I’m so excited to be able to do a promo post on the blog tour for The Ashes and the Sparks! I had never read a Steampunk novel before but I’ve been told by many people that I would love the subgenre. So, when the invitation came to read and promote The Ashes and the Sparks, I knew I absolutely had to jump on the opportunity! Stay tuned til the end for an awesome giveaway! Let’s dig right in, shall we?
Welcome to the age of airships. It is a world powered by steam and innovation, ruled by an elusive empress at its heart.
Seventeen year-old Jorun is not part of this world. Hers is one of hidden tunnel networks and lights that dance across night skies, on that has remained separate from the rest of society for over a thousand years. This all changes when a boy appears from nowhere, raving about invaders from a faraway land. Purely by chance, Jorun soon finds herself in the middle of a struggle unlike anything she could have ever dreamed of, and must come to the realization that only she can stop an impending war.
Meet The Author:
Hi! I’m Mary Victoria Johnson, author of fantastical Young Adult fiction. I wrote my first novel when I was fourteen, and I haven’t stopped since! Now eighteen, my bibliography includes BOUNDARY, the first part of the Other Horizons Trilogy (Lodestone Books, 2015) and THE ASHES AND THE SPARKS (Fire and Ice YA, 2016). I was born in Cambridgeshire in the UK, and I now live on Vancouver Island where I study Creative Writing at the University of Victoria.
Like I said before, I hadn’t read a Steampunk themed novel before this so I wasn’t sure what to expect going into The Ashes and the Sparks. The details put into the world building are perfect. For a lot of the novel, I felt like I was in the places Jorun found herself in, from the black sands of Sidasta to the mechanical majesty of Edinburgh. There were small details scattered throughout the novel that added to this feeling of being immersed in the world. I especially loved seeing it all given through Jorun’s perspective because she was just learning what many of the things she was seeing were. I think Mary Victoria Johnson definitely used this to her advantage in the presentation of environments and unknown items.
With the characters, I feel like the story fell a little flat. Until around 50% I had trouble caring what happened to anyone who wasn’t Ari or Jorun. At about 50% though, the depth of character building grew a great deal and I became quite attached to some of the other characters. I will say I really like Jorun as a person and wish I had more time with her.
Which brings me to the part of the story I actually managed to dislike: the end. I don’t feel like the story was fully wrapped up. In fact, I had new questions pop up within 1% of the ending. I think I’m more frustrated by this because of the knowledge that the upcoming sequel, The Inventress, not only doesn’t feature Jorun but is set 20 years in the future. I feel like the ending to this story was satisfying but also quite annoying as I now have questions I know will never be addressed.
However, the overall story of The Ashes and the Sparks is fun, adventurous, and full of surprises. There were a couple twists I saw coming, but there were others I did not. You all know how much I love a good plot twist. I also love how Mary Victoria Johnson touched on the idea of romance but didn’t feature it at all. It was quite realistic in that the feelings existed and were acknowledged but it was also acknowledged that the events taking place were more important and, thus, more worthy of the spotlight. As someone who doesn’t read romance novels, this was absolutely perfect for me.
Overall, I rate The Ashes and the Sparks 3 out of 5 bookworms.
Don’t just take my word for it. Order a copy of The Ashes and the Sparks and enjoy it for yourself! A few places you can go to get your hands on a copy are:
- Amazon US Paperback
- Amazon US Kindle
- Amazon UK
- Books-A-Million (US)
- Barnes and Noble (US) Nook
- Lulu.com Paperback
- Book Depository
- your local bookstore or local library
Thanks for sticking around! And now, for that giveaway!!
I’m so glad to have been able to participate in this Blog Tour! A huge thank you to Mary Victoria Johnson for writing this beautiful novel (and also for sending me a digital copy of it). You’re the real rockstar! Another big thanks to YA Bound Book Tours for organizing and allowing me to be in such great company! Speaking of company, check out the rest of the stops on this lovely blog tour!
Pirate Lady Pages – Review
Vicarious Bookworm – Promo Post
The Silver Dagger Scriptorium – Promo Post
T’s Stuff – Promo Post
Mythical Books – Promo Post
Literary Musings – Promo Post
The Avid Reader – Promo Post
CBY Book Club – Promo Post
Don’t Judge, Read – Review
Deep in the Crease – Review
Loves Great Reads – Promo Post
A New Look On Books – Promo Post
Kimber Leigh Writes – Promo Post
fundinmental – Promo Post
The Bookworm Knows – Review
Lori’s Little House of Reviews – Review
forthenovellovers – Review
Zerina Blossom’s Books – Promo Post
What Is That Book About – Promo Post