Welcome to my stop for the Soul Survivor blog tour, organized by Grapevine Book Tours!
Title: Soul Survivor
Author: Michelle Nicole
Series: Hybrid Chronicles #1
Publication: June 14th, 2013
Category: Young Adult
Genre: Paranormal Romance
Hailee Mai Hart is just a simple, normal girl. Or so she thought. When she left her one-horse town for a college education in the big city, she never could’ve imagined what awaited her.
She’s quickly thrown into a world filled with angels, danger, and a curse … her curse. Come to find out, she’s not so simple after all. She’s actually the last of her kind, and the fate of the world rests on her shoulders. She has one chance to save Earth, and it all comes down to one choice: Light or Darkness. What is right and what is wrong is all a matter of perspective, which leaves her heart dangerously tangled. No matter which path she takes people will die, and that’s just not an option.
Will she be able to save everyone, or will she be the Soul Survivor?
Soul Survivor grabbed me from the moment I picked it up. From the synopsis, I was hooked. There were so many elements to Soul Survivor that made it a great read. The premise is, obviously, one of them. Second is Hailee. I loved the presumption of her being normal. She believes that she is just an average girl, and in many ways she is. She’s a girl who moves for college and likes everything so much that she has a hard time picking what she wants to do. She loves her family dearly. She grew up on a farm. She has a good moral compass. She questions possible insta-love. I connected with her immediately.
Nothing is as it seems. Of course Hailee is special.
I love how she takes this discovery *mostly* in stride. It’s like her soul knew she was more, even if her conscious being did not. As we are introduced to Alex, Ami, Seth, and learn what their roles are in Hailee’s life “nothing is as it seems” continues to hold true, at least in part. I thought that the trio Hailee meets was a wonderful complement to her character. Both men are swoon worthy and I easily could get lost in either set of eyes. The eyes of most everyone throughout the story are wonderfully described. The four I’ve named are definitely the big four in the book, but there are numerous other characters in this story, including Hailee’s family, that are introduced as well. I have many questions about them, and can’t wait to find out the answers in a future The Hybrid Chronicles book. I am most curious about Hailee’s cousin Craig. Is he just a farmer or does he fall under the “nothing is as it seems” blanket? To the latter, I hope so!
If you are familiar with my reviews, you know that I always include something about the setting. The setting was definitely a part of this story, especially once the story shifted to the farm that Hailee lives on. Sights, sounds, and even smells were present and well described. I easily could have been next to Hailee moving hay in a stall with the smell of manure surrounding me and the sounds of tractor and cows in the air. Settings are so important in being able to properly visualize a story. So when it came to suggesting what I would like for a guest post, setting inspiration was right up there. After a short introduction, I’ll turn this post over to Michelle Nicole and will pick back up with a quick review wrap up.
Michelle Nicole was born and raised in wild, wonderful West Virginia. While her first passion is numbers, not long into adulthood, Michelle rediscovered her love of books and with it the joy and fulfillment of writing her own stories. She spends her days working as a CPA and her nights weaving tales of love, friendship, and everything in between.
When she’s not working or writing, you’ll find her binge watching her favorite TV shows, reading, tweeting, hanging with her husband and furry children, or spending time with her close knit extended family.
First of all I want to thank the magnificent Maria for having me on her blog today! It’s such an honor to be taking up temporary residence on this super cool blog.
Today we’re going to talk setting inspiration. If you’ve been following my ramblings over the blog tour (or in general) you’ve heard music is the inspiration for 98% of my scenes. And the setting is no different. The opening scene of Soul Survivor was inspired by the 3 Doors Down song “She Is Love.” If you listen to the lyrics they go something like this…
She walks through the city.
No one recognizes her face.
As you can see a real big leap there—LOL! I don’t claim to be a creative mastermind by any means.
Hailee’s home was a little bit more thoughtful. I wanted her to be ordinary, simple, normal—grow up sheltered from the outside world, which is why she’s from the small town of Claireton. Claireton is based on my town although my town is much bigger. BUT the greatest similarity is the farm. My grandfather is a dairy farmer and my house just so happens to sit on an area that was once cow pasture. When I look out the front porch, I see the beautiful view of the family farm and my backyard is often full of wandering cows. I know firsthand how peaceful residing on/near a farm can be and considering Hailee’s calm demeanor it was an obvious connection.
As the story continued to grow, Hailee’s hometown and her lack of outside exposure seemed to logically connect the reasons why she had no idea who she was along with how she was able to remain hidden from the Darkness and the Supremacy for so long.
So, how did Hailee end up in the city? College of course! Sending Hailee to college in the city opened up so many doors for the story and for her, which is why I sent her there—that and of course the 3 Doors Down inspiration noted above. It afforded her the opportunity of self-discovery and a chance to spread her wings a bit. (Pun totally intended.)
The Angelic Realm continues to be an ever changing landscape even as I write book 2 of the series, Soul Searcher. I see the Realm as a place of dreams and nightmares. It always has that foggy, dreamlike quality in my mind—the blindingly white boardroom and the dirty, rocky Field of Mortality especially. Even the special trip that Hailee takes with a certain someone to see his true form is a very abstract setting, but really when you’re taking in that hunk of a man how could you focus on anything else? *winks*
That’s about it for the setting inspiration of Soul Survivor! I hope you stop by and take a look into Hailee’s world for yourself and see what you think of the places she goes. Again major hugs to Maria for having me today on her awesome blog—Reading The Alphabet. It’s been such an honor!
Thank you, Michelle, for stopping by and hugs back at you! Thank you for writing such a wonderful story.
If you’ve made it to this point in the post you’ve read Michelle’s takeover of my blog and read me gush about my love of settings and my appreciation for Hailee and the other characters. You know that I was hooked on the premise from the synopsis, but the whole plot is gripping. I couldn’t put Soul Survivor down and blazed through the book in a few hours. There are twists that I didn’t see coming, and the last 15% of the book is awesome. I cried. CRIED! I never do that. So many feels, and this portion contained one of the most beautiful passages of books I have read. To tell you what it is would give it away, so I close with telling you that this book comes highly recommended.
I eagerly await book 2.
There’s also a giveaway! Click here to go to the Rafflecopter giveaway. Raffle open until September 21, 2013.
Thanks for stopping by my blog! Be sure to visit the Soul Survivor tour schedule at Grapevine Book Tours and check out the other stops on the tour.
*I received a copy of Soul Survivor through Grapevine Book Tours in exchange for an honest review during this tour.*