23 June 2014

Tour Stop (Review): The Silver Sickle - Ellie Ann + Giveaway

The Silver Sickle by Ellie Ann 
Published by: Stonehouse Ink
Publication date: July 2013
Genres: Science Fiction, Young Adult
For fans of steampunk, cyberpunk, Veronica Roth, Scott Westerfield, and Allie Condie.

My Review:

Farissa is consecrated, and that means that one day quite soon, she will be taken to the Silver Sickle to be harvested. This is what the Amar, the alien Godesses, have a sacrifice to ensure that they the steam power going and the armies away.

Zel loves Farissa, and is determined that she can be saved from her fate, because those that go to the Silver Sickle never return. The Amar say that they will be reincarnated as Amar, but deep down, Zel does not believe that. Zel has discovered a secret that the Amar do not want people to know about; they can be killed, and he has invented a weapon capable of doing just that.

But there is a larger secret that out protagonists do not know about, and a message from a fleeing Cogsman reveals; 'The end of humanity will come through the Silver Sickle.'

At first I read this book thinking that the plot seemed a little bit obvious; the plan had already been laid out, everything was already happening, and then, quite suddenly, all that got turned on its head. The fact that the plans went wrong was brilliant, as it put the characters into some very difficult positions. When I got to the middle, I really couldn't stop reading. The plot became quite complex, and at one point I wondered if the characters were even going to make it out alive. Everything kept going wrong for them and it built up to a great climax.

The book is full of action and interesting scenes. I loved the inclusion of Gira's perspective (the leader of the aliens) as well as the perspectives of Farissa and Zel. You really got a nice rounded story without too much being given away. As for the scenes, there are some chapters at the Harem and with the King from Farissa that are funny and scary; the range of emotion is quite staggering. As I was reading, I couldn't help but think that this would make a great movie; there was lots of action, suspense, emotion and a balance of viewpoint that would lend its-self well to a film.

The characters were very good. I personally really liked the Cogsmen, who added a whole steampunk quality to this book, and the way that they were limited but still managed to help despite that. Farissa was a strong and fairly amusing heroine,  by far the biggest personality in the book. I loved the scene when she gives a girl from the harem exactly what she deserves (but you better read this to find out what she did... spoilers, you know).

In any Sci-fi/ dystopia setting, the world-building is key, and Ellie Ann nails it. The situation is described fluidly within the text, without any info-dumps and it builds a fairly complex world, complete with a small history.

This is a really good read, especially for people who like Sci-fi. dystopia and saving-the-world-type novels. Even though it's a YA novel, it didn't really feel like it, so adults will definitely get a kick out of reading it.

Author Bio:
Ellie Ann is a New York Times and USA Today bestseller of science fiction, comics, and thrillers.

I was born in the jungles of Thailand, was raised in a small farming village in Iowa, lived in the middle of a Texan desert, and now abide in the Ozarks.
I like writing fairy tales, tall tales, thrillers, science fiction, and am seriously interested in transmedia storytelling.

I’m a creative editor for Stonehouse Ink. I’m a producer of interactive books at Noble Beast.

Come say hi! I don’t bite. Unless I’ve been turned into a zombie.

Author Links:

This is the Tour-wide giveaway, courtesy of the author, for a 25$ Amazon Gift Card. To enter, please fill in the rafflecopter below.

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