Monday, April 29, 2013

Blog Tour: January Black by Wendy S. Russo (Review + Giveaway)

Published: January 15th, 2013 (Crescent Moon Press)
Pages: 305
Rating: 5/5
Goodreads ~ Amazon ~ Barnes & Noble ~ Amazon Kindle

Sixteen-year-old genius Matty Ducayn has never fit in on The Hill, an ordered place seriously lacking a sense of humor. After his school’s headmaster expels him for a small act of mischief, Matty’s future looks grim until King Hadrian comes to his rescue with a challenge: answer a question for a master’s diploma.

More than a second chance, this means freedom. Masters can choose where they work, a rarity among Regents, and the question is simple.

What was January Black?

It’s a ship. Everyone knows that. Hadrian rejects that answer, though, and Matty becomes compelled by curiosity and pride to solve the puzzle. When his search for an answer turns up long-buried state secrets, Matty’s journey becomes a collision course with a deadly royal decree. He's been set up to fail, which forces him to choose. Run for his life with the challenge lost...or call the king’s bluff.
I fell in love with this book on the very first page. The story sucks you in and doesn’t release you till the end. Russo did a fantastic job of world-building; there’s so much detail and uniqueness to her setting that it’s probably one of my favorite things about January Black. That, and the mystery that puzzles the reader just as much as it puzzles the characters. Soooo many YA “mysteries” turn out to be bland and predictable, thus I was overjoyed when January Black proved to be something entirely different.
I also enjoyed the romance.  Matty is such a fun character to follow- his intelligence gains him the reader’s respect. His relationship with Iris is relatable, as is his feelings, despite being a male MC. I don’t usually read too many books with male MCs, but after reading January Black, I wish I did.
I definitely enjoyed this one and highly recommend it. I’d say it could be read by middle grade readers, but beware as there are some romantic implications that might not be appropriate. I wasn’t entirely convinced I’d like January Black, but it turned out to be a surprisingly entertaining read.
Quick Content Review: *may contain spoilers*
Language: Mild (a few minor words throughout)
Violence: None/Mild
Sexual: Mild –Moderate
About the Author…
Wendy S. Russo got her start writing in the sixth grade. That story involved a talisman with crystals that had to be found and assembled before bad things happened, and dialog that read like classroom roll call. Since then, she’s majored in journalism (for one semester), published poetry, taken a course on short novels, and watched most everything ever filmed by Quentin Tarantino. A Wyoming native transplanted in Baton Rouge, Wendy works for Louisiana State University as an IT analyst. She’s a wife, a mom, a Tiger, a Who Dat, and she falls asleep on her couch at 8:30 on weeknights.

More Information:

*Blog Tour Giveaway*
$25 Amazon Gift Card or Paypal Cash (Ends 5/8/13)
Open only to those who can legally enter, receive and use an Gift Code or Paypal Cash. Winning Entry will be verified prior to prize being awarded. No purchase necessary. You must be 18 or older to enter or have your parent enter for you. The winner will be chosen by rafflecopter and announced here as well as emailed and will have 48 hours to respond or a new winner will be chosen. This giveaway is in no way associated with Facebook, Twitter, Rafflecopter or any other entity unless otherwise specified. The number of eligible entries received determines the odds of winning. Giveaway was organized by Kathy from I Am A Reader, Not A Writer and sponsored by the author. VOID WHERE PROHIBITED BY LAW.

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