Monday, March 17, 2014

{Blog Tour+Giveaway+Review} Alliance (Paradise Reclaimed #3): Aubrie Dionne

Title: Alliance

Author: Aubrie Dionne

Series: Paradise Reclaimed #3

Genre: Young Adult fantasy

Release Date: January 31, 2014

Publisher: Inkspell Publishing

Page Count: 236

“Saving him meant saving her colony…”

Lyra Bryan has been saving people her whole life from a chick in the ventilation pipes to her mentally ill brother when his mind drifts back to Old Earth. She meets her match when she finds a gorgeous alien man aboard the arachnid ship. Captured after a failed attempt to save his people, his spirit is broken, craving only vengeance. To save her colony, Lyra must save his body and soul.

Lyra’s lifemate, Tauren, is jealous of her obsession with the alien man and will do anything in his power to break them apart. While they travel to the arachnid’s home world to defeat the mother brain once and for all, they must set aside their differences and work as a team. But, can Tauren be trusted?


About the Author

Aubrie grew up watching the original Star Wars movies over and over again until she could recite and reenact every single scene in her backyard. She also loved The Goonies, Star Trek the Next Generation-favorite character was Data by far-, and Indiana Jones. But, her all time favorite movie was The Last Unicorn. She still wonders why the unicorn decided to change back to a unicorn in the end.

Aubrie wrote in her junior high yearbook that she wanted to be "A concert flutist" when she grew up. When she made that happen, she decided one career was not enough and embarked as a fantasy, sci fi author. Two careers seems to keep her busy. For now.
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If you haven't read Colonization and Reconnaissance, or if you want to know my opinion on the books, check out my review so you can find out what I thought about the ENTIRE series. 

Before You Read: There are some unavoidable spoilers for Colonization and Reconnaissance, so just know you have been forewarned.

Plot 7/10: What I love about this series is how, as the readers, we get to know a different character in each book, but they are characters we have already been introduced to, so it isn't like we're reading about strangers that we have no emotional attachment to. Also, every book in the series is narrated by a different person which keeps things interesting. While I do think you need to read these books in chronological order, you are able to read this one as a standalone because of the different focus.

Colonization was the book that established everything. Why they're in Paradise 21. Who people are. The whole system and way everything worked. It was told by Andromeda and is about her becoming a hero for the colony when she disobeys orders to save the colony from poisonous pods that give off spores that infect the brain and then kill you. Isn't science fiction so peaceful? Of course, there were romance issues because Andromeda had been in love with her best friend, Sirius, but her lifemate turned out to be 'the oaf' Corvus.

Reconnaissance focused on Nova who hated Andromeda's guts, and Andromeda hated hers. Nova is the team expedition leader of a reconnaissance mission that's goal is to make contact with whatever inhabits the spaceship she found. The inhabitants turn out to be deadly, intelligent arachnids that have captured Nova and her team mates. They have to find their way out alive, and contact the colony to tell them that they need to defeat them. Meanwhile, Nova has to deal with her own lifemate, Sirius, and she thinks that he hates her, but they end up falling in love anyway.

Lastly, Alliance is about Lyra who has been on the missions with both Andromeda and Nova. She generally was a backseat character, and at a first glance, quite wimpy, but she obviously doesn't stay that way. Lyra has been infatuated with Asteran since the moment she first laid eyes on him (a little rushed) in the arachnid's space ship. After he wakes up and they share memories, their bond only increases as the two of them, plus Lyra's mentally ill brother, Nova Williams, and Lyra's horrible lifemate -Tauren- travel across the galaxy to destroy the arachnids from their source.   

Romance 4.9/10: I was slightly disappointed with the romance in Alliance. The blurb made it out to be this wonderfully fantastical thing that could have become the next Twilight Saga. I feel that the synopsis was exaggerated and gave the impression of an epic love story across the universe. The swoon-worthy, compassionate alien versus the coarse, violent, and arrogant former lifemate. When in reality, there was absolutely no question about who Lyra would choose and was destined to be with. 

Originality 8.75/10: While there were some cliche directions the plot took, and phrases the characters said, this entire series is fresh, new, and exciting. Aubrie Dionne took space travel and the end of the world, and turned it into her own invention. The style each book was written in is something I have never seen before. The characters and obstacles Dionne created were so unique and unlike much of what I have seen before. And believe me, I'm the queen of being annoyed by cliche plot strings.

Cover: 8.5/10 Alliance followed the trend of having the main plot element in the crystal orb on the cover. This time, Asteran was the focus. I have to say that the cover did the book absolute justice, as it captured the swoon-worthy (at least in Lyra's POV) cobalt blue hair and tattoos of accomplishment.

Title 6.5/10: I have to admit at first that I didn't like or understand the title of this book. Alliance means a relationship or bond formed between group(s) of people for certain purposes, most of the time, political (at least that's my definition I had based it off of). I didn't see the big picture and meaning until I realized that the word 'Alliance' represents the bond formed between Asteran and Lyra, as well as the colony. They had to trust each other and work together for their own needs. Asteran needed to avenge his home planet and its citizens. While Lyra needed to save Paradise 21 from the arachnids that would destroy everything generations of people had worked towards.

Writing Style 6.9/10: In each book we get a different taste of each character, and that comes with different narration. And to mess sounded a lot like any other strong, female protagonist in your run-of-the-mill Dytopian novel. Nova was her polar opposite. She was calculator, a leader, and extremely confident on the outside. Meanwhile I didn't think Ottawa narration in the beginning of the book was much different from Andromeda's except for the entire fact that she was a lot more lovesick and insecure. She gradually grew on me as a character and by the end of the story she had developed in to a stronger, better person. No matter how cliche it sounds. 

Ending 5/10: As far as I know, this is the last book in the series, but I didn't feel like the ending was quite as epic as it could have been. At the same time, the book left room for a sequel, so theoretically, Aubrie Dionne could continue the series, focusing on a new character and a new story. Nevertheless, it wrapped things up nicely for Lyra's story, and the immediate threats to the colonists of Paradise 21.

Quotes 4/10: The quotes here were just ehhh. I wasn't immensely impressed by their undeniable power to move me, but at the same time they weren't horrible. Both of these quotes give off serious yoda-to-luke-skywarker vibe.
"Someday you'll have to make a tough decision. Do you have what it takes to put your personal feelings aside and do what's best for the colony?"---5% Raymond Drum
"Your mind, once aware, will gravitate back to home base. Like a seedling that reaches your soil for the sun...Now lose your eyes and clear your thoughts"---76% Asteran
Conclusion: This was a wonderful, quick, exciting story about how love can come even between a human and an alien in the midst of their world's falling apart.

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