Saturday, September 1, 2012

Shift Blog Tour: review

We are one of the blogs hosting the Shift Blog Tour today. Shift is the second book in author Raine Thomas' newest YA fantasy series, Firstborn. There is also a tour-wide giveaway going on so be sure to enter it below. We thank YA Bound for being the tour presenters. 
Shift (Firstborn, #2)
Shift (Firstborn #2) by Raine Thomas

YA fantasy* ebook * Published August 24, 2012 by Iambe Books

Purchase at Amazon | Barnes and Noble

Having the ability to shapeshift, Sophia is familiar with change. But even she feels the rising tension in her homeland.

A shadowy male and deadly beast reside in their midst. The births of the newest Kynzesti loom. Hostile Mercesti continue to hunt for the Elder Scroll, and a traumatized female is too afraid to use her abilities to stop them.

Topping off Sophia’s stress is Quincy, the male she’s convinced can’t stand her. She rues the loss of their friendship, but can’t figure out how to move past it. She’ll soon learn, however, that mending that rift bears more significance than she ever imagined.

The search for the Elder Scroll takes on unexpected urgency, and Sophia finds herself in a race across the mainland. To stop the Mercesti led by Eirik, she and her companions must get past their differences and unite against them. If they don’t, Eirik will acquire the immense power he seeks, and two of the beings Sophia loves most will die. 

Raine Thomas

Author Raine Thomas

Raine Thomas is the author of the exciting and original series of YA fantasy/romance novels about the Estilorian plane. Her passion for writing prompted her to earn her bachelor’s degree in English with a focus in Creative Writing from Georgia State University, then her master’s degree in Humanities from Central Michigan University. She is also a proud member of Romance Writers of America.

Residing in Orlando, Florida, Raine is a hopeless romantic with a background in the fields of mental health and wedding planning…two areas that intersect far more than one would think. Her years working with children and adolescents with emotional and behavioral challenges inspired her to create young protagonists who overcome their own conflicts. When she isn’t writing or glued to e-mail or social networking sites, Raine can usually be found vacationing with her husband and daughter on one of Florida’s beautiful beaches or crossing the border to visit with her Canadian friends and relatives. 

Now Available: SHIFT (Firstborn Trilogy, Book 2) | BECOMING | CENTRAL | FORETOLD | DEFY

Defy (Firstborn, #1)
Defy (Firstborn #1) by Raine Thomas
YA fantasy * Paperback, 285 pages * Published April 30, 2012 by Iambe Books

Seventeen-year-old Tate is about to make her parents’ dreams come true. Unfortunately for her, their dreams foretell her death.

Eager to explore more of the Estilorian plane and prove her abilities, Tate goes against her parents’ wishes and leaves the area of protection surrounding her home. Her choice puts her on a deadly path…one that leaves her alone, severely injured and battling for her life.

Her possible savior arrives in the form of Zachariah, a male who has removed himself from Estilorian society for more than fifty years. Fighting an unexpected connection to Tate, he must decide whether saving her life is worth destroying his.

As Tate struggles to find a way home, she ends up drawn into a dark Mercesti plot involving multiple murders and a powerful ancient artifact. With the unpredictable Zachariah as her only source for aid, she’ll soon find out if her abilities are strong enough to help her defy her Fate.

Defy, the first book in the Firstborn series, is my first Raine Thomas novel and it is an experience. A good experience. What an amazing cast of characters in this YA fantasy. I'm so glad she included a glossary in the beginning so I could familiarize myself with the terminology. I found the Estilorian plane a fascinating place and quickly liked Tate and her twin, Tiege. Tate is such a strong willed, determined young woman wanting to embrace her powers but can't fly until she is of age (which is only a few weeks away). I was wondering how the author would tie in the opening scene with Luvinia and Zachariah and she did, wonderfully.

Zachariah is a humble hero and his connection with the dragon was weirdly cool. I especially liked how Ms. Thomas threw in twists just as I was getting comfortable thinking in one direction, only to find out I was wrong. Talk about inventive storytelling! Tate's headstrong ways land her in a precarious situation and I was entrenched in her situation from the scene in the cave on. Tate and Zachariah became my favorite characters through every situation, every adventure and more. Words fail me when I want to describe my reading trip.

Defy is the type of fantasy one cannot truly begin to understand or figure out until one experiences it. The world, its inhabitants, their conflicts, predicaments, relationships and more have to unfurl and involve the reader. Just some advice--read this someplace quiet to enjoy everything. I'm happy to repeat my opening line: Defy was my first Raine Thomas novel and it will not be my last.

In Shift, I was glad to see the focus shift to some of my other favorite characters, Sophia, as well as Quincy and Tiege. Tate and Zachariah are also included (very happy over that). This installment of the Firstborn series continued on shortly after Defy ended and deals with the growing evil and the threat to the Estilorian plane, the race to retrieve the Elder scroll, and more. It was great to see Sophia realize she was wrong thinking Quincy disliked her. She is a fascinating character, a shifter and so different from the others. My heart went out to her when she doubted herself and her powers and glad to see her embrace her knowledge and need to learn more about her race.  There was more action, more mysteries and heartbreak, and more romance. When is the third book being published? Can't wait.

Rating: both a solid 4

Cover comment: I love the covers in this series. They are so lovely and colorful.

Book source: I received  eARCs in return for my honest review during a blog tour.

Giveaway is open to US and Canada only.
a Rafflecopter giveaway