Wednesday, July 20, 2016

Afterimage & Encender by J. Kowallis - Book Tour & Review + Giveaway

Afterimage
J. Kowallis
(The Enertia Trials #1)
Publication date: May 7th 2015
Genres: Dystopian, New Adult
Reggie’s dreams . . . aren’t dreams.
Visions of the future flood her mind like shards of broken puzzles. Caged in her cell, every morning begins the same. She’s drugged, tortured, and images are torn from her memory by Public One.
Until the morning everything changes. The vision is different. The future’s never been about her, and now she knows they’re coming for her:
Nomads.
How will she convince them to keep her alive when Nate, their leader, doesn’t like or even trust her? To him, she’s a science experiment. A machine.
When Public One will do anything to keep her, Reggie must make a decision: remain a slave to her past, or risk her future to venture into a world more terrifying than she’s ever known.



Encender
J. Kowallis
(The Enertia Trials #2)
Publication date: February 29th 2016
Genres: Dystopian, New Adult
They say you feel cold when you die.
The people I’ve killed would beg to differ.
For twenty-something Ransley, the adopted daughter of famed street fighter Estevan Benitez, fighting is all she knows. One hidden detail separates her from the endless string of her pathetic opponents: she can craft and influence heat and fire.
When she’s pitted against the strongest fighters at the infamous Argolla, Ransley faces something she never expected:
A man like her.
Roydon can duplicate himself. When the two collide in the ring, a chain of deals turns Roydon over to Public Four and he’s taken away to undergo the disturbing process of the Nexis. What it is, or what it does, no one outside of The Public knows.
Driven by guilt and a desire to release the only person she’s ever met who’s like her, Ransley isn’t about to leave him for dead—not when he might hold the answers to her missing past. Now she must trust a pair of strangers: a former military man out to collapse the system, and a woman whose premonitions could tear them all apart.


My Review (may contain a spoiler or two)
**I received paperback copies of both books in exchange for honest reviews**


Afterimage is the first book in the Enertia Trials series. When I first read the synopsis for it, I was quite intrigued and curious to see what it was all about. It sort of reminded me a little of Minority Report in a way, but not quite the same. I did, however, avoid the synopsis for Encender, only because I did not want to spoil anything. I did agree to review it based on nothing more than the synopsis of the first book and the hope that I would enjoy it. And, boy, did I do just that!

Afterimage is set in the future, when the world as we know it has been ravaged and changed. Now, a place known only as Public One exists, and everyone who lives there is happy and content...or so they seem. One person, however, isn't quite like the rest.

Enter Reggie, our main character. Reggie is different. She can see the future when she dreams, and the Public utilizes this to help keep their citizens safe. At least that's what they'd like to have Reggie believe. Intrusive and painful, she submits to Public One's whims against her will on a daily basis to deliver these visions straight to the higher-ups. Until one fateful day...

 Enter Nate, the apparent leader of the band of Nomads who live outside Public One, moving from place to place so as not to get caught and taken to live inside those walls. When an escapee from the Public meets up with his group and begs the Nomads to help him save his family, Nate makes a decision that will set everything in motion. But will it be the right choice? You'll have to read it and find out!

 Afterimage is a fantastic thrill ride through a dystopian world hellbent on forcing people to become perfect in the eyes of the government, if you will. It sucks in you from the moment you lay eyes on that first page, and it doesn't let up until the very end. You'll be left on the edge of your seat, breathless and eager for more. 

The plot is unique and fast-paced, the world building is amazing, and the characters are ones who bring out all sorts of emotions. Reggie is frustrating at times, but also sort of pitiful in a way, as well as benevolent. She's the type of character you want to root for in a story like this. Nate is very similar. He's very distrusting, understandably, but you can't help but like him and want him to be a good person. And, of course, you have your bad guys. Those characters you think you love to hate are nothing compared to one certain character who makes an appearance closer to the end of Afterimage. This character deserves nothing but pure hatred and loathing. Perhaps even a desire for him to die a slow, painful death. He's that awful.

Overall, Afterimage is a magnificent, mind-blowing story that I consider a must-read for any fan of dystopian fiction. I rate it 5 very well-deserved stars.


Encender, book two in the Enertia Trials series, is a fascinating sequel to Afterimage. I didn't read the synopsis for Encender until after I finished Afterimage, and once I did, I was curious to see where the sequel would go, especially since Nate and Reggie are not the main characters anymore.

Encender is about a young girl named Ransley who is found lying in the middle of the street by a retired street fighter named Estevan. He takes her in and raises her as his own daughter. He also teaches her how to fight. Ransley and Estevan live in severe poverty, avoiding the clutches of the Public. The only way to survive, at least for them, is to earn money through street fighting. Ransley is good, having been trained by the best of the best, but she knows that her next fight could also be her last. Except... Ransley's not like the other fighters. She has an ability. The ability to burn her opponents from the inside out. 

Ransley knows she isn't supposed to use her ability, but if it means avoiding death, she will. Unhappy about this, Estevan takes Ransley to Los Angeles to fight in the big leagues. It's there that she's pitted against a fighter named Roydon. It's there, during that fight with Roydon, that everything goes wrong.

Encender is crazy. Like, really crazy. I found myself devouring this book as quickly as I could because I needed to know what was going to happen next. If you think Public One in Afterimage is bad, wait until you discover Public Four. The things they do there are pretty darn awful.

Plot-wise, Encender is another fast-paced adventure through this horrible dystopian world. You've got new characters to love, and to hate, and some familiar faces, both good and bad, from Afterimage show up, as well. And by the end, you'll be hanging off the edge, anxious to know exactly where these characters are going to end up. That ending is a bit of a tease, let me tell you.

Overall, if you love dystopian fiction, or books that will send you on a journey you won't want to end, then pick up a copy of Encender (and Afterimage,too) today! You won't regret it. Encender earns another 5 very well-deserved stars from me!

 
Author Bio:
J. Kowallis, the only girl of four children, grew up in northern Utah with a head full of wild stories (most often unreal). At the age of 9, she wrote her first poem, a dedication to E.B. White’s Charlotte’s Web. It was so intriguing, her third grade teacher requested to keep the original. Between living in various fictional worlds, and spending time on her studies, she managed to graduate from Weber State University’s creative writing program. She now lives in Utah with her Mini Schnauzer, Etta, and spends most of her time still bouncing between this world and the fantastical while enjoying delectable über-dark chocolate and lavender baths. She enjoys dreaming about, flying to, and writing about distant lands (real or unreal).

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2 comments:

  1. This sounds like a really exciting and unique series! Glad you liked it, Jasmine! Great reviews! :)

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    1. It really is! And thanks! I did like the books very much. :)

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