Wednesday, October 8, 2014

Book Review, Guest Post and Giveaway With Author Sarah Fine!



I have been a fan of Sarah's Guards of the Shadowlands series ever since the very first beautifully written, beautifully dark book. 

It has been so very hard to say goodbye to this series because I have loved it so much.

As part of my review Sarah agreed to be here today to share with us not only a fabulous guest post about those things that go bump in the night but also to offer a fabulous giveaway(US only), a complete set of her Guards of Shadowlands Series plus fabulous swap!! I am so excited I can share it with you today!!





Book Three in the Guards of the Shadowlands
Published By: Skyscape (October 7, 2014)
Genre: YA Fantasy

Book Description:
With Juri in control and everything in absolute chaos, Lela plunges into the depths of hell to free Malachi from creatures that have waited decades to exact their revenge. But the Judge has her own way of doing things, and Lela must work with Ana, the new Captain, who has a very personal mission of her own. Together, they infiltrate the most horrifying realm either has yet encountered in the Shadowlands—the bitter landscape ruled by the Mazikin.


The stakes could not be higher, and Lela must accept the help—and love—of people she barely knows or trusts. As alliances and loyalties shift and she realizes the soul she came to save isn’t the only one in need of rescue, can Lela summon the strength to see the fight through to the very end?





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With the stunning cliffhanger that was Fractured, it was no wonder I was literally jumping up and down when I received a copy of Chaos. I was so very excited, nervous, anxious and of course sad to have this last installment in what has truly been a deliciously dark and haunting series. 

I needed to know the fate of Malachi and Lela and yet I didn't want it to be the end either. It is so very hard to say goodbye to those characters that feel like family. To those that have wormed their way into your hearts and have left a lasting impression. 

If there is one thing I could count on though is that Sarah would do the series justice. She is an amazing writer and I had complete faith in her that her talent and skills would live up my expectations again, right up to the very end. 

And it did, oh boy did it! I won't go into any details but truly this is just a series that you need, no, have to, read and experience for yourself. But I will say this, Sarah did it justice and then some. She gave me everything I was hoping the ending would be. It wasn't rainbows and sunshine, Lela and Malachi's journey up to this point and I wasn't expecting the last book to be either and it wasn't. There were hardships and mistakes and deaths and sadness. But there was also joy and triumphs as well. 


This was such a wonderful story. One that tore my heart open one minute and slowly mended it back to together the next. One filled with hardships and loss and one filled with a whole lot of determinations, love, and strength. It is so hard to say goodbye to all of these wonderful, well loved, and well written characters but at the same time, I am super excited to see what Sarah can come up with next because I know it will be just as fantastic and this series has been. 





About the Author:



When I'm not writing, I'm psychologizing (really, I even get a paycheck for it). Sometimes I do both at the same time. The results are unpredictable. 

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Villains! There are so many interesting ones that it’s sometimes hard to pick. But there’s a type of villain that I find absolutely terrifying, though I rarely see it done purely and well, for reasons I’ll tell you in a second. But first—scariest villain? This guy. http://media.giphy.com/media/DpZleiMkn4zzG/giphy.gif (attribution: Warner Bros.)
Here, of course, we have the Joker, specifically as played by the late Heath Ledger in The Dark Knight. And the reason I find him so frightening is that he is a true psychopath. Unredeemable, remorseless, aggressive, narcissistic, indifferent to—and even turned on by—others’ suffering. 


(attribution: Warner Bros.)

In the Dark Knight, we see him playing an elaborate game, and his chief objective isn’t really money—it’s the thrill. He’s a complete sensation-seeker, and conscience and fear are like words in a foreign language to him. He’s absolutely unreachable—no matter what happens, no matter who is hurt or killed, his heart can’t be broken, because he really doesn’t have one.
The brain of a psychopath is different from a normal brain in a striking way (for a really interesting article and some cool pictures of that difference, go here). Parts of the brain—specifically, the parts that control our planning, impulse control, and empathy—just don’t light up the way normal human brains do. Researchers estimate that between 1-3% of humans have brains like this. Not all of them become serial killers or mass murderers, but they do display the same thrill-seeking and callous disregard for the feelings and needs of others.
Now, of course, the Joker isn’t a really realistic psychopath—he’s very exaggerated. A caricature. But that’s what makes him both terrifying and fun, a character we can enjoy at a distance, especially because he’s such a worthy adversary for Batman. 


(attribution: Warner Bros.)
I think, for villains who are truly charismatic, and especially those in books, there is part of us that wants to see them redeemed. I certainly know I had that feeling about the Darkling in Leigh Bardugo’s The Grisha series. These are the characters that could be the heroes of their own stories, and as an author, I do find it tempting to humanize and soften villains I love, because I want readers to love them, too, just a little drop of it amidst the loathing and fear. As a result, the psychopathy is tempered a bit.

