Thursday, July 9, 2015

'Scintillate' by Karen Tjebben: Review Tour

(Scintillate Series, Book #1)
Young Adult - Supernatural Romance/Thriller
Date Published: September 4, 2013

Kate Archer is instantly drawn to Nick. He's handsome, smart, and interested in her - perhaps a little too interested according to Kate's brother. And it's a good thing Nick is interested, or Kate would have died the night of the football game. Sure, Nick rescued Kate, but he can't stop the inevitable. Kate is changing; she just doesn't know it. She can't explain the visions and sensations affecting her body, but she can enjoy the pleasure of Nick's kiss - that is, until she learns the real reason he is with her. Betrayed by her genetics, Kate begins a metamorphosis that forces her to confront an unseen reality and claim her true destiny.

Kate was okay. She wasn't that interesting or anything. She was a good student. A good person. A bit obsessed with her boyfriend, but who wouldn't be if they were dating Nick? (I'm kidding.) Yet...I didn't like her. She had no outstanding qualities. She wasn't brave. She was average. She could have been better. Someone with depth. Why does Reese hate you? Why are you who you are? When you did meet your friends? How? It seemed like Kate was missing some crucial characters points. She was a bit dull and a bit boring. She did have an heritage, though. Asteri, huh? Rare and beautiful.
Nick was too perfect. Perfect body. Perfect manners. Perfect everything. It seemed like he was the perfect guy. For whom? Who knows? I didn't like it, though. He was smart. Athletic. Kind. Charming. Name a positive adjective and Nick is that and more. Wow. Unbelievable, right? On top of that, he's an amazing boyfriend. Kind and warm. The sort of guy who gives the lady his jacket when she's cold. I wouldn't mind that sort of person, but Nick was too much of that person. No human being, no creature alive, will be Nick. He was too perfect.
Alex was cute. Ish. He was more realistic than Nick. He had problems. He was infatuated with Kate. (Or so I think.) That was a bit of a problem. If he was a friend, that would have been better. He had to like her, though. Then, you wondered why. Why did he like her? What did he see in her? He was kind and smart, though. That was almost all of everything he was. Which was great. He didn't have an overload of amazing qualities. Just enough to be cool but not too much.

The plot was a bit dull. I felt like it was mostly drama. Not much of anything else. I wanted more action. Swords and spears. Clashes.
The end had more fighting. I liked that. But it was at the end. That defeats the purpose.
The story had an air of mystery. You were left wondering about the clues you were given. What is she? Who are these characters? You start to guess. I guessed guardian angels. (She talked about a mural on her wall being a guardian angel.) And perfect Nick had the angelic feel. Utter perfection, you know? It was interesting to know what she really was. It felt like the big reveal was late in the story, though. Very late. We could have had training chapters. Or practice chapters. And on and on. That would have gotten me more interested in the story.

Nick and Kate had an interesting romance. They had chemistry, but their entire relationship was rushed. Reese wasn't crazy for thinking that. And Kate was too gaga for Nick to notice.
The romance came quickly. Less than 50 pages in came the first 'I like you.' I expected that from a couple that dated from The Time Before the Story Starts.
Not two people who had met recently, within the past 50 pages.
There was the weird way the author described Kate's attraction. A rope around the waist pulling her in. It was an interesting way to describe it. But...effective. You got the feeling she liked Nick. Loved him, maybe. And she was attracted. And Nick had an effect on her.

The ending... It was okay. It was a bit vague. You have to read the next book to figure out if she learns her powers and abilities. It could have been better. There were questions left. I wanted to know more. Is she okay? Are there more Nephilim? Many questions. None of them answered. Yet.
There was more action, though. Which was great. More fighting scenes. More on the big reveal. Maybe a full-on battle with Kate participating. Imagine her attacking from the trees! Boom! Clash! Wham! Cool, right? Too bad we didn't get that.

Sunny with a 50% chance of rain

Interview With the Author

What caused you to start writing? I’ve always thought it would be cool to write a book. In college, (while studying elementary education) in my literacy courses I’d peruse the picture books and nonfiction books and dream about writing my own book. Of course, it seemed impossible, but as the internet expanded and companies like Amazon grew, the dream started to take shape and become a reality. When my twin daughters went to kindergarten, I set aside time each day to dedicate to my writing. Surprisingly, the story that unfolded in my head was not for elementary students, but it was better suited for young adults and older.

Who is your favorite author? I can’t just say one. I love Stephen King, Anne Rice and Dean Koontz. Clearly I love thrillers with a hint of the supernatural.

What caused you to create the Asteri? I’ve always associated the Nephilim with fallen angels, which would imply a demonic bloodline. So to have Kate and her angelic friends be descendants of fallen angels seemed off. I created the Asteri angle in order to have a “purer” bloodline. 

Did you expect a love triangle? I wanted a hint of a love triangle. I purposely wrote SCINTILLATE hoping that the readers would get attached to Nick and then I’d throw Alex into the mix when Kate and the readers were not expecting him. I wanted there to be an “Oh, who’s this?" moment.

Who do you personally root for in the love triangle? Team Alex? Team Nick? That’s a tough one. I love them both. Nick has a hint of danger that makes him exciting, but he’s still a good guy. Alex is steady and faithful. He’s the kind of man you can trust completely. That’s the kind of man you marry.

Have you ever had an unrequited love like Kate in the beginning? I think everyone’s had crushes that went unanswered. My advice to my daughters will be: Don’t waste your time pining over  someone who isn’t interested in you. Move on and have fun.

If you had to, who would you date? Matt? Ravi? Alex? Nick? Evan, even? I’m back to Alex and
Nick again, and it’s just too hard to say. I love them both. 

Who is your favorite female hero of all time? My mind instantly went down the “superhero” road. I’ve always loved Wonder Woman. I’m excited to see how her character will be developed in the upcoming Marvel movie.

About the Author

Story time always captivated Karen. As a child, she fell in love with books that transported her to different worlds and introduced her to new creatures. As a teacher, she encouraged her students to explore different times and new worlds through literature. Now, when Karen isn’t living in reality with her husband and daughters, she can be found creating an alternate reality filled with creatures and worlds that she hopes will delight and raise goose bumps on her readers. 

1 comment:

  1. I'm excited to promote SCINTILLATE with Book City News. I've been asked about my inspiration for the cover. I chose a butterfly because it goes through metamorphosis. Kate is also changing, although she doesn't know it. The eyes have a dual meaning. Kate is being watched/guarded, but the color of the eyes can be pondered in the sequel, SYMBIOSIS (already available). The dagger for the body of the butterfly is because Kate is surrounded by violence.