Tuesday, July 5, 2011

Review + Giveaway: Abithica

ABITHICA
Susan Goldsmith
Urban Fantasy
288 pages
Twilight Times Books
Available Now
Received from author for review

THE STORY
She moves from human host to human host with little memory of the people she's taken over before. Once she's in a new body, it's her job to figure out what in their life has caused someone higher up to send her to them, and then fix whatever is going wrong before moving on to the next person. She doesn't know her name, how long she's lived, or how many hosts she's helped.

When she's dropped into the body of Sydney Turner, she plans on following her rule of not getting attached to the person with whom she's so intimately connected. Don't get attached. Don't want what they have. Just help them and move on. But Sydney's case is different for her, and she finds herself with a very angry Sydney sharing her consciousness and a very problematic past catching up with the young woman who is her new mission.

When going to work with Sydney's mother, she and Sydney meet Lane and his younger sister Shae who instantly recognizes that she's not really Sydney – that she's something more. She finds herself quickly falling in love with Lane and wanting desperately to stay in this life though she knows it's not meant to be. Little does she know however, that Lane, Shae and even Sydney herself are going to change her life as much as she changes theirs.

MY THOUGHTS
Imaginative and intriguing, Abithica plucks us from our own lives and deposits us in the life of an entity that defies definition for majority of the book, and like Abithica (we learn her real name toward the end of the story) we find ourselves disoriented but undeniably curious as to what will unfold in the new life we've temporarily commandeered. Abithica's ignorance eases the frustration of our own, and we feel as closely aligned with her as is possible for people on either side of the fictional divide, yearning to discover her purpose in this latest mission as though it were ours as well. The reality of our world easily falls away once we start reading, the sights, sounds, and emotions of Abithica and Sydney's world smoothly replacing them, enveloping us in a tale awash with possibilities, enigmas, and individuals who hold our undivided attention.

Abithica springs to life instantly, her sense of humor about the unfortunate timing of her latest body assignment bringing a smile to our faces as she approaches her unusual existence with an infectious good attitude. Though we laugh initially, we quickly sober as details of Abithica's (not Sydney's) life are revealed, illuminating a suffocating loneliness as she acts as a catalyst for positive change in others but can claim nothing of those lives as her own. She goes through each day knowing a clock is counting down her time with Sydney, but she has no idea how many numbers are left before everything of this mission is but a memory that, with time and new hosts, will eventually fade altogether. Though we acutely feel her longing to belong, she never mopes or wraps herself in a dramatic shroud of self-pity, having only brief understandable outbursts to wish things were different before accepting her role in Sydney's life again and moving forward.

Watching her form a connection with Lane and his sister Shae is both heartwarming and heartbreaking, her moments of happiness with him often overshadowed by her uncertainty as to what Lane is responding to–body or soul–and the incessant ticking of an invisible clock. We desperately hope Abithica will have a moment of clarity and find a solution where all will be well and she can have her proverbial cake and eat it too, but as much as we want it, we also secretly crave the tension that accompanies the possibility that things will not go our way. Though their relationship does move at hyper-speed, our overwhelming desire to see Abithica grab a piece of life and keep it for her own acts as a balm to sooth our averse reaction to their instant love.

One slight drawback to this story is the secondary plotline with the Legnas gang, a group of apparent demons seeking to hurt and destroy lives instead of heal and fix as Abithica does. Their scenes are disturbing and dark to Abithica's light, and while they have a terrifying allure that keeps our eyes glued to the pages however much we might want to look away, this first book fails to provide us any link between them and Abithica herself. Knowing there is a second book that is going to more clearly illustrate the correlation between our sides of good and evil is helpful, but both Abithica's struggles to help Sydney and her affection for Lane against her better judgment are interesting enough that we wouldn't mind staying with her the entire time. Overall though this is a beautifully told urban fantasy story, and I certainly look forward to more from Ms. Goldsmith.

Rating: 4/5


GIVEAWAY

Ms. Goldsmith has generously offered up a signed printed copy of Abithica to give away on the blog today! To enter, please just leave a comment with a valid email address so I can contact you if you win. This giveaway is open to US and Canadian residents only and will run through midnight on Friday, July 8th after which time a winner will be chosen and announced on the blog. Good luck everyone!

