Monday, July 16, 2012

Blog Tour: Dead Radiance by T. G. Ayer

     Welcome to my stop in the Dead Radiance blog tour! So down below you'll find my review of the book along with an excerpt that I hope might get you intrigued to read this book. Dead Radiance was an enjoyable extra-paranormal read and I'm happy to offer you a chance of winning an e-copy of the book which you'll find at the end of this post :) but without further ado....
Book Review: Dead Radiance

Bryn Halbrook had always seen the glow. But it is only when her best friend dies that she discovers the meaning of those beautiful golden auras — Death. Alone, lost in the foster system, she struggles to understand who she is and why she was cursed with the ability to see the soon-to-be-dead.

The new foster kid, Aidan, isn’t helping any. Mr. Perfect seems to fit in no matter what, making her feel even more pathetic. But when his affections turn to her, Bryn finds him hard to resist. Impossible actually. A mystery himself, Aidan disappears, leaving behind a broken heart and a mysterious book that suggests Bryn might not be entirely human. Bryn stands at the threshold of a journey of discovery. Will destiny help her find herself, find her purpose and her place in a world in which she’d never belonged?

    Norse mythology and Valkyries, things we don't read about everyday. In the first installment in the Valkyries series, T.G. Ayer weaves a mythology within a story. A story of a teenager's life, Bryn's life. A well-built world with an 'outside the Earth life' theme in it that would captivate the readers. A well-written book with a good storyline, actually it was the epitome of paranormal.  

    The novel follows Bryn Halbrook through the journey of her life as a massive transformation happens that turns her life upside down. Bryn always felt as an outcast. After her father's death, Bryn was forced into the life of foster homes which weren't all quite easy. Add on this her weird ability. Bryn used to see those golden auras on people and as she grew, they were still there. But not until her only best friend Joshua dies after the seeing the aura on him that things started to come together in front of her. Those auras meant one thing. Death, that the person's life, whoever he is, is coming to an end soon. With Joshua's death, she is all alone again. Alone until Aidan came into the picture. Together, they rock on what seems like a relationship and through him, Bryn discovers new stuff about herself and what she really is and where does she belong...

     Unfortunately, I didn't like the love story between Bryn and Aidan. Or rather I didn't like how it started, it seemed weird and unrealistic, some sort of an extra-instant-love story and I couldn't really see when this love story was formed but it still had some sweetness to it though. And it's funny how at first, Bryn wasn't the type of swoony-girls-over-hot-guys type of girl but that didn't happen when she saw Mr Perfect, the hot biker-boy, Aidan Lee :)

    However, this book had a slow start and from the beginning, you don't really understand what the book is really about until you're few chapters in and the prologue was rather confusing but eventually I got sucked in the story. I didn't really get bored after that, there was always something happening which I liked. I got moments where I was as excited as our heroine and was able to feel for her. Yet, I don't like the sudden, illogical change that happened to Bryn's life. It was a bit rushed.

Surprisingly, I didn't warm toward any of the characters, which I'm sad about because the characters would have played an important role in enjoying this book. They were all good but I simply didn't like them. Bryn for example was a bit aggressive, brave, loyal, kind and I loved how her character developed. She was someone who was all shut on herself, a loner but then as the story goes on, with the new things she encounters and the people, or rather the new creatures she meets, she adjusts quite well with all of it and even got stronger by the time but still I didn't find myself accepting her reactions. And Aidan, initially, I thought of him a cool hot guy but then despite being sort of caring and supportive towards Bryn, his character seemed shallow. Honestly, of all the characters, I liked Fenir the most and I'm looking forward to knowing more about him and how is he going to affect Bryn's life. He sounded like a mystery to me and I want to know more about him and his wolf/human form. Basically, he used to train Bryn, fighting and defending and all those movements with the swords and stuff. But then he had this wolf form that he can switch to, if I understood well then that's it. You see, it was a bit perplexing when it came to some aspects of the nature of the various creatures in this book which I really wanted to know more about. 

    Overall, I really did enjoy this book and I'm looking forward to reading the next book, The Dead Embers which is to be released in August. But do I recommend it? Oh yes, I do. I really like how different this story was despite the minor flaws, the idea of the story itself felt unique but I believe that the story won't appeal to everybody, that's for sure. I think it's most appropriate for people who accepts sci-fi and fantasy novels with open minds. This book was a mix of fantasy, romance, action, hope, hardship, all mixed within a mythology and told through a girl, well, more a Valkyrie than human.

