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Wednesday, January 28, 2015

Tunnel Vision Blog Tour {Review and Giveaway}


I'm thrilled to have the Tunnel Vision Blog Tour stopping by today with my Review and a Giveaway...


Tunnel Vision
by Susan Adrian
1/20/15
St. Martin's Griffin
Romance and action come crashing together when a teenage boy with incredible powers is brought to the attention of the government.
Jake Lukin just turned 18. He's decent at tennis and Halo, and waiting to hear on his app to Stanford. But he's also being followed by a creep with a gun, and there's a DARPA agent waiting in his bedroom. His secret is blown.

When Jake holds a personal object, like a pet rock or a ring, he has the ability to "tunnel" into the owner. He can sense where they are, like a human GPS, and can see, hear, and feel what they do. It's an ability the government would do anything to possess: a perfect surveillance unit who could locate fugitives, spies, or terrorists with a single touch.

Jake promised his dad he’d never tell anyone about his ability. But his dad died two years ago, and Jake slipped. If he doesn't agree to help the government, his mother and sister may be in danger. Suddenly he's juggling high school, tennis tryouts, flirting with Rachel Watkins, and work as a government asset, complete with 24-hour bodyguards.

Forced to lie to his friends and family, and then to choose whether to give up everything for their safety, Jake hopes the good he's doing—finding kidnap victims and hostages, and tracking down terrorists—is worth it. But he starts to suspect the good guys may not be so good after all. With Rachel's help, Jake has to try to escape both good guys and bad guys and find a way to live his own life instead of tunneling through others.


Susan Adrian’s Tunnel Vision pleasantly surprised me with how quickly and easily it swept me away into a thrilling tale full of supernatural powers, mystery, secret government projects, sweet romance, and fun action.

Eighteen year old Jake Lukin just wants to survive senior year, get into Stanford, play tennis, and maybe date Rachel...you know, normal stuff. But Jake is far from normal. He possesses the ability to touch an object and “tunnel” his way into that person’s head, sensing their location, thoughts, intentions, and actions. He promised his now dead father that he’d never reveal his secret, but Jake screwed up, and now he’s forced to work with DARPA, a US government agency. Jake doesn’t mind tunnelling to save people and stop bad guys, but he quickly learns that maybe the good guys are the bad guys too. With the help of gorgeous Rachel and his grandfather, Jake just might escape DARPA’s clutches and uncover long buried secrets.


Tunnel Vision is a fast-paced, smartly written story with a fascinating premise, likable hero, and enthralling storytelling. Susan Adrian mixes genres, with a little bit of mystery; thriller; and supernatural combined together to create a refreshing and captivating plot. The world Susan Adrian creates is a complex and layered one, with clever world-building. From mysterious men in suits, the steely DARPA agents, cryptic messages from Jake’s grandfather, and several twists; turns; and revelations, Tunnel Vision has such a thrilling and intense vibe. I found Jake’s tunneling ability to be super intriguing and wonderfully explored.

Jake is a funny, likable hero who, other than his ability, isn’t annoyingly special or talented. There’s something very relatable about him. Tunnel Vision is told from his POV and I mostly enjoyed being inside his head. I love Jake’s relationships with his little sister and grandfather. With the DARPA agents, Susan Adrian does a great job of creating characters that really straddle that line between good guy and baddie. The romance (which is really not much more than a cute flirtation and some smooches) between Jake and Rachel is sweet, and she’s likable enough, but I wasn’t wowed or moved by this aspect of the story.

I was, however, far more impressed with the unexpected twists, turns, and revelations throughout the book. The action, mystery, and thrills kept me on the edge of my seat and made Tunnel Vision quite unputdownable.

My Final Thoughts: With a plot that grabs hold and doesn't let go, smart storytelling, and a endearing hero, Tunnel Vision is an exciting, addicting read.

MY RATING
4/5 yummy cupcakes



Susan Adrian is a 4th-generation Californian who somehow stumbled into living in Montana. She danced in a ballet company and worked in the fields of exotic pet-sitting, clothes-schlepping, and bookstore management. She’s settled in, mostly, as a scientific editor. When she’s not with her family, she keeps busy researching spy stuff, traveling, and writing more books.
Susan is represented by Kate Schafer Testerman of kt literary (kate@ktliterary.com). For film/television rights she is represented by Jon Cassir of CAA. She is a member of SCBWI.
Win a hardcover copy of Tunnel Vision!
Thanks to St. Martin's, I have one copy for one winner.
details
-US only
-ends 2/6
-must be 13+ to enter
-winner will be emailed and must claim prize within 48 hours
-Word Spelunking is not responsible for lost, damaged, or stolen prizes

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Tuesday, January 27, 2015

Review: Breaker (Ondine Quartet #4) by Emma Raveling

Check out my reviews of the other books in this amazing series: Whirl, Billow, Crest

Breaker
(Ondine Quartet #4)
by Emma Raveling
1/28/15
War. Prophecy. Freedom.
She fought for herself.
She fought for friendship and love.
Now, Kendra Irisavie fights for the survival of her world.


