Wednesday, 5 February 2014

IWSG: Cancelled and Book Review: Defy by Sara B. Larson



Sad to say today I have to cancel my Cover Reveal for Deadly Luxury. I had gotten an inkling of this late January but I tried to fight it. Here's the quick version. When I announced the reveal last month, the cover was practically a done deal. I have an awesome cover artist who did the last cover and her services are very affordable on Fiverr. But like last time I needed an image to give her first. I got one but this time I needed it retouched to be made into a digital version of itself similar to covers by Phat Puppy Art. Getting someone was easy, what was the problem was that after going through a long process til practically the end of January (which should have raised alarm bells earlier), she up and cancels and gives me my money back. What the what?! Left out at sea I go to another retoucher only to have him do the work but not following instructions and removing the entire background, he did the work quick though so I commended him and just asked him to modify the error. Days later and I still haven't received a message or correction from him. So officially, I still don't have a cover despite the fact that this should have been done long ago and the cover designer I use gets things done in two days max. Alas since these retouchers are a bunch of....sigh, I have had enough. My decision is officially to move the reveal to a new date after I get a new one done. AFTER this time.

Good news? With my ghost writer gig as of this month I can afford a non-budget designer like Jen Naumann did with  her latest book. So instead of spending under $40 like with Sacrifice HER, I can spend between $90-$120, a huge jump. So I guess there is a silver lining in all this. Still feel bad about cancelling and having to tell all those who volunteered to help that the reveal is off, but at least I know this will lead to a better cover. Thank you for listening to me rant and moan and I love you guys.

IWSG is hosted by the wonderful Alex Cavanaugh. also this month's co-hosts are Julie MusilJamie AyresMike Swift, and me, Sheena-kay Graham. Enjoy your day and please read the book review below before you comment.

Book Review

Defy by Sara B. Larson

Source: Netgalley

Genre: YA, Fantasy, Romance

Purchase: AmazonB&N

Publisher: Scholastic Press


Review

Sara B. Larson hit it out of the park with this novel. No matter the faults this is a must read not only for those who enjoy reading but also writers/authors. The writing is superb and if you want to improve on your writing I suggest using this book as fun source material on how to write not just well but also tell an attention grabbing story. At the beginning we have siblings Alex and Marcel. Alex is the main character disguised as a boy to join the army with her brother to avoid the breeding houses. They serve a strong but cold hearted king who is willing to let his people suffer in order to protect the kingdom from their enemies. Especially deadly sorcerers who can wield deadly fire that killed both the soldier serving siblings parents years before. When tragedy strikes during an attack Alex has to face her challenges with even more caution as her secret is always at risk of being revealed. When an attack on the prince puts her in a vulnerable position, she now has to not only guard her secret but her heart as well. Then Rylan, her fellow soldier reveals something shocking and a love triangle soon develops but not without a kidnapping that has Damian-the prince, Alex(a) and Rylan taken from the castle and led by a band of rebels into enemy territory. Talk about a hot mess in fantasy land.

What I love with this novel is the writing, Sara's writing has me taken into a world where being a girl is dangerous and also being a boy is dangerous as well. But between the nasty breeding houses or the soldier draft, I'd pick the latter. The first would have me running for a cliff. Raped over and over to deliver boys for the king's army? Oh hell to the no! I also enjoyed the beginning when Alex was hiding her 'girlhood' and you got to see the sacrifices both she and her brother made to stay alive and keep Alex's secret. Alex to me was a cool character and Marcel was a true gem. Then things took a turn. A turn that will have me reveal what I hate about this novel. Yes not dislike...hate. Alexa (yes I used the female in this part because...ugh, just read) suddenly turns from this strong boyish character to some confused love sick gender bender after she is assigned to personally guard prince Damian after a direct attack on his life. Seriously, I must say that romance ruined a lot of this book for me. Wash my mouth out with soup but without the romance this book would have been better than Divergent in my honest opinion. Sadly with it and story lines bent to go along with the love triangle that dropped Alexa's cool factor faster than Miley's ever increasing twerk appearances....I must say that this book's fault is bending too the pressure of being overly romantic in a book where all that was unnescarry. Just think if in Hunger Games, Katniss while in the cave with Peeta suddenly started giggling and twirling her hair. I mean seriously Sara? Are you sure that this turn about was not you trying to turn Alex into Alexa just a tad too much?

But despite the faults, I love this novel and can't wait for book two. This is a five star book with a sadly three star fault level. But thanks to the amazing writing I have to give it a high rating and recommendation. Just...try not to get reading murdered by the hacky love triangle.

Rating: 4.5 Stars

P.S.: Before those who love the 'romance' go ape on me, know that over at goodreads a lot of other reviewers had this problem. So it's not just me. Now love or hate me away. Release the doves!

