New writing alert! Altered Sequence book two published!

Hello. Just wanted to drop an update: book two of my YA sci-fi series ALTERED SEQUENCE is now available! It’s called CORRUPTED, and picks up right where ALTERED left off… As of right now, ALTERED is $0.99, and CORRUPTED is $2.99. Details of both books below!

 

CORRUPTED is available for Kindle at Amazon US and nook at Barnes & Noble.

Also: Buy For Kindle UK

Get CORRUPTED in paperback!

Altered Sequence Book One: ALTERED

ALTERED is available for Kindle at Amazon and nook at Barnes & Noble.

Also: Buy For Kindle UK

Get ALTERED in paperback!

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Days Of Blood And Starlight: Unstoppable Momentum & Atmospheric Power AKA THIS BOOK WILL OWN YOU

This is that rarest of creatures: a sequel that bests the original. Just to put that in context, Daughter Of Smoke And Bone was one of the greatest YA novels ever written, a burningly brilliant and resonant story that seared the senses with its gorgeous intensity.

Days Of Blood And Starlight is better.

Yep, I said it.

Days Of Blood And Starlight

Days Of Blood And Starlight

Laini Taylor proves herself to be an extraordinary resurrectionist. Creating a new literary creature more powerful than any before it. She has upped the emotional intensity, sharpened the sarcasm and brutal wit, exponentially increased the sheer B-movie monster awesomeness of it all, supercharged the zingers and snark, and, somehow, impossibly, she has taken her incredible gift of subtle, moving and fearsome character work to a whole new level. And of all this is presented in a glittering, hypnotic and sensual style that steals into the senses and makes you something other than what you were.

What the hell, Laini Taylor? How did you get so much more awesome than you were before? How did you take your huge canvas from Smoke And Bone and then make us realize that it was just a tiny corner of the vast universe you were actually working on? How did you trick us into believing Smoke And Bone was a deluxe, widescreen theater experience (which was so much bigger than anything else we were reading), when really it was like an YouTube video on an iPhone 3 compared to the IMAX scale of Blood And Starlight?

How did you change the way I looked at YA, and at books and writing in general… And then change it AGAIN with this?

Days Of Blood And Starlight (UK Cover)

Days Of Blood And Starlight (UK Cover)

The expansion from book one to book two is even more impressive when you consider that the story is much more focused, in time, in place, in intensity. And yet Taylor spins magical realms from the smallest of details. Those realms are not merely other worlds, but also emotional truths, physical realities. Her writing is heady, stunning, and mesmeric. These are characters and worlds that once you inhabit them, inhabit you. Putting this book down is an impossibility; your heart and soul just will not allow it.

Plot is all in Blood And Starlight, so I shall give none of it away here. All you need to know is that the stakes are radically higher, the emotions are turbo-charged and relentless, the atmospheric power of the novel is off the charts, and Taylor keeps everything tight, controlled and focused with extreme screenplay skill. Not a single word is wasted; everything charges forward, in the manner of an exhilarating but terrifying rollercoaster. It’s almost too much to take in because you power through it so quickly. The incredible views flash past because there’s no stopping the momentum.

Just read it. Love it. And then wait, helplessly, for the next one, your mind and body singing, reeling, resonating. And good luck starting any books after this; because after this, nothing is quite the same.

Rating: Five out of five chimeras

Welcome to the HOURGLASS

It’s an exciting time in YA fiction; in fact, it has been for a long time. Blockbuster series have been rolling in with beautiful regularity and increasing frequency, from the original powerhouses HARRY POTTER, TWILIGHT, and THE HUNGER GAMES, to a new wave of thrilling sequences, including THE MAZE RUNNER (James Dashner), MATCHED (Ally Condie), DIVERGENT (Veronica Roth), and DELIRIUM (Lauren Oliver).

To that illustrious list we can now add a new time-twisting teen series in the form of HOURGLASS, by Myra McEntire. This extraordinarily accomplished first novel is, wonderfully, a more-than-worthy addition to this new, conceptually thrilling, thrill-seeking school of YA.

Not only is the narrative powerful, sneaky and full of reversals & shocking twists, powered as it is by a mind-bending conceptual heartbeat, but the novel as a whole is beautifully, poetically rendered. Achingly so.

On its surface, HOURGLASS is a love story, a Southern romance. But this is a novel that is all about what lies beneath and beyond those beautiful, shimmering, flowing surfaces: broken lives, sadness, darkness, loss… and life-changing passion and desire.

Especially that.

Emerson is a struggling teen, still coming to terms with the deaths of her parents, and the fact that she’s pestered by persistent hallucinations of people from the distant past (Scarlett O’Hara types, this being the South and all). The visions are getting worse, and so her brother Thomas reaches out to the Hourglass, a mysterious organization who claim to be able to help with the strange experiences Emerson is enduring.

Which is where Michael comes in.

Just older than Emerson, he represents the Hourglass. As Michael gets Emerson to talk about her past, and the people that she sees, the novel shifts gears. The easy rhythm of small town life gives way to electrifying chemistry and stunning revelations. HOURGLASS becomes a full-blown time-travel mind-bender of a book. With all its lovely and elegantly timey-wimey stylings, it’s like McEntire has taken a sonic screwdriver to the Southern romance genre and juiced it up into a starkly emotional and reality-bending tale.

Fantastic!

As the book plunges deeper into layer after narrative layer, we get drawn into the maelstrom of Emerson’s world, which is gorgeously, unflinchingly drawn. As more characters are revealed, the plot deepens, and the scope and implication of the time-rips that Emerson experiences gets wider.

HOURGLASS is elegantly powerful and fearsomely page-turning. Fortunately, it’s just the beginning: McEntire announced today that the title of book two is TIMEPIECE. As if that wasn’t enough, McEntire also just unveiled a deleted scene (containing possible spoilers) on her blog. It’s an alternate take from a key character’s perspective, which is not only illuminating, but also reveals just how many awesome secrets and revelations are lurking for the rest of the series.

Making it even harder to wait for book two.

So, yeah; a time machine would be useful right about now!

Overall rating:

Five out of five TARDISes  

(TARDII?)