Title: Dead Radiance ( Valkyrie #1 )
Author: T. G. Ayer
Series: Dead Radiance | Dead Embers | Dead Chaos
Published: February 25th 2012 by Evolved Publishing
Source: T.G. Ayer
Goodreads | Amazon
Rating: 3.5/5 

*Disclosure of Material Connection: I am a member of Reading Addiction Blog Tours and a copy of this book was provided to me by the the author. Although payment may have been received by Reading Addiction Blog Tours, no payment was received by me in exchange for this review. There was no obligation to write a positive review. All opinions expressed are entirely my own and may not necessarily agree with those of the author, publisher, publicist, or readers of this review. This disclosure is in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission's 16 CFR, Part 255, Guides Concerning Use of Endorcements and Testimonials in Advertising*

Chapter 1
I was cold, like the roses on Joshua’s casket, like the muddy dark-brown soil waiting to embrace the lifeless remains of the boy who was my friend.
My fingers curled around the stem of a butter-yellow rose, knuckles tight. I blinked away the liquid burn stabbing my eyelids. I had to get out. Give him the rose. Then get the hell away.
I tried to squeeze past the old woman who guarded my route to the center aisle, glaring. Her stares slithered down my neck as I passed. I shuffled by, careful not to touch her. But she huffed, her shoulders stiff and unimpressed with my rudeness. Her disapproval slid down my back.
I straightened my pencil skirt and short coat, scraped my wet hands on my hips. I knew the cool black silk wouldn't dry my sticky palms, but I did it anyway, needing to do something with my hands other than clutch the dead flower.
The slim heels of my pumps sank deep into wet ground. I jerked them free and swallowed, my throat aching with tears.. My best friend would soon be entombed within this sodden mush, to lie beneath Craven forever. Until his flesh fell off his bones and he turned to dust.
A cool hand tapped my shoulder.
"Bryn Halbrook. " She spat my name, each syllable harsh, and dripping venom to match the tiny emerald flecks in her hazel eyes. "You've got some nerve coming here." Cherise Barnes knew she looked good, even in drab funerary garb. She stood, a bony hip jutting out, one foot forward. The Cherise pose.
The last thing I needed was a bitch-match. Not here. I straightened, pulling my jacket closer in the face of this poisonous storm. Her eyes widened as I drew to my full height. Guess Cherise forgot it wasn't easy to intimidate a person who was a full head taller. I stared down at her.
"Perhaps you should leave." She tapped the foot. "Now."
"I am leaving, as soon as I pay my respects. You are holding me up."
A streak of red colored her cheeks. She avoided my eyes, then addressed my ear. "You shouldn't have come in the first place. You aren't welcome here."
She wasn't backing off and I knew why. Cherise was The Body here in Craven. Not the body to die for, though, as most guys didn't need to go that far to sample Cherise. Joshua had belonged to her, and she'd lost him. Lost him to me. Or so she thought.
I brushed past Cherise, had no patience for her any more. I fingered the bandage on my temple, touched the braid tied at my nape so my deep red hair wouldn't tangle in the stitches on my scalp. The slight movement shifted my hair and the wound stung, releasing a flash of memory.
White light, blinding, sears my eyes.
Brighter now. Bright enough to hurt.
Tires squeal, harsh screams rip at my eardrums.
I swallowed a gasp, shoving the memory out of my head.
I had to get a grip.
I'd survived and he hadn't. It didn't matter anymore. The only person who'd supported me had died on me.
I'd known he would die. And I'd done nothing to stop it.
As I neared Joshua's parents, they threw me weak and teary smiles, which made the dam of tears inside my own heart yearn to burst free. Even in their time of grief, they'd been so concerned about me, asking if I'd recovered enough to get out of the hospital, if I'd grieved enough, let it all out.
No one shared their concern, not last week and not today. Claws of ice scraped up and down my back. Again. More accusing stares. Too many eyes. More heads turning. Whispers. I ignored them. Concentrated on anything else but those voices. Cars passing by at the bottom of the hill. People going about their daily lives, neither knowing nor caring that a friend and a son and a brother was about to be consigned to the dead earth of Craven.
Stepping closer to the coffin I sucked in a sob; the hollow in my gut grew harder, more painful, as I stared at the shining black casket.
Roses trailed the ebony lid, droplets of color scattered across its gleaming surface by a careless yet artful hand. Eternity crept by while the box descended into the dark mouth of the grave.
The rainbow of color shivered, slim green stems entangled on the curve of the lid. One rose, bright, blood red, slid off, as the coffin moved deeper and deeper.
Ice sliced through my veins.
Piercing to the bone and to the soul.
Blank, grey afternoon skies shed occasional tears for Joshua O'Connell. The casket lurched, then continued its descent. I gave in. Better give him the rose, a little piece of me to take with him.
I choked on a breath, swallowing a wave of nausea.
Metal shrieks, grating in a lurid embrace. Deafening.
Sparks spit, ozone coats the back of my throat.
Gasoline fumes creep up my nostrils, burning, suffocating.
I stopped at the edge of the gaping wound in the earth. Something felt wrong. Inside the grave, the black box came to rest within deep grasping shadows. Darkness simmered, broken by a line of glimmering, golden light that seeped through the edges of the casket.
He still glowed and I was still helpless.
My fingers uncurled their desperate grip on the rose and it fell, tilting, to drop head first onto the coffin, twirling as it descended into the eerie depths. It hit the lid and shattered. Petals flew in all directions and everywhere yellow scraps of the dismembered flower reflected Joshua's iridescent light.
I turned, eager to flee.
Not possible. Not in heels, which sank into the mushy soil as if the soft earth itself yearned to claim me. Not when mourners had risen from their seats and were lining up to toss soil and tributes onto the casket. I struggled for breath, my heart knocking double, triple time like an angry jackhammer abandoned in my chest.
I steered a path through the crowd. Ignored a young man in the middle row whose skin held the first yellow specks of iridescence. Who was he? Did it even matter who he was? I sighed. It wouldn't be much longer for him anyway. I ignored the woman with the red-rimmed eyes, holding onto his arm. I didn't want to see him patting her pale hand and giving her that watery smile.
Will she be alone, like me, when he's gone? Who will pat her hand then?
Turning away, I kept walking. Didn't want to look anymore. Didn't want to see any more glowing people.
I breached the throng and paused to breathe.
To wait for my erratic heartbeat to slow down.
To forget I left my friend behind, alone in the unforgiving ground.

