Hi everyone. Today is my stop on the blackbrooke blog tour. When I got asked to participate in this blog tour I had never heard of this book before, the blurb was wat drew me in. It sounded so original and that's when I decided I wanted to read this book. I also got the chance to interview the author of this book. And there is one giveaway for the total blog tour, to which I will post the link. But first here is my review of blackbrooke:
Publication Date: July 19, 2012
Finish Date: 14 July, 2012
Scource: copy for review from the author
You can also find blackbrooke on Twitter and on Amazon
From Goodreads: I live in Blackbrooke and you would have had to be living under a rock to never have heard of it before now. This town is different to most others…Humans aren’t the only residents…”
The residents of Blackbrooke share their town with the Creatures, or Crits as they are known. Grotesque, roaming the streets at night looking for food, their presence means humans have to live by the Rules, keeping them indoors and forbidding them of basic desires.
The most important Rule?
Don’t be a ‘walk out’!
Straight-A student, Liberty Connor, hates the Crits and the endless Rules she and her tight knit group of friends have to live by.
Planning her new life on the Outside with her boyfriend, Gabriel, Liberty whiles away her days waiting to turn 18, so they can leave and be free. That is, until the world she thinks she knows begins to unravel…
Her friends start to walk out. So she’s told. However, something’s not right. Things don’t add up.
Liberty faces a race against time to discover what’s going on with the Creatures of Blackbrooke.
Is it them she has to fear, or something much closer to home?
Okay let me start by saying that this is one of the most original books I have ever read. I also think the world building is done very well. So what’s not to like? Well it’s a bit too dark for my taste and I just didn’t get sucked in. In fact there were moments that I just wanted to put it down and start another book. So I got some mixed feelings about this book, but I do think it’s worth the read.
I wondered a lot of times in which genre I would classify this book and I am still not sure. It has fantasy, I mean the Crits doesn’t really exist (I hope). It has mystery, this plays a huge part in the book as the lead character tries to figure out what’s going on. It has a horror book feel, there are enough scary scenes, although it wasn’t that bad that I had to put down the book. It also has some romance. And it also has a bit of a dystopian feel, a strange society with rules that functions good, but later on you notice that it isn’t that perfect. So whatever genre you like, this book probably has something that will appeal to you.
The story is well written, but for some reason it didn’t had that keep-reading feel. There certainly where some fast paced parts, but overall I had to struggle a bit to keep continue reading. What kept me reading was the fact that I wanted to know what was going to happen. The story was intriguing and there was enough mystery that I wanted to know what was really going on. Also the story is so original and I love original stories and knew there would be plot changes I didn’t see coming. I was right in this aspect, there were quite some surprising events that I didn’t see coming.
The characters are actually pretty interesting. I got a good feel of the characters pretty soon and how they related to each other. Where there are some cliché characters, I think there are also enough original character like Denzil, Cassius and even Liberty. The characters really have depth and emotions and they act believable for most of the book, in the end I thought most did some unbelievable things, but that’s my opinion.
The world building, well this is one point I really loved about this book. Blackbrooke isn’t just a strange town, it has a history, a future and there is an explanation for why things are like they are. If I didn’t know better I would almost believe this town really exists somewhere. The world is described so well, with those little details that makes it even more believable and real. I also think that they described most of the human behavior in relationship to this town very good. It’s believable most people follow the rules, but also that tourists from the outside come to check out this town. Really I love world building and this book did a really good job.
What didn’t I like about this book then? Well mainly this just isn’t the kind of book I prefer to read, the theme is a bit too dark for my taste and I normally stay far away from books with horror themes. I also think the pace of the book was a bit too slow, it just didn’t keep my attention.
Well actually I think that blackbrooke mainly gets stars for being a good book, it is written well. The world and the characters are described well. But it wasn’t mainly an enjoyable book, I had to struggle trough it sometimes, but I am glad I finished it. There are two reasons why I give books high ratings, for just being a very enjoyable book or being a very good book (or a combination of both). Blackbrooke is very good book, and therefore I still upped the rating to 4. Although for enjoyability I would certainly give it less stars.
To conclude: Blackbrooke is a very original story, it is written well, has great and believable characters and the world building is really good. I did struggle through it, it just didn’t pull me in and lacked that keep reading feel, but I did want to know what was going on. Anyone who is looking for an original and well written book should definitely try this one.
And as mentioned earlier I got a chance to interview Emma Silver, the author of blackbrooke.
