Friday, September 28, 2012

Nightingale Book Tour

Nightingale by David Farland

Today I am re-posting my review of David Farland's suspenseful Nightingale as part of a book tour.  I highly recommend it.  Go get yourself a copy here.

Be sure and visit the other stops on the tour.

Nightingale by David Farland is the first book being published by the author's own forward-thinking publishing company. What do you think of the cover?  I don't know about you, but I'd pick it up just to get a closer look. :)

East India Press takes e-books in a whole new direction with enhanced multimedia--soundtracks, movie clips, author interviews and more. From the site: "East India embraces emerging technologies and new distribution methods, producing every novel in three forms:  as an enhanced multimedia experience, as a standard e-book, and as a limited edition hardcover."

Read my interview with David here.
Food to eat while reading: 
David Farland, Nightingale
Memory Merchant's Sour Cream Blueberry Pie

Memory Merchant's Sour Cream Blueberry Pie

Bron's life in Nightingale by David Farland is bittersweet. He doesn't dare enjoy the glimpses of happiness he has in his new life with Olivia in St. George. Instead, he holds on to the walls he has built for himself through years of foster care. Olivia breaks through some of those barriers as she uses her skills as a memory merchant to plant in Bron's mind her own memories of learning to play the guitar.

This recipe is unique because the author suggested it. I tweaked the original recipe (given to me by Farland's lovely wife Mary) to make the sour cream and blueberry fillings separate and swirling around each other like the competing factions in Bron's life.  While visiting family in St. George, Utah (the setting of the book) I was able to make the recipe and photograph the pie on the red rocks of the area.

3/4 cup sugar
2 tablespoons cornstarch
1 cup blueberries, frozen or fresh
1 cup water
2 eggs
1 cup sour cream
1 teaspoon almond extract or lemon juice
unbaked pie crust (if you ask me nicely I will email you my mother's prizewinning pie recipe)

pecan topping (optional)
5 tablespoons flour
3 tablespoons butter, softened
3 tablespoons pecans, chopped

In a small saucepan over medium heat, stir together the sugar and cornstarch. Add blueberries and water and cook until boiling, stirring occasionally. Let boil for one minute and then remove from heat.  Allow to cool completely.

In a medium sized bowl, beat the eggs with a fork. Stir in the sour cream, and almond extract or lemon juice. Keep in the fridge or freezer until the blueberries are cooled.

Pour the cream mixture into the unbaked pie crust. Add the blueberry mixture on top of the cream. Swirl the two together with a spoon, giving it a marbled look.

Prepare pecan topping by combining the flour, butter and chopped pecans.

Cook at 400' for 30 minutes. Remove the pie and sprinkle the pecan mixture on top, if desired. Cover the edges of the pie crust with tin foil to prevent over browning. Cook for an additional 15 minutes. Let cool in the fridge. Best served the day you make it.

Bron Jones was abandoned as a newborn. Thrown into foster care,he is rejected by one family after another, until he meets Olivia, a gifted and devoted high-school teacher who recognizes him for what he really is--what her people call a "nightingale".
But Bron isn't ready to learn the truth. There are secrets that have been hidden from mankind for hundreds of thousands of years, secrets that should remain hidden. Some things are too dangerous to know.
Bron's secret may be the most dangerous of all. 

My review:

*note, I reviewed a non-enhanced copy of this e-book, print only.

I instantly felt empathy for Bron, a teen who had been handed from foster home to foster home and who hasn't allowed himself to love or be loved.

The prologue drew me in and let me know that Nightingale is no ordinary book. In its digital pages I sensed the promise of adventure, sacrifice and an unexplored world. I wasn't disappointed.

What teen boy wouldn't want to be Bron? Handsome, wicked talented on the guitar, able to control opponents just by willing it to be so, and looking forward to the time when he will emit a scent that will draw every female for miles around. With its focus on action and adventure, Nightingale will certainly appeal to both the male and female teen readership.

The world of masaaks is interesting and unique. The memory keeping and leech aspects of the race (the ability to take will and even life from a victim and add vitality and years to the masaak) reminds me of the dedicates in Farland's earlier fantasy series, Runelords. I like the idea and it feels natural in a YA urban fantasy novel.

The settings in Nightingale are masterfully painted and Farland transports his readers away from their daily grind. From small Alpine, Utah, to St. George, Utah with its red rocks and Tuacahn theatre, to the swamps of New Orleans, a palpable sense of place grounds the novel in reality. Readers are then free to make the fantastic jump into Bron's world.

I prefer to read books that have a female point of view and Nightingale is aimed at the YA male market, but I settled right into Bron's point of view. The violence and at times crudeness that come with a male protagonist are not on par with what I usually enjoy reading. They weren't overpowering though and I am certain, that Nightingale will appeal to the young ladies as well as the young men.

I enjoyed the first half of the book the most--the part that deals with high school and love interests and emotional stakes. The last third of the book bogged me down with violence and backstory about the malevolent half of the masaak population. I'll be anxious to see more of Tuacahn High School for the Performing Arts and Bron's emotional struggles in the next book in the series.

An exciting new urban fantasy with vivid settings and a unique twist on the paranormal, Nightingale is unlike anything I've ever read--you won't want to miss it.

I can't wait to see what the multimedia enhancements have to offer.

Farland has plans for three more books in the series: Dream Assassin, Draghoul, and Shadow Lord.

For more information about Nightingale and East India Press click here.


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