Tuesday, March 30, 2010

GIVEAWAY and REVIEW: Skykeepers by Jessica Andersen

ISBN 9780451227706
Series: A Novel of the Final Prophecy, Book 3
Genre: Paranormal Romance
(c) October 2009, Signet, Penguin Putnam
Jessica Andersen's website 

Rating: 5 stars

Buy Links (paper): Amazon, Book Depository

"The series gets better and better! Not to be missed!"

With each installment, Jessica Andersen ramps up the action and excitement in a thrilling ride that takes the reader on unexpected turns! In Dawnkeepers, we have--oh horrors!--Rabbit killing the three-question nahwal and the loss of the skyroad and thus, the Nightkeepers' communication with the gods. We see things getting bleaker and bleaker for the Nightkeepers as their powers waned. How then are they going to save the world from the end time? What's in store for them as the days keep counting down to the zero date?

Skykeepers opened with a bang as the Nightkeepers staged a hostage (Sasha Ledbetter) rescue, as she is their only hope of recovering the missing library (knowledge that the Nightkeepers desperately needed) that her father had ostensibly transferred to a safer location. Attraction sizzled between Sasha and Michael Stone, but while Sasha is all too willing to develop the relationship, Michael held himself apart from her, because he feared the thing, the monster he called Other that lives inside him. As much as Sasha's presence gave Michael a measure of peace, she also seemed to incite this Other to greater violence, and he was finding it harder and harder to keep it contained within him, and he feared the havoc it could cause should he let it loose.

Exciting stuff happens! Who is Sasha Ledbetter? Of whose bloodline is she? What is her talent? These questions and more are answered in this book! (Cannot give them away though. Wouldn't want to spoil things for you.)

I like the little touches that Ms. Andersen gave her, like the fact that Sasha loves to cook and that she treats her plants and herbs like her babies. I was totally charmed at the scene when Sasha saw them again after so long.

"Hello, she breathed, knowing she should probably feel like an idiot for talking to her plants, and not giving a crap. "Do you remember me?"

I like that these small things serve to give Sasha character yet at the same time, these very qualities are important to her role as a Nightkeeper. Suffice it to say, I like Sasha better than Alexis (Dawnkeepers) because the former is so refreshingly uncomplicated. Her scenes with Ambrose (both at the temple and later, at Skywatch) were done rather well, in my opinion, bearing a bittersweet, poignant quality and bringing Sasha the needed closure without the scenes being mushy.

And Michael, wooh! He totally owned this book, with his pain and anguish and conflict, in his striving to be a better man. Who couldn't identify with that? Especially toward the end, when he needed to cross the river again. I could feel his ambivalence and his pain. Heart breaking and soul crying out... Should he cross or not? A return to what he was (which he hated) or to reach for his desired future and sacrifice a teammate? In the end, there was no choice, not if he was to be true to what he is at his core. But I suffered with him, cried with him (oops, he didn't cry, but maybe in his heart he did) as he made the irreversible decision.

Jessica Andersen sure knew how to put readers through the emotional wringer. But I love love love Michael Stone, more than Nate and even maybe Strike.

Though the end of the world events still surround and interweave with Sasha's and Michael's romance, they didn't overwhelm. Though we still see Rabbit trying to help, there wasn't anything of Anna's problems with her hubby. As for Lucius, we only see him for a short time at the beginning and toward the end. So, this book is really all about Sasha and Michael, which I thoroughly enjoyed. And I'm looking forward to Demonkeeper, because Lucius is one of my favorite characters. I've been waiting for his story since Nightkeepers (book #1)!

There is something though that wasn't answered in the story. Since Sasha is a Nightkeeper (not a spoiler, as it's suspected in book #1 that her father is one), why didn't her winikin have her mark on his forearm? 

When we asked Ms Andersen this question, this is her reply:

Good question!  This is one of those things that is hinted at in the stories, but gets glossed over a little because there's only so much detail I can include before my editor says: "Stop worldbuilding and get to the running, screaming, and sex!' Snicker. 

The books mention that the winikin receive a child's mark (indicating that they have another protectee of their bound bloodline) at the child's birth. This actually happens during a brief ceremony that is performed with umbilical cord blood, during which the child is connected to the community. Sasha did not receive this ceremony. Neither did Patience and Brandt's twins, which is why neither Hannah nor Woody (Patience and Brandt's winikin) have marks representing the boys. 

Buy Links (paper): Amazon, Book Depository 

Reviews of other books in the series:
Quiz on Nightkeepers - How well do you know the book? Test your knowledge!

~ o ~

WE'RE HAVING A GIVEAWAY! Three (3) copies of book #4 Demonkeepers to be won! Everyone on the planet can join, even the penguins in Antarctica, if they can get on the 'Net and write a comment. LOL

How to enter?

Go to Jessica's website and tell us what you like about it. It can be about her books, the extras she has there, or even the design of the website. You can also tell her what you want to see there. Anything. While there, look at the amazing information she has for you. But be warned that the animated intro is a little loud, so if you're at work, hit the volume!

Extra chances to win:
+ 3 if you're an old follower of this blog
+ 2 if you're a new follower of this blog (starting to follow from this post/contest)
+ 2 if you follow us on Facebook or Twitter
+ 2 if you take our poster (located on the right sidebar) about this contest and post it
              on your blog/website with a link back to us
+ 1 for every time you spread the word about this contest via Facebook, MySpace,
              Twitter, your blog, website or other form of social media. For example, you
              tweeted about this contest twice and also announced it on your Facebook. You 
              also wrote a blog post. That's 4 additional chances! However, for these to 
              qualify, be sure to come back here and post the links. Like, if you tweeted 
              twice, give me both links.

If you do all of the above, at a minimum, that's 9 chances to win (8 chances if you're a new follower)! Remember, the more things you do to help us spread the word about this contest, the better are your chances.

Contest ends on April 1 (Thursday), 1159pm EST.

Winner will be picked via Randomizer.org and announced within the week. Instructions will be given then on how to claim your prize. Be sure to come back and check because we won't hunt you down. If prizes are unclaimed after 1 week, new winners will be chosen.

Good luck!


CallMeKayla said...

I like the Mayan- looking calendar-y frame on the homepage

+3 old follower
+2 twitter follower- bookluver09
+2 FB follower

total- 8


Sue A. said...

The website is like discovering a secret world. Well designed.

+ 3 if you're an old follower

alternate email from blogger
magenta 2 red [at] gmail [dot] com

Jessica Andersen said...

@ Kayla- Thanks, and good luck in the drawings!

@ Sue A.- I really appreciate hearing that, it was what I was going for! I wanted the sense of 'come in, poke around, and see what there is to see!'

Jessica Andersen said...

And btw, THANK YOU Silver for the most excellent reviews!

I love that you really get the series and the characters, yet give us a good idea of the things that make you go 'hmmm.'

Appreciate it!

Silver @ TRR said...

Thanks for dropping by, Jess! To be honest, I'm waiting anxiously for Sven's and Cara's story. Can't believe you're making me wait till late 2011!

Jessica Andersen said...

Hey Silver!-- It's funny, I hadn't realized that Sven was such a favorite-- most of the fan mail I get is about Rabbit, or equally divided among the others. But I've been getting a ton of Sven questions lately. Which is very cool! His story is starting to take shape in my head, which is cool :)

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