal that we’ve forgotten.

Enough about my personal life, on to the books. Stacking the Shelves hosted by Tynga’s Reviews is a weekly meme where you show what books you’ve purchased, gotten from the library, received from giveaway, as gifts or for review.

This book haul will be including two weeks of books since last week I only added one new book. I’ve just combined everything into one picture because I’m lazy.

july18bookhaul

For Review (via publisher):
The Fairyland Series by Catherynne M. Valente and The Copernicus Legacy books 1 and 2 by Tony Abbott
I know very little about either series but am excited to read them. Have you read either?

Gift (from an amazing blogger friend):
Now That You’re Here by Amy K. Nichols
Ever since Amie Kaufman mentioned this book on Twitter I’ve been obsessed with reading it. I was over the moon that a friend had a copy to spare. I just might have hugged the book.

I also got the Deep Blue tote/beach towel for being on the blog tour (where I shared the play list). I absolutely love it! I saw people getting them at BEA and felt mighty green. It is so awesome to own one 🙂

deepbluetote

Purchased:
The Girl With All the Gifts by M.R. Carey
Have you seen the reviews for this book yet? They are all so wonderful I had to get my hands on it immediately. Now I have to make time to read it.

I had a great week of posts last week. Here’s what you might have missed.

  • Discussion Post– When you can’t remember details to a book you recently read-does this detract from your opinion of the book?
  • Review of Dark Metropolis by Jaclyn Dolamore
  • Blog Tour for The Kiss of Deception– Interview with Mary E. Pearson + Giveaway (still going so go and enter)
  • Discussion Post– How do you feel when others hate a book you love?
  • Review of Mortal Danger by Ann Aguirre

I am feeling so behind on commenting and replying to your comments. I hope to catch up this week but we’ll see. Not only am I behind on those but the reviews I need to write are piling up. It seems like lately I’ve been suffering from a major review writer’s block (if that’s a thing). I can’t seem to write a decent review that can express any of my thoughts. Bleh. Hopefully this will ease up. Luckily, I am in a reading mood so I keep cruising through books. Now if I could write all the reviews.

How was your week? What books did you add to your shelves?

Stacking the Shelves

Stacking the Shelves hosted by Tynga’s Reviews is a weekly meme where you show what books you’ve purchased, gotten from the library, received from giveaway, as gifts or for review. So excited about this book haul:

For Review:
Thank you Macmillan, Disney, Random House and Two Lions
TheKissofDeceptionDeepBlueBurningTheTyrantsDaughterBloodGuard

The Kiss of Deception by Mary E Pearson, Deep Blue by Jennifer Donnelly, Burning by Elana K. Arnold, The Tyrant’s Daughter by J.C. Carleson, The Blood Guard by Carter Roy

The Kiss of Deception has been one of my very most coveted books coming out this summer. I was delighted to receive a review copy and had to start it immediately. I’m half way through it and really enjoying it. So far, it’s the type of book that refuses to be put down. Burning and The Tyrant’s Daughter are completely random since I’d not requested either and have never gotten anything from Random House before. I received an ARC of The Blood Guard so have made good progress in it as well. I don’t typically read MG so was a tad hesitant about reading this but am enjoying it.

Won:
I forgot to add this a couple weeks back. Thank you Macmillan!
TheRiverman

I know nothing about this author or book but I love that cover and the summary is superb. I’m very excited to start it.

Last week’s Posts:

Today is the LAST day to enter to win a hard cover copy of The Winner’s Curse and swag

 thewinnerscurse320finTWCSwag