March 17, 2015

The Crimson Gate Blog Tour: Review, Tens List + Giveaway

Welcome to my stop on the official blog tour for The Crimson Gate by Whitney A. Miller! Today I have my review of the book to share with you, along with a fun Tens List guest post by the author - and don't forget to enter the giveaway! To follow the rest of the tour, click on the banner above.

The Crimson Gate (Violet Hour #2)
Author: Whitney A. Miller
Genre: YA Fantasy/Science Fiction/Dystopia
Release Date: March 8, 2015
Publisher: Flux


Harlow must stop her evil counterpart in this thrilling sequel to The Violet Hour.

Harlow Wintergreen has just been named the new Matriarch of VisionCrest, the powerful religious organization previously led by her father. But there's one big problem. The real Harlow is trapped inside a Cambodian temple, and her double, the evil Isiris, has escaped confinement and is masquerading as her.

Now initiated as their leader, Isiris intends to unleash a killer super virus aimed at cleansing the planet of VisionCrest. In order to stop her, Harlow must find a way out of the temple and locate the Resistance...or the world will be destroyed.
 Top Ten Best Vacation Spots

I incorporate a lot of the places I’ve traveled to into my books. My hope is that I can take readers to places they may not have visited and help them experience those places through the eyes of the characters. Here are the top ten places from my books that I recommend visiting!

1. The Great Wall (outside Beijing, China) – A now-closed section of the wall called Simatai and its crowning glory “Fairy Tower” is featured in The Violet Hour. Breathtaking views, rolling hills, steep inclines, and a death-defying gondola ride to reach the top!


2. The Winter Palace (St. Petersburg, Russia) – In The Crimson Gate this former palace of Catherine the Great is a hideout for the Resistance, but in real life this stunning palace is home to the Hermitage Museum and a lot of really amazing art.

3. Yoyogi Park (Tokyo, Japan) – The Violet Hour begins in this park known for its beautiful cherry blossoms and as a Sunday hangout for Harajuku girls.


4. La Tour Eiffel (Paris, France) – The last civilized remnant of a post-apocalyptic society in The Crimson Gate, this iconic landmark is much more inspiring in real life.


5. Floating Market (Hoi An, Vietnam) – Harlow and friends barely get out of this market alive in The Violet Hour, but IRL I highly recommend it for delicious local produce and an intriguing cultural experience.


6. Gobi Desert (Mongolia) – Harlow sees this stunning desert that spans large parts of Mongolia through the window of a train during The Crimson Gate, just like I did when I took the Trans-Siberian Railway from Russia to China. Only I wasn’t trying to stop my murderous doppelganger from killing my crush and destroying the world. 


7. Park Hyatt Hotel (Tokyo, Japan) – Harlow stays here on the night she is initiated into VisionCrest’s first rite in The Violet Hour. I love this hotel. Fun fact – it’s the hotel from Lost in Translation. If you go, be sure to go to the top floor bar for an incredible view of the city and a possible Bill Murray sighting! 


8. Bay of Lubeck (Lubeck, Germany) – Okay, I’m cheating. I’ve never been here. But Harlow has – she swims ashore here in The Crimson Gate, barely escaping drowning. It looks cool, though! 


9.  Palace of Westminster (London, England) – In The Crimson Gate, this is the homebase of Harlow’s nefarious double and the setting of the book’s climax. In reality, this is where the Houses of Parliament reside. Harlow’s version is much more interesting, IMO. 


10. Angkor Wat (Siem Reap, Cambodia) – The alpha and the omega, this is the most important place in both The Violet Hour and The Crimson Gate. Though in Harlow’s world, this appears only at the Violet Hour in the middle of the Cambodian jungle. If you ever get the chance, seeing the sun rise over the real Angkor Wat is one of life’s truly incomparable experiences. 


 Thanks so much for stopping by and sharing your top ten vacation spots with us today Whitney!
The Crimson Gate is an exciting sequel in a gripping young adult science fiction/dystopian series. It continues to follow our main character - Harlow - as she attempts to find and stop her evil twin before she wreaks chaos on the world. Harlow's double, Isiris, is acting as Harlow and was just named the Matriarch of VisionCrest - a very powerful religious group that her father had led. Isiris is taking advantage of her new position within the organization and plans to unleash a supervirus that will kill all the members of VisionCrest and erase all traces of the group's existence. Harlow must find a way to escape the temple she's being held captive in, and then she has to find the Resistance - all before Isiris' plans are acted out.

Just like the first book in the series, this installment was a phenomenal mix of several different genres, specifically dystopias and thrillers. The plot picks up pretty much where the first book stopped, which made it easier for me to fall back inside the world the author created and to experience the story alongside Harlow. The story continued to be very original and hard to describe. Harlow continues to be a fantastic main character, even with her obvious flaws, but she also is a devoted friend and daughter who will fight for what she believes in and will do whatever it takes to make everything right. She's very smart, strong - both emotionally and physically, and she's willing to risk her own life for everyone - from the people of VisionCrest to the general population of her land. I found the rest of the characters to be well written, if not a bit predictable at times. Isiris proves to be a worthy adversary with strength, intelligence, and a plan of her own. Aside from these small predictabilities, the rest of the story was well written with tons of suspense and twists, which will keep readers on their toes. The author wrote with great attention to detail, vivid imagery, and a fast pace, which kept me eagerly reading to see what was going to happen next. Overall, this was a unique and fascinating sequel that fans of several genres will enjoy getting their hands on - highly recommended!

Whitney A. Miller lives in San Francisco with her husband and a struggling houseplant.
She’s summited Mt. Kilimanjaro, ridden the Trans-Siberian rails, bicycled through Vietnam, done the splits on the Great Wall of China, and evaded the boat police in Venice. However, her best international adventures take place on the page.Whitney is represented by Jennifer Laughran at the Andrea Brown Literary Agency.

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Giveaway: (2) Signed copies of The Crimson Gate by Whitney A. Miller + swag
Giveaway is open to International. | Must be 13+ to Enter


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