Blog Tour- Review and Giveaway for Gemina by Jay Kristoff and Amie Kaufman

geminaGemina (The Illuminae Files #2)
By: Amie Kaufman, Jay Kristoff and Illustrated by Marie Lu
Release Date: October 18, 2016
Publisher: Knopf Books for Young Readers
Format: Print ARC
Source: Friend

My Rating:
star

Summary:
Moving to a space station at the edge of the galaxy was always going to be the death of Hanna’s social life. Nobody said it might actually get her killed.

The sci-fi saga that began with the breakout bestseller Illuminae continues on board the Jump Station Heimdall, where two new characters will confront the next wave of the BeiTech assault.

Hanna is the station captain’s pampered daughter; Nik the reluctant member of a notorious crime family. But while the pair are struggling with the realities of life aboard the galaxy’s most boring space station, little do they know that Kady Grant and the Hypatia are headed right toward Heimdall, carrying news of the Kerenza invasion.

When an elite BeiTech strike team invades the station, Hanna and Nik are thrown together to defend their home. But alien predators are picking off the station residents one by one, and a malfunction in the station’s wormhole means the space-time continuum might be ripped in two before dinner. Soon Hanna and Nik aren’t just fighting for their own survival; the fate of everyone on the Hypatia—and possibly the known universe—is in their hands.

But relax. They’ve totally got this. They hope.

Once again told through a compelling dossier of emails, IMs, classified files, transcripts, and schematics, Gemina raises the stakes of the Illuminae Files, hurling readers into an enthralling new story that will leave them breathless.

My Thoughts:
Last year Illuminae BLEW ME AWAY. I wondered- could this companion ever compare? The answer is YES. Gemina was incredible- we get all new characters this round (though the ones we love do appear) and a new story line. I will say that, because of the character switch, I struggled a teeny tiny bit just getting used to the new voices. It’s like when there is a new Doctor in Doctor Who– I sort of mourn that I’m not seeing the old characters. But it didn’t take long before I was wrapped up in this story.

I really think that Kaufman and Kristoff work magic creating these books- I have no clue how their minds come up with this stuff but it is incredible. It has the feel of old science fiction but it brings it up to our day and age and gah- it’s just perfect really. I’m amazed that with the format being as it is (transcripts, emails, surveillance video, etc) the reader still connects deeply to the characters. It really says so much about the talent of the writers to accomplish this. Beyond that Gemina is HUGE- yet- it is such a fast paced read you’ll actually wish it were longer.

The characters- especially Hanna- were badass. She might be pampered but no one will keep this girl down. She was fierce and a force to reckon with and that she was never a push over. Nik I had a little bit more trouble really getting a connection with but once I did I fell in love with him. His chemistry with Hanna was perfection.

There are some really great and complex side characters-my favorite being Nik’s cousin Ella. She brought humor to the story and was just such a great character. I think her relationship to Nik really helped me get his character.

Gemina was action packed and there were many twists I didn’t see coming. The big bad in this one wasn’t a virus but an alien. I will admit- the virus idea scares me more but these aliens were NASTY. I wouldn’t ever want to encounter one. The descriptions were spine tingly and really vivid (for better or worse).

As I mentioned before the story was presented in transcripts, emails and the like. I really love this technique and I feel it works so well for these books. I love seeing the story unfold through all these methods and it give the story a great dimension.

geminaig

Final Thoughts:
You really need to read these books to get a feel for how amazing they are. Any details I can give will just take away from the excitement of the reading experience. Go get these books!

Giveaway

This giveaway is provided by Penguin so is US only.

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Blog Tour- Their Fractured Light Review + Giveaway

I have been a long time fan of this series of companion novels from the moment I read an advanced copy of These Broken Stars. I was blown away with the skill Amie and Meagan had in creating compelling, complex characters and how well they worked together. When I had the chance to be part of the tour for Their Fractured Light I jumped on it. I’m honored to again be highlighting these books and really suggest you read them if you’ve not already!

