Wednesday, January 14, 2015

{BlogTour/Giveaway/Review} Chronicles of Steele #1: Raven: Pauline Creedan

Rating: 82%
Series: Chronicles of Steele #1
Genre: Steampunk, Romance, Young Adult, Fiction,
Publisher: AltWit Press
Publication Date: October 28, 2014
Page Count: UNKNOWN
Format: eBook
Source: Xpresso Book Tours

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Human life has value.
The poor living in the gutter are as valuable as the rich living in a manor.
The scoundrel is no less valuable than the saint.
Because of this, every life a reaper takes must be redeemed.

Raven has lived by this first tenet since she was trained by her father to become a reaper. But since his death, she’s been spending years redeeming the lives she’s taken. By her count, she’s even and it’s time for that life to end. If she settles down and becomes a wife, she might just feel human again. But on the way to the life she thinks she wants, the baron of New Haven asks her to complete a task which she cannot ignore… Just when Raven decides to give up on her life as an assassin, she’s pulled right back in.

About The Author: Website | Goodreads | Facebook | Twitter

In simple language, Pauline Creeden creates worlds that are both familiar and strange, often pulling the veil between dimensions. She becomes the main character in each of her stories, and because she has ADD, she will get bored if she pretends to be one person for too long. Pauline is a horse trainer from Virginia, but writing is her therapy.

Armored Hearts, her joint effort with author Melissa Turner Lee, has been awarded the Crowned Heart for Excellence by InDtale Magazine. It is also the 2013 Book Junkie’s Choice Winner in Historical Fiction. Her debut novel, Sanctuary, won 1st Place Christian YA Title 2013 Dante Rosetti Award and 2014 Reader’s Choice Gold Award for Best YA Horror Novel.

Disclaimer: I received a digital copy of this book from Xpresso Book Tours in exchange for an honest review

Who Would I Recommend This Book To?
Background & Backstory?
This was actually one of those blog tours that I signed up for, forgot about, and was promptly sent into a blank panic when informed that I was part of the tour. I had intended on procrastinating reading this until Monday (the 12th) on my plane ride to California. As a blogger, I always read one digital and one physical book at a time, and I had finished my digital one sooner than I had expected. So I picked up Raven before I had intended to and am SOOO glad that I did.

What Was My Reaction Upon Finishing?
That LAST page kind of recked it for me.... But the book was good.

Steampunk: 90% | The very first steampunk novel I ever read was actually also an Xpresso Book Tour novel and I fell in love with the genre. I haven't read many since, but would love if you left me some suggestions. The steampunk elements were perfectly executed, not just in the subtle ways characters lived their lives, but were crucial to the plot. What reminded me of the Infernal Devices by Cassandra Clare were the human-like automatons and I LOVED the role they played in the story as well as obstacles they provided.

Characters: 80% | If I could smoosh together the cast of Into The Woods and the Throne of Glass Series.... that's who would be in Chronicles of Steele: Raven. Raven seemed a lot like Celaena Sardothien, especially in the way she handled obstacles, plus a reaper is a synonym, of a sort, to an assassin. Celaena is more unapologetic than Raven, but their stubbornness and determination are perfectly matched.

This, of course, makes all of the surrounding character's lives hell. Jack Grant is the captain of the guard, and I couldn't help but draw the parallels between him and Chaol, especially because of his subtle, simmering attraction to Raven and the compassion he showed towards her. I thought Baron Solomon would have a larger role in the book, but the small amount of time we had with him constantly reminded me of Dorian. On the other hand, I envisioned the two witches as the one (played by Meryl Streep) in Into The Woods.
Romance: 69% | The romance was next to non-existent in this novel, and I sincerely wish there had been more to contrast Raven's steely personality with passion she felt towards another person. Without spoiling the novel, I will say that her romantic expectations don't follow through, but I wish they had OR that another character would have shown their feelings sooner.

Pacing: 70% | The pacing was a bit odd in the novel because I was interested in what was going on, but every time a new episode occurred, I was a bit bored afterwards. Nevertheless, the very beginning of every chapter were hands-down the best parts of this novel because there was a short passage or phrase in Creedan's beautiful prose that gave you an idea of what the chapter would be about. The moment I read the phrase that's paired with Chapter One, I knew I would enjoy this novel.

Ending: 78% | Chronicles of Steele: Raven, had a nearly flawless ending. The plot's wrap-up was well-done, bittersweet, and satisfying. I could have given the ending 100%.... if it weren't for the VERY last page. There's a conversation between the protagonist and a prominent side character that serves as a verbal montage (of a sort) of the events of the story. It's supposed to supplement the story and make the ending stronger, but what is said between them is hackneyed.

Quotes: 100% | The biggest WOW Factor of Pauline Creedan's writing is her prose. I have SOOO many highlights on my copy of Chronicles of Steele: Raven because of all the phrases that read like liquid poetry.

How Likely Is It That I Will Read Another Book By This Author?
It's unlikely that I will pick up another Creedan book BY MYSELF, but as most often happens, she will probably have another blog tour in a year or so, and I will most definitely sign up for it so I can support her.

Conclusion: Chronicles of Steele: Raven was an intriguing story in a perfectly executed steampunk world, with lovable characters, and relatable conflicts, all told in Pauline Creedan's gorgeous prose.

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