This Savage Song by Victoria Schwab

Author: Victoria Schwab

Publisher: Greenwillow Books

Publication Date: July 5, 2016

Source: Purchased

From Goodreads

There’s no such thing as safe.

Kate Harker wants to be as ruthless as her father. After five years and six boarding schools, she’s finally going home to prove that she can be.

August Flynn wants to be human. But he isn’t. He’s a monster, one that can steal souls with a song. He’s one of the three most powerful monsters in a city overrun with them. His own father’s secret weapon.

Their city is divided.

Their city is crumbling.

Kate and August are the only two who see both sides, the only two who could do something.

But how do you decide to be a hero or a villain when it’s hard to tell which is which?

Kate Harker and August Flynn live in a world where violence breeds actual monsters. Set years after the United States has been destroyed and replaced with territories and in one particular region the city of Verity sits divided. On one side of the divide citizens can purchase their safety from its leader, Kate Harker’s father. The other side houses the most powerful of the three types of monsters, and August Flynn just happens to be one of them. Thrown together because they are both trying to be different than themselves they will learn more than they ever thought they could about themselves and the world they live in.
Kate Harker wants nothing more than to prove to her father that she is just like him. She wants to be ruthless and fearless in the face of the monsters he commands. Kate tries her best to intimidate her classmates and rule over those her own age much like her father rules half of the city and it’s interesting to see when she succeeds and how she deals with her failures. It’s also interesting that she vocalizes one thing while her internal thoughts are screaming another. We get to see that she is just a child who wants nothing more than to be loved by her parent and that makes her vulnerable and relatable.
August on the other hand is a monster or at least that’s what the nursery rhymes tell say. Created from a moment of tragedy he arrived surrounded by death. He hates the part of himself that has to steal the souls of sinners in order to survive and struggles to learn that it’s not the only part of himself. He struggled with an over protective father who wants to keep him safe and away from the war that threatened to split V-City apart. He wants to be part of the life that his older brother, Leo thrives in. His brother who is the face of the military in their half of the city. His brother who so many people are intimidated by.
The story is told in alternating narration and really gets started once the two are thrown together. Schwab paces this book out perfectly and I was never left feeling sluggish or like I was zipping by so quickly I was missing things. I feel like the alternating narrations works perfectly in this story. For a long time, I absolutely despised more than one narrator in stories, but this one didn’t bother me in the least, in fact I feel like it only makes the book stronger.
I love the fact that August can take the souls of the sinners simply by playing the violin, it makes me feel like I will be all powerful anytime I play my flute. I love how Kate’s memories of the night her mother died are so strong at first, then turn shaky as we start to realize maybe her memories of that night are unreliable until she finally discovers/reveals the truth near the end of the book.
Overall I loved so many things about this book, most of them I can’t discuss in ways that aren’t spoilers. I can’t wait to read Our Dark Duet when it comes out later this year. Have any of you read this book? What were your thoughts?

Digging in the Stars Blitz

Digging in the Stars
Katherine Blakeney
Published by: Blaze Publishing
Publication date: March 28th2017
Genres: Science Fiction, Young Adult

A lost ancient civilization and the tomb of a legendary king lie buried beneath centuries of ash on the volcanic planet Thror, but that’s not the only reason sixteen-year-old Carter has tricked her Archaeology of Outer Space class into coming here. Her best friend Conrad has justdisappeared on a trip to Thror, leaving behind little more than a broken vintage camera. The strange and disturbing photographs she manages to extract make her suspect Conrad’s disappearance is somehow connected to the hidden tomb of the last king of Thror.

Unfortunately, the ludicrously over-friendly ‘Furry Giants’ who have taken over the planet’s barren surface would rather offer her cheap souvenirs than answers, and the local officials insist they have no record of Conrad’s existence. Inspired by fear for Conrad’s life and the chance to make the greatest archaeological discovery of the century, Carter and her friends follow Conrad’s footsteps deep into the mountains of Thror’s forbidden Black Zone and launch an illicit excavation.

Coded messages, stunning ancient ruins, and clues left by Conrad himself begin to surface as the young archaeologists fall victim to an alarming series of accidents stagedby the increasingly hostile Furry Giants. Piecing together a history of dictatorship, terrorism and disguise, Carter glimpses the horrors beyond Thror’s flamboyant façade and startling revelations about the friend she thought she knew. The masks of Thror hide devastating secrets, and the golden tomb buried deep in the frozen core may claimthe lives of everyone she loves.

Goodreads / Amazon / Barnes & Noble / href="https://www.kobo.com/ca/en/ebook/digging-in-the-stars" target="_blank">Kobo

TEASERS:

“Please remain seated as we begin our descent into Thror.Welcome, and enjoy your stay.”
The time for action was at hand, and she still didn’t feel ready. The flight felt much shorter than she’d expected.
The girls exchanged bewildered looks across the aisles. Stunned silence. They couldn’t have missed that final announcement. Avoiding Professor P’s gaze, Carter still felt the look of shock the professor shot across the cabin. Once, Carter had seen herself arriving on Thror as a great explorer. Instead, she would be remembered as a half-baked deceiver and kidnapper. The Throrians would have called her a scent-changer.

