Samantha Durante

All posts tagged Samantha Durante

Guest Post with Samantha Durante!!!

Published July 10, 2013 by crysbookreviews

A Profile of Evil: the Engineers by Samantha Durante, author of the Stitch Trilogy

As readers learned in Shudder (or got a glimpse of in the sneak peek at the back of Stitch), the true villains in the Stitch Trilogy are not the Ruling Class (the elite high society governing over the citizens of Paragon), but a small group of crafty baddies (also known as the Engineers) who masterminded the entire colony and put the Ruling Class in power. Following is a quick cheat sheet with a profile of each of the individuals within the Engineers:

The Developer

Role: Architect behind the entire Paragon scheme and de facto leader of the Engineers

Skills/Experience: Talented software programmer/hacker, world’s youngest billionaire after launching an online social media outlet that eventually grew to include almost every individual on the planet

Appearance: Your classic computer nerd – lanky, greasy hair, glasses, t-shirt, whiny voice

Defining Traits: Intelligent, arrogant, impatient, brusque

Classic Quote: “Zombie apocalypse. The people eat that garbage up.”

The General

Role: Leads Paragon’s military and prison, delegates labor assignments to citizens, also organized a secret ring of forced concubines

Skills/Experience: Previously the head of the government’s mandatory civil service program, had access to classified military intelligence including stolen research on the “stitch” technology

Appearance: Shorter in stature, handsome except for cold dark eyes and rasping voice, scar across lips

Defining Traits: Cruel, brash, misogynistic, defensive

Classic Quote: “I say we make an example of her, send a message to the rebels that we won’t tolerate their insubordination any longer. Stupid bitch.”

The Doctor

Role: Oversees Paragon’s medical center, including administering the “stitch” and researching the viral outbreak

Skills/Experience: A leading world geneticist who mapped the human genome and studied the role of trait inheritance in species survival

Appearance: Silver-haired, tall, trim, often seen in a long white lab coat

Defining Traits: Severe, logical, calculating, dry

Classic Quote: “The memory alteration research mentioned some, well, unfortunate side effects…”

The Economist

Role: Guides the Ruling Class in their deliberations to determine Paragon’s future structure and laws

Skills/Experience: Built a quiet legacy in academia studying socialist economics and espousing the merits of a communist government

Appearance: Middle-aged, boyish face, side-parted hair, slight stutter

Defining Traits: Nervous, idealistic, fervent, warm

Classic Quote: “Just imagine it – no hunger, no poverty, no war. Ever. Never again. We’ve learned from the m-mistakes of those who came before us, and we are building upon the foundation they laid to create something more.”

The Draftsman

Role: Manages daily operations of the colony, including logistics for food, shelter, power, maintenance, sanitation, infrastructure, etc.

Skills/Experience: An experienced engineer with expertise across the fields of mechanical, electrical, and structural engineering

Appearance: Older, plump, thick gray beard/whiskers, glasses, soft-spoken

Defining Traits: Paternal, practical, craven

Classic Quote: “But the plans were already in motion, whether I got on board or not. Perhaps I’m a coward, but I quickly realized that I was better off with them than against them. You think on that now.”

Want to know more? Get to know the Engineers in Shudder, Book 2 of the Stitch Trilogy!

If you haven’t read Stitch yet, you definitely should!!! You can see my review of that amazing book HERE.

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Shudder by Samantha Durante (Stitch Trilogy #2)

Published July 10, 2013 by crysbookreviews

Shudder

— Book 2 in the Stitch Trilogy —

It’s only been three days, and already everything is different.

Paragon is behind her, but somehow Alessa’s life may actually have gotten worse. In a wrenching twist of fate, she traded the safety and companionship of her sister for that of her true love, losing a vital partner she’d counted on for the ordeal ahead. Her comfortable university life is but a distant memory, as she faces the prospect of surviving a bleak winter on the meager remains of a ravaged world. And if she’d thought she’d tasted fear upon seeing a ghost, she was wrong; now she’s discovering new depths of terror while being hunted by a deadly virus and a terrifying pack of superhuman creatures thirsting for blood.

And then there are the visions.

The memory-altering “stitch” unlocked something in Alessa’s mind, and now she can’t shake the constant flood of alien feelings ransacking her emotions. Haunting memories of an old flame are driving a deep and painful rift into her once-secure relationship. And a series of staggering revelations about the treacherous Engineers – and the bone-chilling deceit shrouding her world’s sorry history – will soon leave Alessa reeling…

The second installment in the electrifying Stitch Trilogy, Shudder follows Samantha Durante’s shocking and innovative debut with a heart-pounding, paranormal-dusted dystopian adventure sure to keep the pages turning.–Goodreads

Wow, this book just blew my mind. I just finished reading it and the last page of the book was amazing and horrible all at the same time. There were moments throughout the book that I kinda wanted to smack Alessa upside the head and tell her she was wasting a perfectly amazing relationship with Isaac by what if’ing everything. But lets start from the beginning.