War rages on, leaving no one untouched. Destruction rips through elemental communities and terror flourishes in its wake. Suspicion soars, order fractures, and loyalties crumble despite Kendra’s desperate attempts to protect everyone she holds dear.

When an organized Aquidae army launches a series of merciless assaults, Kendra and her friends set out to end the bloodshed once and for all. With the fate of elementals hanging in balance, the Shadow and sondaleur hunt each other down in a brutal match of cunning and will.

Kendra has trained for this her entire life. But in a ravaged world where trust is scarce and no life is sacred, she soon realizes her battle may be against an invincible enemy and that her darkest days lie ahead.

Twists and turns shape her harrowing odyssey, leading to a stunning climax that challenges everything she believes in.
Torn between destiny and autonomy, Kendra must finally decide whether the cost of freedom is too high.

Heartbreaking decisions, turbulent alliances, and shattering revelations collide in Breaker, the explosive conclusion to the Ondine Quartet.



Endings are rarely easy, especially the ending of a beloved series. As readers, when we reach the ending of a series we love, we go through all the emotions: excitement, anticipation, fear, love, denial, more love, and eventually acceptance. The Ondine Quartet has been such a big part of my life for four years and I am immensely sad to see it end, but dude, what an epic way to end! This wonderful book has gloriously killed me with ALL the feels!

In Breaker, author Emma Raveling brings it and she brings it hard! Thrills, twists, startling revelations, heartbreak, romance, pain, sexy-times, gut wrenching grief, humor, simply beautiful words...Breaker has all this and more. This fourth and final book in the Ondine Quartet does not go out quietly, but ends with a bang, a boom, fireworks, and a thousand trumpets. This book resonates loudly, it sinks bone-deep; I can still feel its gorgeous echoes in my heart. I’ve said it before, but I’ll said again: Emma is a spectacular storyteller who spins endlessly enthralling tales and never disappoints me...Breaker is no exception.

From page one, Breaker delivers the heart-punches; the action; the gasp-worthy revelations and keeps them coming until the very end. Emma brings her captivating world full circle and gives the places we’ve come to love in the Ondine Quartet a proper farewell, while taking readers to places they never imagined going. Throughout four novels and several novellas, Emma has threaded different characters, storylines, and events into the pages and I love that, in Breaker, all these threads come together to weave a breathtaking tapestry that tells a complex, smartly planned, and expertly navigated story.

I’ve always loved how character driven this series is and, throughout the novels and novellas, have fallen very much in love with so many of the characters. Kendra, Tristan, Julian, Jeeves, Aubrey, Ian, Nexa, and everyone else, have all come to mean so much to me and I’ll admit that I was absolutely terrified to learn their fates...as I should have been! I think I spent at least half of Breaker in tears, equally wanting to hug and smack characters. But be rest assured, the fates of these characters may not end up being what you want or imagined, but in the end, they feel right.

Emma throws some wicked curve balls at readers in Breaker that had me all “No friggin way!” and ‘Oh, she did not just do that!” and especially “Fuuuuck!”. Breaker’s ending really surprised me and is nothing I ever imagined it would be, it isn’t an easy ending or a sugary-sunshiney one, but it is exactly everything it needs to be. And, as heartbroken as I am to say goodbye to this world and its characters, I can honestly say, I approve of the ending 100%.

My Final Thoughts: Breaker is everything I hoped and needed it to be. Emma Raveling has written the stunning, fierce, and surprising conclusion that both readers and her characters deserve. I cannot thank her enough for giving this magical series to the world!!

MY RATING
5/5 delicious cupcakes


Emma Raveling writes a wide variety of fiction for teens and adults. She is the author of the young adult urban / contemporary fantasy series, the Ondine Quartet, and Lost Blood, the first installment of the forthcoming young adult urban fantasy series, Chancer. She’s also working on the first book in her new Steel Magic series for adults.
An avid traveler hopelessly addicted to diet coke and coffee, she currently resides in Honolulu, Hawaii with her husband and German shepherd.

