Thursday, 1 October 2015

REVIEW, SERIES PROMOTION & COVER COMPARE - THE WHITE ROSE - THE LONE CITY BY AMY EWING

Title: The White Rose
Series: The Lone City Bk#1
Author: Amy Ewing
Publisher: Harper Teen
Genre: YA, Sci-Fi, Dystopian
Release Date: 6th October 2015

BLURB from Goodreads
Violet is on the run. After the Duchess of the Lake catches Violet with Ash, the hired companion at the Palace of the Lake, Violet has no choice but to escape the Jewel or face certain death. So along with Ash and her best friend, Raven, Violet runs away from her unbearable life of servitude.

But no one said leaving the Jewel would be easy. As they make their way through the circles of the Lone City, Regimentals track their every move, and the trio barely manages to make it out unscathed and into the safe haven they were promised—a mysterious house in the Farm.

But there’s a rebellion brewing, and Violet has found herself in the middle of it. Alongside a new ally, Violet discovers her Auguries are much more powerful than she ever imagined. But is she strong enough to rise up against the Jewel and everything she has ever known?


INITIAL THOUGHTS
After reading The Jewel I had The White Rose right at the top of my Want To Read Wishlist. I loved The Jewel, the construction of the society and the characters caught up in the plotting being done by those that live in the Jewel area of the Lone City. I was eager to catch up with Violet, and Raven, to see how Lucien's greater plan for Violet would work and more. The Jewel had ended at such a pivotal moment and was a "super de duper" of a cliff hanger.

