Welcome to a another Novel Publicity Review Tour! Today, we're helping Author Jeff Altabef launch his new book Red Death!
We've been with Jeff from the start, and we love helping him launch his latest titles. He and his daughter just finished launching the last of The Chosen Series, Scorched Souls, and now it's time for something new!
To celebrate, we've got prizes, sales and more! Check it all out below, and don't forget to pick up your copy of Red Death. If you love action packed YA adventures, or Jeff's other YA books like the Chosen Series, we know you'll love this title too!
About the Book
What happens when everything you believed turns out to be a lie?
Every child of Eden fears the Red Death. All those afflicted with the plague die young, their souls stripped away as punishment for ancient sins long forgotten. For centuries, Guardians have protected Eden from the Red Death by killing outsiders who stray too close.
Seventeen-year-old Aaliss is a highly-trained Guardian, but when her rather odd thirteen-year-old brother, Wilky, discovers a cure to the plague, her world turns upside down. Branded as traitors by the corrupt High Priest, Aaliss and Wilky are forced to seek refuge in the last place Aaliss thought she’d ever go—beyond the boundaries of Eden and into the land of the Soulless. Here they must navigate a medieval world filled with witches, magic, and warrior kingdoms run by Elders only a few years older than her.
Aaliss yearns to return home, but when her heart tugs her deeper into the world of the Soulless, she questions everything she once believed. Has her soul been taken? Will she and Wilky fall victim to the Red Death, or might they die sooner in the center of a battle that threatens to tear apart the Soulless world? Or… might Aaliss finally find, against all odds, what her heart has yearned for all along?
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Advanced Praise for Red Death
Not sure if Red Death is for you? Take a look at this advanced praise from MidWest Book Reviews and The US Review.
“Red Death will appeal to a wide audience since it has something for everyone. It's action-packed, with plenty of chases and fights for those who enjoy adventures and drama. There are enough twists to surprise those who are intrigued by political intrigue, suspense, and cliffhangers. Amid kingdoms to unite, princes to save, and lives on the line, there is also a playful romance sprinkled throughout for those who desire some lightheartedness.”
Maria A. Hughes, The US Review
"...[A] thought-provoking saga about belief systems and religion, courage, adaptability, greed and goals of ruling humnaity, and a seemingly juggernaut of change that rolls over everyone in its path....[P]erfect for readers who appreciate the complex worlds and feisty protagonists of The Hunger Games and similar novels."
Pick of the Month for November, Midwest Book Review
Red Death instantly grabbed my attention and didn't let go. Sounds corny and cliché, I know but that's the best way to describe it. It has classic dystopian elements and is a great recommendation for fans of the genre. You'll see some events coming in the beginning as it's all set up and follows the typical dystopian path. If you're an avid fan of the genre, you'll be able to spot more. For me, the characters and action made up for when I was being able to see what was around the bend.
There’s multiple POV’s that switch around and eventually converge. It saves on having to give back story once the paths cross. This is done very well. There’s no way to mix them up and was one of the best parts for me.
It’s full of action and adventure. Once Aaliss and Wilky get out with the soulless it picks up even quicker. I loved Aaliss in the beginning and the end, but in the middle, she’s dragged down by insta-love.
Can’t say I like or dislike Wilky as he isn’t a real person. He’s a plot device, trope, and stereotype. He’ll be catatonic and then pop up with whatever his companions need. If you’re sensitive to autistic portrayals in fiction, I’d steer clear. It’s highly annoying at the very least.
Piers, the oldest brother to Aaliss and Wilky, and Eamon, the brother to the king of the Butcher tribe, are the second-best characters. Eamon suffered the same fate as Aaliss with the middle drag. Piers however started meh and got better all the way to the end.
The rest of the cast is women, young and old, and a couple of Bad Guy villains. Not much time is spent with the Painted Ones, which I’d really like to know more of, or the tribe to the north of them or the rest of the damn world.
Now that the players are introduced and in place, the sequel will have war planning and Eden’s inhabitants to deal with. How it’s going to work out, I don’t know exactly.
Keep in Mind:
- Highly religious, would call it Christian fiction
- Dystopian world building in the past but the present focuses on paranormal souls and visions to move forward
- Small map is included to visualize the travels but there are no identifying marks where this takes place in the U.S.A.
- No idea about the rest of the world either.
- Plenty of graphic violence – fighting and murder but barely any romantic touching.
- Felt long in the middle
- What kind of fucking name is Wilky? Especially given to the autistic presenting kid? There’s no reason or meaning given, it just is. Also, he’s Magical™. And calling him “strange” makes it more problematic, not less.
