Thursday, June 20, 2013

Review/Giveaway: Shudder by Samantha Durante

Today as part of the Shudder tour I have a review, excerpt and author sponsored giveaway to share. Enjoy!


Shudder
by Samantha Durante
Series: Stitch Trilogy #2
Publication date: June 15, 2013
Genre:  YA Dystopian
Source: Author in exchange for unbiased review
Purchase*: Amazon/Smashwords 
*purchases made through buy links help support this blog
My review of book one: Stitch 


It's only been three days, and already everything is different. Paragon is behind her, but somehow Alessa's life may actually have gotten worse. In a wrenching twist of fate, she traded the safety and companionship of her sister for that of her true love, losing a vital partner she'd counted on for the ordeal ahead. Her comfortable university life is but a distant memory, as she faces the prospect of surviving a bleak winter on the meager remains of a ravaged world. And if she'd thought she'd tasted fear upon seeing a ghost, she was wrong; now she's discovering new depths of terror while being hunted by a deadly virus and a terrifying pack of superhuman creatures thirsting for blood. And then there are the visions. The memory-altering "stitch" unlocked something in Alessa's mind, and now she can't shake the constant flood of alien feelings ransacking her emotions. Haunting memories of an old flame are driving a deep and painful rift into her once-secure relationship. And a series of staggering revelations about the treacherous Engineers - and the bone-chilling deceit shrouding her world's sorry history - will soon leave Alessa reeling...
Last year I enjoyed Stitch the first book in the Stitch Trilogy and was anxious to discover what was happening in this strange dystopian world. Samantha Durante's second book Shudder shows us the world beyond the walls of Paragon, and the engineers that designed Paragon. She does this all while revealing things that kept me turning the pages. Three word review: fascinating, suspenseful and enlightening.

The tale picks up right after Stitch ended as Alessa and Isaac travel the world beyond Paragon looking for a headquarters for the rebels. There is danger and something supernatural pursuing them. As they search Alessa experiences emotions and memories of the dead and the creatures that pursue them.   Lizzie is taken captive by the Engineers and we gain insight into their operations. Told from multiple third person perspectives that change with each chapter Durante reveals the characters and the engineers to us creating a suspenseful and fascinating read.

Alessa struggles in this novel with her emotions, the visions and the mission. Memories of Joe haunt her and she is unsure why, she loved him but loves Isaac. I like Alessa and find her to be brave and fearless even if she occasionally wants to escape her grueling reality. Isaac is sweet, and does things to protect both Alessa and his family. Phoenix  is brave and through her we learn more about the engineers, the past and Paragon. We meet #14 and #15 as they exchange notes through a hole in the prison cells and learn their identity towards the end of the book.  While the driving force of this tale is the world itself, I would still like to see the characters fleshed out a bit more. I wasn’t as emotionally invested in them this time around. I thought once they became unstitched I would feel more. The engineers *shiver* are diabolic and we are often privy to their plans. We see many of the original rebels and I am hoping they become more fleshed out in book three. I struggled with some of the characters behavior but the author slowly reveals information explaining it and I am anxious to see what develops.

While Shudder didn’t suffer from middle book doldrums it didn’t have quite the captivating affect that book one had on me. The author uses Alessa and Isaac in the beginning to recap events from book one through conversation and sadly it felt awkward. Once we got past that bit their conversations and connection felt more natural. While it is not the main focus, we see growth in the romance, despite a few hiccups. We have a several storylines running parallel to each other. The first is Alessa and Isaac as they travel outside Paragon. The second is Phoenix with the engineers and the third is the prisoners in the cells below Paragon. Each thread was interesting and gave us tremendous insight into the world while still maintaining an air of mystery and suspense. I actually like the way this was done, it kept things suspenseful. The tale moved at an even clip until the final chapters where I found myself turning the pages at a frantic pace as all of the threads came together and we moved to the climatic ending.  We as the reader are now privy to things the Rebels do not know and the set up for book three created suspense and anticipation. With its powerful world-building this tale has me excited to read the conclusion of this trilogy.

Fans of Stitch will find the world-building and events in Shudder fascinating.  I would recommend the Stitch Trilogy to fans of dystopians with a science-fiction edge to it. Stuck the final book is scheduled to release in 2014.

