Thursday, November 7, 2013

Review and Giveaway: Relic

Relic (The Books of Eva - Book 1) by Heather Terrell

Publication Date: 10/29/2013
Publisher: Soho Press
Imprint: Soho Teen
Genre: YA Dystopian
Pages: 288
ISBN-10: 1616951966
ISBN-13: 978-1616951962

(Received for an honest review from Soho Teen)

Purchase: Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Book Depository, IndieBound

Heather Terrell on the WEB: Website, Facebook, Goodreads

Excerpt from Relic, courtesy of Amazon's Look Inside feature.


The truth will test you...

For fans of Game of Thrones and The Hunger Games: high fantasy and dystopia meet in this high-stakes tale of a civilization built on lies and the girl who single-handedly brings it down.
When Eva’s twin brother, Eamon, falls to his death just a few months before he is due to participate in The Testing, no one expects Eva to take his place. She’s a Maiden, slated for embroidery classes, curtseys, and soon a prestigious marriage befitting the daughter of an Aerie ruler. But Eva insists on honoring her brother by becoming a Testor. After all, she wouldn’t be the first Maiden to Test, just the first in 150 years.
Eva knows the Testing is no dance class. Gallant Testors train for their entire lives to search icy wastelands for Relics: artifacts of the corrupt civilization that existed before The Healing drowned the world. Out in the Boundary Lands, Eva must rely on every moment of the lightning-quick training she received from Lukas—her servant, a Boundary native, and her closest friend now that Eamon is gone.
But there are threats in The Testing beyond what Lukas could have prepared her for. And no one could have imagined the danger Eva unleashes when she discovers a Relic that shakes the Aerie to its core.


Dystopian fiction meets high fantasy in Heather Terrell's first book in The Books of Eva series, Relic. Fans of The Hunger Games, Game of Thrones and The Inconvenient Truth will all find something to entertain and to make them think in this novel. In a post-apocalyptic  icy world a young girl must test her survival skills and her beliefs about her society. This is a coming of age story that begs the question, is the history we have been taught real or is it colored by time and what the government wants us to believe? This is a powerful young adult novel that will have readers thinking beyond the box and outside the boundaries of what they already know. A great read!

I wasn't sure quite what to expect with this novel when I received it for review. My daughter is a huge fan of The Hunger Games series and I was afraid that this book would be too similar to peak my interest. Though there are threads comparable to Suzanne Collins' books here, there are some very strong differences. 

When most readers look at a book from the dystopian genre there are several things usually present. Most dystopian literature is post-apocalyptic, as is this one. But most dystopian works feature a lot of violence and killing. Relic is different in the fact that there is basically no violence at all. The competitors in the testing are not competing to survive at the cost of the other Gallants. They are competing to see who can bring back the most influential relic, a piece of history frozen in time. I liked the fact that Terrell didn't need all the violence to make this story interesting. She kept the readers focus by attention to detail and great storytelling.

This is basically a quest novel. Eva's brother Eamon has met an early death as he trained for the testing. A maiden has not tested in over 150 years but Eva wants to honor the memory of her brother. She is underestimated by her family and her community but she has more heart than they believe she ever could. She faces the Arctic tundra and braves more than just the elements to bring back a Relic that may change the course of history for her people. Eva is a wonderful character. Resourceful and full of surprises. She challenges what she knows to be true at every turn and defies the odds against her. Terrell does a masterful job of giving readers a protagonist that is worthy of the title.

I liked the fact that Relic differs from other books in the genre in the fact that instead of being a highly evolved society, Aerie has basically went back in time instead of forward. When the Healing (flood brought on by the misuse of the Earth) cleansed the world, everything changed. But what Eva and the rest of her community have come to believe, may not be what really happened. I loved that digging up the artifacts allowed everyone to learn more about the Earth's culture before the Healing and what caused the destruction. I liked the idea behind the Lex and how those rules were set down. I also enjoyed the fact that Eva's discovery challenges the status quo and what everyone believes to be true.

Beyond being a great heroine based adventure story, Relic has a message. Perhaps sometimes we need people who think a little differently in our world. Being unique and different gives you a different perspective on the world at large. Don't always take what someone tells you as gospel. Search, investigate, think! I think this is a great start to a great series for teens and adults. I think Terrell does a great job of drawing the reader in and making them think.

In short, I want my kids to read this book. I want them to explore their own ideas and broaden their horizons. This is the kind of novel that does that. Well done!

Relic is available NOW from your favorite bookseller.

I'm giving this one 5 out of 5 apples from my book bag!

About the Author:

Heather Terrell is a lawyer with more than ten years' experience as a litigator at two of the country's premier law firms and for Fortune 500 companies. She is a magna cum laude graduate of Boston College with a focus in History, and a cum laude graduate of the Boston University School of Law. While practicing as a lawyer, Heather dreamed of a fantastical job unraveling the larger mysteries of time and uncovering the truths lurking in legend and myth -- and found it when she tried her hand at writing. She first wrote the historical novels The Chrysalis and The Map Thief, which will appear in more than ten countries, as well as Brigid of Kildare. She made the transition to young adult fiction with the series Fallen Angel -- and continues it now with The Books of Eva.

Giveaway Details:

Debbie's Book Bag will be sponsoring a one copy giveaway for Relic by Heather Terrell. I have a second hardcover copy of Relic that is just gorgeous!

~ You must be an email subscriber to participate.
~ US Addresses only.
~ The deadline to enter this giveaway is Midnight EST, November 21st.

1. Please leave a comment describing your idea of a post apocalyptic event on Earth. What would the reason be? How would the government be set up? Who survived? Let you mind wander and see what you come up with.

2. Please fill out the FORM.


Victoria said...

Scary. I think we'll destroy all infrastructure and gave to go back to pre-electricity times. I think there will be chaos. A few bullies will take control in certain areas and rule like kings of old. There will be factions of resistance and life will be very hard.

Thank you.

holdenj said...

If I had to really think ahead, I think a world wide event that would alter everything would probably include an asteriod--either hitting the moon or earth. A moon hit would alter so many things here on earth, including day/night time and even the tides. I can see where most of the people would need to be inland to survive the initial event and would need to learn to accommodate their new reality with all kinds of things. New government, new farming and land methods. I think Relic looks fantastic and something a little different, dystopically speaking! Thanks!

Michelle Willms said...

I believe that we will continue to overpopulate, while making poor election choices. As our elected officials make this country dependent upon foreign trade for survival -even for our food staples, those very countries responsible for growing America's food will be overpopulating as well. They will be unable to meet the food demands of their own people, and will fail to supply our food. Our government will topple, it will have a domino effect and chaos will reign. This will leave the world open to simple pandemics such as a simple, new flu virus that is a minor variant of the last season's virus. Without government assistance, the flu vaccine will not be produced and people will die en masse.

bn100 said...

Not sure what to expect

justpeachy36 said...

Personally, I think we are steadily digging our own grave, being dependent on other countries, fossil fuels and the government. Families and communities used to be self sufficient. With the rise in the jobless rate, food stamp recipients, disability claims and everything else it is easy to see where we are headed. The US will default on it's debts. People will be homeless and starving. Once a place gets to that point anything can happen because of the desperation. The sad thing is we have let it happen. After that it will be survival of the fittest, pretty much every man for himself. A scary, scary thought.

Natasha said...

Maybe something with food and water.
It would run out and it would be a fight to survive and everyone would be against one another.
Thanks for the chance to win!