I picked up a wonderfully huge haul of books from BEA and I believed that I mentioned them on my usual posting day. But today I am filling in for Christine Johnson who has been swallowed up by a tsunami of life events. And if you check her Facebook page, you’ll see that she has been a poster child for Murphy’s Law in that whatever can go wrong will. So hugs to you, my dear Christine and may the Gods of Mayhem find someone more deserving to pick on.
That being said, I am taking this opportunity to talk about one of my summer reads, the forthcoming book EXTRACTED, by our very own Sherry Ficklin and Tyler Jolley. This book will not be available until November, but I figured I’d get you all excited now.
I just happen to be the cover designer for this book, and I’m going to admit that when I designed the cover last summer, I had not read the book. I usually don’t read the books whose covers I design beforehand because I prefer to capture the essence of them based on an overall impression—which really helps me grasp how best to market them. With EXTRACTED, I’m really pleased, after having read the book, just how well the cover suits it! I might have designed something completely different had I read it first. And, in an interesting side note, Sherry and I have gotten in contact with the cover model on the book, a professional model from Poland named Lukasz Omiotek. The guy is super awesome and nice and I’m hoping we’ll possibly be able to collaborate with him remotely on the next cover in the Lost Imperials series! He said he might want to post some EXTRACTED themed photos of himself on his blog. Here’s a pic of him looking a bit steam-punkish. The guy is a real fashionista and the camera worships him!
So, you’re probably dying for me to get to the review, already. Sorry—I get excited about cover design.
First of all, I find it remarkable that this book was written by two individuals. I could tell the difference in their voices, because of the character’s personalities, but their writing styles mesh seamlessly. And oh, how they can write! Ficklin and Jolley have a very direct, sock you in the jaw style with a beautifully poetic undertone. The book reads like a screenplay with vivid visuals and relentless action. In fact, I am really dying for this to be a movie!
Let me give you a bit of background. The main characters are Lex and Ember, two time travellers torn from their own time periods and stranded on opposite sides of a deathly rivalry between competing factions of time travellers. Lex belongs to The Hollows, a gang of time thieves who pop in and out of the time stream to steal important objects. Ember is a Rifter, who under the guiding hand of Nicola Tesla’s disembodied head, are dedicated to protecting the time stream from the reckless Hollows. Neither Lex nor Ember know each other, or remember their shattered pasts and severed connection to each other. But Ember is starting to have terrifying nightmares. And her memories are coming back—which will cause her to question her loyalties and the version of the truth she’s been told.
When Lex’s girlfriend Stein dies in a mission, Lex provokes a chain of events that begins to unravel the time stream, ultimately throwing he and Ember together to try to save it. They are forced to confront the reality behind of their shared past and to join forces to save themselves and time itself.
The book is inventive, imagination and totally original. Filled with steam punk imagery, it is interwoven with historic figures and full of thrilling action. It’s as if history was thrown in a blender and set to puree, which I totally loved. The main characters, Lex and Ember are tough and hardened teens who can knock out your front teeth with a round house kick you never saw coming, yet whom beneath the steely veneer are loyal and touchingly full of heart.
I have to say, I really have a crush on Lex. He is tough as titanium but would die to save a friend without blinking an eye. He’s the kind of guy that would pull a burning car off of you with his bare hands then brush himself off and saunter away. What a hero! The authors really put these characters through hell. I’m not going to tell you some of the mishaps that befall Lex, but he manages to keep his wicked sense of humor through out, which is another part of his daredevil appeal.
Extracted is really an exciting and adventurous read. I can’t wait to read the next one (and design the cover) and I’m betting you can’t wait to read Extracted!