This book is done in multiple people’s POV, I loved that. You got to see behind the Engineers thought processes, through Regina’s, Nikhail’s, Phoenix, and of course Isaac and Alessa. The book started immediately up too, so there was no large time gap. Which I really appreciate and like in a book. This time around though Alessa and Isaac are out of Paragon and are looking for shelter for the Rebels per orders from Regina. Everyone else is just trying to stay hidden in Paragon or surviving in Paragon.

While searching, Alessa and Isaac are being tracked by what you don’t find out until the very end of this book. I will definitely not be telling you what they are though so you should read the book and take a guess until you get to the answer from the book. They manage to eventually find shelter and head back to Paragon.

A lot happens to them  as a couple and as individuals.  I am glad that Alessa was able to get over what had been bothering her the whole time and that she finally goes all in with Isaac. I love that Isaac knows that something is wrong with her but instead of freaking out on her, he waits till she gives him the answers to what is wrong. Their relationship is amazing and strong, I hope it stays that way.

I don’t want to give too much away because the book is definitely a buy even though I received it as an ARC from Samantha. I recommend everyone to read this book and the first in the trilogy Stitch.

RATING:

StarStarStarStarStar

Stitch by Samantha Durante

Published October 24, 2012 by crysbookreviews

Her heart races, her muscles coil, and every impulse in Alessa’s body screams at her to run… but yet she’s powerless to move.

Still struggling to find her footing after the sudden death of her parents, the last thing college freshman Alessa has the strength to deal with is the inexplicable visceral pull drawing her to a handsome ghostly presence. In between grappling with exams and sorority soirees – and disturbing recurring dreams of being captive in a futuristic prison hell – Alessa is determined to unravel the mystery of the apparition who leaves her breathless. But the terrifying secret she uncovers will find her groping desperately through her nightmares for answers.

Because what Alessa hasn’t figured out yet is that she’s not really a student, the object of her obsession is no ghost, and her sneaking suspicions that something sinister is lurking behind the walls of her university’s idyllic campus are only just scratching the surface…

The opening installment in a twist-laden trilogy, Stitch spans the genres of paranormal romance and dystopian sci-fi to explore the challenges of a society in transition, where morality, vision, and pragmatism collide leaving the average citizen to suffer the results. From Goodreads.

I received this book for the tour that Samantha is doing right now. I meant to post this earlier but I got sidetracked with working very very long hours and being sick at the same time. Stitch was a pretty amazing book. My mind was blown at the end of this book. Every aspect that happened in the book, I can honestly say I really didn’t see coming and I have read so many books that I can almost always see what MAY come about in the book.

There were ghosts and Alessa thinking that she is going crazy the whole time because she sees the ghost of Isaac. Everything seemed so real to Alessa, which of course why wouldn’t it? I would have thought my parents died too if I had the memories of it. She goes to college, makes friends with certain people like Janie, goes to parties and just seems to live a very normal college life without her parents around anymore.

I loved how Alessa and Isaac fell in love with each other. Again. I can’t go into too much detail about it because obviously you would be told what happens at that point. I like the thought that their relationship wasn’t just overnight or instant, they had a friendship first and foremost and slowly fell in love with each other. And then they did it again.

I think Samantha did a great job weaving the world that you see in this book.  I literally thought the whole time that it was based on today. This book was defintely not like any other dystopian book I have read recently. Don’t get me wrong, I really enjoyed them but the concept to this one was just WOW. There aren’t many that deal with mind control and they definitely don’t have anything to do with memory modification.

There was definitely secrets and lies in the book but that is bound to be in almost any and all YA books today. I honestly didn’t think there could have been more secrets and lies in this book because then it wouldn’t have been as great as it was. I loved that no matter what there was always love and hope. I can’t wait to read the second book.

I gave this book 5 out of 5 stars.

Guest Post by Samantha Durante, author of Stitch

Published October 20, 2012 by crysbookreviews

EPIC Plot Twists: A List of Favorites from Samantha Durante, author of Stitch

 

Thanks so much to Crystal for hosting the Stitch Blog Tour today!

 

Over the course of the tour, it’s been SO much fun for me to share my work with readers and hear reviewers’ reactions to the book.  And in all the reviews and comments I’ve read, there’s been one common theme running through them all: “I never saw that coming!”

 

Those five little words make my heart swell, because there’s nothing I love more than an EPIC plot twist!  For some reason I’ve been blessed (or perhaps cursed!) with an uncanny knack for guessing where a plot is going, and I’m often disappointed to find that I’ve inferred the direction of story before I even make it to the halfway point.  So whenever a twist really takes me by surprise, it makes an impression.  To celebrate the awesomeness of out-of-the-ballpark plot twists, here’s a quick recounting of some of my favorites:

 

****WARNING: MASSIVE SPOILERS AHEAD!!!****

 

The Sixth Sense

 

Whoa, whoa!  Bruce Willis has been DEAD this whole time??  And the kid knew???  Insane.  I did NOT see that coming!