* * *

Carter had been so close to her goal. She saw that crack with her own eyes, a portal into a lost ancient world, chambers filed with carvings, images that had never been recorded or reproduced. The greatest discovery of this or any other century, waiting less than twenty feet away. Waiting for her. And Conrad had been there first. The moment she thought it, she felt guilty. She was allowing herself to get carried away by archaeological fervor, mentally competing with Conrad, when he might have paid a terrible price for his discovery.



Author Bio:

I am an author and independent filmmaker/stop motion animator with a BFA in Stop Motion Animation from the School of Visual Arts in New York and a PhD in Film Studies from the University of Edinburgh (Scotland, UK). My thesis focuses on silent film adaptations of late nineteenth and early twentieth century Gothic novels, with a special emphasis on psychological and aesthetic representations of the Monster figure. My debut novel, a YA Sci-Fi adventure called Digging in the Stars, is forthcoming with BlazePublishing on March 28, 2017.

Raised by an Egyptologist mother, I grew up among museums and excavation sites,where I developed an unhealthy fascination with ancient art and mythology. I divide my time between bringing 12”-tall people to life in my studio in Edinburgh, excavating ancient tombs in the Egyptian desert, and researching Gothic literary monsters in silent film. I have worked for more than 10 years as photographer and videographer for the South Asasif Conservation Project, an archaeological expedition in Egypt and I have published numerous articles on film and archaeology.

I write, direct, design, and animate short films and commissioned projects in my studio in Edinburgh, Scotland and have been employed as an animator, screenwriter, modelmaker and art director for studios in Edinburgh, South Korea and Qatar. I have produced commissioned projects for IdeasTap in London, the Arts Trust Scotland and the British Library. My shorts have won competitions and screened at various international festivals including the Edinburgh Fringe. In 2015, my short film The BurglarWith the Yellow Hand was nominated for an Arts and Humanities Research Council (UK) Research in Film Award.

You can find out more about all aspects of my work on my website, http://yorwickcastle.com
My new blog http://KatherineBlakeneyStardigger.blogspot.com is all about Digging in the Stars and my references and inspirations as a writer.

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Waiting on Wednesday March 29, 2017

Waiting on Wednesday

 

Waiting on Wednesday is a meme hosted by Breaking the Spine where I get to talk about a book that I can’t wait to come out!

The Forgetting by Sharon Cameron was one of those books I instantly fell in love with, as if I could ever not love something written by this talented writer. I had no idea there was going to be another book and when I ventured onto Twitter one day I saw the announcement days after it had been made and I was shocked. I loved the idea that we would get to peak in on the world of Canaan again and this time we get to see new stories in this world.  I am beyond excited for this book to come out! And you guys, what another gorgeous cover! So pretty!

THE KNOWING

October 10, 2017

Sharon Cameron returns to the rich world of The Forgettingwith a companion novel as thrilling and intricately crafted as the first.

Samara doesn’t forget. And she isn’t the only one. Safe underground in the city of New Canaan, she lives in a privileged world free from the Forgetting. Yet she wonders if she really is free, with the memories that plague her and secrets that surround her. Samara is determined to unearth the answers, even if she must escape to the old, cursed city of Canaan to find them.

Someone else is on their way to Canaan too . . . a spaceship from Earth is heading toward the planet, like a figment of the city’s forgotten past. Beck is traveling with his parents, researchers tasked with finding the abandoned settlement effort. When Beck is stranded without communication, he will find more in Canaan than he was ever trained for. What will happen when worlds and memories, beliefs — and truths — collide?

This pulse-pounding, evocative companion to Cameron’s highly acclaimed The Forgetting explores the truth and loss that lie within human memory, and the bonds that hold us together.

Top Ten Tuesday March 28, 2017


Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly meme hosted by The Broke and the Bookish. This week we are talking about top ten authors I can’t believe I’ve met.

Meg Cabot

 

I was introduced to Meg Cabot when I was around 10-years-old my mom bought me the book Haunted. I didn’t realize until I was in high school that it was actually the 5th book in the series.  Since that time my collection has grown and grown and during the event I was so embarrassed because I had so many books that I brought three friends so that I would be able to get them all signed. When I told Meg that my favorite series was The Mediator series she told me she was working on another one and my mind exploded because on her website she specifically stated that she was never going to write another one. I am so glad she did!

Richelle Mead

 

My friends and I were so obsessed with Vampire Academy so when we heard Richelle Mead was going to be 3.5 hours from us we knew we had to go. The day before we were to make the trip a snowstorm blew through and then iced over and my friend and I had to help people push our car out of the ditch at one point. We made it to the event on time and got to sit in the front row and had a blast getting to see an author we all loved so much.

 

Gayle Forman

 

The author of If I Stay and Where She Went happened to be at Yallfest one of the years that I was there and I was beyond excited. Where She Went is one of my favorite books and I could not wait to tell her in person. She seems really surprised when I told her I loved Adam’s story so much. Apparently more people favor If I Stay.