But the Joker? He WANTS to be the villain. His only goal is mayhem and pain, the chase and the fight. He’s very pure, in that way. And that’s why he’s one of my favorite and most nightmarish villains. 


 (attribution: Warner Bros.)




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Don't forget to check out the other posts for today's tour as well!




Heidi@Rainy Day Ramblings: Ellie Gordon Ghost Trapper by J.L. Bryan


48 comments:

  1. wow this series sounds just awesome! I'm so happy ypu had a wonderful time with the book! It's true that the Joker was a great villainin this movie!

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  2. OMG!! First, I'm so happy to hear it was such a fab read! But OMG, the guest post!!! I heart villains hardcore :D Loved it!!

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    1. I have always had a soft spot for villains as well. ;)

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  3. Yay Ali! I'm so glad this was such a wonderful read for the conclusion of the series. I'm going to make sure if go back and check the beginning of the series out more. It sounds like something I would enjoy. And the guest post about Villains was great as well :)

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  4. CANNOT WAIT TO READ THIS ALI!!!! Fractured was brutal wasn't it? I need to get to Chaos asap!

    And YES to Heath Ledger's Joker. He was extraordinary. I couldn't help but root for him a little because he was just so brilliantly played:)

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    1. You are going to love it!!

      And I agree about Heath, he did this role so amazingly well.

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  5. Ali, I literally jumped up and down on my seat when I read your review. I just bought a copy and I'm so excited to read Fractured and Chaos. I'm so glad to hear that Sarah really does justice to the series. Fantastic review! :)

    The Joker was such a fascinating villain. He definitely gave me major creeps!

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    1. Yay! I am so excited for you to read this too Nick!

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  6. Great review and guest post. I really want to read this series!!! And The Joker is one my favorite villains too. He's just insane, but so fascinating.

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    1. So true about The Joker! I really hope you give this series a try, it really is fabulous and so worth it to read!

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  7. Gah!!! Totally creepy guest post. Lol. I really need to start this series! Thanks for sharing! :)

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  8. Oh gosh, I am finishing the audiobooktoday and it is killing. So much hardship, and she keeps tearing my heart out. It is hard to stop listening. You know I am such a huge fan of this series and I hate to see it end as well.

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    1. YES! But so wonderful at the same time!!

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  9. Just entered, I haven't heard of this series before, but it sounds great!

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  10. I still haven't read any of the books from this series and I'd love to as I have heard amazing things about it. (I assume that the giveaway is US only). Anyhow it's so amazing that the last book is so good! I love it when it happens. Also I must admit that I haven't seen that Batman (I KNOW) but I have heard amazing things about Heath as The Jocker. Great review and post! :)

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  11. I love a good villain! One of my favorites is Lothaire. Could be a total bad guy but did end up a hero in his own book but still the right amount of villain in him. Made it so fun!

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  12. I love the villains that are slightly redeemable. Or ones that have something we can't help but love. I have a hard time with ones that have no redeemable qualities, I guess I like having that inner conflict.

    Loved this book!!!!

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    1. I love the redeemable ones as well Candace!

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  13. Sounds like a wonderful story! Seems like I've heard of the Shadowlands series, but it may have just been something I heard about around the blogosphere.

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    1. It is definitely one that you need to check out further Stephanie!

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  14. I love to hate a good villain. Does that make sense? Ali, I remember you loved Fractured and a five star for a middle book has me so curious! Adding to my list.

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    1. Trust me, it was worth all of the stars and more!

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  15. At least she made the cliffie worth your while. I've heard of her this series but haven't had the pleasure of reading them yet. I do love a good suspense (a cliffie counts as one right?) and if she can follow through with it then I have no complaints!

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  16. I know I need to read this series. I think I already have the first book. And villains .. you know I love 'em!

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  17. So happy to hear you loved the ending! I can't wait to get my hands on a copy! :-)

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  18. Great review, happy to hear hear that you loved this one so much. Those joker gifs make me happy :)

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  19. I must admit that your enthusiasm convinced me! Lovely review!! :)

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    1. Yay! I think you will love this Lola! It really is a great series and very different from anything I have read before.

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  20. I haven't started this series yet, but I'm definitely going to have to read it. Thanks for the review and giveaway and guest post, Ali!

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    1. I am excited that you want to read it Tressa!

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  21. Sounds like a fantastic series...I LOVE the Joker pics on the Guest Post...they are awesome!

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    1. They are! It makes me want to watch the movie again. ;)

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  22. I've heard so many great things about this series, so I definitely plan to read it! I'm glad that this installment was just as amazing as the rest :)

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    1. Yay! So happy you are going to try it!

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  23. geeze why am I not reading this series? o.o glad to hear that it was awesome, even if it was the last book :( always sad

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