Friday, September 12, 2014

Book Review/Guest Post: The Gray Horizon by M. Kircher

The Gray Horizon, by M. Kircher
2014, 256p, YA Dystopia
My Rating=5 Stars
Source: Received copy from author for an honest review

What does it mean to be brave? This is the question Caden must answer as he accompanies Thea, Ben, Rain, and Naomi back out under the dark clouds of the canopy, to rescue Viv from the deadly shadows and save a shattered Earth from the brink of destruction. Caden’s lazy, arrogant nature is tested as the group draws closer to finding Viv, forcing him to confront his inner demons and admit his feelings for Thea—even as their relationship is threatened by her ever-growing connection to Ben.

Will Caden discover his true potential? Or, when the group uncovers a devastating secret and faces a betrayal that has the power to turn the tide in the war with the shadows, will he abandon his friends and go back to a life of never-ending darkness?

Find out in The Gray Horizon, the exciting, action-packed sequel to The War Inside.

I really enjoyed the first book, The War Inside. To learn more about that book and read my review, click here

The first book is told from Thea's point of view and this book is told from Caden's point of view. At the end of book one, Viv was taken by the shadows and Thea, Rain and Naomi made it to Maria's settlement. In the beginning of this book, Thea, Rain, Naomi and Maria's son Ben set out to find Viv. Ben is a tracker and his skills come in handy. Caden realizes his attraction to Thea is deeper than he's used to. He gets jealous of the attention she pays Ben and then Naomi helps stir the pot.

Meanwhile, Captain Steele receives a visitor who brings him out of the darkness and helps him realize there's a better life in the light. He's resistant to the help but decides to give it a try and is surprised by what he finds. 

Towards the end, there's a betrayal which is painful for all involved and it sets off a devastating tragedy. I was feeling devastated along with the rest of the group and then there was a twist that changes everything. The ending set up the third and final book quite nicely and I'm excited to see how this ends!

I loved this book! The characters learn more about themselves and each other, some good and some bad. There's a lot of traveling and I tend to lose interest in sections of books when this happens, but I didn't with this one. Ms. Kircher's writing held my attention and I kept reading to find out what would happen next. This is a series that is worth reading and I'm looking forward to book 3!

Content: Mild swearing; some kissing. Clean!

Guest Post: Why Dystopian Fiction is Important

Dystopian fiction is important to culture and society for a numbers of reasons. First, I think that many of us feel a lack of spark in our lives. And so we look for ways to wake us up and feel something. We work nine-to-five jobs that we hate, forget what our true passions are, and get lost in the never-ending quest for success and security. Worldwide destruction, or the loss of civilized society, sings some sort of life back into our hearts and grabs us in a way that perhaps historical fiction and mystery novels don’t. Dystopian plots inspire us to consider what’s really significant.

Secondly, I think we all long to fight a righteous battle. Dystopian novels usually involve the end of the world or the future of the human race being put into jeopardy. Whether it’s through government control, oppression by another species, an apocalyptic event, etc., there is a sense that if some brave soul doesn’t stand up and fight, everything’s going to go to hell. Preventing destruction and the loss of life are causes that almost everyone can get behind, and when we see these things happening, we instinctively want to fight against them.

Human being also have a deep need to be worthy. The idea of fighting for what’s right takes a kind of bravery that not many of us get to exercise in our daily lives. And even though the idea of fighting scares us, it thrills us too. Dystopic novels allow us to imagine what it would be like to test ourselves and come out a hero or heroine. Think about the current popularity of Katy Perry’s song, “Roar.” The lyrics to the chorus go:

“I got the eye of the tiger, a fighter, dancing through the fire
Cause I am a champion and you’re gonna hear me roar
Louder, louder than a lion
Cause I am a champion and you’re gonna hear me roar”

These words resonate with so many people because we do really want to be champions. We want to be strong, and brave, and fight an amazing battle. We want people to look at us and say, “Wow, look what he or she did!”

I believe dystopian novels inspire us to change the world. Most dystopian novels seem to have an element of someone challenging the status quo or questioning the way that things are done. There’s this unease, and unrest, and a feeling like things should be different. I think that many of us feel that way today, but we also feel so small, like we could never do anything to affect real change. But reading a book or watching a movie can inspire us. Stories move something inside the human heart like nothing else, and doesn’t all change begin with one human heart moved to make the world a better place?

While the market popularity of dystopian fiction might wax and wane, I think the genre will be an enduring one and I’m proud that The Horizons Trilogy is part of it!

Thank you so much for having me!

-M. Kircher

Thanks for visiting, M! I love and agree with your thoughts on dystopia. It's a genre I love and will always read and I'm glad there are some quality books out there that I feel comfortable sharing with others, so thank you for being part of that!

I believe that stories can change the world. I also believe that teens and young adults have eyes that are open and ears that are awake to the thrumming life hidden deep within great books. I write YA fiction because I'm in love with stories and because I want generations of young people to hold tight to the vastness of their potential—the potential that lies waiting in all of us. The world is ours for the making.

No matter who you are, you have the power to do great things.

Happy reading! — M. Kircher


M. Kircher said...

Thank you so much for reading, reviewing and hosting me on your awesome blog, Melanie! -M.

Katie W said...

What a great book! Funny--I just read and reviewed another one of her books. Fun and creative!

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