ABOUT THEIR FRACTURED LIGHT:

theirfracturedlightA year ago, Flynn Cormac and Jubilee Chase made the now infamous Avon Broadcast, calling on the galaxy to witness for their planet, and protect them from destruction. Some say Flynn’s a madman, others whisper about conspiracies. Nobody knows the truth. A year before that, Tarver Merendsen and Lilac LaRoux were rescued from a terrible shipwreck—now, they live a public life in front of the cameras, and a secret life away from the world’s gaze.

Now, in the center of the universe on the planet of Corinth, all four are about to collide with two new players, who will bring the fight against LaRoux Industries to a head. Gideon Marchant is an eighteen-year-old computer hacker—a whiz kid and an urban warrior. He’ll climb, abseil and worm his way past the best security measures to pull off onsite hacks that others don’t dare touch.

Sofia Quinn has a killer smile, and by the time you’re done noticing it, she’s got you offering up your wallet, your car, and anything else she desires. She holds LaRoux Industries responsible for the mysterious death of her father and is out for revenge at any cost.

When a LaRoux Industries security breach interrupts Gideon and Sofia’s separate attempts to infiltrate their headquarters, they’re forced to work together to escape. Each of them has their own reason for wanting to take down LaRoux Industries, and neither trusts the other. But working together might be the best chance they have to expose the secrets LRI is so desperate to hide.

Available NOW from Disney Hyperion

LINKS: IndieBound . B&N . BAM . Amazon . iBooks

My Review

I really loved the first two books in this series of companion novels so my expectations for this final installment were very high. I hoped it would tie in the characters from the prior two books as well as wrap things up in the world especially concerning LaRoux Industries. I was incredibly impressed with how this was accomplished and felt that Their Fractured Light was a wonderful addition and conclusion.

In Their Fractured Light the story focused on Gideon and Sofia, two characters with many secrets to hide and regrets/guilt to wrestle with. As with all of these books Amie and Meagan created characters that were incredibly realistic and had amazing chemistry together. Gideon was a really believable hacker (you know you read those books and you just don’t buy the person is what they are supposed to be? Not so in this book!) Not only was Gideon a complex character but his dialog was so witty and clever. I adored his snark and I couldn’t help but crush on him throughout the book.

Sofia was an incredible foil for Gideon’s character- she handled stress and life in general with a serious attitude. She was one scrappy character that was hard not to admire for her tenacious spirit. As you can imagine these two mixed up together was a lot of fun to read and I loved how these two characters had so many secrets and mysteries surrounding their pasts.

Another thing I really loved about this book was how well the authors tied in the new character’s story lines to the past characters. Little hints were given all through the first books about these two so if you were to go back and reread I’m sure you’d notice their presence or at least mentions of them.

Fans of the characters from the prior two books will be enthused to learn that they all make an appearance in Their Fractured Light. And, it’s not a small part they play either! They have an active role in the story line which I thought was a nice touch. I will admit that I was really excited to see these familiar characters I did have a bit of a disconnect with them. I felt closer to Sofia and Gideon’s story but only because it has been far too long since I read the first two books. I think this time caused me to lose some of the momentum between the characters. This also resulted in the pacing slowing down a bit for me once all the characters joined the fray. The slower pace didn’t last too long though and things got tense again and I genuinely worried for the character’s welfare.

Final thoughts:

Once again I’m incredibly impressed with the scope of story and the complexity of the characters these authors have created. I’m so sad to see this world and characters come to a close. But, this book left me completely satisfied with the outcome so now I’ll sit back and look forward to what both Amie Kaufman and Meagan Spooner have in the works- and I can hope they’ll team up again.

ABOUT AMIE KAUFMAN:

Amie-Headshot-199x300Amie Kaufman is the New York Times bestselling co-author of Illuminae (with Jay Kristoff) and These Broken Stars, This Shattered World, and Their Fractured Light (with Meagan Spooner.) She writes science fiction and fantasy for teens, and her favourite procrastination techniques involve chocolate, baking, sailing, excellent books and TV, plotting and executing overseas travel, and napping.

