Wednesday, 3 July 2013

Review and Excerpt - Shudder by Samantha Durante

Shudder by Samanth Durante Blog Tour - June 15th to Sept 1st



Shudder by Samantha Durante


It’s only been three days, and already everything is different.
Paragon is behind her, but somehow Alessa’s life may actually have gotten worse. In a wrenching twist of fate, she traded the safety and companionship of her sister for that of her true love, losing a vital partner she’d counted on for the ordeal ahead. Her comfortable university life is but a distant memory, as she faces the prospect of surviving a bleak winter on the meager remains of a ravaged world. And if she’d thought she’d tasted fear upon seeing a ghost, she was wrong; now she’s discovering new depths of terror while being hunted by a deadly virus and a terrifying pack of superhuman creatures thirsting for blood.
And then there are the visions.
The memory-altering “stitch” unlocked something in Alessa’s mind, and now she can’t shake the constant flood of alien feelings ransacking her emotions. Haunting memories of an old flame are driving a deep and painful rift into her once-secure relationship. And a series of staggering revelations about the treacherous Engineers – and the bone-chilling deceit shrouding her world’s sorry history – will soon leave Alessa reeling…
The second installment in the electrifying Stitch Trilogy, Shudder follows Samantha Durante’s shocking and innovative debut with a heart-pounding, paranormal-dusted dystopian adventure sure to keep the pages turning.
Haven’t read the first book in the series? Check STITCH out on Amazon and Goodreads. Just $0.99!




Shudder Purchase Links
Amazon (Kindle $2.99, print $9.99)
Smashwords (multiple e-book formats $2.99)
Barnes & Noble (Nook $2.99)
Also available in the iTunes store ($2.99 e-book) and wherever e-books are sold
Shudder will be available on B&N Nook, iTunes, and Kobo by early July!
Buy Shudder on Amazon

Twitter: @SamanthaDurante | 
LibraryThing: Stitch | Shudder | Author Samantha Durante
Samantha Durante, Author of the Stitch Trilogy

Samantha Durante lives in Westchester County, New York with her husband, Sudeep, and her cat, Gio. Formerly an engineer at Microsoft, Samantha left the world of software in 2010 to pursue her entrepreneurial dreams and a lifelong love of writing. A graduate of the University of Pennsylvania’s Jerome Fisher Program in Management & Technology, Samantha is currently working full time for her company Medley Media Associates as a freelance business writer and communications consultant. The Stitch Trilogy is her debut series. Learn more about Samantha at www.samanthadurante.com.

Excerpt

Strolling through the expanse, Alessa was just beginning to wonder if it was almost time to make camp when the ground in front of her suddenly exploded, dirt spewing in every direction as a series of rapid shots trailed up the lawn heading for her feet.  She jumped back into Isaac and both went tumbling below the grass.  They shimmied on their stomachs to the shield of the massive sculpture, unburdening themselves of their gear once safely behind cover.
“What the hell was that?” Isaac gasped.
“It sounds like someone’s shooting at us!”  Alessa’s mouth dropped at the realization of what she’d just said.  “Isaac – do you think they’re survivors?”
Isaac shook his head.  “If they are, they don’t seem friendly…”
“Maybe they think we’re those creatures.”
“In that case, I’d be shooting at us, too,” Isaac shrugged.
Alessa punched his shoulder.  “Come on, we need to convince them we’re not a threat.”
“What are you gonna do?”
“Talk to them,” Alessa replied.
Isaac raised an eyebrow with concern.  “Just try not to get shot, okay?”
Alessa stood up, her back to the statue, and slowly inched toward the direction the shooting had come.  When she reached the edge, she poked her head around to survey the scene.  There were bright searchlights crisscrossing the expanse of the yard, and she couldn’t see anyone near the large dark building up ahead.  But when she stepped out and waved her arms in a signal of submission, she was only greeted with the ping of more shots bouncing off the sculpture.  She quickly ducked back behind.
“They don’t seem willing to negotiate,” she reported.
“No kidding.”
“We just need to get them to stop shooting long enough to listen to us,” Alessa insisted.
Isaac peeked around the statue, staying low among the cover of the tall grass as he peered up toward the building.  “Okay, I think I have a plan.”
He scrambled back beside Alessa.  “When I say, you make a run for it –” he motioned at another solid sculpture 50 yards to the right, “– and while they’re distracted looking for you, I’ll sneak around the side through the grass and disarm the shooter.  Hopefully once he’s without a weapon, he’ll be a little more eager to talk.  Ready?” Isaac asked.
Alessa nodded.
“All right, then.  Let’s do this.”

Alessa nodded her understanding.  Her heart was pumping – she was ready.  She took a deep breath and one final peek around the edge of the sculpture… and then she flew.

My Review


Shudder picks up where Stitch left off, with Alessa and Isaac making their way across the wasteland that was once their world to find a safe place for the rebels. They’re chased by sinister creatures and face a new danger at every corner – and Alessa is starting to have strange visions and experience emotions that aren’t her own.

I like that we get several perspectives, including Nikhil’s, who was also a ‘student’ in the same programme as Alessa. He’s currently imprisoned in Paragon, and with the help of another prisoner, trying to piece together what is real and what is a lie. Meanwhile, we get more of an explanation about how Paragon came to be through the eyes of a girl named Phoenix, who has no memory of who she really is. She meets the engineers who designed the system, and it’s scary to think that science and technology could develop to this level. Using memory alteration to make people believe they’re living another life for the purposes of entertainment is shocking enough, but some of the revelations that come to light in Shudder go beyond even that!

Although we don’t get the same twist and genre reversal as we did in Stitch, this dystopian/post-apocalyptic sci-fi world still manages to surprise and shock. The pacing is faster and the action scenes had me on the edge of my seat! I love the lead characters, and even though Alessa has some tough decisions to make, her spirit and her love for Isaac and the others shines though.

With plenty of suspense and a downright scary future world, this is a sequel you don’t want to miss!

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