Sunday, July 21, 2013

Shudder Revealed! A Hurray for YA Dystopia

Haven’t read the first book in the series? Check out my review here. Stitch is just $0.99 at Amazon!
It’s only been three days, and already everything is different Paragon is behind her, but somehow Alessa’s life may actually have gotten worse. In a wrenching twist of fate, she traded the safety and companionship of her sister for that of her true love, losing a vital partner she’d counted on for the ordeal ahead. Her comfortable university life is but a distant memory, as she faces the prospect of surviving a bleak winter on the meager remains of a ravaged world. And if she’d thought she’d tasted fear upon seeing a ghost, she was wrong; now she’s discovering new depths of terror while being hunted by a deadly virus and a terrifying pack of superhuman creatures thirsting for blood. And then there are the visions. The memory-altering “stitch” unlocked something in Alessa’s mind, and now she can’t shake the constant flood of alien feelings ransacking her emotions. Haunting memories of an old flame are driving a deep and painful rift into her once-secure relationship. And a series of staggering revelations about the treacherous Engineers – and the bone-chilling deceit shrouding her world’s sorry history – will soon leave Alessa reeling… The second installment in the electrifying Stitch Trilogy, Shudder follows Samantha Durante’s shocking and innovative debut with a heart-pounding, paranormal-dusted dystopian adventure sure to keep the pages turning.
Buy Shudder on Amazon
Amazon (Kindle $2.99, print $8.99)
Barnes & Noble (Nook $2.99)
Smashwords (multiple e-book formats $2.99)
Also available ($2.99 e-book) in the iTunes store, Kobo, and wherever e-books are sold

Review: The genre bending mash-up that presents in book one finds its way down a more dystopia, science-fiction path in the second installment of the Stitch series. When the revelation of the actual 'stitch' emerges, the ghostly mystery wanes. Shudder serves as a transition in a post-apocalyptic world where deceit is commonplace in the game for survival. Now it's time to choose a side, Alessa and Issac are given a new mission that is vital to the success of the rebellion. Will they succeed, runaway or fight? 

Even though some of my favorite paranormal elements are cancelled, like the dramas in book one, new troubling events are introduced. For instance, mutant creatures are lurking in the woods. How come no one can get a good look at these menacing things? Seriously, how many times do they need to attack before we can call in a sketch artist? Okay, even with that slightly annoying dilemma, it's still intense and pretty cool. Then, there is that pesky problem Alessa is having, strange foresight and empathic feelings. Maybe, this is foreshadowing...maybe it's just a twist on the paranormal? Or maybe she is just whiny and hungry?  After all, I would be if I dined on mere onions and acorns. Perhaps, I'm being mislead to jump to a conclusion that will knock my socks off in book three? this a handy dandy evolutionary mutant superpower that will save the species and the world in the end!  I don't know yet, but I will have plenty of time to contemplate this new development while I wait for the final book to be released.

When pondering writing elements, one thorn sticks out. Alessa's voice is the most prominent. Without a doubt hers dominants above all the characters. However, the voice of Issac and other supporting characters unfortunately is similar to the main female lead. There is not much distinction given through dialogue or description to set them apart. It is clear who is speaking throughout the book, but to make it truly epic, a greater detailing to differentiating voice would have been the winning stamp of approval for this creative vision. 
With that said...this independent author did not disappoint. The story is wrapped up without the horrid cliffhanger, but offers just enough doubt, conspiracy and mystery to leave the reader eager for the final book. Each book in the series thus far is individually satisfying while at the same time tossing enough bait that a reader can't resist scooping up the next one as soon as it is released. 
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*ARC provided by the author for independent review

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