Sovereign Hope by Frankie Rose

Sovereign Hope by Frankie Rose

Publisher: Self-published

Format: Kindle edition

So let’s see if I can guess this whole story based solely on this cover: there’s a girl who is somehow royalty (Sovereign) who must die (corpse like girl photo) to give hope (Hope) to a bunch of mystical people (purely conjectural but based off the mystical flowing lines up and down the cover’s sides). Did I get? Did I get it? Scarily enough, yes.

Plot: Farley Hope’s mom has been missing for a few months when she starts realizing that the world around her has become more than unusual. Strangers start following her for no reason and she’s prone to bouts of vision induced hysteria. Eventually all hell breaks loose as two opposing forces converge on her in an attempt to force her to choose a side. A side of what? She has no clue and doesn’t want any part of it. But when she’s cornered by a hottie named Daniel and a middle aged woman at the local fair, she is somehow convinced that her destiny is to save a mystical, underworld that co-exists with our own. To do so, she must die. She joins Daniel at a hidden bunker and slowly begins to learn about this secret world, what part her father played in it, and about her own destiny. When Daniel disappears and more people arrive at the bunker, Farley finds out more than she bargained for. Finally the time comes for her to fulfill her destiny and make a choice, whether she dies to save them or not, and it’s the love she feels for Daniel that makes her hesitate in her quest. Will she be able to go through with her destiny or will forbidden love conquer all?

Review: Dear reader, I must ask: was our synopsis a tad confusing? Would you call it none too clear on the big points and a kind of glossed over? Maybe a bit trite and utterly vague? Well, folks, I’m sad to say this book read exactly like that. Sovereign Hope is a big story with lofty goals but it’s so indecisive and so vague that it never fulfills them. I get easily annoyed by books where fantastic things happen in a way that is never explained to the reader. I also get annoyed at books where the characters react to every bizarre and magical plot twist with calm and poise, never questioning what the F just happened. This book does both of these and it kept bugging me because I would put myself in several of Farley’s situations to see how I would react. Let me tell you, it wouldn’t be with the same all accepting BS attitude Farley does. I would have run screaming but she just accepted everything, going with the flow even if it sounded weird and way too mystical to be real. Case in point, Farley is approached by strangers and told that she’s part of a magical world that exists underneath our own. In fact, she’s the only thing in this magical world that can stop some evil dudes from destroying them all. Of course she’s hesitant at first (because their story is bat crazy) but instead of running away and calling the police, she goes with these people voluntarily to their hidden, underground bunker and lives with them. Umm…what?! It makes no sense. Another case in point, while living with these crazy people, Daniel, one of the more magical crazies, treats her like garbage. Is verbally and physically distant and cold, acts as if she is a constant liability, never wants to spend time with her, only sees her as a deadly weapon…and what happens? Oh only that she falls in love with him! The buildup of their relationship was not romantic or tense. It was fraught with lots of awkward and unnerving situations, the majority of which occurred in a bunker. It just didn’t work for me. The writing style as well was good but not good enough to fully convey the realism that a story like this needs. I felt like I was reading the cliff notes version of the actual events since there weren’t a lot of descriptors and everything seemed under explained. We never really learn about this magical world or the evil menace that faces it. We never feel fully connected to the characters or their plights. The particulars of magic abilities of people are glossed over though we certainly see them in action. I guess in the end this book reads like a movie: there’s big budget action scenes, a little romance, some incredible chases, and a fantastic conclusion; there is no depth, no range of emotion, and no plausible reasons for why things happen.

In the end I’m giving it a 6/10.

How much did I like the heroine: 7. Farley had a lot of promise: an imperfect heroine looking to find out about her roots and how to change her destiny. She seemed like she wanted to better herself through hard work and perseverance. But I never felt like I could connect fully with her character and she accepted everything crazy that happened to her or around her with such nonchalance that I found myself annoyed at times.

How much did I like the love interest:8. Daniel is all brooding good looks and coiled power. This deadly combination proves way hot but his personality is a mood killer. He’s such a Debbie Downer all the time and I could never get the hook on how he really felt.

