Sunday, September 08, 2013

Review: Runners PLUS Author Spotlight: Sharon Sant

Elijah is nothing special. He’s just a skinny kid doing his best to stay one step ahead of starvation and the people who would have him locked away in a labour camp – just another Runner. But what he stumbles upon in a forest in Hampshire shows him that the harsh world he knows will become an even more sinister place, unless he can stop it. As past and present and parallel dimensions collide, freedom becomes the last thing on his mind as he is suddenly faced with a battle to save his world from extinction. But before Elijah can find the courage to be the hero the world needs, he must banish his own demons and learn to trust his friends. And all the while, the sinister figure of Maxwell Braithwaite looms, his path inextricably bound to Elijah’s by a long dead physicist, and hell bent on stopping Elijah, whatever the cost.

Author: Sharon Sant
Publisher: Immanion Press
Pages: 283
Date of Publication: 8th June 2013
Series: The book is standalone, though Sant is writing accompanying stories.
Source: For review.

I received this book for free from the author in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my review in any way. 

This review is quite hard to write, because I had such mixed feelings about it. In many ways, it was phenomenal. In others, I felt like I couldn't completely interact with it. The book wasn't boring by any stretch, but it was quite hard to get back into after taking a break from it.

I didn't feel like I was in the book, I felt like I was watching the scene, because the world isn't completely developed. The first paragraph is gripping, the characters are formed flawlessly- with enough description, but not too heavy- and the emotional development is great. I liked the fact that the action was well developed and not rushed, though one bit of it felt too early in the book.

The "point" of the book, the fact that there were all these problems with the world, and some people didn't know that there were people on the run from it all, intrigued me. Shortages, climate, bankruptcy poverty, disease, amongst others;  it basically felt like what our own country will fall into if we don't pull it together!

Elijah, the main protagonist, was quite a mysterious character. He was very pessimistic at times, and got angry at times, becoming physical; but knowing when to stop. Xavier, on the other hand, was almost completely opposite; he seemed to like organsation, he knew when to back off. He had a tough family, but cared very deeply for Rosa. My favourite character was definitely Sky! She was headstrong, but a typical girl in many other ways.

There were so many descriptive bits in this book it was hard to pick out some certain ones, but some of them did stick out, like these:

"Back at the derelict house, now miles behind them, the storm had loosened and washed away layers of soil in the field just beyond the boundaries."

"They weren't prize-winning fruit by any standards, some of them were quite small and bitter, but were wolfed down just the same."

"When  Dr Sethi returned laden with cola, crisps, sandwiches and fruit, their uncontained delight drew puzzled looks from the two doctors."

So, overall, this is an amazing book, full of description and amazing character formation.

I'm a YA author and freelance editor. I love books, telly and film of all genres but I have a special place in my heart for fantasy. My debut novel, Sky Song, the first book of the Sky Song trilogy, is out now via Amazon. I like to go on adventures!

 I'm so happy to welcome the amazing Sharon Sant to To Another World today!

Have you always wanted to write, particularly for the YA genre?

Yes, I've always wanted to write, although I haven't always been confident enough to let others read it. YA is definitely my favourite genre to read and write too. I do write in other genres but always find myself going back to YA.

I particularly like Sky, from Runners. Who is your favourite character, from any of your books?

Thank you, I love Sky too. Oh my goodness, you know you should never ask me who my favourite is, it's too hard to choose. I love Elijah in Runners and I have quite a soft spot for Francois, but I also love Jacob and Luca to bits (they're from the Sky Song trilogy). I have a new book out soon called The Memory Game and I'm very fond of David and Bethany from that. Oh ok, I love all my characters really!

Are any of your characters based on you, or anyone you know? They are all so well formed!

Luca from Sky Song is based on a little Italian boy that I had a crush on aged about 5! Other than that. they're quite often inspired in part by people, rather than based on them. It's no secret, for example, that Elijah from Runners is inspired by Elijah Wood because at the time I wrote it I was in the middle of a Lord of the Rings obsession!

Runners is a beautiful story. Was there a particular inspiration for it, or did multiple things help?

Thank you so much!  It was actually based on a dream I had! I dreamt of a bunch of kids on a quest and had to wake in the middle of the night to write it all down.  By the time the morning came, I had a fully formed cast of characters and some idea of what the quest was. The rest of the story grew from there really.

I've only read Runners, though I do plan to read your others! Can you tell me and my readers a little bit about your trilogy, Sky Song?

Thank you again!  The Sky Song trilogy follows the story of adopted fifteen-year-old Jacob, who is woken one night by a stranger in his room. The stranger tells him of an unknown past and a destiny awaiting him that is beyond his wildest dreams. It seems that Jacob is not at all who he thought he was. But it's not all good and when Jacob refuses to go away with the stranger, he begins a chain of events that will put him and everyone he loves in mortal danger.  The trilogy follows Jacob and his friends, Luca and Ellen, for the next three years while they battle the forces that threaten them all.

Now for some fun questions!

Now, I ask all the authors I host here at TAW this question: which 3 items would you take on a desert island, and they can't be things to help you off (because I know you creative types)?

Darn it, I was going to say lifeboat! Ok, so 3 things.  Can I have an electricity supply? Pretty much everything I would want would need power! If not then I'd have to have some books, preferably a teeny portable library, some jelly sweets (lots of jelly sweets), a kettle and some teabags.

Favourite animal?  Horse
Favourite book/s? I have loads! The Book of Lost Things by John Connolly is one that I could easily read lots of times. I love the Harry Potter books too, and an older fantasy series called The Dark is Rising by Susan Cooper.
Do you have a role model? I'm not sure I have just one. I'm in awe of a lot of people and I tend to take titbits of inspiration from them all.
Favourite sweet or chocolate? At the moment I'm addicted to fizzy jelly dummies. I have a big bag next to the laptop when I write.

A couple of this or that questions to finish off!

Restaurant or takeaway? Takeaway because I can eat in my pyjamas. Though I do enjoy eating out with friends (in my clothes, I hasten to add).
Ebook or physical copy? Physical but I am getting more into ebooks now.
Chocolate cake or Victoria sponge? Victoria sponge.

Thank you so much for this interview Sharon!

Connect with Sharon on her website, GoodReads, Facebook and Twitter @sharonsant 

Charli x


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