Eep! I am so excited to be part of the Book Blast for Water & Strom Country. I have already read this book and I can’t wait to hear what everyone else thinks of it. I love this book and this series and I can’t wait for the book that combines the Dwellers and the Country series! And David Estes has written an awesome guest post for my stop!
I got a copy in exchange for an honest review
Blurb: Huck Jones, the son of the admiral of the Soaker fleet, has a legacy to live up to. Haunted by the distorted memories of his mother’s untimely death, he must face his demons and the man who raised him as he strives to take the courageous step forward into manhood. When he’s transferred to the worst-performing ship in the fleet, everything he believes is called into question when he meets a lowly brown-skinned bilge rat girl. Huck walks a deadly rope…
Meanwhile, Sadie, destined to be a Rider in the Stormer army, seeks to avenge her brother’s death at the hands of the Soakers. Trained hard by her mother, an experienced Rider, Sadie knows strength and determination more than most. Her father, a Man of Wisdom, has shown his cowardice more times than she can count. As her world and family fall apart, she must cast aside her anger and focus on the wisdom she’s always brushed off as foolishness.
Amidst everything, a Plague ravages all, discriminating against no one.
When four worlds collide, lines will be drawn, sides will be chosen, victory will be sought. Death will be wrought. The mysteries of the Cure for the deadly Plague will be uncovered. Who will survive? And what will those who do learn about themselves and the ones they love?
I got a copy for beta read and an honest review. As my review is based on the beta read it may be even better now!
As soon as I got this for Beta read I immediately wanted to start reading it. I quickly finished my current read, because I had to read this book. The next day I ended up staying up late to finish this book and from 40% in I didn’t put it down and finished the rest in one sitting (I even got an achievement from my Kobo for reading 2 hours in a row).
Water&Storm Country starts off with the lives of two people, one a girl who lives in storm country and the other is a boy in Water Country. The connection with the rest of the story and characters of the earlier books becomes only obvious late in the book. I loved the story, I loved getting to know Water and Strom Country and I loved reading about both characters. Often when there was a point of view switch I sat there thinking “No I want more of this character” and then a minute later I would be completely engrossed into the other characters storyline. Both storylines are interesting and even though they switch pov after every chapter, which did interrupted the flow a bit at times, I didn’t really care because I love both storylines.
The story is fast paced, although the beginning is a bit slow in comparison when the reader still has to get to know the two new characters. But soon I just couldn’t put it down anymore and I wanted to keep reading, wanting to know if some of my predictions would come true.
The characters are both amazing, although I kept forgetting both of their names. Sadie is a girl from Strom Country and I really liked her character even though she had some big problems keeping her temper in check sometimes. I liked how real she felt. Huck the boy of water country is amazing too and they both change and grow so much during their stories. The side characters are also great, although due to the two storylines I felt like there was a little less attention to the side characters. I would’ve liked getting to know some of the side characters a bit better.
The world building is done great too and I really felt like I was there in either Water or Strom Country. Although there are a few questions left unanswered.
To Conclude: Water and Strom country is an amazing book. I loved the story, it was fast paced and I couldn’t put it down. The characters are amazing too and the world is great. I also liked how this story connected with the series so far.
When the weight of Gard’s heavy hands lifts from the crown of my head, I look up and the war leader nods. I stand to cheers and thunder from stomping feet, stride toward the stables, invincible, where a horse is being led toward me.
With a sleek, black hide, long, black mane, and fierce brown eyes, she’s everything I always imagined she would be. Stamping her feet, pulling at the ropes, snorting heavy plumes of breath out of her flaring nostrils, she’s unbroken.
It takes four strong men, Riders, to control her, and even then, she’s uncontrollable. Wild. Hungry. Mine.
As I approach, I notice a mar on the complete darkness of her coloring: A single patch of white sits high on her nose, almost between her ears, shaped like a butterfly. White wings.
Can she fly?
I’m still admiring her wild and untamed perfection, wondering where she was found, how hard it was for the Horse Whisperers to lure her close enough to capture her, whether she put up a fight, when one of the ropes are thrust into my hands.
Thankfully, I have enough sense to grab it firmly, to hold on, to remember the words my mother taught me, let them flow freely through my mind. I am yours, you are mine, we are one. A warrior and a steed become a Rider. Fight with me even as I fight with you. Separate, our strength is breakable, matched by many; combined, our power is above all, unstoppable.