Four cups of coffee out of five
Kimba the Caffeinated Book Reviewer Kimba the Caffeinated Book Reviewer Kimba The Caffeinated Book Reviewer Kimba the Caffeinated Book Reviewer
Excerpt 
The crunch of broken glass outside the dumpster broke Isaac’s train of thought.  Alessa looked up at him with alarm and he just held her tighter in his arms, his ears straining to track the movement of the sound.
The noise moved back and forth, back and forth, as if someone were pacing only steps away from the dumpster.  Isaac held his breath, his pulse pounding in his ears, his skin crawling with every snap reverberating through the empty dumpster.
And then suddenly the noise came faster, like more sets of feet tramping across the pavement in a violent rush.  His ears pricked at the intrusion of their snarls and growls, eerily raspy and shrill at the same time.  He couldn’t place the sound at all – it was unlike anything he’d ever heard.
Squinting in the darkness, he tipped his head back and strained the muscles in his neck, hoping for a glimpse through the crack in the lid of the predators beyond.
There was a quick flash as a hulking mass darted past the front of dumpster; Isaac jumped, quelling the gasp at his lips.  Alessa convulsed under his arms, her face still buried in the front of his coat.
For a moment everything grew quiet.  Isaac fought the tingling in his limbs and willed himself a statue, not daring to move or breathe, his senses prickling at the slightest hint.  Had the hunters left?
BOOM, BOOM.
The force of whatever had just landed on the lid thundered through the dumpster, the walls and floor ringing with an earthshaking rattle.  Isaac and Alessa flinched as one, him bearing down instinctively over her curled, trembling body as the center of the ceiling crumpled inwards under the weight of their attackers.
From above their heads, a magnificent piercing howl penetrated their hiding place, resonating off the walls of the hollow enclosure and chilling Isaac to his core.  Any sense of security that Isaac had felt was shattered with that nightmarish wail; whatever it was that wanted them was directly above their heads.
BOOM.
BOOM.  BOOM.  BOOM.
A series of crashes shook the dumpster from the sides, Isaac and Alessa lurching away from one thunderous bang only to be bombarded from the other side with the next.
BOOM.
Another jolt from above and a savage grating snarl sent Isaac jerking to the floor, his eyes wide with terror as he gaped at the buckling ceiling.  This was no wolf, and no cougar – this was something far more dangerous.
He seized Alessa in his arms and said a silent prayer for mercy.  The only thing they could do now was wait to live or die.
       
Author sponsored Rafflecopter Giveaway
Enter the Giveaway HERE!!
Stitch book one on sale for .99 cents 

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43 Comments:

At July 17, 2013 at 9:29 PM , Anonymous kimbacaffeinate said...

Enjoy Sharon, this is a great series

 
At July 17, 2013 at 9:29 PM , Anonymous kimbacaffeinate said...

It is very well written and I totally loved book one and the mystery/.suspense of the world, book two is awesome, I just didn't like the way the recap was done and wanted a little more depth from the main characters. I cannot wait for book three!

 
At July 17, 2013 at 9:29 PM , Anonymous kimbacaffeinate said...

This is suspenseful and I like that aspect, enjoy!

 
At July 17, 2013 at 9:29 PM , Anonymous Trish Hannon said...

Thanks for the giveaway. I plan to read Stitch soon and I'm really looking forward to it. I'm od'ing on NA at the moment so this will be a nice change of pace to start a dystopia series :-)

 
At July 17, 2013 at 9:29 PM , Anonymous Getty Hesse said...

This series sounds fascinating. I love a good dystopia. The excerpt seems fairly well written I will be searching for book one the next time I go looking for books.

 
At July 17, 2013 at 9:29 PM , Anonymous Sharon - Obsession with Books said...

I recently grabbed a copy of Stitch and hope to start on it very soon; I'm really pleased to see you enjoyed this one despite it not being as captivating as the first - I really like the sound of Alessa and Isaac, hopefully they are further fleshed out in the next book.

A great excerpt and a wonderful review Kimba! :)

 
At July 17, 2013 at 9:29 PM , Anonymous kimbacaffeinate said...

I feel you!

 
At July 17, 2013 at 9:29 PM , Anonymous Christy (Love of Books) said...

Yet another series I need to start. It really does sound interesting. I'm pretty sure I already downloaded the first book.

 
At July 17, 2013 at 9:29 PM , Anonymous kimbacaffeinate said...

sweet..you rock!

 
At July 17, 2013 at 9:29 PM , Anonymous kimbacaffeinate said...

I think you would enjoy these Lauren!

 
At July 17, 2013 at 9:29 PM , Anonymous kimbacaffeinate said...

I love the mystery aspect, hope you enjoy them!

 
At July 17, 2013 at 9:29 PM , Anonymous kimbacaffeinate said...

Sweet, these are different and have a mystery too them!

 
At July 17, 2013 at 9:29 PM , Anonymous kimbacaffeinate said...

ooh glad you snagged book one enjoy Cricket!

 
At July 17, 2013 at 9:29 PM , Anonymous kimbacaffeinate said...

thanks Debbie, enjoy your night:)

 
At July 17, 2013 at 9:29 PM , Anonymous kimbacaffeinate said...

woot! enjoy!

 
At July 17, 2013 at 9:29 PM , Anonymous kimbacaffeinate said...

Yeah I love all the suspenseful bits., hope you enjoy them!

 
At July 17, 2013 at 9:29 PM , Anonymous Bella's Shelf said...

I am so happy there is a book 2 in this series! The cover is just as cool as book 1's. I love the blue and black.

14 & 15 exchanging notes through the wall sounds pretty cool. I love it when books have those mysterious things going on that keep you guessing.