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About the Author:

She has been a writer from the time she was old enough to recognise that reading was a doorway into her imagination. Poetry was her first foray into the art of the written word. Books were her best friends, her escape, her haven. She is essentially a recluse but this part of her personality is impossible to practise given she have two teenage daughters, who are actually her friends, her tea-makers, her confidantes… She is blessed with a husband who has left her for golf. It’s a fair trade as she has left him for writing. They are both passionate supporters of each other's loves – it works wonderfully…
Her heart is currently broken in two. One half resides in South Africa where her old roots still remain, and her heart still longs for the endless beaches and the smell of moist soil after a summer downpour. Her love for Ma Afrika will never fade. The other half of her has been transplanted to the Land of the Long White Cloud. The land of the Taniwha, beautiful Maraes, and volcanoes. The land of green, pure beauty that truly inspires. And because she is so torn between these two lands – she shall forever remain cross-eyed.

Connect with T. G. Ayer:
Facebook | Twitter | Blog | Goodreads| Shelfari 

This tour is presented by The Reading Addiction Blog Tours.
xoxo, Mariam


Shane said...

Awesome cover! very vicious yet interesting..great tour stop and thanks for the giveaway

Jackie Hauver said...

Dead Radiance sounds like a great read! Thanks for the giveaway!

Jen said...

ooo this book sounds intriguing. Not enough people are writing books inspired by Norse mythology. I can't wait to read it

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Thank you for leaving a comment, you honestly just made my day ;)

I read each and every comment and I really appreciate sharing your thoughts with me guys! So it always makes me happy to hear from you ;) I will try my best to reply and comment back on your own blog so expect me to visit you soon ;)

*PS: This is now an award free blog and although I really apperciate it and I thank you for considering me but fulfilling these types of posts turns out to be really hard and time consuming :( *

But thank you for stopping by and welcome to Book-A-Holic!
xoxo, Mariam

NOTE: I haven't been commenting on other blogs lately because my laptop's charger is broke so until I get a new one I am using another computer but I guess there is something wrong with it because I can't leave comments on other blogs at all so sorry about that but I'll try and fix that asap. Thank you!

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