Monday, February 2, 2015

Blog Tour + Giveaway: The Last Order by Angela Marie Caldwell

The Last Order
Release Date: 02/03/15
Publisher: Rocket Circus Press

Summary from Goodreads:
Lana forms a secret order of women knights to fulfill her father’s final request: find the queen who was thought to be dead and return her to the throne.

Lana Crewe is a strong, fiercely driven seventeen year old living in a village ruled by fear. With their king and queen both dead, strife and division have taken hold. Ruthlessly attacked by an Order called Talons, Lana’s father is fatally stabbed. Before he dies, he imparts upon Lana a directive to save the statue of Saint Peter, and tells her that the queen yet lives. Now it is up to Lana to unravel the mystery of Saint Peter and bring an end to all of the war by finding the queen.

A medieval tale of hope and mystery, The Last Order is an action-packed story with one of the strongest female leads since Disney’s “Brave.” Not your average YA novel; The Last Order takes upper teenage angst and spins it on its head. You’ll be gripping this book as hard as it will be gripping you. 

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Review: One of my reading goals in 2015 is to really step outside my comfort zone of reading contemporary novels by trying out more of other genres. Fantasy is not something that I read a lot of because I do tend to struggle with some of the concepts found in the books. I can handle a lot of it, but there is always a certain point where things become too unbelievable for me, and I am worried that is going to happen whenever I pick up a new fantasy novel. However, when I got the email for this blog tour I was immediately intrigued by the premise. While I was still a bit nervous and uneasy about trying out another fantasy, I decided to give it a go. If the synopsis already had me fairly hooked, that was obviously a good start.

For the most part, I really did enjoy this book. I thought that it had some great elements of fantasy without going over the top, which is exactly what I needed. The storyline remained believable within the world that Caldwell created, and I think that it is a very important factor to consider and remember when reading books within this genre (I feel science fiction is very much the same, but that's beside the point...) The world building really was quite good. Caldwell used very descriptive and vivid details in order to give the reader information about the living conditions and the world altogether throughout the novel. Still, I do not think that too much time was spent on the world building, either. There was a happy medium in this sense, and that was something that I really did appreciate.

Caldwell did a wonderful job of hooking me from the very beginning. As it says in the synopsis, our protagonist Lana losses her father due to a stab wound, and that happens in the very beginning of the novel. In most books there is always the build up and introduction to the characters and their surroundings, but in The Last Order we are simply thrown into the action and have to catch up as we go. While this might not work well with certain stories, I do think that it was a wonderful addition here. Despite knowing very little about the protagonist, I already had sympathy for her as I read how difficult the loss of her father was. Right away I was on her side, and I think that is very important.

The plot in this book was rather entertaining, and once I was into the story I really did not want to put it down. When I did have to put it down (or more accurately stop reading on my phone because I had other things I had to do, like laundry), I kept thinking about what might possibly happen next and was thrilled when I could finally get back to it. That is always the mark of a good book, in my opinion, when the reader does not want to put it down and then cannot wait to get back to it. 

While this book definitely had its positives, I did have a couple of problems with it as well. The main one was the actual writing itself. There was nothing wrong with it, it just was not quite my style. While Caldwell's writing was good and very descriptive, it was also much choppier than I tend to enjoy reading. I think that it might be that I am just not used to it as a lot of authors can be long winded, and that's just what I have gotten used to. However, I did find myself getting frustrated by it a few times. It certainly did not make it a bad book or take away from the wonderful story, it was just something that I didn't completely love. Other people seem to think it is perfect, so that is simply my personal opinion.

Overall, I did think that this book was incredibly enjoyable, and I was able to get through it in only two days, which is very good for me lately. While I would not usually pick up too many fantasy books on my own, I am glad that I gave this one a try and took the opportunity to read about the world that Caldwell built. If you are a fantasy fan, then I would certainly recommend this book to you.

Rating: 3.0 / 3.0
About the Author
Angela M Caldwell is an author, photographer, and digital filmmaker. She studied video production and photography at Radford Univeristy then relocated to Los Angeles for an adventure. After seven years of city life, she moved back to Virgina.
Angela loves a good story and she has a broad range of likes when it comes to reading. Give her characters that she can root for and take her on an adventure. Angela’s journey back to the written word is a story of its own with dyslexia keeping her from writing for years.
But, she is a storyteller at heart. Through the years, she enjoyed expressing her stories through a variety of forms: photography, painting, music, film-making, and writing.

She lives with her husband and 4 kids, who are her biggest fans. They have one dog, and two cats. Perhaps one day they will have a farm. And her dream of having a horse will be realized.

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