Im reading Cinder now & I think she's someone very important, but doesnt know it yet. Maybe I am hoping the best fo rher too. lolz. BUT thats why I love books that keep you going and guessing. Glad u enjoyed book 2 in the series :)

 
At July 17, 2013 at 9:29 PM , Anonymous kimbacaffeinate said...

I am anxious for book three!

 
At July 17, 2013 at 9:29 PM , Anonymous Danielle Chapman said...

Lovely review! I look forward to reading my copy very soon! :)

 
At July 17, 2013 at 9:29 PM , Anonymous Debbie Haupt said...

Another great review and great cover Kim. Thanks

 
At July 17, 2013 at 9:29 PM , Anonymous brandileigh2003 said...

Glad you enjoyed but sorry it didn't captivate you like the first did

 
At July 17, 2013 at 9:29 PM , Anonymous Cricket said...

I think I also got the first book when you mentioned it and glad to see that you liked it.

 
At July 17, 2013 at 9:29 PM , Anonymous Heidi said...

I grabbed the first book when it was a freebie because I remember you recommending it. I haven't read a good solid dystopian in awhile and this just sounds creepy. I am happy to hear while this wasn't perfect that it didn't suffer from the second book syndrome!

 
At July 17, 2013 at 9:29 PM , Anonymous Melissa (Books and Things) said...

Oh sweet! I do have the first book and now I really want this second book as well. Okay, you also have me curious about the third book! That ending sounds intense.


What a great excerpt!

 
At July 17, 2013 at 9:30 PM , Anonymous Lauren said...

Wow that excerpt was intense! I'm a bit creeped out actually. :-) I really need to read this series, so many trusted bloggers love it. I'm very glad book two hit the mark, even if it didn't totally blow you out of the water. It sounds like the author does a great job of juggling all these storylines and keeping you invested in the series. Great review!

 
At July 17, 2013 at 9:30 PM , Anonymous Barrie said...

I need to purchase the first ebook for my teen so she can read it on her kindle while at camp!

 
At July 17, 2013 at 9:30 PM , Anonymous kindlemom1 said...

I know, it is great that you love them too, makes for fun recommendations! ;) I need to push this one up my TBR pile for sure now.

 
At July 17, 2013 at 9:30 PM , Anonymous kimbacaffeinate said...

I am anxious to hear your thoughts, since I know you love dystopian worlds as much as I do!

 
At July 17, 2013 at 9:30 PM , Anonymous kindlemom1 said...

I just picked up a copy of Stitch the other day so I am excited that you liked the sequel just as much.
Great review!

 
At July 17, 2013 at 9:30 PM , Anonymous kimbacaffeinate said...

thanks Samantha!

 
At July 17, 2013 at 9:30 PM , Anonymous kimbacaffeinate said...

Yes, enjoy!

 
At July 17, 2013 at 9:30 PM , Anonymous kimbacaffeinate said...

this is different and suspenseful hope you enjoy them!

 
At July 17, 2013 at 9:30 PM , Anonymous kimbacaffeinate said...

Yes, I am quite anxious to see how it all works out, thanks Nick

 
At July 17, 2013 at 9:30 PM , Anonymous Nick said...

I'm always wary to start the second book of a series fearing it might suffer from middle book syndrome. I'm glad to hear that this series is still working for you despite it not being as great as the first book, Kim. And you mentioned the magic words in your review - fascinating world building, so I have to check this series out.
Lovely review, Kim!

 
At July 17, 2013 at 9:30 PM , Anonymous Samantha Durante said...

Agreed! Thanks so much again for hosting Kim, and thanks to everyone for your interest in the series!

 
At July 17, 2013 at 9:30 PM , Anonymous Jenea Whittington said...

I have Stitch on my TBR list, I think this sounds like a fantastic series. Everything about it calls me to read it. Awesome review, I enjoyed the excerpt too

 
At July 17, 2013 at 9:30 PM , Anonymous Naomi Hop said...

I'm reading and reviewing this book next month!! Will have to come back then to compare notes!!

 
At July 17, 2013 at 9:30 PM , Anonymous kimbacaffeinate said...

You are welcome Denise, I hope you enjoy them and I look forward to the conclusion.

 
At July 17, 2013 at 9:30 PM , Anonymous Denise Z said...

I picked up Stitch and am looking forward to continuing the journey, thanks for the giveaway opportunity :)

 
At July 17, 2013 at 9:30 PM , Anonymous kimbacaffeinate said...

Agreed we need Hermione Granger magic watch

 
At July 17, 2013 at 9:30 PM , Anonymous Blodeuedd said...

I need more hours in the day to read everything I want ;)

 
At July 17, 2013 at 9:35 PM , Anonymous kimbacaffeinate said...

It's a good series and I hope ya try it!

 
At July 17, 2013 at 9:35 PM , Anonymous Pnrurbfantasyreviews said...

I really need to squeeze the first book in, so many people I know enjoyed it and this second book sounds promising. great review, Kim.

 

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