MY REVIEW
When I saw this one on Edelweiss I immediately requested it, and I was luckily accepted for an e-copy. Initially I was really looking forward to reading this book, and going a little further along with Violet and the journey she is destined to take.
The cover of this book is as amazing as the cover for the Jewel was when I first saw that! I have done a feature within this post that talks about the covers, so I won't go on and on about the covers here. So if I saw the book on a book store shelf would it make me pick up the book? Yes. I don't class myself as a "girly" female but even I am impressed and loving these covers.
This book quite literally picks up where book one left off. I picked The White Rose up to read and it was as if I had just turned the page from The Jewel. I was immersed immediately right back into the action, betrayal and intrigue of the innermost circle of The Lone City. Violet and Ash have been caught together. Ash is taken to the dungeon's and Violet is incarcerated in her lavish bedroom. Violet's beautiful, sumptuous room becomes the setting for an horrendous act of violence from the Duchess Of The Lake, that has us, the reader in tears along with Violet; (as we say a premature goodbye to who was one of the people Violet is closest to and a favourite character for me in this series). It is emotional and shocking to read what happens and you sort of have a similar reaction to Violet. The action that the Duchess of the Lake takes is so quick that it feels surreal. As a reader you sort of stop and think "Oh wow, Oh no, not. . . " I think it is at that moment that Violet also comes to the conclusion that the Duchess of the Lake will let no one stand in the way of her own greater plan and that she is truly evil. Violet realises no one is safe, everyone is only around long enough to be used for the Duchess's own purposes and bigger plan. The irony of Violet's situation is if she hadn't given the special vial of serum Lucien had given her, away to Raven, in an attempt to rescue her friend, she herself would have escaped her life as a surrogate by now. The only thing that Violet still has that could help her in anyway is the tuning fork aracana that allows her to talk to Lucien of Garnet. Violet quickly comes to the conclusion that she must keep this device on her person to prevent her from being separated from it, as well as to make sure no one else finds it either. 
Violet has just woken from a trance like, exhaustive sleep and is still in shock, and grieving when Garnet arrives to rescue her. Garnet is somewhat shocked by the bruising present on Violets face but he is aware of the Duchess of the Lake's violent temper when crossed. It take's Violet a little while to realise that the regimental standing in front of her is Garnet. Though when he explains he is there to help her escape she insists that they cannot leave without Ash. Breaking out Ash turns out to be complicated, as he is locked in the dungeons but Violet, and Garnet receive help from an unlikely source. . . Carnelian. It turns out Carnelian is a more complex person than Violet ever thought her to be. As a reader I hope to re-visit Carnelian and the reasons she became such a misunderstood character. 
Ash and Violet soon learn the lies that are being told about them to cover their escape. Apparently Ash, the male companion to Carnelian, is now being accused of raping the Duchess of the Lakes surrogate Violet, and is wanted for this heinous act. No one is saying that Violet escaped, it is said she is recovering, and will remain out of the public eye for now.
We also discover more about Ash and his family. Ash was sold at the age of 14yrs old and then taken to Madame Curio at the age of 15, who taught him the necessary sexual skills to please the women he will become companion to. There is an extremely high suicide rate amongst the companions. Ash bears this life in the knowledge he can send money home to pay for desperately needed medication for his younger sister Cinder. We the reader, Ash and Violet briefly meet Cinder and find out how dreadfully ill she is and get to see exactly where all the hard earned cash from Ash is being spent. We learn that Ash's brother's Rip and Panel have no brotherly feelings towards him. In fact when things become difficult whilst Ash, Raven and Violet are "on the run"  it is a boy he has come to think of as a brother during their work and training at Madame Curio's called Rye Whitfield who he turns to for help.
We also learn more about Lucien, the young boy who once went by the name of Cobalt Rowling until he was sold and castrated in order to become a male lady-in-waiting. Male ladies in waiting are castrated as it is thought to make them safer to work around women. 
A new character we are introduced to is Sil, she is also part of the Black Key Society that is helping Ash, Raven and Violet escape. Sil has to teach Violet how to really access the full potential of her Auguries, only then will the Black Key Society be ready to fight those in the Jewel. Sil teaches Violet that there is only one true Augury, and all she and Azalea had discovered about them. Sil and Violet also realise that they will need more surrogates to really bring down the Jewel. The surrogate that immediately comes to Violets mind is the girl she met at her own auction that she named "the lioness" Lot No 199. Unfortunately security is even tighter within the Jewel so Lucien has to grab the other two girls needed without input from Violet. The first of the two girls is Indi, who is also glad to be free from the Jewel. Sadly the same cannot be said for the second girl Olive, who immediately demands to be returned to her owner. Violet, Raven & Sil have to find a way to encourage Olive to be part of their greater plan whilst allowing her to think she will be going back to her Mistress. 
I found the sections where the individual girls learnt more about their Auguries and what part of the four elements they connect with. The four elements are Earth, Water, Air and Fire. Violet is truly special and can connect with all the elements. Raven had her brain operated on too whilst she was owned by the Countess Of Stone. Her mistress has unwittingly given her an extra "gift" she hears voices, she can sense things about to happen. Sienna can connect with Fire and Earth. Indi connects with Water and Olive connects with Air and Water. I am looking forward to discovering how their individual gifts come together to help the fight against the surrogate, companion, and Lone City class system.
I found the Black Key Society to be very interesting, it is a secretive but well organised group of people. If you are truly a member of this society you have a small black key tattooed on your body someplace you can hide it but at the same time is easy to reveal to fellow members too. The head of the society has the code name The Black Key and we have yet to have his or her identity truly revealed. The Black Key has everything planned out, and easily adapts the plans to include Ah and Raven when he/she had just initially been expecting Violet alone. The Black Society has been growing in numbers and strength and the time of the actual attack has been set for the next Auction. All seems to be going to plan but then the Auction is brought forward from October to April. The Black Key needs to step up the training and adjust the plans to take into account the new date of the Auction.  The Black Key Society spans all the class systems within the Lone City.. There are Black Key members from the poorest area's of the Marshes, the Farm's, to the Smoke and up and beyond. Such as the little boy mentioned in the book called Millett. Then there is Lucien a lady-in-waiting, and also Garnet, the son of the Duchess of the Lake. I also thought the appearance of Ochre at a Black Key Society meeting below the tattooist shop was totally believable and really fit in with what had happened in his life and his families. I think the book ends on a terrific cliff hanger when we the reader and the characters in the book discover who the Duchess of the Lakes new secret surrogate is. I admit that I had felt the tension in the book building up to the end conclusion and I had guessed who the surrogate would be, but the way the news was delivered to Violet was still a shock announcement.
There is such a lot covered in this book, so much more I could say but really don't want to give away too much. From the first words of the book to the very last words of this book it has you hooked. 
So did I enjoy the book? I loved it. I thoroughly enjoyed learning more about Ash, the companion and his former life and family. Would I recommend the book? Yes!
Would I want to read more books in this series? Yes, I would seriously read the next book in this series right now if i were available. Would I want to read other titles by this author? I would certainly take a closer look at any book written by this author.

FINAL THOUGHTS
Oh what a place to end the book! I was eagerly trying to find another page to read, even though I had already guessed the true identity of the mystery new surrogate. It's an extremely cunning and quite brilliant move on the part of the Duchess of the Lake to choose the girl she has. It seems to me like the Duchess of the Lake is ready for a revolt of some kind, in fact she is taunting one particular surrogate.
There are plenty of twists and turns, from a shock death of a well loved character to help from unlikely sources, and then the building of a revolt by the Black Key Society with the help of the surrogates, so this book really is super, action packed. This second book in The Lone City Series also sets the scene well and gives you plenty to ponder about what will happen and how it will happen etc. in the next installment.


REST OF THE SERIES SO FAR. . . . 

