Tuesday, 25 October 2011

The Apocalypse Gene - Suki Michelle & Carlyle Clark (Review, Interview & Giveaway)


Well this is a triple first for me, it is the first blog tour I have taken part in, my first author interview and my first ever giveaway. The blog tour itself is being hosted by Unputdownable Books for "The Apocalypse Gene" by Suki Michelle & Carlyle Clark and I hope you all visit some of the other sites in the tour for further guest posts, intereviews, reviews and giveaways.


Review


Title: The Apocalypse Gene
Author: Suki Michelle & Carlyle Clark
Genre: Urban Fantasy
Published: 2011
Formats: Paperback/Ebook

Available at:
Amazon
Amazon UK

I wasn't that sure about this book at first to be honest, a YA Urban Fantasy book had me dreading that this book was going to be more like Paranormal Romance as I have seen in the past with YA Urban Fantasy books. I needn't have worried however as The Apocalypse Gene is an exciting fast paced adventure full of thoughtful twists that are both surprising and well executed.

The story itself is set in Chicago, on a future Earth that has been ravaged by a disease. This pandemic has changed life into something that is quite unrecognizable, and many families have actually turned their own homes into hospices for dying patients. One of these families is the Wright-Ono family comprised of the books main character, Olivya and her mother. Olivya has an attitude problem, stubborn, and to be honest, is a bit of a pain in the arse to her mother; in other words she is like many other typical teenagers. However, Olivya does seem to have a special psychic gift that enables her to actually see aura's of life energy around people.

Olivya herself has a crush on a boy named Mikah whom she goes to school with and seems to accept her revelation of psychic abilities without any issues. The only problem Olivya has is that they go to school online so they have never actually met in person. When the two of them finally decide to meet up, they become involved in a much bigger event involving quasi-demons and angelic like creatures that threatens the very existence of all life on Earth.

I loved the entire novel; it mixed so many different topics and ideas together brilliantly. There was no doubting this was a futuristic novel with a healthy dose of sci-fi but there were also dystopian, paranormal, romantic and humorous elements present throughout. In addition, the action and adventure present really kept the story moving at an enjoyably fast pace that kept me turning the pages to find out what was going to happen next.

The writing flowed incredibly well although the plot could get a little bit confusing at times due to the incredibly fast pace and the amount of information that was being put across. But all this information helps create a superbly fascinating world, full of its own slang, mysteries and wonders. It is a great world and story that the authors have created and I would love to read some sequels that can expand this Universe further.

The main characters themselves come across as being fresh and young, I can imagine many teenagers who the book is obviously aimed at could relate too and understand them well. The supporting characters themselves also all have their own merits and have obviously been written with care and attention from the authors, in particular I found the sim version of Olivya to be absolutely brilliant; I couldn’t help but laugh and enjoy her nuances and eccentricities.

In summary, this is thoroughly enjoyable original story full of action, adventure, thrills and some humour. Whilst the plot did get a little bit complex but the characters are fun and there is probably something in this book for everyone due to the superb mix of genre. Therefore, I just have to recommend that you go out, buy this book and enjoy.

Interview

Can you tell the readers a little bit about The Apocalypse Gene?

The Apocalypse Gene takes place in the near future during a time of global pandemic. Our protagonists (Olivya and Mikah) are a pair of highly gifted psychics, Olivya with aura-sight and Mikah an elite Empath from a clan of demon hybrids called the Kindred. Mikah learns that the Kindred are linked to the pandemic, but without initiation, he is barred from learning their truths. When Olivya’s mother falls ill, Olivya and Mikah embark on a quest to uncover Kindred secrets. In the shadow of the Kindred leader, a monstrous brooding immortal, and with the arrival of a long prophesied winged being, the two discover that the pandemic is far more than a mere disease.

What was it like co-writing a book compared with writing something on your own?

Suki: Carlyle’s greatest talent is to unwind a plot and knowing where to put “reveals”. I’m happier writing description and conveying emotion and “voice”.

Carlyle: I draft out a scene, the what-happens-next stuff. Suki writes it real time. Then we pass it back and forth, each tweaking and massaging until we’re both satisfied, and we never ever argue (cough).

Suki: When writing alone, Carlyle is free and wild. He lets it flow. By contrast, I can tweak a single sentence for hours.

Carlyle: With my wild energy and Suki’s obsessive perfectionism, The Apocalypse Gene couldn’t have been written by either of us alone.

Where did the inspiration for The Apocalypse Gene's plot, characters and setting come from?

Suki: I own a medical transcription company and type all day. With my wild imagination and low tolerance for boredom, I entertain myself with the what-if game. During a long day typing medical reports, I thought, what if the cure to a disease was far outside than realm of science and squarely in the hands of kids and mystics, and what if it went pandemic? That was the seed of the plot. Also, Olivya has been brewing in my mind for years, a gifted girl who would rather be like everyone else, but circumstances teach her to embrace her uniqueness. Mikah is based on a boy I once knew, sensitive and intelligent with magical qualities. The inspiration for setting is Chicago where joy, despair, beauty, and magic breathe on every corner.

The writing process differs from author to author. What are your writing processes?

Suki: When I’m about to write, I squinch up my eyebrows, stamp my feet, get a sweaty red face, and tell myself I cannot do this, I’ll NEVER be able to do it, I suck, why bother? Then I sit down and do it anyway.

Carlyle: I favor the spray-n-pray technique. I gush out everything that skitters across my noggin and then go back and scalpel out all the stuff that doesn’t work. Coming from opposite ends of the spectrum, our conversations about writing can get, shall we say, passionate, but that makes for passionate writing too.

What’s your favorite and least favorite part of being a writer?

Suki: Favorite part – Writing a kick-ass scene, an unusual turn of phrase, a subtle yet accurate metaphor, or an economical sentence. Least favorite – self-doubt.

Carlyle: Favorite part: Having the chance to share my imagination and birth something new into the world that other might enjoy. Least favorite: the time waiting from when the novel is done until it is published.

What’s next? What projects are you currently working on and what do we all have to look forward to?

Suki: We’re in the process of drafting out the sequel to The Apocalypse Gene, which Parker Publishing is eager to produce. Carlyle is also finishing up his novel, The Black Song Inside, a semi-finalist in the Faulkner Wisdom Competition. I have two novels in the works, one literary fiction and one YA speculative fiction.

What advice would you give to aspiring writers?

Be open to criticism. Take what’s useful and shelf the rest but consider it all, good, bad, gentle, harsh. While praise is valuable and encouraging, the harsh stuff is the best teacher. Workshop your writing. Seek input from others more experienced, and be gracious and thankful, especially when their words hurt. When your tears dry, sit up and rewrite. The results are worth the pain.

Where can readers find out more about you and your books?

http://www.theapocalypsegene.com (Primary Website)
http://www.theapocalypsegene.com/cy-chi (Blog)
http://www.facebook.com/TheApocalypseGene (Olivya’s fan page)
http://www.facebook.com/MichellePlusClark (Co-Author FB page)
http://www.Storymavens/wordpress.org (Author blog)
http://www.Parker-Publishing.com
http://www.Twitter@Suki-Michelle

Giveaway


The winner of this giveaway will recieve an Ebook copy of The Apocalypse Gene

Rules:

The giveaway will finish at 23.59 GMT November 8.

Winners will be picked by random.org and announced on November 9 by email & on this blog.

All entrants just need to leave a comment with their name and email address.

Good luck!

Learn more about The Apocalypse Gene at…
Goodreads | Website | Trailer | Facebook

Next stop on the blog tour: Unputdownable Books