How believable is the plot: 6. Reality aside, this plot should have been straight forward but was way confusing. What’s this mystical other world that co-exists with our? These Reavers that rule them (forgot to mention them but they just seemed stupid, like psychic vampires or something), why are they

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the rulers again? Farley’s dad was supposed to be dead but surprise! He’s not and he’s a ruler of this crazy underground world! I don’t know, it read like a novel trying not to be just any other vampire/werewolf/paranormal book. But the plot was too poorly thought out or explained to make a lot of sense.

How much did I like the writing style/editing/etc: 7. The writing was decent without a ton of grammar/spelling mistakes. I just never felt connected to the story or the characters. Like the lack of description kept be disconnected or the copious amount of action were trying to make up for not explaining anything fully.

How much did I want to keep reading: 6. I really had no desire to keep reading or to stop. I just pushed through in a hope that it would pick up somehow.

Final Score: 6/10. The writing is decent, don’t get me wrong. I just feel like the style or the depth of the writing would have been better suited to a different book. As it stood the story stagnated in parts and had far too much action in others. There wasn’t enough description and I never could connect fully to there characters. I would say give it a shot for a change of pace from the typical paranormal books on the shelf but don’t expect too much.

****Disclaimer: I got this book for free from the author. I swear I didn’t bribe her in any way, or get paid for my review. And we might not be legit enough to need this disclaimer but after working at a law firm for many years it’s better safe than sorry!****

 

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An Interview with Frankie Rose, author of the much hyped, Sovereign Hope

If you’re like us (and since you’re here reading, I think you more than likely are), you like to troll twitter and facebook for a glimpse of the next big thing. “Next big thing of what”, you might be wondering; well, we don’t have a pre-determined subject really. We just like to troll around for whatever strikes our fancy and figure out what the most hyped about thing within that genre is.  Then we learn all about it, absorbing that information to use later at parties and what not. You know, to look cool. It’s an art form really.

So a few days ago I noticed that A LOT of book bloggers were talking about some new author. Nothing new there. New authors crop up all the time. But then, the buzz about her got bigger and bigger until all the 5+ star reviews of her book made me take interest. “Ah-ha!” I thought, here’s the most hyped about thing in YA fiction these days. “Yes! I am on the ball. Watch out party at the Powers’ house. You are in for a treat.” But then of course, I realized something: I had heard of this author before AND was even planning on interviewing her. That’s right, Frankie Rose, the sweet author who contacted me a month or so ago about her debut novel, Sovereign Hope, was the next big thing! And I was in on it!

Frankie was so delightful, just so open and candid in the Q&A we did with her that I can honestly say that if the book lives up to its creator then we have a force to be reckoned with on our hands.

Here’s the most recent blurb about the book:

Farley Hope was seventeen when her mother disappeared. In the last six months not much has changed, except that her eighteenth birthday came and went and still no sign of Moira. Her life is just as complicated as it always was: since her father died in a car crash before she was even born, she’s officially parentless, and to top it all off she’s still suffering from the hallucinations. Mind-splitting, vivid hallucinations- the kind prone to induce night terrors and leave you whimpering under your covers like a baby.

The last thing on her mind is boys. Farley is on break from St. Judes’ when she meets Daniel. It’s not some casual run in at a party, or even a blind date with friends, though. Daniel is the guy stalking her in his 1970′s Dodge Charger; the guy standing at her  window in the LA lunch hour traffic, determined  on dragging her out of her truck.
The moment Farley lays eyes on Daniel, everything changes. However, regrettably for Farley, her life isn’t set to change for the better. She is drawn into a world that will shake apart everything she thought she ever knew. There are truths out there that she must learn: who her father really was, and what it means to have his blood flowing through her veins; that a person’s soul is their only real currency, and there are people who would do anything to take hers; that loving someone can hurt so much more than hating them; but, most importantly, when your future is predestined, there is little you can do to change it.
Farley Hope is prophesied.
Her coming has been awaited for hundreds of years.
She is destined to end the tyranny of the Soul Reavers.
To do so she must die.
—————————————————–

J: Ooh, cool synopsis! So Frankie, what inspired you to write this debut novel? What was the process you went through to get it published? What advice would you have for other aspiring debut writers? Any tricks of the trade you’ve learned the hard way?

