Monday, October 20, 2014

Alisse Lee Goldeberg (author interview & review) @AliLGoldenberg

Celebrating the release of The Dybbuk’s Mirror (book 2 in The Hadariah Chronicles) I am presenting a review for book one, an author interview and a spotligh for the new book. Keep reading to know more...

It has been nearly two years since the events in The Strings of the Violin, and Carrie has adjusted to life as a university student far from her friends. However, when the path to Hadariah is sealed, she starts to fear malevolent forces may be behind the other strange occurrences around her. Trying to contact Lindsay and Rebecca to get help in unraveling the mystery, Carrie discovers that her friends are in fact missing. With no way of knowing who to trust, Carrie must find a way back to the land she once saved to rescue her friends from the dybbuks’ clutches.
Reuniting with the dybbuk princess Emilia, and finding a new friend in the mysterious farmer Mikhail, Carrie must once again do battle with Asmodeus’s forces, and help stop the chaos that threatens to overtake the land while striving to save both Lindsay and Rebecca. For the first time, Carrie is working without the two friends who have helped her through every major decision in her life. Carrie must learn to rely on herself, and find her own strengths to save those she holds dear.
Find The Dybbuk’s Mirror on Amazon and Prizm Books.

Ruty: What inspired you to write the first book? 
Alisse: I wrote the first book as a tribute to my grandmother. While most children I knew were raised on stories like "Little Red. Riding Hood" and "Snow White", I heard stories of the town of Chelm and of dybbuks. I was told that if my bed were positioned a certain way, the dybbuks could steal my soul during the night. There is a rich mythology and history of folklore from my grandmother's homeland and culture, and I wanted to write a story that made it accessible to today's readers of YA Fantasy. 

Ruty: How long did it take you to write it? 
Alisse: It took me over a year to research and write the first draft. It took me several months after that to edit it to a point I was happy with. 

Ruty: How many books have you planned for the Hadariah Chronicles? 
Alisse:  I had it planned as a trilogy, but I have some ideas for a prequel as well. 

Ruty: Was Carrie inspired in you or any other real person? 
Alisse:  She is an amalgamation of several people I know. I don't know if I would say that she is like me entirely, but she does have my unfortunate sense of direction. 

Ruty: What is like to create a fantasy world? 
Alisse: I don't know! I've always had several worlds rattling around in my head. I have Hadariah, and the world around Colonodona from my Sitnalta series. As long as I have been able to speak, I have been creating stories. My friends and I have always been creating and inhabiting worlds as we played and wrote together. 

Ruty: Did you have to do a lot of research to write this book? 
Alisse: I did. I wanted the mythology around the creatures in Hadariah to be as accurate as possible. At times, it was difficult, as many stories differed from one another. 

Ruty: What’s your favorite writing scenario? 
Alisse: I am a mother of three-year-old triplets, so my favourite scenario is one when they're all asleep or at nursery school! That way I have several uninterrupted hours at my disposal. 

Ruty: Are you working in the next book in the series? 
Alisse: I have finished writing and editing the third book. It's going to be called The Dybbuk's Revenge. Hopefully I'll have more news on that soon! 

Title: The String of the Violin
Author: Alisse Lee Goldenberg
Series:  The Hadariah Chronicles #1
Release Date: 12th 2011
Format: Paperback & Ebook
Prizm Books
Source:  complimentary copy in exchange of an honest review.

Seventeen-year-old Carrie is lying in her backyard ignoring all the looming responsibilities in her life, when a fox makes a mad dash across the grass in front of her. After she manages to keep her dog from attacking the frightened animal, the fox turns to Carrie and seems to bow in gratitude before he disappears into the bushes. All Carrie knows in that moment is that something has unexpectedly changed in her life.
Carrie has been best friends with Lindsay Smith and Rebecca Campbell for years. During a summer when they should be focused on choosing colleges and career paths, the girls suddenly find themselves swept away on the adventure of their lives. The fox reappears three days later and reveals to Carrie that he is Adom, emissary to the king of Hadariah. With his land of music and magic in peril, Adom has been sent to seek help from Carrie and her friends. In the blink of an eye, the three teenage girls go from living an average suburban life to being the champions of a world where they must contend with giants, witches, and magical beings.

On their quest to save a people from destruction, Carrie, Lindsay, and Rebecca are pitted against Asmodeus, the powerful and cunning king of the dybbuks. Now, only time will tell if the three girls will prevail against Asmodeus and somehow find their way back home.

The Strings of Violin is the first book in a fantasy trilogy. A magical world is in danger and the ones chosen to save it are a trio of teenage girls. Magical creatures, talking animals and adventure are the recipe for a fast book.

The book is aimed for a YA audience and not only because the characters have around seventeen years old. However, for moments the book seems more a Middle grade read than a YA, this is not a bad thing because I think MG books are great.

The dialogues are simple, the scenarios are well described and there are a lot of elements of folklore and magic. The characters are nice and likeable but somehow they seem too simple for moments. I couldn't sense a real growth in them; it's like they just went to this adventure and never really experience it.

The story has a good rhythm, steady but without being boring. It has a good outcome and an easy to read language.

If you are a careful reader there are things that will come as obvious and the surprise will be ruined before it is revealed. But for young readers the book has good surprises and twists prepared.

Overall, it is a good fantasy book. It’s fast to read and despite being a trilogy there is no cliffhanger.

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