You can find Emma Silver on her blog, on facebook and on twitter
So here is the interview:
You can find Emma Silver on her blog, on facebook and on twitter
So here is the interview:
Hi Emma Silver, welcome to k-books!
Blackbrooke is a really original book, how did you come up with the idea for this story?
I wanted to create a world where humans weren’t at the top of the food chain for the first time and how we would deal with that. I also wanted to make monsters that were grotesque and scary with absolutely no chance of ever being on the side of humans. So, if you’re looking for beautiful vampires then Blackbrooke isn’t the one for you! It got me wondering how the rest of the world would treat a town that housed the Crits – would we lock them away? Of course we would, but we’d also be thinking of ways to exploit that town and make money – that’s when I started thinking about the tourism aspect.
In this book, mysterious creatures called the Crits play an important part. I never read anything like this before and think it’s a really original idea. How did you come up with the idea for these creatures?
I wanted them to be ugly. I remember waking up in the middle of the night when I was a little girl, absolutely convinced I could see red eyes in my bedroom. It terrified me and I never stopped thinking about it. I used to think about the body this monster with the red eyes was attached to and I got a mental image of the S-shaped necks and cloaks of skin. It grew from there and depending on what day it was, I’d change my mind about how these creatures looked. Sometimes they would be four-legged like dogs and sometimes human-like. I decided to harness these nightmares in Blackbrooke and use all of them which is why there are four types of Crits, each possessing the same linking features but operating differently.
How long did it take you to write Blackbrooke?
The first draft was written in about four weeks but the editing took months. I rewrote a lot of it because I kept changing my mind about how I wanted the characters to progress. It was a tough process and there was a lot of coffee and tears involved! The creative part is amazing but the real work starts when the first draft is finished and you have to go back and read through it.
Have you done much research for this book, or did you come up with most things yourself?
All from my own brain - scary! Also drawing from my experiences as a teenager. I took a lot from nightmares too. I have very vivid dreams and so does Liberty so I tried to incorporate some of the elements that make me feel unsettled and frightened into her dreams too.
How did you experience writing this book?
It was an emotional rollercoaster! Like every writer, I absolutely fell in love with all of my characters – even the not-so-nice ones - so it was hard to write about them going through a tough time or meeting their sticky end! Yes, there were many tears shed at my laptop, that’s for sure.
At the end of the book it is hinted that there will be a sequel, is this true?
Absolutely. Blackbrooke is a trilogy and I’m currently finishing part two. When I first thought of the idea, I had no intention to write anything more than one book but as soon as I started to type, I just knew there was a bigger story to tell.
Now a bit more about the book itself
At the beginning of the book Liberty and Cassius already know each other. How did they meet?
Cassius and Liberty were thrown together as toddlers because their parents were really good friends. Liberty always felt a responsibility to protect him from bullies.
Cassius is a character that is very different from most other character I have come across in books. How did you come up with the idea for him? And why did you decide to use him as an important character?
He was the first character I linked to the idea of Blackbrooke and I absolutely fell in love with him. Something intrigued me about this tall, white haired, pale skinned boy with the odd coloured eyes. Blackbrooke shares its town with the Crits which makes humans band together but that doesn’t stop kids being cruel and he gets a hard time. He’s one of the most gentle and caring characters I’ve ever written, despite the fact he’s been mercilessly bullied so should technically have a chip on his shoulder.
What does Cassius likes to do in his free time?
He listens to a lot of punk music! His dad was a punk rocker when he was young and that’s rubbed off on Cass – something that doesn’t really get mentioned in the book but forms part of my ‘bio’ for him. He doodles a lot too – nothing particularly fantastic – it’s just a way to occupy his hands because he’s quite fidgety.
And I have some questions about your writing habits
Do you have any writing habits?
Coffee. That’s such a cliché isn’t it?! Fairy lights too. I have fairy lights around my desk and I always flip them on before I start writing. Sets the mood!
What is your favorite place to write?
As much as I love the fairy lights, there’s nothing better than going out to a quiet coffee shop and whiling away a few hours. I deliberately don’t join the wi fi so the internet can’t distract me like it does at home.
Which one do you prefer: coffee or tea?
Coffee!!!! Americano with a shot of vanilla syrup to be exact. Trying to wean myself off the syrup but it’s not really working out.
What is you favorite thing to eat during writing?
Something ‘picky’. Preferably something that doesn’t require me to look at what I’m eating so I don’t have to tear my eyes away from the screen. So it would have to be something really bad like crisps. I do go through a lot of apples though which balances it out.
Thank you for the interview Emma!
And as last here is the rafflecoptor where you can win a copy of this book.