- Appearance descriptions are mostly about faces, hair and eye color. The skin tone isn’t described but the people of Eden are white. There are several tribes of Soulless outside of Eden, but again skin tone isn’t described. I always buck the “white as default” bullshit in my mind’s eye but doing that in Red Death makes Wilky a white savior to native tribes. *sigh*
- Attempted Rape Scene early on. It doesn't get far beyond threats.
I did enjoy the ride, the actual characters are solid, and the plot has plenty going for it but it is problematic in several ways, the mystical religious part lowered it in my esteem (I’m not Christian so I would’ve skipped it had I known), and the instalove was annoying at first.
While I wouldn't say I regret reading it as it was easy, quick, and fun to read at the time but I wouldn't have chosen to promote or read it if other reviews had included this information.
It sucks not being able to recommend it more because of its issues as I'd get over the unexplained paranormal parts for the cast and plot but the more I think about Red Death the more uncomfortable I get with continuing the series.
About the Author
Jeff Altabef is an award-winning author who lives in New York with his wife, two daughters, and Charlie the dog. He spends time volunteering at the writing center in the local community college. After years of being accused of “telling stories,” he thought he would make it official. He writes in both the thriller and young adult genres.
Jeff is very happy and proud that his co-author for the Chosen Series is his teenaged daughter, Erynn Altabef. Wind Catcher, the first in the Chosen Series, has won the 2015 Readers’ Favorite Gold Medal for Coming of Age Novels, the 2015 Beverly Hills Book Award for Best YA Fiction and a Mom’s Choice Award.
As an avid Knicks fan, Jeff is prone to long periods of melancholy during hoops season. Jeff has a column on The Examiner focused on writing and a blog designed to encourage writing by those who like telling stories.
You can connect with Jeff on his website, Facebook, Twitter & Newsletter.
Exclusive Blogger only Interview with the Author
We asked author Jeff Altabef 3 questions you won’t see anywhere else besides our tour. They’re fun,
- NP: Thanks for offering some extra questions for our bloggers Jeff! First, what’s your favorite meal and drink?
- JA: Coffee and chocolate! I'm not sure what that says about me. My favorite time to write is in the morning so coffee is a no-brainer. My mind can't start to function without my first cup of Joe. I also like to write in coffeehouses from time to time when I need a little more energy and can feed off of those around me. So when in Rome! I have a pumpkin stuffed with tootsie rolls on my desk. It's a terrible habit that I quit from time to time, but it keeps coming back. I just grabbed another one! I'd like to say my favorite writing food is something healthy like kale, but I won't lie, and I hate kale!
- NP: Some of our staff have a love hate relationship with chocolate and coffee too! I bet that’s pretty common with our bloggers too. Now, the next question is tough, but do your best! Who was your favorite Character to write in Red Death?
- JA: This is such a hard question to answer. I really feel such a close connection to all of these characters, that choosing one is a bit of a "Sophie's Choice." I loved to write Piers. I thought he was such a deep character and certainly Aaliss was a lot of fun. She's a really strong character that most people love. The Viper and the High Priest were also a lot of fun. I always love dwelling on the nasty characters, but my favorite character to write was probably Wilky. I did a bunch of research before starting to make sure I captured someone with his condition just right. In many ways, he's the real hero of the series. Now I feel bad that I didn't mention Eamon or P'mina. Argh!
- NP For such a tough question you did a really good job of explaining why so many characters in Red Death are loveable. Last but not least, and it may be another head-banger...who are your favorite authors?
- JA: This is a tough question too! I love a wide variety of genres. Really everything from thrillers (Dean Koontz), to historical fiction (Bernard Cornwell), to mysteries (Jonathan Kellerman) and even horror (Steven King). In the Young Adult genre I really like the characters Sarah J. Maas writes in the Glass Throne series. They come across as strong and memorable. I absolutely loved the End of Days series by Susan Ee. Her dystopian world and the use of angels was totally brilliant. I love the first person voice Joelle Charbonneau writes in the Testing Trilogy. She was a huge help when writing the Chosen Trilogy. Still, if I had one writing wish and could write like anyone, I'd choose Christopher Moore. He makes writing funny characters and situations seem effortless. I love his books!
- Wow, those are some really interesting authors, and definitely diverse. I bet you’ve introduced our readers to some great new authors! Thanks again for doing our interview Jeff!
You can sign up to Jeff Altabef’s newselter and get a FREE short story at: http://www.jeffaltabef.com/
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red apple necklace
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