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Friday, March 8, 2013

Hello there, and welcome to Sparkles and Lightning! If it's your first time here I promise I am usually a really fun person who occasionally gets stressed. I also love you lots, unless you're a spambot. So, today's tour stop is for the Ashes blog tour, the tour for the second book in the thrilling Arson trilogy. I'll start off by spotlighting both books before launching into my review of Arson and then the giveaway.

Arson (Arson, #1)
Estevan Vega
Publisher: Stonewell Ink
Release Date: May 4, 2010
Goodreads | Amazon | Barnes & Noble | The Book Depository
ARSON is the first book in a Young Adult Paranormal series. Book two, ASHES, is also available now.
Before now, three things were true: he both loved and despised his grandmother; his life was going nowhere; and he was alone. But when a strange girl--who feels more normal behind a mask than inside her own skin--moves in next door, Arson hopes to find something he's never had: purpose. After years of living in fear, he will be forced to confront his haunting past and embrace the unknown as he walks the fine line between boy and monster. Edgy, realistic, and breathtaking, Arson, the chilling chronicle of an isolated teenager with unimaginable ability, is set to ignite the hearts and minds of a new generation.

Ashes (Arson, #2)
Estevan Vega
Publisher: StoneGate Ink
Release Date: September 11, 2011
Source: Blog Tour
Goodreads | Amazon | Barnes & Noble | The Book Depository
ASHES is a YA paranormal thrill-ride. Book 2 in the gripping Arson trilogy.
The minds running Salvation Asylum have abducted them for a dark purpose. A campaign has been set in motion to genetically alter mankind. Unknowingly, Arson has become the most vital instrument in this global scheme, initiated by a select group of brilliant scientists and cunning world leaders. Confused, trapped, and unable to fully manifest his abilities, Arson faces a new existence crawling with questions. Will he ever see Emery again? Is Grandma still alive? Can the fate of the human race really hang in the balance of one choice?
Nightmare and reality collide in Ashes, book two in the gripping ARSON trilogy. Love will be tested. Powers will shift. And the past will invade the here and now as Arson discovers a part of himself he has never before known and fights against his own shocking origins. Will this boy who once tempted fire be able to take on a fearful future? When the struggle intensifies and secrets come to light, will Arson be ready to accept the haunting revelation that there may be others out there, others like him?

I launched right into this book after reading Arson, not entirely sure what to expect. There's certainly another mix of danger and romance, although there's emphasis on suspense and it's more of an action novel than anything else. I definitely couldn't put it down once I picked it up and after two books I've grown attached to the characters and drawn in by the uniqueness of the plot.

The first thing to know about Arson is that he's…quirky. That's the easiest way to put it. Still, there's something endearing about him. He's not a conventional hero but that doesn't make him bad. I love his determination, and how he stays strong even when everything basically sucks. He doesn't let his past mess with him too much but it really difficult to connect to him on a deeper level and I never really did.

Emery's a sweet girl underneath everything, I think, although in this book she projected a much different image from that of the first. She definitely wasn't entirely the same girl. Her situation in this book really sucks, and while I wanted her to stay stronger, she starts to give in to the hopelessness. At the same time, it's really difficult to blame her. and she does pick herself up eventually, just like we could have hoped.

Ashes was a seriously intense book. It was much, much more intense than Arson. It's a seriously action-packed book with a smorgasbord of different characters with their own plots.

My main complaint is that it got really confusing. It was difficult to keep all the different plot lines straight, and they had a tendency to blend together. Eventually everything did become clear but while I was waiting for that to happen it was still rather frustrating.

I loved how fast-paced and action-oriented this book was, though. It constantly kept me guessing, taking twists I didn't expect. And though there was a ton of action that doesn't mean that there was no character growth, as there absolutely was. There was a nice balance between the plot and the characters.

I also am a gigantic fan of this book's originality. There's definitely some insane stuff in it that I don't recall seeing in books before, and though of course parts bear similarities to other books overall there was such a wonderful amount of new material that I let it go. I love original concepts and this definitely falls under that category.

So, although I had issues with it, I did really enjoy it. It totally redeemed itself and was an emotional, intense read.

I adore romance. But you guys probably know that. Still, the romance in this book was definitely interesting. It focuses in on Emery more than anyone, particularly with a new guy named Adam, who is really just creepy and weird, but I can't deny that there's chemistry there. Something about them kind of clicks somehow, and there's one scene in particular that was kind of gorgeous until Adam ruined it. I still like Arson with Emery, but we really didn't see that in this book so it's difficult to say what will happen in that path.

The main thing that bothered me about this writing is that there were way too many POVs. At first I liked getting the insights and situations of so many characters but as the book wore on it was difficult to keep them all straight and I started to get annoyed. Other than that, I found this writing really nice. There's clear talent, and a lot of thought was obviously put into this. The detail is vivid but the world choice does lean towards the simple side.

While this didn't turn out exactly the way I wanted it to and kind of actually annoyed me in some ways, I'm still satisfied. It's a good, solid ending to a second book that didn't feel done on a whim. I can tell that it was well thought out and it was absolutely unexpected in a good way. It wasn't ideal but that's part of what made it real, I suppose.

I'll definitely be picking up the third book in this trilogy eagerly! I can't wait to find out what happens next and I'm certainly very much invested in this series. I'll also be keeping an eye on this author even after that to see what he comes up with next. Would I recommend this? If you're an action movie lover, yes. If you're a paranormal lover, yes. Yes.


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There's also a tour-wide giveaway going on! So, let me tell you first what you can win and then I'll show y'all the widget to enter with.

Grand Prize Includes:
  • Signed copy of Arson
  • Signed copy of Ashes
  • Custom Arson T-Shirt
  • E-books of Arson and Ashes (Nook or Kindle)
  • Custom Personalized letter from Estevan Vega telling you how classy you are ;)
  • $25 Amazon Gift Card

(US Only)

But, because I love you international people and value you tons, I want to make sure there's a giveaway for you guys as well. So I'll personally throw in a copy of Ashes and a copy of Arson to anywhere The Book Depository ships. All you have to do is leave a meaningful comment and your email. Anyone can enter this, US or international.

So, I guess that's it! Good luck to everyone!

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1 comment:

  1. Anabelle, thank you for being so thoughtful to your International followers :) I'm also part of the Ashes and Arson tour and LOVED the book but would LOVE a PB copy :)


I love hearing from my readers! All comments are greatly appreciated :) If you're a fellow book blogger, include a link so I can come and visit you! I adore you all so much! <3

Also, anonymous comments have now been disabled since I have been receiving upwards of fifty spam comments a day and I'm just done. If you're an actual human being and not a spambot who happens to comment anonymously I'm really sorry.

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Welcome to my young adult reading blog! Sparkles and Lightning has young adult book reviews with the occasional children's or adult's book review sprinkled in. It will also be totally and completely fun :) Have a look around, have some laughs, and most of all, have a perfectly sparkly, electric time!

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