The words roll over and over in my mind as I take the second rope, walking my hands up the thick strands, feeling them burn my palms as the horse bucks and strains against the bonds that are so foreign to a creature that has known only complete freedom while roaming wild on the plains.
Freedom is an illusion. I’m surprised to hear my father’s words in my head while I’m so focused on approaching my horse. I shake my head and resume my chant, this time out loud, first as a whisper and then louder and louder as I get closer and closer. The horse isn’t calmed by my words, but I know she hears them, because she’s completely focused on me now, and I’m oblivious to the ceremony that continues behind me.
Passion. The name occurs to me just like my mother said it would, right when one of the Riders are thrown down when the horse charges sharply to one side.
“Passion,” I say, and she stands perfectly still, matching the intensity of my gaze. “Sadie.” She snorts, as if my name is but a cricket under the stomp of her grand feet. And so it is.
I shouldn’t be this close, not at the first meeting. My mother told me, but it takes Passion to teach me.
She seems calm since I spoke her name. Her head even bows a little, and my mother said a wild horse will never do that. Already, our bond is special.
I reach forward to rub the white butterfly on her nose.
Her drooping eyes suddenly flash with anger and her head bucks as she leaps forward, butting me, throwing me backward, nearly stomping on my leg as I skid across the grass.
And David Estes has written an awesome guest post for my stop! It’s really awesome and reveals his inspiration for the names of the Countries in the Country saga.
Fire, Ice, Water and Storm by David Estes
Thanks to Lola for having me on her awesome blog and for giving me the topic of: What is my connection with the sea and my inspiration for writing my new YA dystopian novel, Water & Storm Country? Also, why did I choose Fire, Ice, Water and Storm as the four countries for the world I created, and not something else?
Great questions! To be honest, when I started the series, I had no real idea where it was all going. One day while writing the third book in the Dwellers Saga (a sister series to the Country Saga), the main character, Siena, in Fire Country just started speaking to me. She got stuck in my head with her strong voice and slang and metaphors, and I couldn’t get her out. I also pictured her in the desert, and I liked the idea of the world being a place of extremes: extreme heat, extreme cold, fierce storms, churning waves.
With heat, I immediately thought of fire, and the thought of countries named after the overriding weather-related themes made a lot of sense to me and was something I could get excited about. Fire Country was born! From there, I knew I needed the antithesis to fire, which could only be ice! Yeah, I could have gone with snow or cold or frost, but ice just seemed more powerful and a perfect contrast to fire. So I created Ice Country.
Now to my connection to the sea. Growing up in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, I NEVER saw the ocean. My family didn’t really go on vacation to the beach either. So it wasn’t until I was in my teens that I first saw the sea. WOW! I was immediately taken with it. With the power of its waves, with the teeming life beneath its surface, with its vastness and majesty. Since then, I’ve loved the ocean and always wanted to live near it (which I finally did when I moved to Manly Beach in Sydney, Australia). So, having a “country” and a people who lived on ships on the ocean made perfect sense for me. That’s where Water Country came from.
Lastly, were the Stormers, the dark and mysterious tribe that first make an appearance in Ice Country. Something kept tugging at my imagination while writing the first two books, something powerful, something as sharp as lightning and as heavy as thunder. I couldn’t get the thought of dark, mounted warriors backlit by jagged streaks of lightning out of my head. I knew I had to create them and figure out their place in the new world I was creating. Storm Country was the result.
Because I wanted the series to be a trilogy (before it connects with the Dwellers Saga in the 4th book of both series, The Earth Dwellers), I knew I had to combine two of the countries. Due to their close proximity, Water & Storm made the most sense for the third book!
That’s it! That’s where the Country Saga came from. I hope you all enjoyed finding out a little more about how my crazy mind works and where my ideas come from. And I really hope you all enjoy the third book in the Country Saga, Water & Storm Country! A special thanks to Lola for the awesome topic and for the invitation to come on her blog! HAPPY READING!!
About the Author:
David Estes was born in El Paso, Texas but moved to Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania when he was very young. David grew up in Pittsburgh and then went to Penn State for college. Eventually he moved to Sydney, Australia where he met his wife. A reader all his life, he began writing novels for the children’s and YA markets in 2010, and started writing full time in June 2012. Now he travels the world writing with his wife, Adele. David’s a writer with OCD, a love of dancing and singing (but only when no one is looking or listening), a mad-skilled ping-pong player, and prefers writing at the swimming pool to writing at a table.
And there is a tour wide giveaway!
a Rafflecopter giveaway