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Mwah. *Blows kisses* *Waves*
Publication Date: September 4, 2012
Status: *GASP!* Stand alone!
Genre: Teen Science Fiction
Other Info: This is Khoury’s debut. She’s a mere 22 years old! (I don’t know when 22 became “mere,” but it totally has.)
Description and link from Goodreads):
I wasn’t much interested in Origin when I picked it up at BEA. My copy is signed, and I happened to be at the Penguin counter when Jessica Khoury was doing an in-booth signing. After that, it was kind of just another book in my BEA stack. Which may sound ungrateful, but there you are. When my father, after perusing my newly stocked shelves, picked Origin out of the crowd, I experienced that childish twinge one gets when someone wants something of yours that previously held little interest for you. I let him have it anyway. Then, last month, when I was house-sitting for my parents, I picked it up. Oh, Origin, how I wrong I was, thinking you wouldn’t interest me! I but hope you can forgive me my folly!
As the description explains, Origin tells the tale of Pia, a girl raised deep in the Amazon Rainforest. But Pia doesn’t live among the native peoples that inhabit the jungle. She lives in a compound of scientists, all of whom have the same purpose: to create and perfect Pia. Carefully bred (no, seriously!), and consciously reared, Pia is the center of her world. She’s been told she’s perfect so many times it has become fact rather than opinion. And though she has a mind of her own, her life has been so carefully censored that she has little interest in the outside world.
All of that changes with the arrival of a new, female scientist. At first piqued by the male interest in Dr. Fields (unused as she is to appreciation directed elsewhere), Pia simply resents the addition to her small community. Indirectly (and sometimes directly) Dr. Fields has an enormous impact on Pia’s worldview. For the first time, she wonders what is outside her borders, and what the scientists that raised her haven’t told her. Finally, on her 17th birthday, Pia leaves the compound for the first time and meets a boy named Eio.
While Pia is, at first, a hard character to connect to, I loved Eio the moment I met him. It’s hard to resist a handsome, smart, funny, and conscientious shirtless boy. Plus, he doesn’t hesitate to check Pia’s enormous ego. Pia’s ginormous self-respect is the result of her rearing, and while I understood that, it was a bit difficult to stomach at first. It’s important, though, because ultimately the concept of “perfection” is part of what Origin sets out to explore. In fact, while Eio and Pia’s budding love is sweet–and at times hot–it doesn’t play as large a role as the description suggests. Origin is not a love story, though it does contain one.
Within this one book, so many difficult questions are addressed. Pia herself is a model to study for nature versus nurture. Her very existence gives rise to issues of scientific ethics. Dr. Fields makes us question the lengths we’ll go to protect those we love. But none of these thought-provoking issues are addressed in preachy, “Think about it!” fashion. That’s what makes it so awesome! I love books that make me think, whilst simultaneously providing me with a satisfying story. Origin was absolutely, definitely, one of those books for me. I can’t wait to see what Khoury has to offer next. If Origin is what she can accomplish at 22, I’m prepared to be blown away.
‘Scuze me, have you entered my 2nd Blogoversary Bonanza giveaway yet?
Source: Received from the publisher for review.
Genre: Paranormal Romance, Angels, Vampires
Other Info: I’m a dedicated Nalini Singh fan, though my first love is the Psy-Changeling series. I can’t resist those alpha heroes of hers, and I’m looking forward all the books about Raphael’s Seven. Especially Venom’s story.
Description and link from Goodreads):
As much as I like Raphael and Elena, I didn’t really start to love the Guild Hunter series until Nalini Singh turned her focus onto the Seven. If you’re not familiar with the books, here’s a basic run-down: In the Guild Hunter universe, there are angels, the most powerful of whom–named archangels–are part of a powerful group called the Cadre. Raphael, the hero of the first three books, is the youngest archangel in the Cadre. He’s uber powerful, ultra alpha-y and totally swoon-worthy. Of course, an archangel is only as good as the men (and women) that are loyal to him. In Raphael’s case, this is his Seven. The first member of the Seven to get his own book was Dmitri. Archangel’s Storm features the second: Jason, the Spymaster.