54 comments:

  1. This sounds so cool! The Legnas gang sounds really frightening.
    Thanks for the added giveaway!
    rivkarno1(At)hotmail(dot)com

    ReplyDelete
  2. What an interesting concept. Just reading your description of how Abithica needs to fight against the clock, to find a way to be with Sydney, is incredibly stressful to me. I'm interested to know what happens. Great review, Jenny :)

    ReplyDelete
  3. Awesome review! I have this book on my review pile and now thanks to you, I am really excited about reading it.

    ReplyDelete
  4. Oooh, this one sounds like The Host by Stephenie Meyer, which I really enjoyed. Love the possibilities inherent in the premise of two consciousnesses sharing one body...very cool!

    Thanks for the giveaway :)

    tapestrybookblog(at)gmail(dot)com

    ReplyDelete
  5. I don't usually like UF but this books sounds most intriguing!

    ReplyDelete
  6. Nice

    valerie(at)stuckinbooks.com

    ReplyDelete
  7. This certainly sounds like an interesting read. Thank you for the giveaway opportunity.

    dz59001[at]gmail[dot]com

    ReplyDelete
  8. This really sounds unique and I am huge urban fantasy fan so I will have to keep my eye out for it. Great review like always Jenny :)

    ReplyDelete
  9. Something about the book does call out to me, but dunno in the end..or, Oh I am torn again

    ReplyDelete
  10. At first it sounded like The Host but really this seems very much different! I will have to put this one on my TBR list!

    ReplyDelete
  11. Wow...I've really never heard of this one, but the premise is totally original and refreshing! Fab review, as usual, Jenny! I swear you always introduce me to new books :)

    ReplyDelete
  12. I hadn't heard of this one yet, but it's definitely going on my TBR list now! Please enter me =)

    Anne
    greenparrot55 [at] hotmail [dot] com

    ReplyDelete
  13. This book sounds really interesting! It's the first time I've seen it, and thanks so much for the review.

    britneywyatt[at]gmail[dot]com

    ReplyDelete
  14. YAY! I loved this book. It was so unique. Thanks for the giveaway!

    bwithbite (at) gmail (dot) com

    ReplyDelete
  15. Thanks for your honest review, I would love to read the book.
    twoofakind12@yahoo.com

    ReplyDelete
  16. Thank you for the amazing review! Where were you when I was trying to come up with a summary?!?

    Susan Goldsmith

    ReplyDelete
  17. This one sounds extremely unique, although it does remind me a bit of The Host. Lately, it seems I cannot get enough of urban fantasy, so I'll have to add this to my TBR list. Thanks for the great review!

    ReplyDelete
  18. Sounds like an interesting read!

    bookrants(dot)reviews(at)gmail(dot)com

    ReplyDelete
  19. The concept sounds very similar to Lim's Mercy, which I really enjoyed a lot. The demon part however sound very intense and just the kind of book I would love to read. Thanks for the great review and giveaway too.

    vonharzj@gmail.com

    ReplyDelete
  20. Sounds awesome! Thanks for putting it on my radar and the giveaway.

    candicerjames [at] gmail [dot] com

    ReplyDelete
  21. sounds very interesting, thanks for the giveaway!

    blue_star_10 (at) hotmail (dot) com

    ReplyDelete
  22. This is the first I've heard of this book too; please enter me to win.

    b(dot)cardone(at)hotmail(dot)com

    ReplyDelete
  23. Ooooh sounds awesome! I love books that jump right into the story!!! God I freaking love you reviews... have I ever told you that?

    thebookishbrunette@gmail.com

    ReplyDelete
  24. I love the concept! Like some of the above commenters said, it sounds kind of like The Host, but the setting and overarching plot is very different. I'm glad Abithica turned out to be a great read! Thanks for the review. :)

    ReplyDelete
  25. Thanks for the giveaway!!! hope I win.

    mrs_laura_koehler@yahoo.com

    ReplyDelete
  26. I really don't like romances that develop fast but I do like the sound of Abithica. Very unique concept! Thank you for another insightful review, Jenny! =)

    ReplyDelete
  27. I dont read very much urban fantasy, usually because its so dark in nature. This one sounds really interesting though...:)

    ReplyDelete
  28. Great premise. What a tough way for her to live.

    ReplyDelete
  29. No need to enter me. This book sounds really interesting and also very heartwrenching. You wrote a great review and captured this.

