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review 2018-09-12 16:35
BLOG TOUR REVIEW and GIVEAWAY: 'What The Woods Keep' by Katya De Becerra
What the Woods Keep - Katya de Becerra

 

 

I can't express how excited I am to be on this blog tour....

Many months ago I contacted Katya about her book, because I was drawn to the synopsis; here I am with it being a week away from it being on the shelves, and I get to review it for her (finally)!

 

This kicks off a thrilling season of books, I'm so excited. This one is perfect for all of you who love this witchy, cool season, when the leaves are falling and we are picking out our Halloween outfits.

 

**Thank you SO much to the amazing Cherry Karl (Karlita) of Tale Out Loud for having me on this one, and hosting this tour for Katya; I wouldn't have missed this one for the world. I wouldn't have allowed it!

 

 

ABOUT THE AUTHOR, KATYA

 

 

 

Katya de Becerra was born in Russia, studied in California, lived in Peru, and then stayed in Australia long enough to become a local. She was going to be an Egyptologist when she grew up, but instead she earned a PhD in Anthropology.

'What the Woods Keep' is her first novel.

 

Contact Katya:  WebsiteGoodreadsTwitterInstagram, & Facebook

 

 

 ABOUT THE BOOK

 

PUBLISHER: Imprint/Macmillan

GENRE: Young Adult, Science Fiction, Dark Fantasy

RELEASE DATE: September 18th, 2018

 

SYNOPSIS:

'What the Woods Keep' is the stunning debut of Katya de Becerra, who combines mystery, science fiction, and dark fantasy in a twisty story that will keep you mesmerized right up to the final page.


On her eighteenth birthday, Hayden inherits her childhood home―on the condition that she uncover its dark secrets.

Hayden tried to put the past behind her, and it worked. She’s getting ready for college, living in a Brooklyn apartment, and hanging out with her best friend and roommate Del. But now it’s all catching up with her: her mother’s mysterious disappearance a decade before, her father’s outlandish theories about a lost supernatural race, and Hayden’s own dark dreams of strange symbols and rituals in the Colorado woods where she grew up.

As soon as Hayden arrives at her hometown, her friend Del in tow, it begins: Neighbors whisper secrets about Hayden’s mother; the boy next door is now all grown-up in a very distracting way; and Hayden feels the trees calling to her. And among them, deep in the woods, Hayden will discover something incredible―something that threatens reality itself.

 

Add it to GOODREADS!

 

REVIEW:

Now that you have read the synopsis, which really doesn’t come close to explaining how thrilling and complex this book is, let me get into the deep, dark woods of Promise, Colorado. Don’t enter without being prepared to read something that will test your belief in the supernatural, at the same time as serve up facts about physics and give you a story steeped in myth and old blood rites.


This book feels like it blurs the lines between science-fiction, fantasy, and mystery, targeting a young adult audience, but it’s a highly intelligent read (it comes from a real smart cookie of an author, so that doesn’t surprise me).

 

‘What The Woods Keep’ centers around an eighteen-year old girl called Hayden, who is suffering an identity crisis, as she inherits the Manor she grew up in, and trying to come to terms with her mother’s disappearance so many years ago and the dark secrets behind it. She struggles with how she sees her father’s work and his hair-brained theories that have got him ostracized from the scientific community, and also with what she knows about her mother’s contradictory beliefs of mythology, the rituals she seemed to practice in the woods, and her own frightening dreams.


Hayden’s friendship with her roommate Del, who she brings back to Promise with her, who seems to be her diametric opposite, and a grounding force in her life, is a constant source of support, and a voice of reason (I’ve always wished for someone like that); I thought their interactions were some of the most lovely things about book. Exploring relationships is key to this novel: the two friends, the loss of a mother, how a father impacts his daughter, reuniting with old friends, and navigating it all while developing a relationship with the inner self and growing up.

