REVIEW: Unearthed by Amie Kaufman & Meagan Spooner

Unearthed Book One

Young Adult

Purchase: Kindle | Hardcover | Audio

Add to Goodreads

♦BLURB♦

When Earth intercepts a message from a long-extinct alien race, it seems like the solution the planet has been waiting for. The Undying’s advanced technology has the potential to undo environmental damage and turn lives around, and Gaia, their former home planet, is a treasure trove waiting to be uncovered.

For Jules Addison and his fellow scholars, the discovery of an alien culture offers unprecedented opportunity for study… as long as scavengers like Amelia Radcliffe don’t loot everything first. Mia and Jules’ different reasons for smuggling themselves onto Gaia put them immediately at odds, but after escaping a dangerous confrontation with other scavvers, they form a fragile alliance.

In order to penetrate the Undying temple and reach the tech and information hidden within, the two must decode the ancient race’s secrets and survive their traps. But the more they learn about the Undying, the more their presence in the temple seems to be part of a grand design that could spell the end of the human race…

 

♦5-STAR REVIEW♦

Filled with heart-pounding action & adventure and two engaging characters, Unearthed felt like a wonderful sci-fi version of a mash-up of Lara Croft’s Tomb Raider and Drake’s Uncharted video games in written form. If you’re not a gamer and don’t understand the reference, think of a race to save humanity paired with extraterrestrial landscape that is covered with deadly puzzles to solve and an entire cast of shifty characters. And what I adored most was that slow-to-build connection and attraction that was mired with secrets, distrust, and personal agendas between Jules and Amelia as they embarked on this adventure together.

With two main characters after entirely different objectives but pushed into working together due to outside circumstances, their dynamic fueled the pace of the story; their trajectories, so dissimilar but mockingly on the same path, led to a lovely push-pull between them that not only amplified their attraction and differing paths, but also the obstacles affecting their journey. They were each humanly-flawed people, but likable from the instant they came onto the page; both unlikely characters to get along–let alone race together across a strange planet fighting the planet itself and other scavengers–the fun was in watching them battle that growing tension. Amelia’s hardened personality blossomed as the journey grew on, and complemented the naivete of bookish Jules so well. With everything pushing them together and then instantly pulling them apart along with the ever-expanding mystery of the planet and its secrets, it became an un-put-down-able story very quickly. Amie and Meagan found a brilliant way to weave romance in a complex tale, keeping the relationship’s path just as tumultuous as the answer to the final puzzle.

Yet it wasn’t just a story about Amelia and Jules’ wants and needs nor that of the other scavvers, but rather the subtly and carefully placed reference to the real-life issue of our footprint on Earth and the consequences of misuse–a thought-provoking and clever plot point for a story. The writing was seamless, the story full of surprises, and I am left with a bevy of unanswered questions and guesses for the direction of the story that I am absolutely excited to have answered with the second, and final, installment of the series. Boldly inspiring and wonderfully plotted, Unearthed was a crazy thrill ride from start to finish.

 

♦ABOUT THE AUTHORS♦

Amie Kaufman is a New York Times and internationally bestselling author of young adult fiction. Her multi-award winning work has been published in 30 countries, and described as “a game-changer” (Shelf Awareness), “stylistically mesmerising” (Publishers Weekly) and “out-of-this-world awesome” (Kirkus). Her work includes the Starbound Trilogy (co-authored with Meagan Spooner) and The Illuminae Files (co-authored with Jay Kristoff), as well as her new series Unearthed and Elementals. Raised in Australia and Ireland, Amie has degrees in history, literature, law and conflict resolution. She lives in Melbourne with her husband, their rescue dog, and an extremely large personal library.

Website | Facebook | Twitter | Instagram

Meagan Spooner grew up reading and writing every spare moment of the day, while dreaming about life as an archaeologist, a marine biologist, an astronaut. She graduated from Hamilton College in New York with a degree in playwriting, and has spent several years since then living in Australia. She’s traveled with her family all over the world to places like Egypt, South Africa, the Arctic, Greece, Antarctica, and the Galapagos, and there’s a bit of every trip in every story she writes.

She currently lives and writes in Asheville, North Carolina, but the siren call of travel is hard to resist, and there’s no telling how long she’ll stay there.

In her spare time she plays guitar, plays video games, plays with her cat, and reads.

Website | Facebook | Twitter

Continue Reading

BLOG TOUR w/ EXCERPT: Thrive by Aly Martinez

Guardian Protection Series Book Two; Standalone

Purchase: Kindle | Paperback | Audio

Add to Goodreads

♦BLURB♦

When I was nineteen years old, I was faced with a choice that changed my life.

