Today as part of the Shudder tour I have a review, excerpt and author sponsored giveaway to share. Enjoy!
by Samantha Durante
Series: Stitch Trilogy #2
Publication date: June 15, 2013
Genre: YA Dystopian
Source: Author in exchange for unbiased review
*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
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
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
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.
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.
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.
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Labels: dystopian, Samantha Durante, Stitch Trilogy, YA