 

One of the key elements to the woods and town of Promise giving you nothing but the chills, is the way in which Katya is able to paint such a dark and vivid picture of the inhabitants. I don’t like making comparisons to other books (so I won’t) but since I’m a ‘Twin Peaks’ fan, I’ll go there; I definitely got that sort of vibe when I read this, and I’ll tell you that was my favorite show of the 90’s. The individual characters of Abigail Reaser, Hayden’s childhood friend Shannon, (now all grown-up), the bizarre Elspeth, even Hayden’s psychiatrist…they all are so original and/or fabulously strange. There is also so much atmosphere swirling around the small town, the weather being so stormy, the ravens flying near Hayden, the close by woods, you can feel it all when you’re reading the book; knowing that the girls are out there in that big house alone, it’s all what will make you stay reading with the lights on. The dark and stormy tone of the book, the loneliness of the house in the woods, and the creepy characters particularly make this the perfect autumnal read.

 

The story beneath the surface of the novel, of the ‘Nibelungs’, is fascinating and mysterious, and having it run concurrently in the same book with a basecamp where blood samples are being collected, mean (Norse) mythology and science-fiction are melded together. Katya’s background in anthropology, Egyptology, and with her traveling around the world, give the pages its personality, and I love how she used everything from her love of movies and books (references to Stephen King and David Cronenburg), to her sense of displacement as an expat (I understand this!) to influence her work. And the beginnings of each chapter are so brilliant, that you may want to have a notebook for all the useful facts**and pieces of knowledge that are shared.

This is seriously one of the most unique, intelligent, and mystical novels I’ve ever read. The twists and turns continue right up until the very end and the pages will take you to strange depths that are unexpected and exciting. And the further you delve into the woods, the more likely it is you will be pulled in to Miss Katya’s ‘Promise’; it’s quite the adventure, with an ending that will leave you hoping there’s another book coming.

 

 **Facts and topics included: laws of thermodynamics, sleepwalking, Norse gods. If anything, you will be a smarter person for having read this book!

 

GET THE BOOK! PRE-ORDER LINKS

- Order on Amazon 

- Buy from B&N.com (Barnes & Noble) 

- Order at Book Depository

- Get at Books-A-Million 

- Order from Indiebound 

 

 

AND FINALLY....THE GIVEAWAY!

 

There are 2 COPIES of WHAT THE WOODS KEEP up for grabs, and all you need to do is ENTER *HERE* ~ GOOD LUCK!!

 

 

 You can follow the whole blog tour and all my blog buddies by following this *LINK*

 

 

As always, HAPPY READING!!

~ Katherine

x

 

PS. Katya, it was definitely to my liking. 

 

 

 

Source: www.goodreads.com/book/show/29748448-what-the-woods-keep?ac=1&from_search=true
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review 2018-09-08 22:14
Book Review of Heir of Ra (Blood of Ra Book One) by M. Sasinowski
Heir of Ra - M. Sasinowski

For fans of science fiction and fantasy arrives a story unlike any other...

 

Alyssa signed up to study history, not to rewrite it.

 

An excavation of the fabled Hall of Records beneath the Sphinx unleashes an ancient disease that leaves her father fighting for his life. As Alyssa races to find a cure, she stumbles onto an impossible artifact that could change history--or destroy our future.

With unexpected help from Oxford student Paul Matthews, Alyssa evades ruthless adversaries set on harnessing the power of the artifact. As a global epidemic looms, they must unravel deep secrets hidden within it and unveil the link between a mythical civilization and the birth of Egyptian mythology, before time runs out.

 

Compulsively readable, M. Sasinowski's electrifying debut thriller, Heir of Ra, is filled with action, technology, humor, and a generous dose of "what if" that just might have you question your history books.

 

Review 5*

 

This story is the first book in an exciting YA series called Blood of Ra. I loved it!

 

Alyssa Morgan is a wonderful character. I love her take no prisoners attitude, but she also can be a little reckless. She is a mature seventeen-year-old, but she also is incredibly impulsive at times. She works with her archaeologist father and professor, Kade Morgan. When her father becomes ill during an expedition to excavate the potential Hall of Records under the Sphinx in Cairo, Alyssa finds herself in a race to locate a cure and unravel the mystery surrounding the hidden chamber. Unfortunately, someone else is determined to stop her. Can she find a cure in time?