F: Gosh, this is a big question! I guess what truly inspired me to write Sovereign Hope was the desire to do something different. There were so many books that I’d read and loved, but followed the same kind of pattern, and with the same kinds of protagonists and bad guys.

With the publishing, I was offered a traditional publishing contract with a small press publishing company but I decided that I wanted the freedom to publish Sovereign Hope when I was ready, not when they were. And I wanted to keep control of the project as I saw it, so that the end product would be entirely mine. My title, the cover that I wanted… that was really important to me. So, in order to do that I learned everything I needed to so I could self-publish, which was a big task, but it was remarkably rewarding. I’ve loved the route I’ve taken to get Sovereign Hope out into the world!
As for tricks of the trade, the one thing I would suggest to anyone wanting to self publish would be to get the advice of many instead of the few, and definitely not the advice of your friends! People naturally want to please other people, and that often leads to them saying lovely things which are all well and good, when sometimes an author needs to hear the painful truth!

J: Could you describe your writing process for us?

F: Initially, I like to mull over an idea for a couple of days and let it really take shape in my mind. Once I’ve thought about the topic of the book, the events and the characters, I’ll start putting it down on paper. Really rounding out who the main characters of the book are going to be. From there I’ll start thinking about the events of the story and the order in which they will occur and how they affect each other. The last stage is really plotting out each individual chapter with the specifics. The specifics are really important… If you don’t plot the chapters and stick to the outlines of what you need to accomplish for each stage, then you’re likely going to get sidetracked or veer off path.

J: Why should we read your book? What sets it apart from all the rest?

F:When I wrote Sovereign Hope, I wanted to create a world completely different to other YA paranormal books. I wanted to build something that would be memorable because there was nothing else like it out there. I’ve been told by many of my readers that I accomplished this, and I can only hope I have! Another important part of Sovereign Hope, for me, is the characters. I wanted Farley to be strong and independent, and to have an attitude all of her own. And with Daniel, I wanted him to possess many qualities, not just be super hot and ready to protect Farley at the drop of a hat. Don’t get me wrong, he is super hot and fiercely protective, but he has his own story and insecurities.

J: Has your family been supportive of you as you try to make your way as an author?

F: They really have. All of them have been lovely about it. I live just about as far away as I could possibly get from my family, so it’s really great to connect with them on facebook and things like that. My husband’s side of the family are really wonderful, too. I love them to bits, and they have been fantastically supportive of me and of Sovereign Hope.

J: What would you consider to be your personal mantra?

F: Don’t Give Up!!! Has to be… There were a hundred points along the road to where I am right now that I could have just stopped and said, “this is way too hard.” I really did have to pick myself up and really push myself to continue. It was hard because I had faith in what I was going- I think the sheer volume of information that you need to learn when doing everything for yourself can be a little daunting at times. But, truly, once you understand what needs to be done, it’s just a matter of organising yourself. So Don’t Give Up!!

J: What author and which fictional character would make you squeal like a fangirl if he/she sat down next to you at a restaurant?

F: Huh… I would go nuts if Neil Gaiman sat down next to me in a restaurant! He’s an amazing author, and I have a lot of respect for his work. The worlds he creates are phenomenally enjoyable. As for a character… I think at the moment it would have to be Cassel Sharpe. The way Holly Black wrote him in her Curse Workers series was so good. I loved that everything was from a guy’s perspective.

J: What are three things you cannot live without and why?

F: 1. I literally could not live without my phone. I must reply to at least thirty emails with it every day, especially when I actually manage to get five minutes away from my desk.
2. I would be lost without my husband. I’m sure he’d object to being called a ‘thing’, but I’m gonna have to stretch the boundaries of the word in order to include him! He takes care of things when I’m too busy to accomplish ridiculously easy things that would take all of two minutes.
3. Lastly, I would be lost without the internet. If I didn’t have the internet, researching for my work would be much, much harder, but also I would find it difficult to connect with my family and friends, who have been immensely supportive during the process of me writing and publishing this book.

