review

Tour with #Review: INCITE by ERICA CROUCH

BANNER Incite Blog Tour

BOOK ONE
Title: Ignite
Author: Erica Crouch
Series: Ignite #1
Release Date: June 11th 2012
Age Group: Young Adult
Genre: Fantasy/Romance

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BLURB

Penemuel (Pen) fell from grace over a millennium ago, yet there are still times she questions her decision to follow her twin brother, Azael, to Hell. Now that the archangel Michael has returned, threatening Lucifer’s vie for the throne, she begins questioning everything she has always believed.
As Hell prepares for war – spreading a demonic virus and pilfering innocent souls to build an army – the lines separating the worlds blur. Fates erase and the future is left unwritten. Azael is determined that he and his sister will continue to serve as demons together, but for the first time in her life, Pen is not ruled by destiny. She has the freedom of choice.
With choice comes sacrifice, and Pen must decide which side she’s willing to risk everything fighting for: the light, or the dark.

Purchase: Amazon | B&N

My Review

An Ignite Novella
Title: Entice
Author: Erica Crouch
Series: Ignite 1.5
Release Date: November 19th 2013
Age Group: Young Adult
Genre: Fantasy/Romance

B1.5 ENTICE

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With the aftertaste of Heaven still strong, Pen and Azael cloak themselves in their new demonic destinies, fighting for Lucifer against the angels. Pen, warring against former friends turned vengeful enemies, still struggles with defecting to Hell. But in one short battle, they go from forgotten to famous, thrust into the spotlight where she has no room for uncertainty.
Suddenly top-tiered demons, they’re tasked with seeing through hell’s new agenda: corrupting man. But tarnishing Eden isn’t as simple as they thought it would be, especially when they’re forced to work with another team of demons who are trying to claw their way up the ladder of power.
Entice is an e-novella that prequels Pen and Azael’s story in Ignite.

Purchase: Amazon | B&N

Review
TO FOLLOW

BOOK TWO
Title: Incite
Author: Erica Crouch
Series: Ignite #2
Release Date: February 17th 2015
Age Group: Young Adult
Genre: Fantasy/Romance

B2 INCITE

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Earth is in ruins, and the war of Heaven and Hell has spilled over into the mortal world. In the frozen wasteland of the apocalypse, Azael and his band of cohorts search for Pen and Michael with orders to kill. Little does he know that his sister has incited a rebel army of her own.
Angels and demons alike stand side by side, ready and willing to fight for a future they didn’t realize they could have. Change doesn’t come easy, though. Pen is wary of joining New Genesis’s revolution, but when Azael shows his hand and Pen learns all that he holds over them, she chooses to fight back, no matter the risk. She only has to survive, one hour at a time.

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Review

When I read Ignite I said “the climatic ending . . had me looking for the sequel but, unfortunately, there is a wait :-(“. 18 months later, Incite is released and the story of Pen, Azael and Michael continues. As I read Entice immediately before Incite, I admit that I had to skim through the first novel to refresh my memory a little, but once I had done this I was ready to dive right into the story.
Azael and Pen are changed characters. In part, because they have lost each other and also because of the consequences of the War between Heaven and Hell have impacted upon their lives. Azael is now referred to as the “King of Hell”, having earned his place at Lucifer’s side during the battle. Yet, there are moments Erica Crouch allows us to see a vulnerability in Azael, particularly when it comes to the fate of his sister. This is often manifested in raw anger and the need for vengeance, which is usually directed at Michael.
For the most of Incite, Pen appears a fragmented version of herself; she is cynical, jaded and in an almost depressed state. Despite the fact that Pen confesses her love for Michael on several occasions, it seems a though it is this relationship which has weakened her. I missed the tenacity and attitude she showed in Ignite and Entice, although there are glimpses of this in the latter part of the novel. Erica Crouch is able to fully communicate this change in Pen through the character’s relationship with language. Pen was a Scribe in Heaven, before her Fall and we have always felt her infinity for words. Yet on the freezing Earth, running from Lucifer, Azael and bounty hunters Pen needs to be reminded of who she was,

“It’s been so long since you’ve shared poetry. Michael’s voice is sad. Don’t lose yourself trying to save others. I don’t want you to forget the things you loved.”

It is not long after this that Pen discovers her resolve and accepts her new role, making her longest and most eloquent public speech.
The previous battles in the series have been fought between Heaven and Hell; Angels and Demons; Good and Evil and siblings, but with the emergence of New Genesis, Erica Crouch shows us a community working together for a common goal. In New Genesis, there is a policy of acceptance, not witnessed when Heaven was in charge and the interesting thing, for me, is that Erica Crouch uses this to create her first same-sex relationship between Ana and Kala.
Kala is my favourite character in the book. She is everything an angel shouldn’t be; she only has one wing, her lover is female, she is aggressive, reckless and she continuously uses the ‘F’ word! Kala is not only responsible for saving Ren and Michael’s lives, but she injects some much-needed humour and relief into Incite’s plot.
Incite is an intense story in which we are offered a valuable insight into the psyche of its main character. Erica Crouch’s style of writing is mature, but absorbing, and I know the series finale will be worth the wait!

Rating:
 

EXCERPT (AZAEL)
I enjoy destruction. I like the sound of glass shattering, of paper tearing apart and fabric ripping at its seams. I savor the groan of bending metal and the snap of splintered wood. The smell of ashes and smoke and blood and sweat soothes me, so when I get back to my extravagant room, I destroy everything.
The thick, four-poster bed sitting in the middle of the room clothed in heavy, gold-and-red drapery is the first to go. I claw at the sheets and scatter them across the floor in ribbons, pull apart the intricate headboard with my fingernails until the wood is soaked black with my blood. The gold spindles that extend to the ceiling are pliable under my angry hands, and I twist them into a knot so sharp that I cut my forearm. Then I toss the mattress across the room and kick up the chairs that bookend a small side table.
My blood spills across the room as I continue my path of destruction. I barely feel the piercing burn of the shrapnel from the wooden wardrobe in my abdomen through my rage, hardly notice the small shards of glass that stick into my leg from the cart of drinks I requested be delivered earlier this morning.
I crave mayhem and terror and devastation, but I can’t gather enough composure to inflict it on anyone but myself.
A tall mirror sits wide and proud on the floor next to the washroom. I throw my fist into the glossy reflection with a snarl and watch as the fissures spiral out from my bleeding hand. I’m shattered in the reflection, both one being and dozens of smaller, angry images. There’s a large gash across my forehead that dribbles black blood over half of my face, wetting my hair down to stick to my scraped cheeks. My eyes are furious and feral, deep purple and black swallowing up the whites of my eyes.
I pull my hand back from the mirror and flex my fingers, lavishing in the agony of my broken knuckles before they begin to heal. The loud thud of my bedroom door closing grabs my attention, and when I look up, Lilith is reflected in miniature all around me.
She stays standing by the door, wearing a grin and a short, white dress in silk so smooth that it looks like liquid.
“What a mess you’ve made,” she says, curling her lips around every word.
“Leave me alone, Lilith.”

GIVEAWAY

About the Author

Author Pic option 1

 

Erica Crouch is a young adult and new adult author from Baltimore, Maryland. She has a strange blended aesthetic of cute and spooky, and her books reflect her ever changing mood. (You may find romance, you may find gore—sometimes both in the same book, but probably not at the same time. Probably.)

Erica is the cofounder of Patchwork Press, an author-powered publisher of middle grade, young adult, and new adult titles. She is the head of editorial services and design, with nearly fifty projects to her name.

Links: Website | Goodreads | Twitter

 

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