Wednesday, January 13, 2016

REVIEW: The Sciell (+$20 Amazon GC Giveaway!)

Title: The Sciell
Author: Auden Johnson 
Series: Merging Worlds #1
Pages: 382
Date Published: 2015
Publisher: Aubey LLC
Format: Kindle
Genre: Dark Fantasy 
Source: Goddess Fish Blog Tours
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Synopsis:
Darkness is alive. It has power.

There are those who use Its power to protect and destroy. They know Darkness isn't evil, just angry. All It wants is revenge against those that hurt It...every human.

This knowledge is lost to a village of non-human beings. It was built on secrets- created under a barrier well away from the human world. Raesul is a prison. Those that rule only want to control the residents. The villagers don't know what they really are.

Shade, a half-breed, and her adopted brother and protector, Vayle, are discovering the dark lies behind their village. Their home is in each other. Family runs deeper than blood. Shade tries to find herself beyond the bullied half-human. Vayle's only job was to be his baby sister's shield. He trained her too well. She doesn't need his protection. They're lost.

Maybe Raesul's destruction will show them their true selves, their true purpose. The prison walls are coming down. Darkness is changing. The world will suffer.


~My Thoughts~
I absolutely LOVE dark fantasy. Make my fairies bleed or with terrifying teeth and razor wings, with themes like betrayal and deceit instead of pixie dust and glowing lights. Auden Johnson knows what I mean... The Sciell is gritty, and has violence, anger, rage...all the best ingredients for the most exciting parties! Starting from the first chapter when Shade stalks a human girl and then she and her brother capture and eat her(it?). If that doesn't scream, "This Book is NOT your Average Fantasy" I don't know what will. 

Shade, like many fantasy heroes, is only a half-blood. This world is built around the Del' Praeli, a people of darkness and chaos, and while Shade is half Del' Praeli, she is also something else...something much weaker...human. But she's forced to deal with both halves of her bloodline and I'm looking forward to seeing even more about what side she decides to follow in the future. 

The world-building in this story was great. You really get a sense of the classes, and sort of the political schematic of the world...well as much as you can in a world that worships chaos. Shade's half-breed status was clearly despised and I wondered at where all that hatred really stemmed from.

This book doesn't really fit into any genre-based boxes. It's fantasy yes, but there is a ton of mystery and intrigue that lend itself to being a bit more on the mystery/thriller side as well. You certainly get a lot of violence and crime, though it can't be considered a crime novel... In the end it just is what it is!

Auden Johnson is one to try out if you want to explore the creepy boogeymen, and like thrillers that viscerally gut you as you read!
~Try an Excerpt!~
Shade willed her sleeping power to reach into Darkness’ body to find the Bria it possessed. She didn’t feel anything. Her head pounded. Ample power existed in both physical and mental Darkness. She needed to feel it. 

Shade rocked her neck from side to side. The crack released her irritation. This human form was useless.

She moved into the moon’s immense arms. It took pity on her lost soul. Its touch awakened her Lifeblood. Her revived power reached through the Darkness and drew out the Energy, the Bria. Her head stopped pounding. Humans— their rules, their food, their lives— were knives sawing into her neck. 

A tingle started at her head and stimulated the rest of her body. She moved into the shadows. Lifeblood embraced her insides with delicious arms.

The moan refused to submit to her will. She suppressed a shiver as her power’s benign fingers coaxed her organs, muscles and bones into transformation. It weaved its body into her skin. Shade bit her tongue. It didn’t stop the whimper.  

The now active Lifeblood forced her hair out of its solid form into thousands of long, wild, black shadow strings. She knew the gray of her eyes became wispy black clouds.
~Meet Auden!~ 
As a kid, Auden created her own books by folding several construction papers in half and stapling them down the middle, adding her own illustrations. No matter how hard she tried, she couldn’t get away from writing. She holds a B.A. in English, a M.S. in Library and Information Science and she studied Creative Writing in England. She’s an Author/Research Assistant for Aubey LLC and currently lives in Brooklyn, NY- working towards her Masters in Publishing at NYU. Her short stories and novellas are on Amazon. Book 1: The Sciell and Book 2: Chains of the Sciell of The Merging Worlds series are now available. Her first non-fiction book, Building Dark Worlds: A World Building Guide, is also available.
Auden will be awarding a $20 Amazon or Barnes and Noble GC to a randomly drawn winner via rafflecopter during the tour.
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40 comments:

  1. Sounds mysterious and exciting!

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  2. Sounds like a great read! Fingers crossed!

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  3. Favorite books read last year?

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    Replies
    1. Dark World by Danielle Q. Lee. I love books where the main character isn't human.

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  4. Sounds like a great read. I have added it to my must read list.

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  5. If you weren't an author, what would you be?

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    1. That's a tough one. The first thing that comes to mind is book cover designer, though I wouldn't have gotten into graphic design if I wasn't an author. Writing is an important part of my life. I don't know what I'd do if I wasn't an author.

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    2. Did you design the cover for your book? It's beautiful!

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    3. Thanks, Helen! I designed the cover :)

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  6. "... No matter how hard she tried, she couldn’t get away from writing." I feel the same way. I don't write books (although my friends might call my emails or letters "books", LOL), but I write every single day. Quite therapeutic.

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    1. I always feel much better after a good writing session. That's why I do a lot of journaling.

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  7. You are so accomplished. Glad I got to meet you. Thanks to Andra.

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  8. Great post! Sounds like a great book, thanks for sharing :)

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  9. It will be interesting to see how the cover fits into the story.

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    1. I had a great time designing this cover ;)

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  10. Did you come up with the title for your book first, or at the end, once you'd finished writing it?

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    1. Towards the end. The book started out as The Feast--a place holder title. Eventually, I came up with a name for the beings in the story, the Sciell. That name fit better as a title, too. Figured it would be good at catching people's attention.

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    2. Thanks, really interested in how the book evolved. It does catch your attention because it sounds different. Love that the title evolved as the book did!

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  11. What is your favorite book of all time. Thanks for the giveaway. Bernie W BWallace1980(at)hotmail(d0t)com

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  12. What is your favorite book of all time. Thanks for the giveaway. Bernie W BWallace1980(at)hotmail(d0t)com

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    1. I love the Harry Potter Series. My favorite in the series, Prisoner of Azkaban.

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  13. This book sounds very different then what I normally read, but I think I'd enjoy it.

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  14. Wow! Each excerpt has intrigued me more and more. Thank you.

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