 

I love a good YA thriller/mystery, and this book has it in spades. I began to read it, and the action starts immediately and doesn't let you go until the last sentence. I love myths and legends, especially Egyptian folklore about their gods and goddesses, stories about Atlantis, and even alien origin theories, and this story has a fantastic mix of all these things. I have previously read a YA romance book that explored a similar topic, but the stories are entirely different. I have to say that I prefer this version. It appeals to my love of science fiction.

 

There are a few interesting characters that help bring this story to life. Paul Matthews is an intern at the World Health Organisation office in London, UK, though I am unsure as to his age - seventeen or eighteen I think. I am not sure why he decides to help Alyssa - besides his attraction to her, that is - but he appears to be a fantastic character too. Unfortunately, I feel that he needs a little more depth to him. Perhaps his character will grow as the series continues. I hope so. Another character who has potential is Clay Obono, who is Paul's friend. He's a sixteen-year-old student intern and computer geek also working at the World Health Organisation. He has a great sense of humour.

 

Heir of Ra is a pulse-pounding roller coaster ride from beginning to end. I reached the end, and my first thought was, "Gah! Now I have to wait (im)patiently for the next book as it can't end like that!". It is not exactly a cliff-hanger ending, but it's close. I sure hope the author is penning the sequel right now because if he isn't, I will probably start pulling out my hair in frustration. However, I will do my best to restrain myself as I know that it takes time to create great works of art and this series seems to have had a lot of research done for it.

 

M. Sasinowski is a debut author. As Heir of Ra is his first book, I think this author is one to watch. I love his fast-paced writing style. His characters come to life on the page, and I can picture the scenes in my mind's eye with ease. I also love the story flow, which runs smoothly from scene to scene. I am considering adding him to my favourite author's list.

 

Although there are no scenes of a sexual nature, there is some violence, so I feel that parental guidance may be required. I highly recommend this book (and series) to teens and adults alike who love YA science fiction, fantasy, action, adventure, thrillers, mysteries, mythology, and romance genres. - Lynn Worton

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review 2018-09-07 04:20
Tess of the Road - Rachel Hartman 
Tess of the Road - Rachel Hartman

Woah. I will try and write something more reviewish after time  to reflect. For the time being there is nothing about this book that isn't fabulous.

 

Amusing coincidence: the author photo shows Hartman in an orange blazer. The author photo for Naomi Novak, who has also written a bestselling series about dragons, shows her in an orange blazer. Orange is my least favorite color, but clearly it works for some people.

 

Library copy 

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review 2018-09-07 00:50
The Lightning Thief
The Lightning Thief - Rick Riordan

This book introduces mythology in a fun, modern way through the main character Percy Jackson, son of Poseidon. Percy goes on an adventure with his friends Annabeth and Grover to try to find Zeus' stolen lightning bolt. Throughout their journey, the friends encounter many figures from Greek mythology, who still maintain their fundamental traits, but have a modern spin.

 

This would be a great book to use to introduce students to mythology in a fun way. After finishing the book, students could pick one of the Greek mythology figures that Percy encountered in the book, and do a research project on the story of that figure. The teacher would need to have prescreened resources for the students, as some of the mythology stories could be inappropriate for students.

 

AR Level 4.7

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review 2018-09-04 16:47
Norse Mythology, Neil Gaiman
Norse Mythology - Neil Gaiman

I have no comparison to make with any other re-telling or the source material, so, taking this at face-value:

 

This is an entertaining set of tales about the creation of the world and its eventual destruction and some things that happen in between. The best of the tales are the comedic ones where Loki is both the author of and the solution for some troublesome eventuality. It was good to finally read some of these Norse myths and it makes me keener to read the source material, the prose and poetic Eddas.

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