Archangel’s Storm takes us winging away from Raphael’s court, all the way across the world to India, where the archangel Neha presides. Neha is a character we’ve met before and one that we know to be an enemy of Raphael. (If you don’t hate and fear Neha, something is wrong with you.) However, when Neha’s consort is murdered, Jason is sent to help with the investigation. And once there, he meets Neha’s niece, Mahiya, an angel born of an affair between Neha’s consort and her sister.
Jason and Mahiya are Nalini Singh’s least demonstrative couple yet. They vie for the title of the most reserved, broken characters she’s ever created. In a way, it’s a miracle that they find their way to each other at all. And it’s a testament to Nalini Singh’s ability to create tangible attraction between her two leads that their attraction is more than credible–it’s visceral.
Yet, despite the fact that Archangel’s Storm is ostensibly Jason and Mahiya’s story, I didn’t feel that it was the book’s primary focus. There are cameo appearances by a few of the Seven–Venom (lovelovelove) and ____–and we get to see glimpses of Dmitri and Honor’s wedding and early married life. But–the romance takes second place to the angel politics that are coming into play. Not that I’m complaining. Nalini Singh’s world-building is a part of what makes her such a favorite author of mine. She always adds that necessary smokin’ hot romance, but never at the expense of plot, characterization or setting.
Finally, If you follow Nalini Singh’s blog at all, you know that she is an avid traveler. Though I think all of her books are excellent at creating a sense of place, Archangel’s Storm takes this to the next level. Many of the palaces and places that appear in the book are based on real Indian wonders. (There are photos of her inspiration for Archangel Fort on her website.) However, I didn’t know this until I read the author’s note at the end of the book. Singh’s descriptions were enough to spark my imagination, and to trigger my wanderlust. I can but hope that I’ll have the chance to do some more armchair traveling in future Guild Hunter books. Archangel’s Storm was not my favorite in the series, but it was certainly a valuable addition to the whole.
Ruby’s Bookish Bundles is a new feature I’m starting here on the blog. In it, I’m going to post about three books:
- Want Now: One recently released or already published title I’m lusting after.
- Want Soon: One upcoming title I’m looking forward to, based on things I’ve heard, the cover, and the description.
- Want Someday: One upcoming title I’ve heard about that sounds like it could be interested but is so far off into the future it doesn’t even have a cover yet.
I love discovering new books, and I love sharing about the books I discover. However, I’ve been wanting to do something a little different from (and more involved than) a WoW post, so I created this new feature for myself. Anyone is welcome to participate, or to share their own wants. If you do so on your own blog, leave a link so I can visit!
Everyone knows I’m Team Werewolf, so I decided that it was time to do a Bookish Bundle based on my favorite supernatural creature. There are a lot of titles to choose from, but I was able to whittle it down to just three. There’s a number up there in the title, though, because I’m hopin’ and prayin’ that this will only be the first of many a #NakedWerewolf-themed Bookish Bundle.
I passed this one by when I first saw it on the shelves of my local Borders (yeah, that long ago). People seem to really like this series, though, so I think it may be time for me to check it out…
By far one of my favorite #NakedWerewolf series, I’ll probably be reading the Mercy Thompson books until the bitter end. I’m looking forward to reading about Mercy and Adam’s married life, and to seeing their relationship evolve.
As always, feel free to recommend any titles you’ve come across, are waiting on, or have just plain piqued your interested. This goes quadruple for #NakedWerewolf books!
Cribbed from On a Book Bender–It’s that time again — Tuesday! — which means [we] give you shirtless men and you try to steal them away from [us]. (Hands off!) Top Off Tuesdays was started by Felicia, Christi and [Amanda]. It is where [ALL OF US] share the book covers that make us swoon. Head over to Felicia’s blog to share your Top Off Tuesday link or to see what everyone has posted. (Believe me when I tell you it’s worth it.)
The angle here is very stroke-able. Plus, you know, I love #NakedWerewolves.
That’s some sex!