Tuesday, June 13, 2017

Book Highlight: Obsidian and Stars by Julie Eshbaugh and Giveaway of either IVORY and BONE or OBSIDIAN and STARS (INT)

Update and correction: I did want to add a correction to my review that this is a DUOLOGY so this book is finishing out the story! I have updated my review to reflect this as well. I think I was just wishfully hoping to see these great characters again!

Dear All:

I am thrilled and honored to be able to promote the absolutely wonderful and lovely Julie Eshbaugh who I connected with after her amazing Ivory and Bone (which if you haven't read it yet, what the heck are you waiting for???)! The sequel, Obsidian and Stars (fabulous titles too!), is now out. So I'm going to tell you a little bit about the book, Julie, and my own thoughts about it (I loved it!), a short flash interview, and a giveaway of one of her amazing books!!!

Goodreads Book Description: In the sequel to Ivory and Bone—the prehistoric fantasy novel that New York Times bestselling author Amie Kaufman described as a “richly crafted world of life-and-death stakes”—the story shifts to Mya’s viewpoint as vengeful adversaries force her to flee the life she once knew.

After surviving the chaotic battle that erupted after Lo and the Bosha clan attacked, now Mya is looking ahead to her future with Kol. All the things that once felt so uncertain are finally falling into place. But the same night as Kol and Mya’s betrothal announcement, Mya’s brother Chev reveals his plan to marry his youngest sister Lees to his friend Morsk. The only way to avoid this terrible turn of events, Morsk informs Mya when he corners her later, is for Mya to take Lees’ place and marry him herself.

Refusing to marry anyone other than her beloved, and in an effort to protect her sister, Mya runs away to a secret island with Lees. And though it seems like the safest place to hide until things back home blow over, Mya soon realizes she’s been followed. Lurking deep in the recesses of this dangerous place are rivals from Mya’s past whose thirst for revenge exceeds all reason.

With the lives of her loved ones on the line, Mya must make a move before the enemies of her past become the undoing of her future.

My Rating: 4.5 Couches

My Review: I am so fortunate to have received an ARC of this amazing book ahead of the presses! Eshbaugh completely floored me with the first installment of this series, and I knew I had a lot to look forward to with the second book. I award this book 4.5 stars.

Because the first book ended so perfectly and without a cliffhanger, I was wondering (and I'll admit a little worried) about how Eshbaugh would continue the story in the sequel. I shouldn't have worried--she got me to love a prehistoric fantasy after all, which I thought was impossible! We are re-introduced to the wonderful characters from the first. Kol, the beloved narrator from the first book, takes a bit of a backseat as we are now in a first person narrative of Mya, the girl he has fallen for literally and figuratively. Mya and Kol seem to be so close to their happily ever after, and yet, dissent still brews both internally and externally. The two clans struggle with combining forces as well as keeping their distinct cultures and history. Chev, Mya's older brother and leader of their clan, has passed a decree that causes Mya to make a drastic decision to preserve her younger sister's happiness. And while it made sense to me as a reader at the time, what follows at least makes me wonder if it was the right decision after all.

What I loved: Eshbaugh's writing is gorgeous, lush, and on point. As with the first book, I was drawn in with the lyrical prose. I'm a plot girl and typically just skip through description, but instead, I found myself just wanting to wrap myself in the warmth of her words. She absolutely amazes me. I loved getting to see Mya's perspective in this book, as she remains quite a mystery from the first. She is a powerful woman, and it's nice to see her coming into her own as a leader in her own right. I loved the introduction of a new character, Noni, but I won't say more to not spoil the reader. The book is fast paced and I tore through it in two days (would have been one, but I forced myself to go to sleep so I wouldn't be dying at work the next day). I really liked seeing Kol and Mya's relationship develop more, and getting to see the politics of the clans. I also loved the themes of clan versus family and different ways to lead for the same goals. I also marveled how this didn't feel like filler, but an entire encapsulated story on its own and beautifully done. Definitely no sophomore slump here!

Just a very small point, and this probably would have been rectified if I reread the first installment prior to reading the ARC, but especially with the introduction of so many new characters, it sometimes was hard keeping track of who everyone was. I did miss being in Kol's head, but that's probably because he's my book boyfriend.

Overall, I loved revisiting this world and the wonderful writing of Eshbaugh--this is a fantastic book. This second installment should be on the top of everyone's to read list!

A little about Julie: Julie Eshbaugh once produced an online video series for teens which received several honors from the Webby Awards. Now, she focuses her time on writing. You can find her online at julieeshbaugh.com or on twitter @JulieEshbaugh

Flash interview with Julie:
1.Travel or home body? Travel (but I love coming home...)
2. Hot chocolate or coffee? Coffee
3. Cats or dogs? Both!
4. More fun to write: first book or sequel? First book is more fun, sequel is easier.
5. Beta readers or not? Yes, I love my beta readers.
6. How many drafts before final publication? 5-6? Hard to say, but that's maybe an average.
7. Chocolate or fruit candy (skittles, Starburst)? Fruit candy
8. Pizza or sushi? Pizza
9. Harry Potter or Lord of the Rings? Harry Potter
10. Favorite Disney princess? Belle
11. Favorite song? How Soon is Now by the Smiths
12. For love interest: good guy or bad boy? Good Guy

Giveaway: Now Julie is generously giving away either a hardcover copy of IVORY AND BONE (the first book) or OBSIDIAN AND STARS (the sequel) depending on if you have started the series or not! This is a rare INTERNATIONAL giveaway so INT friends please try for the book! Go forth and enter!

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  1. When the first book came out, I was super intrigued by the prehistoric aspect of it, which is very original (at least it is to me). I never started the series, because unless I have a phyical book in hand I really try not to start ANOTHER series, as I have several unfinished ones I'm already juggling. But this one sounds pretty cool. Thanks for the chance! :)

  2. I enjoy YA fantasies! This one sounds to be right up my alley! Thanks for the chance!

  3. Great review. I enjoy a good YA story.
    sherry @ fundinmental

  4. people have been talking about it nonstop, so I bet it would be such a wonderful book to read, and I'm excited to start reading it myself :)

  5. I LOVED Kol's storytelling! And I can't wait to read Mya's!!
    Thank you & Julie. X

  6. THANK YOU SO MUCH! I can't wait to read it!