 

Game of Thrones

 

Okay, George R. R. Martin has pretty much proven himself to be the master of the epic twist, and as much as I HATE him for continually killing off all my favorite characters (especially the wolves!  I love the wolves!), I have to give credit where credit is due: Game of Thrones keeps me on my toes.  And while there are oodles of amazing twists to choose from in this series, I have to select the Red Wedding as the one that stands out most in my find.  FINALLY things are starting to look up for the Starks, my heart is all melty since Robb is in love, the Freys are being uncharacteristically gracious about Robb’s faux pas – and then they all walk into a slaughter.  Just WRENCHING.  I still cringe just thinking of it.

 

Star Wars Episode III

 

Okay, okay, we all watched Episodes 4-6 first, so we knew Anakin Skywalker was going to turn evil, that’s no surprise.  But then I spent all of Episodes 1 and 2 falling in love with him despite his flaws (and Hayden Christensen’s acting…), and I knew he would be redeemed in the end, so I was willing to cut him a little slack.  After all, poor Anakin was dealt quite a hand in life, and his love for Padme was SO deep that he just went a little psycho when she died – that’s excusable, right?  Except then he went and SLAUGHTERED ALL THE YOUNGLINGS at the Jedi Temple!  WTF Anakin??  That is NOT okay.  This was brutal.  And, I’m sorry to say, unforgivable.  Luke should have let him die on the Death Star like he deserved.  Oh, Anakin, I feel so betrayed.

 

Sharon Shinn’s Samaria Series

 

 

I had no idea what I was getting into with this series.  Funny story – one of my roommates in college said she was recommended Archangel by a friend, but she got the impression from the cover that it was a religious book, and knowing I was Catholic, thought maybe I might like it and gave it to me instead.  Now, I ended up LOVING this book, but not for any reason having to do with my religion.  I loved this series because it initially presents itself as a romance between angels and humans on a carefully constructed world where the angels sing to God for sustenance and medicine and rain, but you find out in the second book that GOD IS A SPACESHIP and the angels are genetically engineered humans and all of these people are refugees from a long-ago ravaged Earth.  WHOA!  That was about the LAST thing I was expecting from this nice fluffy romance novel, and it totally knocked my socks off.  I loved the series even when I thought it was just an angel romance, but that sci-fi twist brought me to my knees in worship at the altar of Sharon Shinn.  Just amazing.

 

Portal

 

After finishing the game Half-Life 2, my husband decided he would play the puzzle game, Portal, which came bundled with it since I was sitting on the couch ignoring him while engrossed in some book.  Initially we were just expecting a simple problem-solving game, where you need to use physics and a neat portal-opening gun to get yourself from one side of each room to the other as your character wanders through some kind of run-down testing environment.

 

There was pretty much no background provided besides some prompts from a female computer voice that guided you through the stages.  The voice (GLaDOS) said some quirky things which were mildly entertaining (“Please place the Weighted Storage Cube on the Fifteen Hundred Megawatt Aperture Science Heavy Duty Super-Colliding Super Button.”  “Perfect. Please move quickly to the chamber lock, as the effects of prolonged exposure to the Button are not part of this test.”), but we didn’t think much of it.  I continued reading my book on the couch while he enjoyed his game and that was that.

 

Until I hear GLaDOS say, “”Please note that we have added a consequence for failure. Any contact with the chamber floor will result in an ‘unsatisfactory’ mark on your official testing record followed by death. Good luck!”  I looked up from my book and said to my husband, “Did she just say that?”  He shrugged an, “I guess so,” and continued on with his game.  And the comments continued to get weirder and weirder.  “Frankly, this chamber was a mistake. If we were you, we would quit now.  No one will blame you for giving up. In fact, quitting at this point is a perfectly reasonable response.  Quit now and cake will be served immediately.”

 

Cake?  Really?  At this point my interest was piqued and I put my book down.  And sure enough, as the game continued, GLaDOS’s character developed and we soon realized that there was much more to this little add-on puzzle game than we expected.  In addition to the fun and challenging puzzles (which often required the two of us working together to solve), there was an engaging storyline filled with memorable quips and even a boss battle against – you’ll never guess it – GLaDOS herself!  Yes, the seemingly helpful computer turns on you in a most vicious way, and you must seek her out and destroy her to save yourself, even as she tries to manipulate you into not doing so (“Well, you found me. Congratulations. Was it worth it?  Because despite your violent behavior, the only thing you’ve managed to break so far is my heart.”).

 

And the best part?  Once you finally reach the end, you are rewarded with an awesome song sung by GLaDOS herself.  This game was about the best lazy Sunday afternoon surprise I’ve ever had.

 

****END OF SPOILERS****