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Tuesday, February 12, 2013

Blog Tour: Phoebe Pope and the Year of Four by Nya Jade [Review]

Fantasy, Paranormal, Young Adult
Publication.Date  October 30th 2012
Published By:  Dreamwell Publishing | 
WebsiteNya Jade

Phoebe Pope and the Year of Four on Goodreads
My review copy:Review copy provided by the author in exchange for an honest review.
Where to get:

The students of Green Lane Academy roam their halls unaware that below their manicured campus exists a prestigious school of an entirely different kind . . .

Sixteen-year-old Phoebe Pope has enrolled at the Campus Below: a spy academy for shape-shifters hidden deep beneath the grounds of a boarding school whose humans unknowingly protect it. There, thanks to a carefully planned schedule, she leads a double life: spy trainee Below and normal teenager Above.

As if two course loads, concealing a secret power she alone wields, and coping with her father’s recent death weren’t enough, Phoebe finds herself developing major feelings for actor and teen heartthrob Colten Chase, who attends the Campus Above and appears to be majoring in winning Phoebe’s heart. But when officials learn that Phoebe may be at the center of a startling prophecy, she becomes the target of shape-shifting assassins who will stop at nothing to suppress the truth.

Now Phoebe’s lessons about Shaper’s enemies and spycraft take on great importance as a menace stalks the campus, with Phoebe as its target. Meanwhile, what began as an unlikely relationship with Colten, quickly morphs into heartache when she suspects that something sinister lurks beneath this movie star’s glitter and fame. Suddenly, Phoebe’s caught in a mesh of lies, betrayals, and danger where she doesn’t know who to trust, and needs to rely on herself—and her secret power—to get to the truth and to stay alive.


Phoebe couldn't help but grin as she continued reading the plaques. These were the secret passageways that connected the Campus Above with the Campus Below. The human students roamed their austere halls unaware that below their manicured grounds existed a prestigious school of an entirely different kind.
Phoebe's mouth fell open as she took in the large, hexagonal-shaped room whose walls were made of honeycomb shelves bearing diamond tipped weapons - knives, daggers, arrows, throwing-stars - all glittering so brightly,they washed the hardwood floor with multicolored light.

     Phoebe Pope and the Year of Four is a fun, entertaining and very well-written YA fantasy/paranormal novel that will keep you glued to its pages all the way through. A book full of secrets, magic, dangerous creatures, hidden doorways and interesting characters that you'll quickly connect with. This fantastically imagined and original story is sure to satisfy fans of fantasy, paranormal and adventure novels! 

     Phoebe Pope is a shaper and her "job" is to kill Vigos, shape-shifting blood-thirsty beasts. We first meet her on the day of the Conversion Ceremony, when the shapers' second Shapes are awakened and they pledge their loyalty to each other and service to the Royal Court. Haunted by nightmares caused by her father's violent death, Phoebe tries her best to balance her double life as a normal student Above and a Shaper Intelligence Service trainee Below. On top of all that, she finds herself in a middle of a very dangerous situation involving a prophecy, lies, long buried secrets, traitors and a handsome boy that may or may not be an enemy. 

     I liked everything about Phoebe, from her physical characteristics (I love tall, kick-ass chicks!) to her great, complex personality. She had her angsty moments, but they didn't happen often enough to bother me, nor were they uncalled for. She seemed naive at times, especially when it came to her relationship with Colten, but then again, what girl wouldn't be when dealing with a drop-dead gorgeous, mysterious guy like that? As the story unfolded and we learned more about her, her past, fears and dreams, I became more and more attached to her and found myself relating to her in many ways. She was sweet, kind, brave and determined, and I ended up liking her a lot. I think she might be one of my favorite heroins in YA literature. 

     I found Nya Jade's writing to be deliciously descriptive and sensual. She painted the settings with care, magically bringing them to life. I often felt as if I've stepped into the pages of the book, and it felt wonderful! The story - just like its gorgeous cover - is bursting with colorful visuals, scents and flavors. There's no denying the fact that Nya Jade is a very promising new talent with a skilled knack for worldbuilding. While detailed and vivid, her descriptions were never overdone or too lengthy, they were just.. perfect! Combined with the sparkly dialogues and action parts of the book, they created a fabulously entertaining and beautifully imagined story. And I couldn't get enough of it! 

     The third-person narrative proved to be a good choice for this book. It made the story flow more dynamic and action-oriented, without being too impersonal or emotionless. I enjoy books that are rich in character's inner thoughts and reflections, but I also appreciate ones that are more plot-driven. And Phoebe Pope and the Year of Four is an excellent example of a story that balances both these aspects. As I already mentioned above, the world development was very good, too. Nya Jade's original ideas and all the elements unique to the world she created (example: Utaviium, a pale blue crystal enchanted to capture and hold a lightning) added a lot of flavor to the story, resulting in a world that, although fantastically magical, remained believable. 

     Overall, I had so much fun reading this book, I can't imagine anyone not liking it! It was a tremendously enjoyable story, with fantastic characters, original and clever story line and a perfectly satisfying conclusion that left me pining for the next instalment in the series! I definitely recommend this one to fans of all things paranormal and fantasy, you will not be disappointed!

About the author:
Nya Jade is a singer-songwriter and author based in San Francisco. Her music videos have aired on the VH1, BET, and MTV networks. USA Today hailed Nya as a “young female troubadour worth keeping your eyes and ears on,” in an entertainment feature on up-and-coming singer-songwriters. “Her cool singing voice recalls Sade,” said the LA Times.
Between writing and performing new music, Nya took a musical sabbatical to focus on writing a novel—an endeavor she found quite daunting, until she began looking at each chapter as a verse in a very long song. Phoebe Pope and the Year of Four is her first novel.
In her free time, Nya enjoys hanging out with family and friends, searching for amazing gluten-free desserts, and bargain hunting for her next pair of funky shoes.
Nya holds a B.A. in Economics and an M.A. in Sociology, both from Stanford University.

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