52 comments:

  1. I'm so sorry to hear about the cover reveal cancellation. It's times like these I'm so grateful of my graphic design background. I won't ever have to worry about finding a cover artist ;)

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  2. Oh that sucks about the cover, but like you said, there is a sliver lining and when you finally get the cover you want, I'm sure it's going to be fantastic. Great review too, the story sounds great but I get what you mean about the romance part getting in the way of the story. I'll definitely keep an eye out for this book and a big thank you for co-hosting IWSG! Which reminds me, I need to get that bad boy posted STAT! :)

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  3. So disappointing to move back your cover reveal. However, it's probably for the best. You'll end up with an amazing cover you truly love. And that is worth waiting for.

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  4. That's annoying, when you've invested so much energy, but I'm glad everything's looking better now.

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  5. Hang on. Sorry to hear about your book cover frustration, but so many times good comes out of a bad experience. Sounds like you're on track now. Thanks for hosting IWSG!

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  6. Feel for you, Sheena. My advice: take a deep deep breath... then drop-kick the nearest person. Not the dog. I find my husband generally a handy target. Poor guy.

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  7. Feel free to rant and moan. Isn't that what this group is for? So sorry to hear about the problems with your cover. Thanks for hosting today.

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  8. Sorry you had to cancel your reveal, but like you said, better things are apparently coming. Hang in there.

    IWSG #298
    (Yup. I got culled and had to start all over. *blush* Oops.)

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  9. Helloooo co-hoster!

    I'm sure everyone involved in your cover reveal totally understands. These things happen. Sounds like you're on the right track, though, which is great.

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  10. Sorry about the cover reveal. :( What sort of retouching does it need? I may be able to help you out. . .

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  11. Cover reveals are one of if not THE most important thing to marketing the book. Glad you are taking the time to do it right.

    Thanks for hosting!
    Author of Wilder Mage at Spirit Called
    Facebook Wilder Mage

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  12. Happy you are waiting for the right cover. I get that. Happy IWSG day!

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  13. I'm sorry you've had so much trouble with this cover, but I'm sure it'll all be worth it when you get the cover.

    Thanks for the review on Defy and thanks for co-hosting!

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  14. =( I had some of that with an editor. It's so frustrating, isn't it? I've got a cover designer working right now, and I'm nervously waiting the results. It's going to be good. It's going to be good.

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    1. It will be amazing. Positive thinking Crystal. My issue was with retouching not the cover designer.Can't wait to see your next cover. And yes things going wrong can be frustrating.

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  15. When I'm finally ready to work with a cover designer, I'l be sure to pester you (and some of the commentors) for everything you've learned about the process.

    Thanks for cohosting this month's IWSG.

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  16. That's too bad about the reveal, but I hear good things are worth waiting for.

    And DEFY is really getting around! Glad you enjoyed it. :)

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  17. A good cover means a lot! Go for the Gold!

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  18. Good book cover. Sorry your's is taking its sweet time! Thanks for the review. I think if handled correctly romance can enhance characters and story lines. Obviously this one didn't. Thanks for co-hosting this month at IWSG!

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  19. I'm so sorry to hear about your cover woes. I hope you hear back from him soon with the edits you requested completed. Thank you for hosting!

    Elsie

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  20. Ugh, so sorry to hear about your cover frustrations! That's why I normally do them myself, but luckily I found a good designer to help when I did branch out. Will be very excited to see what you can come up with! The book sounds like a good read, will have to add to my TBR pile.

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  21. You know, people really do buy books based on covers, so it's worth it to wait.

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  22. Sorry about the bum cover reveal news. Hopefully the cover will get done the right way and be well worth the wait when it is finally finished. Thanks for co-hosting the IWSG.

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  23. Sorry to hear about your cover problems. I can imagine how disappointing it is. But as you say look on the bright side, I'm sure you will be pleased with the finished result.

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  24. Sorry to hear about the postponement, but as we say, 'every disappointment is for good'.

    Sounds like the downside of Defy really got your goat.

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  25. Thanks for co-hosting the IWSG!

    Sorry to hear about your cancellation. I'm sure you'll get a better cover after the temporary delay.

    Defy looks like a good book despite its flaws. Will add it to my list.

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  26. I know about cover cancels. You'll get thru it. Can't wait for Defy.

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  27. Sorry it all came apart with the cover! Hope the next one works out better.
    Thanks for co-hosting and sorry it took me so long to get here.