She lives in Melbourne, Australia with her husband, their rescue dog, and her considerable library. She is represented by Tracey Adams of Adams Literary.

LINKS: Website | Twitter | Facebook | Tumblr | Instagram

About Meagan Spooner:

MeaganMeagan Spooner grew up reading and writing every spare moment of the day, while dreaming about life as an archaeologist, a marine biologist, an astronaut. She graduated from Hamilton College in New York with a degree in playwriting, and has spent several years since then living in Australia. She’s traveled with her family all over the world to places like Egypt, South Africa, the Arctic, Greece, Antarctica, and the Galapagos, and there’s a bit of every trip in every story she writes.

She currently lives and writes in Asheville, North Carolina, but the siren call of travel is hard to resist, and there’s no telling how long she’ll stay there.In her spare time she plays guitar, plays video games, plays with her cat, and reads.

LINKS: Website | Twitter | Facebook | Tumblr

Extras

Giveaway

3 Starbound Prizepacks (including the books & posters)

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Tour Schedule:

 
Week 2:

Be sure to check out the tour Amie and Meagan will be on!

Blog Tour- Review and Giveaway for Illuminae by Amy Kaufman and Jay Kristoff

Illuminae_Social_BlogTour_TWTR_1P

I am honored  thrilled ecstatic to be part of this tour because Illuminae has been one of the most immersive, unique and exciting science fiction novels I’ve read in recent memory. THIS BOOK.

I’ll be featuring my rambling thoughts (expressions of awe and love) within the confines of a review. I also have the pleasure of offering one of you, my lovely readers, your own copy.

IlluminaeSummary:
This morning, Kady thought breaking up with Ezra was the hardest thing she’d have to do.

This afternoon, her planet was invaded.

The year is 2575, and two rival megacorporations are at war over a planet that’s little more than an ice-covered speck at the edge of the universe. Too bad nobody thought to warn the people living on it. With enemy fire raining down on them, Kady and Ezra—who are barely even talking to each other—are forced to fight their way onto an evacuating fleet, with an enemy warship in hot pursuit.

But their problems are just getting started. A deadly plague has broken out and is mutating, with terrifying results; the fleet’s AI, which should be protecting them, may actually be their enemy; and nobody in charge will say what’s really going on. As Kady hacks into a tangled web of data to find the truth, it’s clear only one person can help her bring it all to light: the ex-boyfriend she swore she’d never speak to again.

Told through a fascinating dossier of hacked documents—including emails, schematics, military files, IMs, medical reports, interviews, and more—Illuminae is the first book in a heart-stopping, high-octane trilogy about lives interrupted, the price of truth, and the courage of everyday heroes.

Review

Illuminae Review

Giveaway

Random House is offering up one finished copy of Illuminae to one of my US/Canada readers.
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Blog Tour-This Shattered World Quote Stop

TSW tour banner final

I am thrilled to be part of The Midnight Gardens Blog Tour (be sure to visit their kickoff post and the other stops) for This Shattered World. Last year they released These Broken Stars which was an easy favorite for me. I was eager to read this companion novel and get to know more characters and more about the world they’ve created. I was incredibly impressed with this installment (my review) and can’t wait for the release so everyone can read it (and I can get my hands on a shiny hardcover).

TSWmfaf

Artwork created by the talented Tiffany Fay.

13138734About the book:
The second installment in the epic Starbound trilogy introduces a new pair of star-crossed lovers on two sides of a bloody war.

Jubilee Chase and Flynn Cormac should never have met.

Lee is captain of the forces sent to Avon to crush the terraformed planet’s rebellious colonists, but she has her own reasons for hating the insurgents.

Rebellion is in Flynn’s blood. Terraforming corporations make their fortune by recruiting colonists to make the inhospitable planets livable, with the promise of a better life for their children. But they never fulfilled their promise on Avon, and decades later, Flynn is leading the rebellion.