 

Libba Bray

She was another author I was able to meet at Yallfest that year. I love her Great and Terrible Beauty series. The ending of the third book, A Sweet Far Thing is one of my favorite young adult conclusions. I did not realize that she had told me to make a face when we were taking the pic, because it was so loud, but I realized she said then when she took the pic with my sister because she repeated it and I was like…..oh.

Carrie Ryan

 

I was able to meet Carrie Ryan the first year that I went to Yallfest which was also the first year it existed. I was a brand new baby blogger and my website had only been up for about a month or so when I went. It was also my first time ever going to a book festival and being around so many authors. I love the Forest of Hands and Teeth series and the conclusion, Dark and Hollow Places, is such an amazing book.

 

Victoria Schwab

The first time I met Victoria Schwab was just a few days after The Near Witch was released. It has been incredible to watch her find the successes that she has had. I’ve been so lucky to attend several of her book launches and signings and see her at Yallfest both times I went. The cool thing that I’ve always thought was so sweet was that she has such a good memory and remembered my name. When I showed up to The Archived launch she greeted me by name and asked how my drive was because she knew I lived 2.5 hours away and threw some mountains. Not only was I blown away that she had remembered, but I just feel that really speaks to the kind of person she is.

Courtney Stevens

I met Courtney during my first SCBWI conference, back when she had really long braids. While interning at the small press I organized a panel event in Nashville and Courtney agreed to take part in it even though Faking Normal hadn’t released yet. A few days before the event her publisher sent her a physical copy of the book so she was able to read us an excerpt. I am so happy that one of the first events she was able to take part in as an author was mine because I love her books so much. The Lies About Truth blew me away when I read it and remains one of my favorite YA’s.

 

Sharon Cameron

SCBWI 2012

When I talk about how immensely proud I am of Sharon Cameron readers of this blog should not be stunned. What stuns me the most about this incredible authors is that she has brought me along for so much of your journey. The first time I met Sharon I was deep in the depth of fangirling over Ruta Sepetys. Ruta wanted to introduce me to her friend and Sharon kept trying to tell me the name of her debut coming out in the fall of the next year and I just could not get it right. (It’s The Dark Unwinding btw) Rook will always be my favorite of hers because it’s got the best acknowledgement page lol!

 Ruta Sepetys

2011Ruta Sepetys

The first time that I saw Ruta was in August 2011. She was part of a panel event and the only historical author there. She is also the only author I did not speak to at that event. About a month later I borrowed Between Shades of Gray from a friend and could not put it down once I started reading it. I had never emailed an author before, but the second I finished BSG (roughly 3am) I went onto her website and sent her this horribly gushing email that was probably riddled with spelling errors because I had no glasses on and the keyboard on the phone I was using was tiny. I told her about how much BSH had impacted me and how I had never stayed up that late for a book before. I was shocked when I received the most gracious reply from Ruta. This was the first time an author had ever emailed me! (This was pre-blog era) Thus began my friendship with such an amazing author. Every single time I see Ruta she is amazingly nice and genuinely cares about everyone. She has had international success and recognition and I can’t believe I am lucky enough to know her!

 

Margaret Petterson Haddix

Every one of us has that author we would faint when we meet. Most of us will never get to meet that author, but I was lucky enough to have this embarrassment happen. Okay, fine, I didn’t actually faint, but she thought I was going to. I was still interning for Sharon Cameron during Southern Festival of Books one year, so I trailed around after her all day. Since I live so far away I missed her first panel and wait in the hall for her to come out. Because I didn’t really plan on going to panels on my own that year I did not bother to check who was actually going to be there. I’m leaning against the wall as Sharon comes out of the room and she walks over with another woman and is looking around for a third. She finally flags down the third person and she begins to introduce me to her friends. J.J. Howard who wrote That Time I Joined the Circus was one of them. I had taken part in her blog tour and was excited that I got to meet her in real life. Then I turn to the last woman and Sharon says “Hannah, this is Margaret” and I was already shaking her hand and saying hello when Sharon went “Petterson Haddix” and I FROZE!!!!! I couldn’t move, I couldn’t speak, apparently according to the three of them I went completely white and my face fell slack and they literally thought I was about to faint and kept asking me if I was okay.

I had absolutely no idea that Margaret was going to be there that weekend, I didn’t even bring any of her books and I was so upset. It was the laugh of the weekend how I freaked out so bad. Then I was able to have dinner with Sharon, J.J., Margaret, and my friend Shalena. I was able to sit at a table in an empty Italian restaurant in Nashville (seriously we were the only ones there and we almost left because we thought they were closed). Margaret asked me about my own writing, but I was so shy and still in shock that I just couldn’t talk about it. I really wish that I could go back in time and talk to her like I would have with Sharon or any other one of my friends. It was an amazing moment in my life and I will never forget. Luckily for me the next day while everyone else was seeing Rick Riordan, Shalena and I went over and talked with Margaret for about an hour and it made up for everything from the night before.

 

Who is your favorite dream author to meet? Or is there anyone you have met that has left you speechless?