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We have the following books for giveaway SFFWRTCHT 3rd Anniversary Show 11/17/13
Fiendish Schemes (trade paperback) by KW Jeter/TOR – steampunk (Melanie M)
Apparition (hardback) by Trish MacGregor/TOR – horror 2nd in series (Deirdre)
The Last President (hardback) by John Barnes/ACE – near future SF thriller
Earthbound (hardback) by Joe Haldeman/ACE – YA SF 3rd in series
Diplomatic Immunity (hardback) by Lois McMasters Bujold/Baen – Verkosigan SF (A Bellet)
WWW: WONDER (hardback) by Robert J. Sawyer/ACE – SF 3rd in series (Melanie M)
Planesrunner (hardback) by Ian MacDonald/PYR – YA steampunk SF 1st in series (Melanie M)
Supervolcano: All Fall Down (hardback) by Harry Turtledove/ROC – near future SF 2nd in series
The Beautiful Land (trade pb) by Alan Averill/ACE – time travel SF (Cory Gesu)
Fatal Revenant (trade pb) by Stephen R. Donaldson/ACE – fantasy, Thomas Covenant 2nd in series of 4
Black Bottle (hardback) by Anthony Huso/TOR – fantasy 2nd in series
The Peshawar Lancers (pb) by SM Stirling/ROC – steampunk (D Annendale)
Pile of Bones (pb) by Bailey Cunningam/ACE -urban fantasy (A Cardno)
Chosen (pb) by Benedict Jacka/ACE – Fantasy
Endgame (pb) by Ann Aguirre/ACE – SF (Sabrina V)
Perdition (pb) by Ann Aguirre/ACE – SF (Sabrina V)
Cracked, Book One of the Soul Eaters Series by Eliza Crewe, is a Christian urban fantasy where the fight against good and evil is quite literal. Meda, our antihero protagonist, begins the novel as a soul eater on the run after having lost her only connection to the human world. During one of her feedings, she attracts the attention of both the Demons and the Templars, two sides in a war that she didn’t even know existed. When teen Templar Chi mistakes her for a hapless human victim, Meda decides to roll with it and return with him to Templar head quarters, where she hopes to learn more about her own powers and the powers that be. Her arrival tips the war off balance and soon she must chose sides. No matter what she chooses, her life will be in danger.
Christian readers will be pleased with the pervasive theme of temptation and free will that drive Meda’s character development. Meda begins as a true anti-hero, on a downward spiral of moral ambiguity fueled by the constant temptation to kill and feed. As she associates with the Templars, she has a chance to internalize their moral code to supplement her own weak one. At the same time, she recognizes that even the Templars are not perfect, sometimes lying, for instance, and sees this hypocrisy as a possible reason to reject them. Readers will enjoy this realistic level spiritual ambiguity, pointing out that humans, even Templars, aren’t flawless knights in shining armor.
The speculative aspects provide a smooth framework for the dramatic plot and character tension. The soul eaters are similar to vampires in that they are physically driven to feed, while Templars also have magic powers. This generates plenty of action which forces the characters to be on the move and make their own decisions away from adults. The characters are refreshingly innovative without being portrayed as over-the-top geniuses and even the side characters go through interesting development. The first person perspective is typical for YA and there are some asides to Meda’s dead mother that the book could have done without. Besides this, Cracked is a dramatic, easy read with satisfying character development.
You can buy Cracked by Eliza Crewe at:
And find out more about Eliza Crewe at:
Michelle Ristuccia enjoys slowing down time in the middle of the night to read and review speculative fiction, because sleeping offspring are the best motivation. You can find out more about her rabid love of SFF, podcasting, and raising future geeklings at her blog, http://wakingdreamsblog.blogspot.com , or twitter stalk her at http://twitter.com/ mrsmica