February 11, 2013

Phoebe Pope and the Year of Four Blog Tour: Review & Giveaway

Phoebe Pope and the Year of Four (A Shaper's Novel #1)
Author: Nya Jade
Genre: YA Fantasy
Release Date: October 30, 2012
Publisher: Dreamwell Publishing 

Buy Links:   Amazon


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 Pope and the Year of Four is the first book in a young adult fantasy series. It follows the main character, Phoebe Pope, as she starts her first year at the Campus Below - the secret campus for Shifters that is hidden underneath Green Lane Academy. Phoebe is still heartbroken over the death of her father and is nervous about starting at the prestigious school. Phoebe soon learns that she has a power only she can wield and finds herself crushing hard for a human guy on the Campus Above. As if all of these things weren't enough, the school's officials believe that Phoebe is at the center of an ancient prophecy and now her life is in danger from shape-shifter assassins trying to bury the truth. Will Phoebe be able to accept her destiny and do what is required of her? With all the deception, danger, and not knowing who to trust, Phoebe must learn to believe in herself and her power to figure out the truth of the prophecy.

This was a really interesting and unique fantasy novel. I loved the secret academy of shifters hidden underneath a normal human school. The author described the school with such intricate detail and descriptions that I could easily see it. It's a beautiful place - both ancient and modern - and it's also a place of magic and wonder. The main character - Phoebe - was instantly likable and I found myself rooting for her throughout the novel. She's a great lead for the book because she's quietly brave, intelligent, and loyal. We see a great deal of character growth in her as the story progresses. She has to deal with first love and heartbreak as well as learning how to rely on her powers and senses and to believe in herself. The writing was really well done and flowed effortlessly throughout the book. It had a good pace which made it a fun and easy read. I really loved getting to learn about the history and background of the Shifters as well as the history of the school and their customs and beliefs. Overall, this is a wonderful first book in what promises to be an unique and fantastic fantasy series.

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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