Tuesday, July 21, 2015

Blog Tour, Review & Giveaway: Shadow of Deception by Sophia L. Johnson

It's so exciting to be a part of the blog tour for Shadow of Deception by Sophia L. Johnson.  Check out the details below!!

Shadow of Deception (The Kazumi Chronicles #1) by Sophia L. Johnson
Release Date: April 9, 2015
Publisher: Outskirts Publishing
Genre: Young Adult Dystopian

A horrific plane crash kills all five hundred and forty-two passengers except one. Kazumi emerges from the wreckage physically unscathed but has lost all her memories. Her miraculous survival has the whole city buzzing but all she wants is to go home, wherever home is.

After waiting a month in the hospital with no one to claim her, Kazumi is deemed homeless. She is about to be sent to a nearby teenage shelter when the nurse she grew to trust ushers her down a mysterious path, one that promises safety and maybe even the chance to recover her memories. With no better options available, Kazumi takes her chance and finds herself in the headquarters of the Sarcomeres, a secret society of genetically advanced humans hidden deep inside the Rocky Mountains. The Sarc’s heightened physical abilities and high-tech gadgets are not the only things that fascinate Kazumi. Finnegan O’Riley, a fellow Sarc she meets along the way also gets her heart racing. When Kazumi discovers that she possesses the genetic potential of a Sarcomere, she jumps at the chance to train with them, not knowing the death defying tests that are involved.

Meanwhile, a centuries-old nemesis of the Sarcomeres begins to stir in the dark, setting their dark plans in motion. Just when Kazumi thinks she can help protect her new found home, past memories surface to threaten her new identity. She soon realizes that layers of deception run deep and everyone has a secret agenda, including herself. Who can she trust when she can’t even trust herself? One wrong decision could bring forth consequences worse than death.

This was such an inventive and unique story from the very beginning.  It was a little different from the types of books I usually read, but I actually really enjoyed it.  This is a setting where there are supernatural people who can get in your mind, read your thoughts, manipulate what you see and experience, and a whole lot more.  Then you have another group who supposedly protects the human race from them.  Both sides think they're right, and both sides will do what they have to do in order to accomplish their goals.

Into this steps Kazumi.  Of course, after the plane crash, she doesn't remember who she is, and is called Gabi for a time until slowly, enough memories return to let her know her true name, if not many other details.  I'll have to admit, at first, I struggled with liking this character, or should I say that I had some trouble liking Gabi.  Without know herself and who she was, she came across a bit weak, a lot annoying and a lot whiny half the time.  She makes several really stupid choices that come with some pretty bad consequences, and there were times that I just wanted to shake her.  As her memories resurface, however, she became a LOT more interesting!  The true her, Kazumi, was an amazing character.  Strong, sure of herself, not whiny at all, but full of confidence and purpose.  I loved this side of her and forgot all about first impressions.  In retrospect, I believe she was actually written that way deliberately.

Then there was Finn.  Wow, what a badass.  He was amazing, both as a leader, a fighter, and in personality as well because he was brave, selfless and strong, so in control.  At first, when I was struggling liking Kazumi, I kept thinking she didn't deserve him anyway, but then later, I realized they were a great match together, because once she recovers full memories, she becomes a powerhouse! I wouldn't say there was any insta-love here... more like insta-lust on Kazumi's side, which I can live with.  And let's face it, when it comes to Finn, who wouldn't feel exactly like Kazumi did.

All in all, I think the author did an amazing job with the world-building.  I loved the characterization, and the struggle portrayed between both the characters, and their conflicting sides.  There were twists and turns and unexpected events in this story that I never saw coming. So kudos to the author for flipping me on my back about three times in this book.  I was left with a wow factor at the end of this story that has me already clamoring for book two.  Really wonderful first installment to what I'm sure will be a great series.

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About the Author

With a degree in International Business Management, Sophia has worked in a major marketing firm
where she realized the corporate world isn’t one she wants to be in.  She then made the switch into the healthcare industry as a Registered Massage Therapist by day and a writer by night.  She is now a Massage Therapy instructor and a published author living with her husband and daughter in Toronto.  Her go-to genres are science fiction, fantasy, and dystopian; or anything that sweeps her away into a foreign world that promises adventure.

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