Desperate for any advantage in a bloody and unrelentingly war, Flynn does the only thing that makes sense when he and Lee cross paths: he returns to base with her as prisoner. But as his fellow rebels prepare to execute this tough-talking girl with nerves of steel, Flynn makes another choice that will change him forever. He and Lee escape the rebel base together, caught between two sides of a senseless war.

Visit the These Broken Stars website for the latest news on the series and follow the authors on Twitter at @AmieKaufman and @MeaganSpooner. This Shattered World is available for pre-order (with fun swag!) and will be released in North America on December 23, 2014.

Giveaway:
5 hardback copies of THIS SHATTERED WORLD
or a Grand Prize consisting of
— autographed copies of the first two books
— Starbound swag
— a secret letter from Tarver to Lilac, which may be kept private by the recipient, or shared publicly on a blog, etc.
— coffee with the authors at one of their upcoming US tour stops in January, OR a Skype chat!

Rafflecopter code: a Rafflecopter giveaway

And don’t miss the special pre-order offer! I’m most excited about the signed copy from both authors

TSWpreorder

TMG blog tours

Review of This Shattered World by Amie Kaufman & Meagan Spooner

This Shattered World (Starbound, #2)This Shattered World
By: Amie Kaufman & Meagan Spooner
Release Date: December 23rd 2014
Publisher: Disney-Hyperion
Format: Print ARC
Source: Gift from Jon (Bookish Antics) and won a copy from The Midnight Garden

My Rating:
star

Summary:
Jubilee Chase and Flynn Cormac should never have met.

Lee is captain of the forces sent to Avon to crush the terraformed planet’s rebellious colonists, but she has her own reasons for hating the insurgents.

Rebellion is in Flynn’s blood. Terraforming corporations make their fortune by recruiting colonists to make the inhospitable planets livable, with the promise of a better life for their children. But they never fulfilled their promise on Avon, and decades later, Flynn is leading the rebellion.

Desperate for any advantage in a bloody and unrelentingly war, Flynn does the only thing that makes sense when he and Lee cross paths: he returns to base with her as prisoner. But as his fellow rebels prepare to execute this tough-talking girl with nerves of steel, Flynn makes another choice that will change him forever. He and Lee escape the rebel base together, caught between two sides of a senseless war.

My Thoughts:
I thought I’d read the first chapter to get a feel for the book and ended up not stopping until I was 3/4ths done with the book. I was completely mesmerized with the story and loved that it seamlessly tied into These Broken Stars. It was incredible to see Tarver and Lilac again (even for such a short amount of time). I loved how this world/galaxy feels so fleshed out and I can’t wait to see where they go from here. This story feels that it could continue into more than just one more book (fingers crossed).

The characters are all well developed and motivated by many factors. I loved that no one was perfect and each character struggled with their own internal battles. I felt that the relationships were well done though I never got as invested in Lee and Flynn as I was with Tarver and Lilac. I can’t pin-point exactly why I didn’t connect as deep but it could be their personalities. It wasn’t due to a lack of character development though.

Both the main characters were beautifully fleshed out and unique in their attributes. I loved the growth each character experienced especially Lee’s. She started the story closed off and motivated almost entirely by her duty. It was intriguing to watch her wrestle with her feelings especially for Flynn.

Spooner and Kaufman know how to create a male lead. Like Tarver, Flynn was incredibly likeable and easy to root for throughout the entire story. Though the two lead’s relationship was present it didn’t feel as dominant as in the first book. There were so many large issues on the planet to resolve the story had a broader approach and looked into the bigger picture of political and business corruption.

Action scenes were vivid and easy to imagine as well as the atmosphere of the planet. I  loved how creepy and realistic the descriptions were and how I could completely imagine a young planet being like that. The settler’s plight was understandable as well as their anger when the terraforming plans were not at the level promised. I can’t help but always imagine Doctor Who when I read about a planet being terraformed so many of my personal images are from the series.

Final Thoughts:
Kaufman and Spooner are experts at crafting beautiful characters and a world that seems incredibly fleshed out and real. I can’t wait to read more from them and though I liked This Shattered World just the tiniest bit less than These Broken Stars it has still become a favorite.