Author Spotlight: Lysa Daley

Dear Reader;

I haven’t done an Author Spotlight for a while and honestly, it was because I haven’t felt like doing it on a REALLY well know author (like Suzanne Collins or Veronica Roth or one of the classics, you know?), so I’ve been putting it off. But recently I had the privilege of reading an AMAZING book and it’s just occurred to me that I should definitely do a little bumping!

Today my focus is on Lysa Daley (I’ll list her website below as well as the book information). She’s written only one book with the second coming out this coming May! (I’m so excited!) The series is a trilogy, The Dark Skies trilogy as a matter of fact, and it’s about aliens.

Now, now, before you all start running for the hills, I want you to know that I am not a huge alien reader. In fact, aside from Ender’s Game, I can’t think of a single alien-focused book that I’ve read that I really enjoyed. And if you recall, Ender’s Game doesn’t necessarily have a lot of involvement with the actual aliens. Go figure. But I saw that this book – Unvelied: Dark Skies Trilogy book 1 – was being offered as a RAR (read and review, where the author provides a free copy of the book in exchange for an honest review) and I thought, what the heck, right?

I’ve been doing a lot of RARs lately and I’ll be honest: So many have been bombs. Really bad bombs. A few have been just so-so, not really getting me invested enough to check out sequels and earning an average rating of about three stars (out of five). In fact, the ones I *thought* I was really going to enjoy ended up being disappointing to say the least. So by the time I reached this one on my list, I was nervous. In fact, I was downright dreading it.

Then I read the first 2 % of the book and was floor. It was AMAZING. I thought, “what voice! What character! What believability!” Honestly, my real thoughts there. I thought the writing was incredibly well done. It wasn’t over the top and flowery as some books can be these days (which is not necessarily a bad thing, but can get very tedious as with September Girls by Bennett Madison), and it had real character in just a short amount of time. Astrid (I know, it took me a minute to get past the name, but it’s okay, it’s a Sci Fi novel, remember?) has a very spunky, slightly sarcastic, well developed voice and attitude that make her very believable as a teenager who has been dragged all over the place. She’s not overly full of herself, but not mopey either. She’s just normal, which of course she’s anything but. She’s relatable, the kind of girl you imagine yourself being friends with and getting coffee with, so down to earth that you’re just like, “Yep, you and me, total BFFs.” Daley nailed her voice so perfectly that I was almost afraid it would drop off, because it was so good at the beginning.

But it didn’t.

This was one of those stories, where the novel held its own right up to the end. No questions asked. Ruby was very good at the best friend, balancing out Astrid’s own personality, with a natural upbeat, fashionable sound, but not overly annoying personality of her own that was just as strong and believable. Within a few chapters, I was invested in these characters and they continued to defy my expectations. Whenever I thought, “Oh, this is just another stereotype” it was BAM, let me show you how these characters have DEPTH. It was amazing.

I could go on and on about Unveiled, as I am inexplicably in love with it, but I’ll just post my review later. Instead, I wanted to mention that Lysa Daley has done a fantastic job of creating a wonderful, adventurous and engaging debut novel that has a very strong voice and an interesting plotline even for someone who doesn’t usually invest time in Science Fiction. I was incredibly impressed.

In a sea of mediocre authors (growing in numbers daily), I was impressed and so pleased to come across Ms. Daley. She has blown me away and I look forward to her second book, Uninvited. I really encourage you all to check out Unveiled. I know it’s not going to be everyone’s cup of tea, but I really hope that you give it a try anyway. Why? Because being an author is hard – I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again. Hard to get your work out there. Hard to get a shot in a world where the mediocre and the dumbed down are so often taken for genius because they’ve been swallowed whole by the masses. Even if you don’t like the story, you’ll like the writing. Yes, it’s YA. Yes, it’s first person POV. Yes, it’s about aliens. And YES, it’s brilliant.

Give it a shot, because you might be a little surprised by what you come across.

Sincerely,

E.C. Orr

P.S. I wanted to mention that I did receive a copy of this book for free. I also wanted to mention that Ms. Daley has NO idea that I’ve featured her here on my blog. I pride myself on being honest, even when I feel bad for not liking something, because I feel it’s important to give credit where credit is due. I have in no way received any monetary compensation or otherwise been compensated for this post or my review.

Lysa Daley’s website: http://www.lysadaley.com/

Book Information:

Title: Unveiled: The Dark Skies Trilogy book 1
Author: Lysa Daley
ASIN: B01B8QD8RG
Language: English
Approximate Length: 411 pages
I have a free e-book version.

**Keep an eye out for book 2 Uninvited coming out in May!**

Author Spotlight: Lauren Oliver

Dear Reader;

Ideally, I’d like to focus on some less well known authors and get their names out there, but I also want you guys to know about the really awesome ones who have been there for a while. (Because no one ever bothered to send me in the direction of an author before and I’ve missed out on so many as a result.)

So, today I’m going to focus on Lauren Oliver, because she’s written one of my favorite books and a book that I didn’t much care for. The reason I think this is important is because it lets us know that an author can have a flop and still be a good author (not that her book was necessarily a “flop” but rather I just didn’t care for it). But not just that; it also says something about what you look for in a book while you’re reading.

The first book I read by Lauren Oliver was swirling around after the Hunger Games as “your next fix” type books. (I should know better by now, because EVERYONE was talking about the House of Night series and it was just awful!) So, being adventurous (and a little desperate), I went ahead and picked up a used copy.

And I didn’t like it.

It was called Delirium and it’s a dystopian series. There are three (I believe) in the series centered around a girl named Lena who is terrified of Love. Why? Because she lives in a society where it is outlawed as it is considered a terrible disease to be cured. Her mother had it and could never be rid of it, driving her insane. Now, Lena is afraid of the same madness.

It sounds like an awesome premise, right? It certainly did to me! But it was just… completely boring. That was the problem, it was boring. Nothing ever felt like it was happening and there was this constant sense that characters weren’t in any actual danger, which is really important if you’re going to have a dystopian novel.

Oliver failed pretty healthily with this book, at least for me, and I had little to no interest in reading another Delirium book. But then I stumbled upon a book called Panic by the same author and I thought, “Why am I even looking at this? I hated Delirium!” But then I realized something. I didn’t hate Delirium; I just wasn’t moved by it. Then I started taking a closer look at my opinion on Delirium.

I thought the story was boring. I wasn’t invested in the characters. But… I liked the style in which Oliver wrote. I liked the setting and some of the world building. I enjoyed reading what she had written, but I just couldn’t get into the story itself.

So, thinking along these lines, I wondered if reading something else by her – in a completely different genre – might lead me to appreciate her more?

Success. Panic was a hit. I tore through it, couldn’t put it down. The characters were so… engaging. And was Panic (the game in the book) a little unrealistic? Yeah, it was. Did the kids in the book maybe take things too far? Yeah, they did. Was it difficult to see a bunch of small town kids doing crazy shit, because they’re so desperate to get out of there? Not in the least. And that was how she hooked me.

I’ve realized that authors have a genre that they work best in and Oliver’s just happens to be adventure/romance/realism. I don’t think I’ll ever try another of her dystopias, but I am definitely looking at her other books (two of them are on my reading list this year).

I recommend checking her out, because she’s a quite talented author. I didn’t care for the Delirium books, but you might, so don’t take my word for it, but don’t start with it either. Start with Panic or Before I fall (I haven’t read it yet, but it’s coming up soon). Pick something that is set in the real world as it is now, because that’s where her strength lies.

She’s got a few out there now, so try her out!

Sincerely,

E.C. Orr