Sunday, January 13, 2013

Something Different: Obscura Burning by Suzanne van Rooyen

Instead of the usual Publishing News Sunday, today I have something special!  I'm participating in the Book Blitz for Obscura Burning, a YA book by Suzanne van Rooyen.  I had eagerly anticipated this book's release ever since reading a query for it in The Writer's Voice contest, and I downloaded it as soon as it went up for sale.  I was most definitely not disappointed.

So, first up, here's the official jacket copy:

Obscura Burning by Suzanne van Rooyen - December 7th 2012 / Etopia Press
The world's going to end in fire…and it's all Kyle's fault.

Kyle Wolfe's world is about to crash and burn. Just weeks away from graduation, a fire kills Kyle's two best friends and leaves him permanently scarred. A fire that Kyle accidentally set the night he cheated on his boyfriend Danny with their female friend, Shira. That same day, a strange new planet, Obscura, appears in the sky. And suddenly Kyle's friends aren't all that dead anymore.

Each time Kyle goes to sleep, he awakens to two different realities. In one, his boyfriend Danny is still alive, but Shira is dead. In the other, it's Shira who's alive...and now they're friends with benefits. Shifting between realities is slowly killing him, and he's not the only one dying. The world is dying with him. He's pretty sure Obscura has something to do with it, but with his parents' marriage imploding and realities shifting each time he closes his eyes, Kyle has problems enough without being the one in charge of saving the world...

And below, from my original review from Goodreads

One of the things that attracted me to Obscura Burning was its setting. I spent a large portion of my teenage years near Shiprock, having gone to high school in nearby Aztec. Of course, the town where Kyle and his friends live isn't the real Shiprock, NM, but a fictional variant called Coyote's Luck. 
It's an impressive feat, writing a book about northern New Mexico that manages to feel even remotely authentic -- especially when the author lives in Finland and has never visited the Four Corners. 
Another of the great strengths of Obscura Burning: Its honesty. It doesn't flinch. Instead, it treats things with the kind of frankness and -- at times -- brutality that they deserve. I respect that in a book, especially a YA title. The prose, too, has several beautifully turned phrases and a handful of snicker-out-loud clever moments that make Kyle endearing as a narrator and show the author's skill. 
And then, of course, there's the ending. It's rare that I'm able to say, honestly, that I didn't see an end coming -- but this one had me writhing in uncertainty until the final page. The ending blindsided me, caught me completely off-guard, despite all of the puzzle pieces laid out in advance to set things up. This is a book that begs to be re-read so you can deconstruct the puzzle and find more clues to divine meaning from the finale.

Do you want to buy a copy yet?  Of course you do, because this is one of the best books I've read all year.  Pick your merchant of choice:

Also, if you're not already doing so, you really should go follow Suzanne on social media, even if you're not interested in her book.  Her budding career is one of the first things that got me interested in the small presses (and as you guys know by now, I pretty much think the small presses are the start of a literary revolution).  Here's some info about her, and links to all the necessary places:

Suzanne is a freelance writer and author from South Africa. She currently lives in Finland and finds the cold, dark forests nothing if not inspiring. Suzanne is the author of the cyberpunk novel Dragon’s Teeth (Divertir), the YA science fiction novel Obscura Burning (Etopia) and has had several short stories published by Golden Visions Magazine, Space and Time and Niteblade. Niteblade nominated her short story Where dreams are grown for the Pushcart Prize. Her non-fiction articles on travel, music and other topics can be found scattered throughout the Internet. Although she has a Master’s degree in music, Suzanne prefers conjuring strange worlds and creating quirky characters. When not writing you can find her teaching dance to ninth graders or playing in the snow with her shiba inu.

Suzanne is represented by Jordy Albert of the Booker Albert Agency.


Okay, okay, enough gushing from me.  Here's one more goody for you guys:  Free stuff!  Who doesn't love free stuff?  Enter the Rafflecopter below for a chance at several nifty prizes, including a $10 Amazon card, autographed books and more.  

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