    ReplyDelete
  30. What a completely unique premise! I hadn't heard of this book before. Sometimes I think insta-loe works if the character shows a want/need for it.

    For some reason, I struggle to like UF but your description of Abithica makes me think I'd like this one. Awesome cover, too.

    Gracias, Jenny!

    ReplyDelete
  31. You know, I don't always have a problem with insta-love... just depends on how it is handled, but I'm glad it doesn't present a problem here. Oh I'm curious and thanks for the rockin' review and giveaway!!
    books (dot) things (at) yahoo (dot) com

    ReplyDelete
  32. This sounds sooo interesting! I hadn't heard of it before! So checking this one out more!

    ReplyDelete
  33. The premise kind of reminds me of Mercy which I wasn't really a fan of. Your review though makes me think that I'll like this one more *fingers crossed* so I'll add it to my wishlist. Thanks for the giveaway :)

    ayareader@hotmail.com

    ReplyDelete
  34. This sounds very interesting, I just added it to my TBR pile, and would love a chance to win

    Erika @ Badassbookreviews at gmail dot com

    ReplyDelete
  35. This sounds pretty interesting, although I don't think it's for me. I like finding things out at the same time as the main character, if it's done well. Did you ever find it confusing?

    ReplyDelete
  36. I haven't heard of this book, but it sounds intriguing, so thanks for the review & giveaway!

    caldellizzi@gmail.com

    ReplyDelete
  37. Fab Review! I love the idea of skipping from body to body. Sounds similar to Mercy, so I think this is something I would like!

    preternaturalprimer (AT) hotmail (DOT) com

    ReplyDelete
  38. Sounds awesomee, great review, sounds sorta kinda like The Host, except minus the aliens. :) Thanks for the giveaway!

    liforda(at)yahoo(dot)com

    ReplyDelete
  39. I really want to read this!

    remarkablereads@gmail.com

    www.remarkableteenreading.blogspot.com

    ReplyDelete
  40. Wow! This seems like a very unique read! Thank you for the giveaway!
    wolfluvr420 at yahoo dot com

    ReplyDelete
  41. Sounds really good! Thanks for the giveaway.

    erinberry12 at charter dot net

    ReplyDelete
  42. This book sounds really cool!

    ckeaton(at)gmx(dot)com

    ReplyDelete
  43. Sounds fabulous!!

    Vivien
    deadtossedwaves at gmail dot com

    ReplyDelete
  44. Thank you for giving us this opportunity for a chance to win and read Abithica.
    GFC Follower: SpadesHighReads

    SpadesHigh @ http://SpadesHighReads.com
    TValeros18 AT gmail DOT com

    ReplyDelete
  45. This book looks amazing! This is going to be on my to-be-read list!

    Angie
    ajiehuang1997 (at) gmail (dot) com

    ReplyDelete
  46. I love urban fantasy and this book looks like a really good one! Thanks for a great giveaway:)

    jwitt33 at live dot com

    ReplyDelete
  47. Victoria ZumbrumJuly 6, 2011 at 10:24 AM

    Sounds like a really great read. Please enter me in contest. Tore923@aol.com

    ReplyDelete
  48. I would love to win! Thanks! Mimisgoodreads@yahoo.com :)

    ReplyDelete
  49. Thank you for the giveaway. This sounds like a very interesting story.

    Jules
    onebookshy at yahoo dot com

    ReplyDelete
  50. I never heard of this one before. It does sound like the "The Host" by Stephenie Meyer except for the demon gang, who sound frightening yet intriguing. Thanks for the review and giveaway!

    rummanaha at hotmail dot com

    ReplyDelete
  51. This comment has been removed by the author.

    ReplyDelete
  52. Wow, that sounds like a pretty good book to read...and it DOES remind me of The Host by Stephenie Meyer! Anyways, THANK YOU FOR THE GIVEAWAY! C:

    chocolatestarpie(at)yahoo(dot)com

    ReplyDelete
  53. This book sounds really good, I haven't heard a lot about it! Thanks for the giveaway!

    danceislove27(at)gmail(dot)com

    ReplyDelete
  54. Would love to read this! Thank you for the giveaway!

    ashley.mckinsey(at)yahoo(dot)com

    ReplyDelete