Hey all! Guess who is today's stop on the DAZZLE Blog Tour?! That's right, me!
Okay, so let's do this semi-formally.
Author: Amber Garza
Published: October 10th, 2012
Rating: 3.5/5.0 stars
Synopsis: Sixteen-year-old Delaney Scott possesses a special gift. Ever since she was a child, she has known about her calling and the duty she’s expected to fulfill.
However, all Delaney wants is to be normal. That’s why she is drawn to Sam. He can offer her the life she’s always desired. Only Sam has secrets of his own.
Secrets that are deadly. Secrets that can change everything.
I must admit right off the bat, I haven't read any of Amber's books prior to DAZZLE. Now, I know I'm going to have to give her other series a definite read, and hold my breath for the second in this series to show up.
DAZZLE stared off with one heck of a bang. When you first read DAZZLE, you're essentially tossed headfirst into the middle of Delaney and Micah, the two main characters of this book, saving a girl from a rather untimely death. But what looks like a simple save-the-damsel plan bursts into smoke when it's revealed the damsel, Ariel, is just like Delaney and Micah; she's one of the gifted.
Two factions divide this book; those who follow Zerach, and those who are Sarafites. Zerach and his followers are essentially the Gryffindors in this series; good-hearted, brave, and strong. To compliment them in the worst way, the Sarafites are the Slytherins of the series; dark, twisted, and looking for power and domination. Delaney, Micah, and Ariel are all members of Zerach's army, where as a few secondary characters make up the current fold of the Sarafites. Amber crafted a nice tug-and-pull with this half sub-plot, half main-plot, weaving it in and out of the whole story.
Through-out the series, we get to see multiple points of view from both Micah, Delaney, and Sam, the boy who acts as both Delaney's weakness and strength. Delaney is a conflicted, headstrong kind of girl. Gifted with the ability to see visions of the future in sporadic bursts, she keeps almost everyone at arm's length, unable to tell anyone of her gift, but aching to be free of her confined space. That's where Sam, the troubled, dark teenager steps in. Early on we see that Sam is out for a new life, one that would free him from his jerk of a father, one that would earn him recognition. So what does he do? He makes a pretty stupid plan, and promises to give Delaney over to the Sarafites in exchange for becoming one of them.
But his plan falls to the side as he fall in love with Delaney, and as she ultimately falls in love with him too. Their love can never be, as Sam isn't one of the gifted. Still, she tests the waters, going against all she knows to pursue a love she believes could be the real deal. Add in a mix of possible betrayal, some serious battle scenes, and you have one punch of a story.
My only real gripe with the whole thing was character POV and voice. I'm not big on the 1st person type of story, and when it's multiple POVs for a first person tale, it can be hard to keep up with who you're reading. That's not to say the story isn't good, it definitely is different than what's on the market right now, and in a fresh and exciting way I am curious to learn what happens next. My only hope is that the next book has a little better way to tell who you're reading when you switch to a different person; different mannerisms, different phrasing, something.
If you haven't grabbed your copy of DAZZLE yet, now is your chance, especially if you have a Kindle! DAZZLE is only 0.99 on Amazon right now, and I grabbed a copy for my Mom before I had even finished the book, because some parts in it left me totally in awe of Amber's storytelling. Make sure you get this, don't miss it.
*I was given a copy by the author for this tour in exchange for an honest, unbiased review. And you know I wouldn't sugar-coat it anyway. ;)
Amber Garza lives in California with her amazing husband, and two hilarious children who provide her with enough material to keep her writing for years. She LOVES to write. Amber has had a passion for writing since she was a little girl, making books out of notebook paper and staples. As an adult she has worked hard to make her dream of being a published a reality. The PROWL TRILOGY was her first published series and the books are YA Christian thrillers. She also has a suspense novel entitled ENGRAVED which is currently available. DAZZLE is the first book in her new YA paranormal romance series.
Amber Garza's website - http://www.ambergarza.
Delaney's Gift Series website: http://www.delaneysgiftseries.