Sunday, January 22, 2012

The 2012 Multicultural Book Challenge

Welcome to the 2012 Muti-Cultural Book Challenge hosted by One Page at a Time and Truly Bookish blog sites. The hosts thought it would be great to highlight the fabulous YA books written by muti-cultural/ethnic minorities OR featuring multi-cultural/ethnic minorities as main characters.

The goal of this challenge is to read 12 minority YA books for the year. The books can be newly published or been around for a long time.

Every month, I will be featuring a book or author that meets the criteria. For the month of January, I'll be reviewing Shatter Me by Tahereh Mafi. In February, both the host of the contest and the Seraphine Blog will be hosting a Native American-themed interview and giveaway. I'm looking forward to that!

There'll be chances to win ebooks and other goodies during the review post weeks which will happen on the first Monday of each month beginning in February. These are truly great books by some very fine authors and I do hope you take time to check into the ones mentioned here.

Mulitcultural Review List
1) Shatter Me by Tahereh Mafi
2) In the Arms of Stone Angels by Jordan Dane
3) Tiger’s Curse by Colleen Houck
4) Living Violet by Jaime Reed
5) Cleopatra’s Daughter by Michelle Moran
6) Clockwork Angel by Cassandra Clare
7) Romiette and Julio by Sharon M. Draper
8) The Astonishing Life of Octavian Nothing by M.T. Anderson
9) The Bully by Paul Langan
10) One Crazy Summer by Rita Williams-Garcia
11) Lily of the Nile by Stephanie Dray
12) Angel Fall by Susan Ee

Check back in a few days to see the review for Shatter Me and a detailed description as well as buy links for the book mentioned above.

Yours in Prose,
KaSonndra Leigh

Sunday, January 8, 2012

Book Review: Olympus Union The Past Revisted by Gary Bloom



Sci-Fi author Gary Bloom recently approached me and asked me to review his book Olympus Union: the Past Revisited. At first, I was somewhat hesitant. I don't really read that much sci-fi, and intergalactic tales have never caught my eye. But by the time I was done reading, I found myself pleasantly surprised by the adventure I'd just experienced. And I'm looking forward to purchasing Bloom's next book in the series. Later this month, Gary Bloom will be return for an interview with the Seraphine Blog. So mark your calendars. Now, on to my review of Olympus Union: the Past Repeated.
Gary Bloom's Book Review for Olympus Union
By KaSonndra Leigh

What I immediately appreciated about Gary Bloom’s book is that his science fiction world is based on the ingeniousness of a female scientist named Katie Lynn. Ms. Lynn’s invention changed the future of the Olympus Union and enabled travel between the planets of our solar system with lightning speed. This invention provides the core of the plot and story lines that follow.

The year is 2171 and there are several settings for Bloom’s story. One of them is on one of the ten nations of a futuristic Earth. To eradicate war and promote peace, the earth has been divided into ten realms that coexist under one prime minister if the Olympus Union. There are also fully functioning cities on Mars and space stations set up around Jupiter. The story begins in one of three prison clutches named after Greek goddesses: Hera, Demeter, Athena. A prisoner, Duncan Lab, is in the newest and largest of the three, Athena's clutch. The reader is given a recap of the how the former engineer ended up in prison. And then the reader is introduced to the rehab centers located in Athena's clutch. Next we find Prime Minister Oden and his female minister of Peace, Anat Meron debating over the affairs of the Olympus Union, OU. There is political unrest in the Jovian system: rebel activity threatening to overturn years of peaceful co-existence and research, riots breaking out in the state formerly known as Texas. A new drug called Raylax has been developed. The primary purpose is to instill calm in the OU’s citizens and Prime Minister Oden has his job cut out.

The next chapters introduce the reader to a host of the OU's characters. There's the brash Captain Dondo Kryz and the witty, but highly intelligent mercenary named Kro. The author does a superb job of weaving the three story lines mentioned in the previous paragraph into one gathering of sub-plots which isn't an easy task to accomplish. By the time we see Kro cross paths with Duncan Lab, Mr. Bloom has done such an intriguing job of setting up the story that you don't realize you've been pulled into the core conflict until Kro blatantly says so. And the way Kro manages to pull off his contracted jail break is one of the most unique scenarios I think I've seen in a novel.

Seamless interaction between the space colonies, prisons, and the earthly provinces makes the story fun and easy to follow. I truly felt as if I'd been transported into a different time within Bloom's world. The one small issue I found in the story was that in some areas I couldn't tell who was speaking. A simple addition of a few dialogue tags in those areas would solve that minor problem. Also, I was left feeling as if there was more to come by the time the story ended. Even though the main storyline was pretty much wrapped up, I had a feeling there should’ve been more. This was more than likely the author’s intention, to leave the reader wanting more of the next installment. It worked for me, anyway.

Overall, this was a fun read that took me out of my paranormal and fantastical comfort zones. If you're into political thrillers, intergalactic sci-fi adventures, and even prison stories in a sense, then you'll enjoy Mr. Bloom's Olympus Union. I look forward to the next installment in this series.

Wednesday, January 4, 2012

Kasonndra Leigh - Urban Fantasy with a Dystopian Twist + Contest | Night Owl Reviews

Kasonndra Leigh - Urban Fantasy with a Dystopian Twist + Contest | Night Owl Reviews

Tuesday, January 3, 2012

When Copper Suns Fall stops at the Reading Lark today. Head over to: http://ping.fm/XqOCn and tour the world of my dystopian fantasy.