Title: The Jewel
Series: The Lone City Bk#2
Author: Amy Ewing
Publisher: Harper Teen
Genre: YA, Sci-Fi, Dystopian
Release Date: 2nd September 2014

BLURB from Goodreads
The Jewel means wealth. The Jewel means beauty. The Jewel means royalty. But for girls like Violet, the Jewel means servitude. Not just any kind of servitude. Violet, born and raised in the Marsh, has been trained as a surrogate for the royalty—because in the Jewel the only thing more important than opulence is offspring.

Purchased at the surrogacy auction by the Duchess of the Lake and greeted with a slap to the face, Violet (now known only as #197) quickly learns of the brutal truths that lie beneath the Jewel’s glittering facade: the cruelty, backstabbing, and hidden violence that have become the royal way of life.

Violet must accept the ugly realities of her existence... and try to stay alive. But then a forbidden romance erupts between Violet and a handsome gentleman hired as a companion to the Duchess’s petulant niece. Though his presence makes life in the Jewel a bit brighter, the consequences of their illicit relationship will cost them both more than they bargained for.


PURCHASE LINKS

Title: House Of Stone
Series: The Lone City Bk#1.5
Author: Amy Ewing
Publisher: Walker
Genre: YA, Sci-Fi, Dystopian
Release Date: 28th July 2015

BLURB from Goodreads
Amy Ewing, author of The Jewel, gives us a glimpse of the twisted cruelty which pervades the House of the Stone in this shocking and heart-wrenching digital novella. 

When Raven is bought at the Auction, she knows immediately that things will not go well. And when she arrives at the Countess's palace, Raven quickly discovers that the Countess is much less interested in having a baby than experimenting with Raven's mind and body. Raven can only hope for an escape … and to see Violet again, all the while reminding herself that she is Raven Stirling, and she will survive.


No Cover Revealed As Yet

Title: The Wishing Well
Series: The Lone City Bk#0.5
Author: Amy Ewing

BLURB from Goodreads
The Wishing Well is part of a collection of children’s stories (of the same name) that are very popular in the Lone City, particularly the Marsh. For Violet, it has always symbolized her father, as he used to read it to her when he would come home from work. The Wishing Well tells the tale of two sisters, gifted with one wish each after saving a water-spirit, and how those wishes change their lives.

The deleted scene from The Jewel that was posted on Epic Reads! Can be found
HERE


COVER COMPARES

I am noticing more and more that books are either having covers re-done, updated or that covers can be different dependent on the book format or even due to the country they are released in. 

                                                      A                                                 B

MY OPINION
So I admit to liking both the covers above, they both represent the book very well and I'd say the female on the cover is great likeness to the description we have in the book of Lot 197. The byline of "Today is my last day as Violet Lasting. Tomorrow I become Lot 197" is a very powerful one that immediately grabs hold of your attention and makes you wonder about what it can possibly be in reference too.

So if I absolutely had to choose between them? 
That would have to be B! Having said that I would be interested enough in both book covers to pick them up to learn more about the blurbs and book contents.



                                                      A                                B

MY OPINION
I'd have to say that this "Cover Compare" is a little more difficult as I haven't had the opportunity to read this book so I cannot really say if the cover totally represents the book or not. I can only imagine having read book one and part of book two how well I think both the covers will represent the fracturing or breaking that Raven will undergo at the hands of her new mistress at the House Of Stone.  

So if I had to choose between them?
I love the byline on Cover B "I am Raven Stirling. They cannot own me. " used on the cover. I like the fonts and the decorative additions to the book cover around the titles. They cannot own me. " Again I am finding this a difficult choice but in the interest of the aesthetic look of coordinating or matching covers, it would be B! Having said that in a book store I would pick up both covers to read the blurbs. So I guess they are both good.


                                                      
                                                        A                                                     B

MY OPINION
As I said with the 1.5 novella covers in the interests of a coordinating set of books on a shelf, the choice is easy, it's B!
But, both covers represent this book well. I love the fact the byline of  "No one said leaving the Jewel would be easy" is present on Bk#2 Cover A. and so is the Series title too, but then Bk#2 Cover B matches Bk#1 Cover B so well. 

So if I had to choose between them? 
At this time without a series of covers that match in the style of Bk#2 Cover A, I would choose Bk#2 Cover B! Though as with the other cover I would pick up both in a book store to learn more about the book.

COVER COMPARE FINAL THOUGHTS
So as you will have noticed from my individual book cover comments I like elements in each and every cover featured in this post. I have preferences and idea's about each cover. So what are my final thoughts, what would be a perfect cover? I personally would like all the Cover B images but with the addition of the brilliant bylines from the Cover A images!
So Cover A & Cover B combined!

What do YOU think to the covers? 
Do you agree/disagree with my comments? 
And What do you think about my "Final Thoughts" idea?

No comments:

Post a comment