Archive for the ‘Favorite Authors’ Category


Rating: ☆☆☆☆☆

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Can you believe that we are back again with another amazing novel by Maria V. Snyder?! The first of the series left me breathless and craving for more action, magic, and, of course, KERRICK! Touch of Power (the first contest and info here) dove straight into the life of Avry, Healer and outlaw. We learned the history of the land, of Prince Tohon and his horrible plans to take over every Realm with the use of atrocious methods such as reanimating the dead. You cried for their losses, feared the worst, and fell in love as Avry did.

Now they are back with an even greater adventure that seemed to have started faster than any Snyder has written before. Here is the synopsis:

As the last Healer in the Fifteen Realms, Avry of Kazan is in a unique position: in the minds of her friends and foes alike, she no longer exists. Despite her need to prevent the megalomanical King Tohon from winning control of the Realms, Avry is also determined to find her sister and repair their estrangement. And she must do it alone, as Kerrick, her partner and sole confident, returns to Alga to summon his country into battle.
Maria1Though she should be in hiding, Avry will do whatever she can to support Tohon’s opponents. Including infiltrating a holy army, evading magic sniffers, teaching forest skills to soldiers and figuring out how to stop Tohon’s most horrible creations yet; an army of the walking dead—human and animal alike and nearly impossible to defeat.

War is coming and Avry is alone. Unless she figures out how to do the impossible… again.

Are you already ordering the book? You should! Snyder does it again with her incredible talent at keeping pace, bringing a completely different world to life, and delivering characters that will stick with you well beyond finishing the book. You will have a difficult time putting this one down and, like me, will be begging for the next one.

The previous characters bleed into this second installment, bringing new friends and foes along with them. In ToM, you get to know Avry, Kerrick, the  Monkeys, and Tohon. In SoM, Snyder pulls out the lives of the other royalty, Avry’s sister, and the military leaders she meets along the way while still diving deeper into our favorites.

This time around Avry and Kerrick have separated to help on opposite ends of their world. As per usual, the author has kept a quick pace, jumping between their individual, but connected, adventures. I love that about Snyder’s writing. Just as Avry is trying to save Prince Ryne from assassination, Kerrick is finding out his brother made a deal with Tohon to use their army! AH! The suspense and intrigue never end!

Any fan of Snyder’s work, fantasy, love in action, or reading, will coddle this book until it is finished. Maria V. Snyder has yet to disappoint.

If that isn’t enough to get you reading this series, maybe this will persuade you…

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Oh yes, did I mention that there is a contest? Of course! Maria and her team at Harlequin are giving away one copy of Scent of Magic to one of my followers! Yahoo! The contest will run as long as the rest of this blog tour to give you all enough time to enter. That means you have until the 21st to enter. Here are the rules:

US/Canada Only

Up to 5 entries!

There is also a Harlequin TEEN Prize Pack!!! Click on the image and enter for a chance to win:

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12/10/2012 Parajunkee  review and Q&A

12/11/2012 Paranormal Urban Fantasy Reviews  review

12/12/2012 Read Now Sleep Later  Interview with Maria

12/13/2012 The Book Heroine  review

12/14/2012 We Fancy Books Playlist

12/17/2012 Two Chicks on Books Guest Post From Belen

12/18/2012 The Starry-eyed Revue   Guest Post

12/19/2012 A Great Read  Review

12/20/2012 YA Reads Guest Post

12/21/2012 The Book Hookup  Review


☆ / 
Author: Maria V. Snyder
Publisher: Harlequin
Pages: 315 / 326
Genre: YA: Sci-Fi Dystopian
Source: Netgalley
ISBN: 037321006X / 0373210116

I’m Trella. I’m a scrub. A nobody. One of thousands who work the lower levels, keeping Inside clean for the Uppers. I’ve got one friend, do my job and try to avoid the Pop Cops. So what if I occasionally use the pipes to sneak around the Upper Levels? The only neck at risk is my own…until I accidentally start a rebellion and become the go-to girl to lead a revolution. -Netgalley

Imagine being a number, one of thousands who live in the same rooms, eat in shifts, work for ten hours, rest for ten hours every day at the same job that was assigned to you before you were five. For the scrubs, that is normal. Walking through the lower levels of Inside is like pushing through a hallway with a herd of cows. The smells, the noise, the light always on. Could you survive?

Trella is a lower that escaped her confines as much as possible. Her job was to clean the pipes that wound through the levels, so she knew the maze of metal with even her eyes closed. Often, she took that for granted to nap in silence and darkness that would wrap around her like a blanket. Trella also took advantage to explore the upper levels, a life that she could never hope to obtain.

Prophetic rumors of a gateway wound through the conversation of scrubs, giving them a little hope to latch onto in their pitiful lives. Trella never believed the prophets or her best friend who constantly lapped up every word, until one day when one of the story-tellers grabbed her attention and peaked her interest. Claiming to have evidence hidden in an upper level room he once held, this prophet fed into Trella’s curiosity until she finally ventured into the pipes to find the truth. -The Book Heroine

Maria has done it again. With characters that hook your heart from the first page, you chase the adventures they lead with tears, laughter, and an entire mix of emotions until the last page. Trella is the little engine-that-could in this dystopian tale. A girl with nothing to hope for other than the few moments of silence she can take in the ducts she calls her escape, she is driven into a spiraling adventure.

I tend to lean towards one character or two in a novel, but I could hardly choose a handful. Even the villains take a hold of you in their mission to take control. Trella is real. I felt the grime of the walls and smelled the odor of so many bodies around as she tried to escape them (or it could have just been my dirty laundry piling up). Cog makes you want a friend as loyal and trusting.

I can’t help but compare Trella to Yelena, one of Snyder’s past characters in Poison Study. Both are strong-willed, but equally unsure of their abilities to lead change. There is something in Trella that doesn’t let her give up on being slightly different, a wonderful characteristic in a leading female role.

Romance? Of course. Does Snyder go overboard in this category? Not even close. She only touches on the tingles and butterflies Trella experiences in light of the rebellion. As the reader, you are rushed through a series of struggles and adventures, torn between fighting for life and fighting for love. And since it is a series, Snyder does not give away all in one book. You are left with the same hope for the heroine’s love life on the last page of Inside Out as you were halfway through.

Although I gave Inside Out five stars, Outside In resulted in four for one minor reason. I wasn’t as drawn into the tale as the first. Without giving too much away, it was much more predictable than the outcomes of the first and that lost the sequel a bit of luster for me. Trella’s continued adventure was still exciting and perilous and I wouldn’t have stopped reading just because of my guessing being correct. Maybe it was just luck! I also had a hard time keeping track of the measurement of time that she had set up. It seemed a lot of significance was placed on this, yet it didn’t place quite as relevant once I read them through.

I would recommend this series to any fan of Maria V. Snyder, dystopian fiction, or a teacher hoping to add another incredible heroine to their bookshelves! I cannot wait to read what this talented author has in store for us next.