Saturday 12 July 2014

Book Review (Blog Tour - Interview and Giveaway!): Moonfall; Vanessa Morton.

Goodness me! Is it July already? So do you remember months ago me talking in a post about how excited I was to be invited to take part in my first ever Blog Tour? Well here it is! Vanessa Morton's 'Moonfall', the first in the 'Tales From The Levant' series is a book that instantly caught my eye on Netgalley and I couldn't wait to get stuck in. This post won't just include a review though, I have a Q&A with the wonderful author herself, and an International Giveaway for an E-Copy of the book for you lovely lot. I will also be using this book as a 'Quick Fix' entry! Before I start, I'd like to thank Vanessa for writing such a great book and taking the time to answer my questions, and Sami for getting me involved in the tour in the first place! If you want to keep following the Blog Tour and read some of the posts that have been up for it so far, then follow this link. There's a timetable at the bottom!

SOURCE: Netgalley
TYPE: E-Read

TITLE: Moonfall
AUTHOR: Vanessa Morton
SERIES: Tales From The Levant (#1)
PUBLISHER: WEbook Publishing
PAGES: 245
GENRE: Historical Fiction, Young Adult, Fantasy

RATING: 3.5/5 Stars

When sixteen-year-old Rachav drinks the Moon Temple’s forbidden wine, she hardly expects it to result in the death of a priestess. But when King Nur orders Rachav to serve the Queen of the Night - the kingdom’s powerful goddess - as restitution, Rachav’s identical twin, Zaron, has her own reasons for joining the priesthood and offers to take her twin’s place. But choices have consequences. Now Rachav’s family is in danger. As she uncovers the shocking reason why, she finds an ally in Salma, a brooding nomad who wields an ancient force powerful enough to destroy the entire kingdom. While the epic showdown rages above the city, Rachav plays a dangerous game of her own. Can she rescue her sister and right the wrongs of that fateful choice? Or will the king succeed and trap her in the doomed city?

What I Liked:
  • The world-building was just ridiculously good in this book! Anyone who has read my reviews before knows I love stories that are well-grounded in context and this one certainly was. I was transported to a really different and interesting world and I really felt like Morton knew what she was writing about. It was so refreshing! I was impressed as well because there was a huge level of detail, and yet it never became overwhelming or boring to read. 
  • The character relationships in this book were really interesting and I loved their interactions. For example, the relationship between Rachav and Zaron was so well-written and really reflected a true interpretation of twins who look identical but think differently. Also, despite it not being the main focus of the book, I loved the hints of romance I got between Rachav and Salma. In fact, the chapters that focused on Rachav's time in Salma's camp were among my favourites. I really wanted to read more of them and got extremely excited when I found out that this is the first book in a planned series!
  • The plot was very memorable and I really liked the way it took a recognisable Biblical story of old, and mixed in elements of Fantasy. I thought that it was paced very well and I was hooked from start to finish! Vanessa Morton writes really well too, her style has a really nice flow to it that kept me wanting more.
What I Disliked:
  • This is a pretty small issue but having read the book, I actually felt Rachav's initial decision to sneak into the temple to drink the forbidden wine was a little out of keeping with her character from that point onward. I would have maybe liked an explanation as to why she actually chose to do it. I felt a little thrown into the beginning but this feeling soon disappeared, it wasn't a huge issue.
Overall Conclusion:
This book was an good read and one I really enjoyed. I am a big fan of well-written Historical Fiction and this definitely checks that box. I also love the inclusion of Fantasy in any book, it's my favourite genre. Guess what, this one has that too! Another aspect I really enjoyed was an obvious connection between Rachav and Salma but it was built slowly. And I love slow-building romances, it just feels so much more natural and right. I had a slightly rocky start with this book admittedly, but I enjoyed it far too much not to give it an awesome rating. I can't wait to read Book two!

Author Interview:

1) So this is your debut novel! What inspired you to pick up the pen and write it? 

In the beginning, I wanted to write entertaining stories for my daughters because they were studying ancient history and most of the historical fiction we found was either authentic and dull, or it was interesting, but not very accurate. My goal was to write authentic yet entertaining stories.

2) What challenges, if any, did you face in bringing your idea to life? Is there anything you would do differently? 

At first, I researched much more than I wrote. I ended up with tons of details and a story that read more like a research paper than a novel. The year before I signed my publishing contract, I had cut over 25% of the story to restore the original vision of entertainment! Now I'm more selective when choosing authentic details, and I don't let it get in the way of the story!

3) I really like the cover design! Who actually came up with it

I'm glad you like it! My publisher, WEbook, has a creative team that designs their authors' covers. I asked them to feature a moon and this is what they came up with… it's awesome!

4) 'Moonfall' has, in my opinion, a really interesting plot concept which I’ve not really seen before! Where did the idea come from? 

My daughters were studying the ancient Levant, and we'd been talking about the legend of Jericho, did it really happen and what would it be like for a teen to live inside the walls? I discovered that supernatural events were normal—even expected—in that era, which added a fascinating yet authentic layer to the story.

5) How easy was the process of getting your book published? 

My publication story is not typical. I've been a member of WEbook for several years. It's a social network where writers submit their work through successive rounds of peer judging. The process can lead to an opportunity for publication, as it did for me.

6) Do you consider writing as your career? 

Writing is my passion, but it doesn't support me … yet! I still have a career by day, and I squeeze writing into my evenings and weekends.

7) Out of interest, name the last few books that you read which you really enjoyed! 

My tastes are eclectic. During the last few months, my favorites were Doctor Sleep (Stephen King), Iscariot: a Novel of Judas (Tosca Lee), and I always keep a book of poetry going—right now it's English Romantic Verse.

Wow so many exciting things on this post, and I really enjoyed reading this book, and conducting the Q&A! Now for something even more exciting for you guys, a chance to win a free copy of the book itself! It is an E-Copy and so the Giveaway is open internationally. Enjoy!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

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