Wednesday, March 12, 2014

Book Review: Sing Sweet Nightingale + Giveaway!

Mariella Teagen hasn't spoken a word in four years.

She pledged her voice to Orane, the man she loves—someone she only sees in her dreams. Each night, she escapes to Paradise, the world Orane created for her, and she sings for him. Mariella never believed she could stay in Paradise longer than a night, but two weeks before her eighteenth birthday, Orane hints that she may be able to stay forever.

Hudson Vincent made a pledge to never fight again.

Calease, the creature who created his dream world, swore that giving up violence would protect Hudson. But when his vow caused the death of his little brother, Hudson turned his grief on Calease and destroyed the dream world. The battle left him with new abilities and disturbing visions of a silent girl in grave danger—Mariella.

Now, Hudson is fighting to save Mariella's life while she fights to give it away. And he must find a way to show her Orane’s true intentions before she is lost to Paradise forever.

When this was first introduced to me, my friend cited that because I enjoyed Leanna Renee Hieber's "Murder Most Foul" books, I'd really enjoy this one.  I both agree and disagree with this assessment for a few reasons.

One, Hieber's books had an inherent undercurrent of hopefulness to them.  Things got rough for all her characters, but you just knew things would work out in the end.  In Sing Sweet Nightingale I was kind of uncertain about how things would end out for Mari.  Up until I'd say the last third of the book I was convinced the girl was in for a long hard life and at some point in the second book Hudson would be able to help her.

Hudson seemed like a guy who would land on his feet, Mari was much more ephemeral.  Partially because of the hold Orane had on her, but also because of what she allowed to happen.  She didn't see the danger of the world--she was hopeful when really she should have been despairing.

Two, Hieber's books did not quite reach the level of gothic darkness that Cameron does.  Less so with Hudson's chapters--you can feel his energy radiating from the pages.  Mari's begin much quieter as she doesn't seem like someone in peril.  Orane weaves a very particular web about her--pushing the right buttons, challenging the right ideas, balancing in a place that Mari doesn't see a threat from.  Regardless of anything else he knows her because he has made a very thorough study of her and what would trigger the right responses.

As a reader we know from the backcover Orane is up to no good.  I wish that wasn't so.  I think if I had gone into the book not knowing that Orane was anything other then he appeared--no better or worse then any other paranormal guy running around in romances today--the gradual realization that Mari eventually comes to would have had more of an impact.  Instead I'm impatient with her for not seeing some obvious (in hindsight) signs.

And lastly, while I cared about what happened to Hudson and Mari I had no real feelings for the other characters.  Oh I wanted to see Orane fall, but I found myself uncaring towards the plight of anyone else.

Cameron crafts an intriguing world that definitely deserves a read.  I'm interested to see where this goes in the next book, though I'm a bit wary now that certain spoiler related things came to pass.


Tour Schedule Week Two:
3/10/2014- Chasm of Books- Review
3/10/2014- Lost in Ever AfterInterview
3/11/2014- The Demon LibrarianReview
3/11/2014- Paulette's PapersGuest Post
3/12/2014- Poisoned RationalityReview
3/12/2014- The Best Books EverInterview
3/13/2014- Spiced Latte ReadsReview
3/13/2014- Dark NovellaGuest Post
3/14/2014- A Dream Within A DreamReview
3/14/2014- Parajunkee's View- Interview

About the Author:

Photo by Lani Woodland
Erica Cameron knew that writing was her passion when she turned a picture book into a mystery novella as a teen. That piece wasn’t her best work, but it got her an A. After college, she used her degree in Psychology and Creative Writing to shape a story about a dreamworld. Then a chance encounter at a rooftop party in Tribeca made her dream career a reality.

Erica is many things but most notably the following: writer, reader, editor, dancer, choreographer, singer, lover of musical theater, movie obsessed, sucker for romance, Florida resident, and quasi-recluse. She loves the beach but hates the heat, has equal passion for the art of Salvador Dali and Venetian Carnival masks, has a penchant for unique jewelry and sun/moon d├ęcor pieces, and a desire to travel the entire world on a cruise ship. Or a private yacht. You know, whatever works. Her debut novel Sing Sweet Nightingale releases March 4, 2014 from Spencer Hill Press. It is the first book in The Dream War Saga.