Today we’re thrilled to be taking part in the
Blog Tour for
A YA Sci-Fi Novel
by S.J. Pierce
Welcome to the Party!
About the Book:
Spectacle by S.J. Pierce
Publication Date: July 15, 2015
Genres: Sci-Fi, Young Adult
Hunger Games meets Avatar in this spellbinding new Young Adult, Science-Fiction novel by bestselling author Susan James Pierce.
Two hundred years after the Great Disaster, the day earthquakes ravaged Earth’s landscapes, humanity has finally regrouped and is working toward a better future. But in New America – one of three remaining landmasses – the threat of overpopulation makes a better future seem bleaker by the year.
Mira (Mirabella) Foster and her parents are citizens of New America, and with the threat of starvation and disease looming on the horizon, a new discovery threatens to push everyone to the brink of chaos: blue markings develop on people’s skin. Markings that allow them to camouflage their skin, but also make them feared, and eventually, targets of violence.
Mira’s dad is one of them.
There are a lot of horrible things that happen in this story. A lot of things that show what humans can be like at their worst, when colored by fear and hate and misunderstanding. It’s nothing that is not true of what humans have done throughout history, and continue to do to other humans of different races and backgrounds and beliefs.
For me these stories are always powerful, heartbreaking, and ever present, and I’ve said before how I love to see sci-fi, but especially YA sci-fi exploring these themes. It’s something I hope to do with my own writing, but I’m so happy to see others doing it so well.
But there are also a lot of absolutely beautiful and lovely things that happen in this story too.
Pierce’s writing is a really strong selling point for this book. She has a way of drawing you right into the middle of the action and the thoughts of her character, without ever throwing you out. Her writing is very tight, engaging, and just well done! I felt like I was in this story. And even though one of my possible complaints might just have to be the overall length of this book, at nearly 368 pages for YA sci-fi I felt like I was ready for the story to wrap up and that some of the scenes with them hiding out in the woods to regroup were making me anxious for the story to get going again, I do see why they were there as far as introducing a new character into the mix and setting up the finale, and it never did seem like the pacing really dropped or she lost me completely, so I have to give her kudos for that, that even with a book of this length, each scene had enough tension, conflict point in moving the story forward that it held my interest and kept me reading.
I also had a little bit of trouble getting into the story at the beginning when our narrator was only 11. I often do when authors choose to go this route. I’m waiting and wondering the whole time how long they are going to keep this up, when and indeed if they are going to age them to an appropriate age for YA audiences. In this case it went on for around 40 pages, and I can absolutely see why these scenes were pivotal, but it was also hard, because this 11-year-old character was just so naive and it was frustrating and a little annoying being in her head and knowing everything that was going on and then having to wait for everyone to explain it to her.
I also felt like some of that never went away entirely throughout the book. Not that the character was entirely naive, just that there was a little bit of a sense of knowing too early how things were going to play out, a little too many clues, maybe things too well written. Or perhaps that’s simply an annoying talent I’ve developed.
However, this was certainly not the case every time. She did manage to shock me one more than one occasion. Sometimes the surprises were delightful shocks, (even if the events themselves weren’t pleasant, they made sense to the story) and I’ll take more of those from a writer any day! Although I have to say on more than one occasion I was not exactly thrilled with how things played out! For a good 40-50 pages after a certain event in the book, I kept waiting for her to reveal that it was a misdirect and hadn’t actually happened because it didn’t make sense to me that this would be happening for this character.
And that is one of the things that S.J. Pierce does very right is her characters. From our heroine Mirabella, down to every single minor supporting role this are real, complex, living, breathing believable people that we come to understand, loathe or love. They are an unbelievably diverse cast and only in a few minor cases did I feel there was some justifiable typecasting going on. I came to really love Jacks, Luxxe, Cole, Taylor, Maggie, and so many more of these characters and I really think you will too.
And as for the story. Mira grows so much. So much happens. So many changes on this journey for them all, that even though things may not have gone the way I would have written it the whole time, I couldn’t keep myself from breaking down and crying in the end. I was so moved by the story, and yes, I was satisfied with the ending that I got, even more than I would have been with the one I was writing in my head.
The Wrap Up:
Overall I highly recommend this book for fans of YA sci-fi. It’s compelling, twisty, with characters that are loveable and fierce. Fans of Uglies and the Hunger Games will love it and those looking for something new in the genre definitely need to check this one out!
Susan James Pierce has a degree in Marketing Management, works for a Fortune 500 company in Atlanta, Georgia, and devotes her precious, spare time to writing Fantasy, Paranormal and Sci-fi novels.
Please visit www.sjpiercebooks.blogspot.com and sign up for her mailing list or subscribe to her blog if you’d like to hear when new books come out!
10 eBook Copies of Spectacle are up for grabs!
This Tour-wide giveaway is
Thanks for stopping by for our leg of the tour! You can find out more about Spectacle and read the reviews from the other bloggers on the tour by following along here.