A Review of Thorn Jack, By Katherine Harbour

ThornJackCover
In July, I interviewed Katherine about Thorn Jack and here is my review. It can also be found on GoodReads and Barnes & Noble.
Let me preface by saying I don’t normally read YA, some of the standards in it tend to annoy me. That being said, Katherine Harbour did an excellent job with Thorn Jack. The story and characters were so interesting I was able to completely ignore those aspects that I usually find so bothersome.
The protagonists remind me of people I know, or could’ve known, in college. They’re well rounded, have depth, and are filled with wonderful flaws that make them feel very human and very real. She took a very interesting path with the faeries in the book, urbanizing them, but blending the modernizing with traditional stories. In fact, one of the things I enjoyed was she, subtly, walks you through how the fae (Fata in the book) went from the old stories to the modern. An  especially interesting, and enjoyable aspect of the story is how it walks the line between faerie tale and ghost story. That’s a line I had never even thought about existing, and Ms. Harbour crafts that novel idea (no pun intended) into a really fascinating story.
The characters at times did annoy me at times, but to me that is just further proof of how well developed they were. That being said, I grew to like them all, to care about what happens to them, and I’m eager to see where their story goes from here.
I don’t like to give away details about the story, I know I prefer to experience stories fresh. So while nothing that follows isn’t really a spoiler, it might give away some things you might prefer to find for yourself.
Now that you’ve been warned, I do have to give credit for some very interesting features:
The oracle being autistic was a nice touch, and played very well. The character herself doesn’t appear much, but I found her to be one of the most interesting.
The way the legend of Celtic Hounds was blended into the fae was a nice touch.
Silvie could’ve fallen into the trap of too many stereotypes, but the character is saved by a personality that doesn’t fall into the traditional “goth” stereotype. In fact, I could easily see her out growing the affectations and evolving into a very interesting witch/wizard character as she matures.
I really like the notion of the Jacks and Jills (female version of the Jacks) in the story. A nice touch to bring that old children’s story in.
I love the misdirection associated with the moth key, and the truth behind its origins.
If you like YA, you’ll probably love this book. If you don’t like YA, but you like a good urban fantasy/urban faerie tale, you’ll probably like this book as well. It’s well worth the read.

Interview, Review, and Giveaway (International Addition!)

Much thanks to Delhia (French blogger and reviewer) for both a really nice review (here) and inviting me to her site Between Dreams and Reality for an interview. That was the easiest crossing of the pond I’ve ever done! The interview is in both English and French; she was kind enough to translate my answers. It’s such a delight to know The Stolen has found an international audience. As thanks to my fans outside the US, the giveaway on Delhia’s site is for two books, one inside the US, one for outside.

Read the interview here, and then be sure to browse the site, and check out the other reviews (also in both English and French).

Two “BIG” Annoucements!

1. Today The Stolen goes on sale in paperback! You can get a copy at your local bookstore, or from: HarperCollins, Barnes & Noble, Amazon, and Indiebound.

2. I’ve got a post on John Scalzi’s blog, part of his “Big Idea” series! Do stop by and check it out, the poor guy could really use the extra traffic… (MASSIVELY sarcastic)

That’s right, I’m now a “Paperback Writer.” And yes, I’ve been waiting a long time to use that!

Something for Nothing, Almost – Updated

One week from today The Stolen will be available in paperback. To mark the occasion, I’m giving away two signed copies, before you can even get it in stores!
But I hear you asking, “Bishop, what do we have to do to receive such a rare and precious gift?” I’m glad you asked. Three simple steps (it is a faerie tale after all):

*Update* I’ve come to see I might’ve asked too much being an unknown to people at this point, so if you complete just one of the following, or fan me on Goodreads, I’ll put you in the running. This is NOT limited to the USA*

  1. Follow me on twitter @BishopMOConnell
  2. Follow this blog (you can do so via email if you don’t have a WordPress account) use the button to the right, under “categories”
  3. Like my Facebook page, here

That’s all you need to do!
Wednesday Thursday afternoon I’ll announce the winners, chosen at random.

If you’ve already done those three things, just send me a tweet saying “I want a book!”

Giveaway

You know you want one…

It’s Official! (Dreams do Come True)

As of today, I’m a published author!

Wow…

It took a long while to get here, but then any dream worth achieving takes time and effort. I’ve been posting about my road to publication, and it could be argued this is the end, but I don’t think so. As cliche as it might be, this is really just the beginning for me (I hope!).

Harper Voyager made a sizeable web preview available here, so feel free to “try before you buy.”

Of course the paperback is still scheduled for release on August 5th, but I know you can’t wait that long. It’s okay, you can get both. I’ll understand.

Stayed tuned here for upcoming events; interviews, guest blog pieces, and even in person signings. Speaking of which, be sure to stop by The Qwillery and check out my first interview (direct link here)! While you’re there, be sure to vote in the 2014 Debut Author Cover Challenge Wars!

I’ll also have a giveaway for a signed copy of The Stolen before anyone can even buy it!

Now, if you’ll excuse, I have a happy dance calling my name.

hobbes