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  28. I'm so sorry about the hassles you've had with your cover designers. Hopefully it will all be worth it in the end when you see your final cover :-) And I will still be more than happy to participate in the cover reveal, whenever it happens :-)

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  29. Hi Graham,
    Happy to be here
    Yet another host at IWSG
    Thanks for your time to host
    Sorry to note about the book cover reveal pain!!
    Hope things will be alright soon
    Have happy time of blogging at IWSG and other relevant places!!!
    I just aired my take now!!
    Have a good and godly day
    Nice to know that your are a Christian writer !
    Best
    Philip Ariel

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  30. So sorry about your cover problems. Good luck with the new one!
    Thanks for co-hosting IWSG this month.

    Mary Montague Sikes

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  31. Sorry about your cover reveal. Interesting book review. Changing gears on a character midstream like that, sure can be tough on the reader.

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  32. So sorry about your cover reveal. Hopefully the new one will be even better!

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  33. Oh don't worry, I'm sure the new cover will be awesome, everything happens for a reason :) and that was one good review, I simply loved it haha God that romance must have annoyed you a lot hehehe but with that Hunger Games example, man! I hear you Sheena.

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  34. Thanks for stopping by my blog today! Just wanted to let you know that I did IWSG today, it was just my second post of the day, so please swing by again and check it out.

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  35. So sorry to hear about the troubles with your cover, but it seems as though something better is on the horizon. Iliked your review of this book, not too harsh or too loving. You clearly liked it, but made it feel real to the rest of us who haven't experienced it. Thank you dearly for co-hosting today.

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  36. Sorry to hear about the trouble. I hope you get something even better than you expected.

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  37. Everything happens for a reason . . . hold onto faith it'll be the best cover ever!!

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  38. Sorry to hear about the problems with your cover. At least now you can get a better one. I'm sure everything will work out. Good luck and thanks for stopping by my blog!

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  39. Disappointing for you about the cover. Hope you get it all sorted without to much further anguish.

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  40. Sometimes it can be really, really frustrating having to rely on other people when you know if it was you you'd get it done right, and in time! But such is life.

    Good luck with getting your cover completed!

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  41. I'm sorry about your cover.
    I did my digital one for kindle myself. If you have Word in Office 2010 it's quite easy. I'm not sure if I would find it as easy to produce a proper physical cover, but I'm going to give it a try.
    All the very best to you.

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  42. Sorry to hear about your frustrating situation, I hope it comes together for you soon.

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  43. I'm sorry to hear about your cover. Hope everything gets resolved soon.

    www.modernworld4.blogspot.com

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  44. Glad you can give a good review even though there are faults. I don't seek perfection when I read and review a book. I expect mistakes and gaps. If I like the story and characters, I'll give a good review.

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  45. How terrible about your cover! I'm sorry to hear you've had to deal with this. I bet the final cover, once all is said and done, will be phenomenal, though. Good luck with it all!

    The Warrior Muse

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  46. Hey Co-hostie!

    It's Friday, and here I am still getting around to IWSG posts. Oh boy, has life been crazy. And it seems the same for you. What would life be without the wrenches in the cogs? Boring...maybe a little smoother, but boring. Look at it as a lesson in patience. Ugh. I hate lessons. :)

    Here's to a better cover than what your other would have been. Yes!

    M.L. Swift, Writer

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  47. I am so sorry about the cover reveal. Now with the delay...I Am Intrigued!

    When I saw you were reviewing Defy I was a bit freaked. The is my current read and I'm one early evening in bed away from finishing. I felt like a kid with my hands over my ears, chanting La-La-La-La as I zipped past the review to leave a comment (worried about spoilers - I'll come back to read it once I finish).

    Thanks for co-hosting the blog hop. Much appreciation coming your way.

    Leanne Ross ( readfaced.wordpress.com & @LeanneRossRF )

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  48. Ugh! Sucks about the cover troubles. But grats on the ghostwriting!

    Thanks for co-hosting!

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  49. Just catching up and I'm so sorry you had to cancel your reveal. But I will look forward to seeing the new one you come up with and sharing it. Congrats on the ghostwriting, that's awesome.

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  50. Sorry to hear about the reveal being cancelled but it might be a silver lining to that as the 2 you entrusted for your book cover failed you so now you know the book cover will look amazing as you are not entrusting it to them. The book you love/hate sounds intriguing. I love movies as well and it reminds me of that ghastly Robin Hood flick with Kevin Costner. he meets Maid Marion who can hold her own but at the end she shrieks and can't do a thing without waiting for her man to save her. Funny that they can not build a strong heroine who can hold her own and find love and not turn into a jellyfish...oh well.

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  51. I'm popping in to say thank you for co-hosting the IWSG this month.

    Sorry about the cover reveal cancellation, but I suppose things happen for a reason. At least you have the assurance that, when it does happen, the cover will meet all your expectations!
    The ghost writing gig sounds like it's off to a great start... so good for you!
    Writer In Transit

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