J: Who has influenced you the most in your life?

F: Hard question. I would have to say it’s a collective group of people. My friends have been really influential in that they’ve encouraged and pushed me, and helped pick me up when I’ve been feeling a little overwhelmed by everything. The same goes for my husband and my family, of course.

J: Last but not least, the burning question I always must know: window or aisle and why?

F: I’m gonna say aisle. I hate being trapped and not being able to get up so I can move around. Also, I always remember that scene from Fight Club where Brad Pitt debates whether to give Ed Norton ‘the ass or the crotch’,- I don’t like having the ask myself the same question whenever I’m trying to shimmy past strangers in order to get to the bathroom! I’m pretty tall, too, so being able to stick your legs out is always nice.

Haha. There you have it! Girlfriend loves Neil Gaiman (so do I!) and she knows how to insert a good ass or crotch into her interview. Good times.

Be sure to check out Frankie Rose’s book, Sovereign Hope today to see what all this hoopla is about. If you’re still on the fence, even after those fun responses, our own review will be out shortly to help tip the balance in her favor.

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Meet Author Frankie Rose

Hey all, Judith here.  Now as you might have guessed, we’re big fans of self-published fiction around the I Love YA Fiction household.  As soon as we got Kindles, Ellen and I loaded up on tons of e-books from self-published authors and have since been given that many more to review by the authors themselves. Without the push from readers and reviewers, many of us wouldn’t have been exposed to a ton of great reads and let’s be honest, that’s a shame.  Now I’m not saying all self-published books are fabulous. There’s a lot of crap out there too. But from what I’ve read, the good far outweighs the bad.

In this vein, a few weeks ago I received a random email from an author I’d never heard of: Frankie Rose. Not so unusual considering our indie, self-publishing fangirl bent. Well, the author sent me the synopsis of her soon to be released debut novel, Sovereign Hope. Let’s just say it, coupled with the subsequent trailer and book cover teaser intrigued, and scintillated me far more than is decent. While I don’t usually make a plug for authors (unless of course your name begins with a J and ends with a D or with a T and ends with an R), this time I have to make an exception.  Get ready for awesome!

Oooh:

Ahh:

Everyone has a soul

Some are just worth more than others

Farley Hope was seventeen when her mother disappeared. In the last six months not much has changed, except that her eighteenth birthday came and went and still no sign of Moira. Her life is just as complicated as it always was: since her father died in a car crash before she was even born, she’s officially parentless, and to top it all off she’s still suffering from the hallucinations. Mind-splitting, vivid hallucinations- the kind prone to induce night terrors and leave you whimpering under your covers like a baby.

 The last thing on her mind is boys. Farley is on break from St. Judes’ when she meets Daniel. It’s not some casual run in at a party, or even a blind date with friends, though. Daniel is the guy stalking her in his 1970′s Dodge Charger; the guy standing at her  window in the LA lunch hour traffic, determined  on dragging her out of her truck.
The moment Farley lays eyes on Daniel, everything changes. However, regrettably for Farley, her life isn’t set to change for the better. She is drawn into a world that will shake apart everything she thought she ever knew. There are truths out there that she must learn: who her father really was, and what it means to have his blood flowing through her veins; that a person’s soul is their only real currency, and there are people who would do anything to take hers; that loving someone can hurt so much more than hating them; but, most importantly, when your future is predestined, there is little you can do to change it.
Farley Hope is prophesied.
Her coming has been awaited for hundreds of years.
She is destined to end the tyranny of the Soul Reavers.
To do so she must die.
Sovereign Hope is book one in the Hope Series, due to be released July 1st 2012

And last but not least, the piece de resistance:

The author, Frankie Rose, would be very happy if you stopped by her site too: http://frankierosewrites.com/

Check out her pics of her hubby and some alaskan sled dogs. Normally I’m not a dog person but this is cute stuff.

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