Sunday, April 29, 2012

Survival Blog Tour Stop: Review of Survival (The Guards of Vesturon #1) by AM Hargrove + Giveaway

I almost freaked out because when I looked at the tour schedule, I was scheduled for the 27th (I have an actual planner along with my phone now so hopefully this won't happen), but I fished through my e-mails and saw that I changed it to the 29th. Anyway, here we go!

Goodreads rating: 3.43
Kindle Edition
Published November 15th 2011 by Smashwords

"Maybe I was caught between the two worlds. I was having serious trouble distinguishing fantasy from reality."

While on a backpacking trip in the Great Smoky Mountain National Park, nineteen-year-old Maddie Pearce finds her world has been thrown into a vortex and is madly spinning toward the impossible. Abducted by a mad psychopath, Maddie narrowly escapes with her life. But that is only the beginning. Her mysterious rescuer introduces her to a world that Maddie has difficulty accepting as reality. Will this strikingly gorgeous stranger be the key to her future or will she return to her mundane world, scarred from her experience? Follow Maddie as she is forced to make difficult decisions that carry her to mysterious places.  
Okay, so, I'll begin with the good:

I love the premise. I'm starting to write a book about these kind of supernatural beings myself (in a completely different way, but still), and it was a mystery as to who these "people" were. I actually wasn't expecting them to be what they were (it's one of the last things you would expect), and so props for that. And while I thought the romance between Maddie and Rayn went a little too fast, there were a few moments where I definitely found my cheeks flushing. And all of these brothers sound sexy. I wonder if there will end up being a love triangle between Maddie, Rayn, and the other brother whose name also starts with an R that I can't remember. There were even times when I was turning the digital pages to find out what happened next.

And now... the bad:

It didn't flow quite right. We would read a scene from Maddie's POV and then read that same scene again (with a little extra) from Rayn's POV. It was really annoying and it almost felt like she was just trying to fill pages. But the first thing I would do to make this book flow a little better is change the beginning. I would have her in the killer's clutches to start off with and then flashing back to her life a few months before. And the other issue that I had with this one that was non-romance related was that she gets paralyzed from falling off a cliff and she learns to cope with it. Then, she agrees to go with Rayn to get it completely fixed and she doesn't even care that she could walk again. When something so precious like the ability to use your legs is taken from you when you've had 19 years with their use, and then to get that ability back would be the most amazing thing. Yet, she barely even cares. Not sure why, but this was one of the things that made me most angry about this book. Oh, and the dialogue was terrible; honestly, no one talks that way in real life.

The rest of my complaints are part of the romance. A minor surface thing that was only slightly agitating was how Rayn called Maddie "his female". Now I'm not a hardcore feminist, but if my boyfriend said that to me, that would not be okay. Yet, somehow, Maddie doesn't seem to care. I'm not sure if love has blinded her or if she gets off on being labeled as someone's female. Sorry, I'm trying hard not to get ranty here... This book also has a main problem that I actually find in a lot of YA books lately, and it's that they professed their love for each other just past the halfway point of the book, and you know how I feel about that. Lastly, there was this big scene where Rayn's father is making him leave to go back home, and he and Maddie may never see each other again, and they're making jokes the whole time before he leaves. It was so anticlimactic I wanted to pull my hair out!

Okay, enough ranting. It's not that this is a bad book per say, but you can just tell when books are self-published. There were so many times where I thought: "this is what editors are for, this is what editors are for". I may continue this series if I see that the second one gets higher praise. It's a wonderful idea and I wish I could have liked the book more, but it was difficult to get through at times.

And now, for the giveaway! You can actually read this book for FREE right now, so if you think you'll give this series a try, download Survival and COMMENT here to have a chance to win the next book in the series, Resurrection. Just comment and leave your name and e-mail so that I can contact you.

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I always appreciate comments and cherish every one of them. THIS IS AN AWARD-FREE ZONE. I don't have the time to fulfill the requirements for the awards, but thank you so much for thinking of me. I just ask for no vulgarity, and if you have any issues with my reviews or writing style, please e-mail me instead of commenting. Now, vent to your heart's content!

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