Tuesday, February 4, 2014

Rise of the Arcane Fire Blog Tour: Review & Excerpt of Rise of the Arcane Fire (The Secret Order #2) by Kristin Bailey + GIVEAWAY

I'm so happy to be a part of this blog tour, especially since I took part in the tour for the first book! You can check out the rest of the tour HERE.

Goodreads rating: 4.27
Kindle Edition, 464 pages
Publication: February 4th 2014 by Simon Pulse
Series: The Secret Order #2
Genre: Steampunk YA romance

After her parents died in a fire and her grandfather disappeared, Meg Whitlock thought her life had come to a standstill. But when she learned that the pocket watch her grandfather left her was really an intricate key, Meg, with the help of a stable hand named Will, uncovered the Amusementists: members of an elite secret society dedicated to discovery and shrouded in mystery.

Now the Amusementists are convening in London, and Meg is determined to join their ranks. But being the first girl in the Order has its difficulties, and with Will away in Scotland Meg fears she can’t trust anyone but herself. Her worries are only supported by the sabotage happening at the academy, with each altered invention being more harmful than the last.

With threats lurking around every corner, and while trying to prove her worth as the first female Amusementist, Meg must uncover the identity of the academy’s saboteur before the botched devices become deadly. And after she finds evidence of a sinister and forbidden invention, Meg must stop it - or risk the entire future of the Amusementists.
 Spoilers from book 1!

I had many ups and downs in this book. I really enjoyed the first one in the series, and so I was excited to see what this sequel had in store for our heroine and her strapping Scottish hero. Then, I realized the strapping hero was going to run away like a dog with his tail between his legs (okay, maybe not that bad, but you get my point), and suddenly I wasn't so excited to read it. I knew that it was going to have what I like to call the sequel syndrome, which basically means that the love interest from the first book is going to be separated from the main female character (usually by his own doing, which was the case in this one, the idiot), giving another male character the chance to move in on the heroine. Needless to say, that's almost as bad as instalove in the first book to me when it comes to cliche formulas in YA. Luckily, this series has a wonderful mystery-novel element to it, so I actually didn't find myself getting bored. Annoyed, yes, but bored? Not even! We start a few months after we left off at the end of book 1: Simon is dead, Meg looks after the shop, and Will is off on errands for Oliver who's taken him in. The problem is that someone is trying to kill Meg, and this last time it was a bomb that would have detonated had Will not been there. Because of this and other "scandalous" circumstances, Meg is invited to become a student at the school for the order. But the problem still remains that someone is trying to kill her, and with Will gone, who can she really trust?

Like I said, I was annoyed by the fact that Will and his Scottish brogue wouldn't be there for most of the novel, which nearly made me want to throw my Kindle... but then I would have no longer had a Kindle, so I just opted for being angry. I plan to keep my own novel away from that obvious formula, and I guess that's why it bugs me so much that authors still use it when it seems so overplayed. The only way it even remotely worked in this novel was because the entire time he was gone, there were so many things going on: someone is still trying to kill Meg, nearly everyone in the Order wants to see her fail, her grandfather is hiding out from the world, she has no friends and no one respects her or even believes her half the time. Meg had a lot on her plate in this one, and for that I applaud the author. Bailey gave into the sequel syndrome, but she made up for it. I really loved Peter as Meg's friend (and really nothing more, the guy wanted to be a priest after all), and I was glad someone could be there for her. I really value my friendships with the guys I know, so seeing Meg interact in a non-romantic way towards a guy was refreshing. Sadly, it doesn't last until the end of the novel.... With so much mystery and intrigue and, yes, murder, I did not see it coming as to who the killer was, and Meg once again proved her bravery to a very misogynistic Order of Amusementists. I cannott wait to see what happens in the third book!!!

 Those who have read the first book, obviously, and love YA steampunk!

This is a scene where all the apprentices are gathering for the first time for their initiation into the Order. Meg is feeling out of place and is trying to get a feel for who is who. She gets a little bit of a surprise, and realizes that her best friend, Lucinda, neglected to tell her something rather important in the grand scheme of things. Enjoy!

Just then a large pack of young men ascended the ramp, laughing and joking with one another. The crowd parted, and a tall and handsome young man with a smart red waistcoat and a neat black coat adjusted his lapels and beamed at the group. He had golden-blond hair and the air of a boy who felt he had no limits and expected attention as a matter of course.

I frowned as I watched the others in the courtyard. Like a magnet he attracted them. They couldn't help but turn and pay attention as he walked past. In his wake a small group followed like altar boys at the hem of the bishop. I couldn't figure what he could have done to deserve such adulation, and I found myself quite vexed, though I didn't know precisely why.

"Who is he?" I asked, not really intending the question to be answered. I wasn't sure why I cared, other than something about the way he only grinned out of one side of his mouth bothered me. That, and he looked familiar.

"You mean you don't know?" Peter looked appalled. "How can you be female and not know?"

"Should I be insulted?" I turned to Peter, and his shyness overcame him.

"That's David." Peter let out what sounded like a sigh.

Perfect, as if David's type needed a fatter head. Of course he was named David, the glorious young king of the Bible, chosen by God himself. How fitting. I gave Peter a wary glance, suspicious there was more to this story. "David who?"

"David Archibald Harrington, Earl of Strompton."

Oh, dear Lord. He was Lucinda's brother.

About Kristin

Kristin Bailey grew up in the middle of the San Joaquin Valley in California. As a kid she enjoyed visiting the beach, camping and skiing with her two brothers. Now she is a military wife and mother of two young children. She is also terrible about spoiling her pets. She has one fluffy mutt, two cats who think they own the world, and a fish tank with a quartet of fat fish, and two secretive striped ninja-assassin snails.
In the course of her adventures, she has worked as a zookeeper, balloon artist, and substitute teacher. Now she enjoys writing books for teens who enjoy mystery and adventure as much as she does. www.kristinbailey.com | twitter.com/KBaileyBooks

1 comment:

  1. I saw this book a week or so ago and fell in love with the cover! In fact I'm going to feature for the A to Z Challenge in April on day "R". Super excited to read it.


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