Keep the safety of what I already knew or risk losing everything with the young, hotheaded soldier who stole my heart.

I chose the wrong man, and for seventeen years, I paid in tears, blood, and shattered dreams for that decision.

Now, there’s a man in my house, holding a gun to my head on the order of my ex-husband—given from his prison cell. 

That hotheaded soldier I was too afraid to choose? He’s now a six-foot-three wall of muscle who works at the country’s most premier bodyguard agency. I’ve always wanted him, but now, I’ve never needed him more.

It’s the call I’m terrified to make. 

I’m sure he still hates me… Even though I’ve never stopped loving him.

♦EXCERPT♦

“This is yours?” I asked in awe, trailing my fingers over the shiny, black hood of a newer-model Ford pickup truck.

He’d lifted it and put huge tires on it, and while the top was spotless, there was a thin layer of mud covering the running boards, letting me know that it didn’t stay locked away in his garage waiting for a Chicago snow. It actually got used—and in places that weren’t covered in asphalt. My Southern heart, which had been relocated to the Midwest all those years ago, quaked in its stunning presence.

He stared at me, his arms crossed over his chest, the muscles of his neck straining beneath a gray henley, but not because he was stressed or upset, but rather because his muscles were so thick and defined that they were always straining.

He answered with a simple, “Babe.”

I swung my hand to the Escalade parked in the driveway. “What about the SUV?”

Twirling the keys on his finger, he walked over to me. “It’s not a crime for a man to own two vehicles.” Gripping my hip, he swayed me toward him. “If I have the kids, I drive the Caddy. If I’m by myself and the Caddy isn’t blocking the garage, I’ll take the truck.” He grinned, dipped low, brushed his lips to mine, and whispered, “If I’m with Mira, I take the truck even if the Caddy is blocking the garage and I have to move it so it’s not.”

My stomach performed gold-medal-worthy somersaults as I pushed up onto my toes and gave him far more than a lip brush.

His mouth opened, inviting me in. His warm tongue rolled with mine, acting as the welcoming committee. My head became light and I fisted my hands in the front of his shirt for balance. The moan that slipped from my throat made his tantalizing lips curve up in a smile before he pulled away.

Resting his forehead to mine, he rumbled, “Breakfast and condoms, baby. We can’t do anything without them.”

“Not completely true,” I murmured. “I saw a loaf of bread in your kitchen. Toast will serve as sustenance, and you can eat while I do other things with my mouth that don’t require condoms.”

His hand slipped down to my ass. “I’ve missed your mouth, Mira. But not a chance in hell you start things on your knees and I don’t end them inside you. And, for that, I’m gonna need more than toast. So it looks like we’re back to breakfast and condoms.” He gripped my ass, rocking me against him. “But we’re going to take the truck so you can slide in real close. And, on the off chance you feel like getting handsy while I drive, I won’t object.”

That had happened a lot when we were younger. The minute my ass had hit his seat, he’d lift his arm in invitation and I’d slid all the way over, as close as I could get without being in his lap. And then he’d drive. Windows down, the world passing us in a blur, him being the only thing in focus.

Inside that truck, I had been free to be Mira.

And, the idea of having that now, after seventeen years of feeling like someone else, I became giddy with excitement.

“You have a bench seat?” I gasped, staring up at him with a megawatt smile.

Smirking, he released me and opened the passenger’s door.  “When I lift the armrest, I do.”

I giggled. “Jesus, it’s like you knew I’d be coming back.”

His shoulders jerked, and his jaw turned to granite. And then Jeremy Lark slayed me, brought me back to life, and then ruined me once and for all. “No. Because if I’d thought there was any chance of you ever coming back, I’d probably still be sitting on the tailgate of that clunker in the woods, waiting.”

 

♦SERIES♦

Singe FOR WEB

Guardian Protection Series Book One; Standalone

Purchase: Amazon US | Amazon UK | Paperback | Nook | Kobo | My Review

♦ABOUT THE AUTHOR♦

aly martinez

Born and raised in Savannah, Georgia, Aly Martinez is a stay-at-home mom to four crazy kids under the age of five, including a set of twins. Currently living in South Carolina, she passes what little free time she has reading anything and everything she can get her hands on, preferably with a glass of wine at her side.

After some encouragement from her friends, Aly decided to add “Author” to her ever-growing list of job titles. Five books later, she shows no signs of slowing. So grab a glass of Chardonnay, or a bottle if you’re hanging out with Aly, and join her aboard the crazy train she calls life.

Website Facebook | Twitter | Goodreads

Continue Reading