Friday, January 23, 2015

Polaris Blog Tour {Review and Giveaway}


I'm thrilled to have the Polaris Blog Tour stopping by today with my Review and a Giveaway...


POLARIS
(Avalon #2)
by Mindee Arnett
1/20/15
Balzer + Bray
432 pages
Jeth Seagrave and his crew of mercenaries are pulled into one last high-stakes mission in this breathtaking sequel to Mindee Arnett’s fascinating and fast-paced sci-fi thriller Avalon.

Jeth Seagrave and his crew are on the run. The ITA, still holding Jeth’s mother in a remote research lab, is now intent on acquiring the metatech secrets Jeth’s sister Cora carries inside her DNA, and Jeth is desperate to find the resources he needs to rescue his mother and start a new life outside the Confederation. But the ITA is just as desperate, and Jeth soon finds himself pursued by a mysterious figure hell-bent on capturing him and his crew—dead or alive.

With nowhere to run and only one play left, Jeth enters into a bargain with the last person he ever thought he’d see again: Daxton Price, the galaxy’s newest and most fearsome crime lord. Dax promises to help Jeth, but his help will only come at a price—a price that could mean sacrificing everything Jeth has fought for until now.

The conclusion to the story Mindee Arnett began in her acclaimed novelAvalonPolaris is a dangerous journey into the spaces between power and corruption, life and death, the parts of ourselves we leave behind, and the parts we struggle to hold on to. 



Last year, Mindee Arnett took readers on a wildly fun, intergalactic sci-fi adventure with Avalon. Well, that fast-paced story continues in the equally enthralling, Polaris!

It’s been several months since the life changing events in Avalon and Jeth Seagrave, and his mercenary crew, are on the run from the ITA. Jeth’s long thought dead mother is still held captive and his new little sister, Cora, is hunted for her unique and priceless DNA. Jeth must make a dangerous deal with a dangerous man in order to save the ones he loves. But this deal comes with a heavy price, and disheartening betrayals and heart-breaking losses come at Jeth and his crew from all sides.

Like Avalon, Polaris is a fascinating and fun sci-fi adventure, full of thrills; twists; and likable characters. Arnett combines action, romance, humor, sci-fi elements, and a lot of heart, to create a captivating and exciting story. Polaris is given the wide expanse of space as its setting, making for an endlessly intriguing world. For the most part, this intergalactic world is vividly and lushly laid out with great world-building. And Arnett has filled this future space world with some seriously cool gadgets, places, and people. Space jumps, telepathy, metatech, mysterious alien life-forms...Polaris has all this and more!

Jeth and his crew find themselves on the run from the ITA and a wickedly dangerous man, and on a fragile, world-changing mission. The action, twists and turns, and revelations are plentiful and entertaining! But, I found Polaris to be quite an emotional journey for its characters as well. Arnett does an excellent job of exploring themes of love, family, power, greed, and self-discovery, making Polaris a very layered, complex story.

Throughout Avalon and Polaris, I’ve enjoyed getting to know this series’ characters very much. Jeth makes for a likable, relatable, and charming hero, who is surrounded by an eclectic crew. And I love how Arnett has allowed her “baddies” to be just as complex and intriguing as the good guys. However, there are a few characters in Polaris that I wish got more story-time, simply because I like them so much!

The conclusion of Polaris took me somewhere quite unexpected, but I think readers will really dig it!

My Final Thoughts: With exciting storytelling, intriguing world-building, and likable characters, Polaris is a fun, satisfying conclusion in an out of this world sci-fi series!

MY RATING
4/5 cupcakes


Mindee Arnett lives on a horse farm in Ohio with her husband, two kids, a couple of dogs, and an inappropriate number of cats. She’s addicted to jumping horses and telling tales of magic, the macabre, and outer space. She has far more dreams than nightmares.

Win a signed set of AVALON and POLARIS!
-US only
-one winner
-this is a blog tour wide giveaway


a Rafflecopter giveaway
CHECK OUT ALL THE TOUR STOPS
Week One:
1/12/2015- Bewitched BookwormsInterview
1/13/2015- The Eater of Books!Review
1/14/2015- Nerdophiles Guest Post
1/15/2015- Blogging Between the LinesReview
1/16/2015- Working for the MandroidInterview                                                                                             

Week Two:
1/19/2015- The Cover ContessaGuest Post
1/20/2015- Spiced Latte ReadsReview
1/21/2015- Such a Novel IdeaInterview
1/22/2015- Reading YA RocksGuest Post
1/23/2015- Word SpelunkingReview

Wednesday, January 14, 2015

Giveaway: Book Prize Pack from Candlewick Press


TIME magazine recently published their lists of Top 100 Young Adult and Top 100 Children’s Books of All Time and there are some seriously awesome books on this list! Candlewick Press has six of their young adult titles featured on the YA list and they have offered up a prize pack of those books for one of you lucky cupcakes!


