Monday, September 28, 2015

REVIEW: Hope (+$10 Amazon GC Giveaway!)

Title: Hope
Author: Sam Rook 
Series: The Knights of Av'lor#1
Pages: 302
Date Published: 2013
Publisher: Createspace
Format: Kindle
Genre: Sci-Fi/Fantasy
Source: Goddess Fish Blog Tours
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The winged knights-magically altered humans-are the only ones defending the portal from Av'lor to Earth. With defeat imminent, they find an unlikely source of hope in software engineer, Kathryn. Kathryn doubts her life could get any worse after the death of her mother and daughter. She realizes her mistake after she arrives on Av'lor with only part of her house and hungry creatures looking for their next meal. Once the knights bring her under their protection, she discovers their angry commander is far from welcoming. Sir Lanclor, Commander of the Knighthood, lives with the curse of betrayal. While the treachery occurred lifetimes before, few see past his guarded shell to the grim man beneath. Barely holding the Knighthood together, his grip tightens when Kathryn joins their ranks. Her stubbornness and surprising strength not only energizes the knights, but also makes Sir Lanclor question his self-imposed isolation. With the approach of an invading army, Kathryn and Sir Lanclor must find a way to end centuries of war and save two worlds.
~My Thoughts~
Kathryn did not think her day could get any worse. She had already called the police to come and assist her, but then all of a sudden they were pulled through a portal to another world. Now with a confused policeman to talk to and an entire new and potentially dangerous world to navigate, Kathryn's got to get herself together! 

Sam's writing style was unique. It offered some description, but more like watercolors in a painting instead of explicitly detailed lines, colors, and images. You get some sense of a description, a bit of character development, but overall I did feel as though I was missing something and wished there could be a bit more "oomph" to the writing. 

I really enjoyed the premise. While the world of Av'lor is pretty reminiscinet of midieval earth, it's apparently set in relatively modern times in a world that is parallel to ours. Makes for an interesting time and place no? The pace of the story moves quickly and while there is a lot going on in terms of battles, plotting, and even a little romance spiced in there, I definitely enjoyed that Sam was attempting to add so many elements into one story. 

Now, monsters and creatures are always my favorite part of a fantasy or sci-fi series...Hope introduces us to a huge range of these types of beings, from winged demons to knights (also winged). The knights are where the sci-fi comes in...because apparently they are genetically modified humans? Right! If I were to be experimented on that's one modification I'd be okay with! The overall themes and interaction between characters, monsters, and the plot were great! I would definitely keep reading this series! 
~Try an Excerpt!~
"That reminds me. The Ball of Remembrance is coming up in a few weeks. We should go together."

"A ball? You mean with dancing and stuff?" Kathryn remembered some of the best times in her life on a dance floor.

"Yes. Don’t sound so surprised. In the middle of a war, this is one of the few times we can relieve stress. You have to go. There’ll be dancing, singing, drinking and a ton of food. Everyone tends to relax their guard a little, maybe get a little…friendly, if you know what I mean?" Elena’s smile was infectious.

"Wait. They’re not going to be having sex on the dance floor, are they?"

"Kate, men of Av’lor aren’t like that. They’ll at least take us someplace private." Elena’s laugh made Kathryn smile and eventually join in.

"I think it would be a little awkward. I don’t know what any of the other knights look like beneath their armor. What if I hooked up with someone I work with every day? That would make things a little strained during drill the next day." An officer would be even more awkward. Sir Garrent or Sir Lanclor. Even worse, what if it was Jakara? Knife training would have a whole new meaning.

"Oh, rank is suspended for the one day and it’s pretty anonymous. Everyone’s wings will be the same color. License to party." Elena laughed and started thrusting her hips towards the bathtub with a sponge in one hand and a bottle of cleaner in the other.
~Meet Sam!~ 

Sam Rook lives in Vermont with her husband and two children. Her passion for fantasy novels began in high school with her desire to write following shortly thereafter. Software engineer by day, fantasy author by night, she strives to give her readers a chance to enjoy worlds that transport them away from the stress of everyday life.

 Sam will be awarding a $10 Amazon or Barnes and Noble GC to a randomly drawn winner via rafflecopter during the tour.


  1. thank you for the chance to win :)

  2. Thank you for hosting!

    Lisa, good luck with the giveaway!

  3. "... she strives to give her readers a chance to enjoy worlds that transport them away from the stress of everyday life...." And that is EXACTLY why I read so many books! Thank you!

  4. I liked the excerpt, thank you.

  5. You're welcome, Laney and Rita! Thanks for taking the time to check it out.

  6. I have enjoyed learning about the book. Thanks for sharing it.

  7. Thank you for the chance to win. I hope that I win. BWallace1980(at)hotmail(d0t)com

  8. Thank you for the chance to win. I hope that I win. BWallace1980(at)hotmail(d0t)com

  9. What is something you want to accomplish before you die?

  10. Thanks, everyone.

    Mai, I'd like to bring my children to all of the major U.S. National parks before I die. They need to see the beauty before it's gone...

  11. I really enjoyed the excerpt and I like the premise as well. Thank you.

  12. It is a new author for me but I would love to learn more! Thank you for the reveal!