Thursday, August 31, 2017

Blog Tour & Giveaway: Amber Sky (C.O.I.L.S of Copper and Brass, #1) by Claire Warner

Book Blurb:

"You thought I did this out of the goodness of my heart?" He gave a short mirthless laugh. "Not a bit of it, this is going to be dangerous for me. What are you offering for my help?"

Beneath the Amber Sky, the nobility control the food, education, and the mysterious C.O.I.L.S of Copper and Brass. To Tay, struggling to keep her siblings alive, the ideas of rebellion and freedom are distant and unreachable.

But when her father is arrested, she begs Darius James, the son of the Overseer, to save his life. Darius agrees, but his help costs her a favour, one he can call in at any time.

Darius' favour will bring her to the Palace, and the perfect position to help the growing rebellion. But the court has games beyond anything she has seen before, and Darius' secrets will add to the danger.

Tay is now able to make a difference, to join the rebellion, find the C.O.I.L.S and discover the secrets of the Amber Sky. All she has to do is survive.

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“There.” Beth stepped back and pointed at the mirror. “Take a look.”

Set into the side of one of the wardrobes, and etched in gilt, the full-length mirror gleamed slightly in the light. With a sigh, Tay stepped forward. Her image swam into focus, and she took a step back, startled at the reflection she saw before her. The slightly timid house maid had vanished, replaced by some richly dressed stranger. The deep crimson dress fitted in all the right places, and the rustling taffeta held a glossy sheen which glowed beneath the lights. Small clusters of jet and crystal were stitched across the bodice and full skirt, and they glittered as the light struck them.

Tay slid her fingers across the fabric before turning her attention to her hair. The dark locks had been twisted into a mass of corkscrew curls and pinned to the crown of her head beneath of jet and silver fascinator. Her makeup had been lightly applied, and her face almost vanished beneath the magnificence of the dress.

“Oh.” Barely able to speak, she turned back to face Beth. “I look...”

“Beautiful,” Beth answered, a slight hint of regret in her voice. “And not at all like yourself.” She walked forward and brushed an imaginary bit of dust from the back of the dress. “Now you'd better get going.” She stepped back and jumped slightly as Tay flung her arms about her.

“Thank you.” Now that the costume of nobility had been donned, she felt somewhat better about the whole situation. Despite the slightly underfed cast to her appearance, the dress altered her entire fa├žade. Visions of immediately being denounced as an imposter began to fade as she stepped back, and headed for the living room. She pushed open the door and stopped at the sight of Darius sitting in one of the chairs. As the door swung open, he jumped to his feet. Tay was gratified to note that his mouth opened slightly in shock as he took in her appearance. A moment of stunned silence fell over the pair of them as each regarded the other. Darius had also dressed for dinner, and Tay ran her eyes across his elegant garb in stupefied appraisal. He had been handsome before, but now, she closed her mouth as she realised that she was staring.


My Review:

4 Out Of 5 Stars

Genre: Dystopian, Mystery, Romance, Survival--

Tay's father has been arrested and Tay finds herself at the Overseer's house, to plead her case to his son Darius. What started as an act of desperation, Tay finds herself owing Darius a favor, one that she has no idea what it will entail. Without any say on her part, Tay is now a maid in a wealthy family's house, potentially acting as a spy- but for what side? Is she there to do some mysterious favor for Darius, or is she a pawn for the dangerous revolution that got her father arrested?

This is the second book that I have read by Claire, in an entirely different series and world, and enjoyed it more than the first, most likely since this is dystopian vs the historical setting that was the first book. The story dropped the main character Tay and the reader right into the middle of an uncomfortable situation where neither of us knew what would happen next. The world built piece by piece, little bits revealed as the plot progressed and I was anxious for more. It was the perfect way to get me interested and keep me hooked, completely uncertain as to what was coming next.

The story is just how I like my dystopians, full of gritty details and dangerous situations, where a happily ever after may not really be how the story plays out. Tay slightly resembled Katniss from The Hunger Games to me in the regard that she was willing to go without and make any kind of bargain to better her sibling's life, as well as the fact that she did not want to be a part of any rebellion and yet still she found her way smack dab in the center of one- pretty much against her will. Tay was one of those characters that liked to fly under the radar, was content to continue her depressing, half-starved existence as long as it meant she could live. What started as a quest to better her father's situation ended up with her in the middle of a mess not of her own making. And boy, what a sad way to live. I wanted to have an intervention, but after living in her shoes for a week, it was hard to see what sort of future potential she even had. This world is hard, and it is so easy to break someone down. So yeah, now that I am reflecting on the story, maybe don't pick this up if you are looking for something upbeat or super happy, because you might be a little surprised at what you get.

The setting took me a little bit to figure out, but a childhood "bedtime story" mentioned strategically during the book helped to fill in the gaps. A mysterious, perhaps fantastical coil was created to help out mankind and ended up turning the sky the Amber color it is now (supposedly, it was blue once- can't be true!) and things were great, but then the coils went missing and bad things started happening such as crops dying, and humanity turned on itself, leaving the system that is now in place. The rich control all, the poor are dying, social injustices abound- people having no rights, and pretty much reverting back to a class system with servants and the poor as if it was the 1800s. I found the world to be interesting, especially since I did not at first realize that this could be our future.

There was a surprising paranormal element to the story that I never even anticipated, so that was a pleasant surprise, but don't expect a supernatural story. The story was a nice mix of mystery, danger, romance (yep, some lurv that I didn't even mention here since I was caught up in the world and the danger, so there!), harsh life reality and the possibility for a better world. I look forward to the next story because this is a big mess of an ending that leaves you hanging, beware- Cliffhanger! I look forward to more from Tay and Darius, as well as this interesting world building adventure.

I received this title in return for my honest review.

Author Bio:

When I was a child, I made up games and characters when my sister and I played with dolls. As I grew older, I would make up scenarios and scenes, fully intending to write them down but never finding the time. In my late teens, I discovered the world of role playing and settled into an avid ‘geeky’ life of D&D, comics, sci-fi and fantasy fiction. Years passed and I finally gave voice to the stories in my head. I write romance, fantasy, action and adventure. I love tales of steampunk and history, tales of magical powers and dark curses lurking in the shadows. Though The Black Lotus is not my first attempt at a novel, it is the first I have finished.

And some fun facts about me:

I sew.

My favourite Disney film is Atlantis.

I’ve been a film extra and stood 5 feet away from Sam Rockwell.

Babylon 5 is my fave sci-fi show.

I cried at the end of Toy Story 3

Author Links: Goodreads | Website | Twitter | Facebook

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