The book prize pack includes paperback copies of:

FeedFeed by M. T. Anderson
Anderson takes on consumerism in this smart, savage satire that has captivated readers with its view of an imagined future that veers unnervingly close to the here and now. 
* A National Book Award finalist






The Miraculous Journey of Edward TulaneThe Miraculous Journey of Edward Tulane by Kate DiCamillo , illustrated by Bagram Ibatoulline
Kate DiCamillo takes us on an extraordinary journey, from the depths of the ocean to the net of a fisherman, from the bedside of an ailing child to the bustling streets of Memphis. Along the way, we are shown a miracle -- that even a heart of the most breakable kind can learn to love, to lose, and to love again. 
Note: The Miraculous Journey of Edward Tulane is in the Top 25 to be voted on for Best of the Best ranking by reader vote: http://time.com/100-best-young-adult-books/


The Tiger RisingTiger Rising by Kate DiCamillo
Rob, sickly and devastated by the death of his mother, moves to a hotel with his father for a new start. But after he comes across a caged tiger in the woods outside the motel, the unexpected find helps him overcome his sadness and open up to a new friend.

*A National Book Award finalist 


A Monster Calls
A Monster Calls by Patrick Ness, illustrated by Jim Kay
An unflinching, darkly funny, and deeply moving story of a boy, his seriously ill mother, and an unexpected monstrous visitor.

* Soon to be a major motion picture




The Knife of Never Letting Go
A dystopian thriller follows a boy and girl on the run from a town where all thoughts can be heard -- and the passage to manhood embodies a horrible secret.






Boy ProofBoy Proof by Cecil Castellucci
An unforgettable debut novel that follows an antisocial cinephile as she meets a quick-witted artist who's savvy enough to see through her sci-fi disguise. 

* Celebrating 10th anniversary in February 2015




Giveaway Details
-open to US/CAN only
-ends 1/23
-one winner will get all 6 books
-must be 13+ to enter
-winner will be emailed and must claim prize within 48 hours
-Word Spelunking is not responsible for lost, damaged, or stolen prizes
Please fill out the Rafflecopter form


a Rafflecopter giveaway

follow Candlewick Press:
Twitter - @Candlewick
E-Volt Twitter - @evoltbooks
E-Volt Tumblr - http://e-volt.tumblr.com/


Thursday, January 8, 2015

The 4th Annual March Middle Grade Madness Sign-ups Are Open!


It's a new year, which means another round of
 March Middle Grade Madness!

I am SO excited to start planning and organizing the 4th Annual March MG Madness! If you're new to this event, it's a month long celebration of middle-grade that features tons of reviews, author interviews, guest posts, giveaways, and more. For more info, check out the 1st MMGM, 2nd MMGM, and the 3rd MMGM.

 I LOVE middle-grade literature and this event is my absolute favorite of the year! But, I can't do this event alone, I need some awesome middle-grade authors and publishers to participate as well. In the past three years, I have had some AMAZING authors and pubs get involved and it has been AWESOME!

So, what's this MMGM thang all about? Glad you asked! Basically, every weekday in March a different middle-grade author and/or book(s) will be featured. Here are some guidelines:

  • the event will run from March 1-31
  • the event is open to ALL middle-grade authors and pubs (traditional, indie, self-published)
  • as long as the book(s) you want featured has been released within the last year or will be released within the year, then it's allowed
  • authors will have a wide range of posts to choose from (reviews by me, interviews, guest posts, spotlights, giveaways, etc)
  • it doesn't cost a thing to participate, but a shout-out about the event on your websites/social media accounts is always appreciated
  • I will have about 18-20 spots available, so sign-up early and guarantee a date

Sign-ups will close at midnight on January 31st and you will get an email from me the first week of February (maybe sooner) for more info. 

sign-ups now closed. thank you :)




And if you have ANY questions at all, please email me at wordspelunker[at]gmail[dot]com

I CAN'T WAIT TO WORK WITH Y'ALL ON THIS FUN EVENT!!