Jul 25, 2013

Review + Giveaway: Shudder by Samantha Durante

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.

Stitch was one of those books that, even months and months later, has stuck with me. Five glowing stars, but the thing that made it difficult to review was the fact that I didn’t want to spoil anything for those who hadn’t had the privilege of reading it. Same goes here, and it’s so hard not to just gush about all the things I love about this series so far! To sum it up, Samantha Durante has this wonderful talent for taking it to the next level. Topping it off with a writing style that keeps you hooked, Samantha never fails to throw you for a loop, smacking you head on with surprises that you never see coming.

We jump right into the action with Shudder with Alessa and Isaac on the run, doing their best to survive winter storms, attacks from strange creatures, and the fear of the disease that’s wiped out the population. Where unusual circumstances left you wondering what their truths really were in Stitch, we really get to attach ourselves to these characters in Shudder. Their relationship and the way they hold each other up is amazing. You can’t not fall in love with them.

I’m a huge fan of multiple perspectives. I know a lot of people tend to find it disorganized or confusing when reading, but trust me, Samantha Durante pulls it off in a way that I’m sure every reader can appreciate. We get to see different sides of the story, get to feel the different emotions from various points of view. Not only that, but we are able to become close not only to Alessa and Isaac, but other characters who play an important role. How can you not become invested in a story with all that at your fingertips?

One element of Samantha Durante’s novels that has struck me is the world building and description. You really do feel like you’re there with the characters in whatever environment they find themselves in. Not only that, but the history and the background that she lays out as a foundation is done really well, allowing the rest of the story to be built in a way that seems effortless.

Shudder builds and builds and builds, intriguing you from the very beginning, making you question and wonder to again slap you in the face with another twist. Nonstop action, beautifully written characters, and impeccable world-building, this is definitely a series to add to your shelf.

Samantha Durante lives in Westchester County, New York with her husband, Sudeep, and her cat, Gio. Formerly an engineer at Microsoft, Samantha left the world of software in 2010 to pursue her entrepreneurial dreams and a lifelong love of writing. A graduate of the University of Pennsylvania’s Jerome Fisher Program in Management & Technology, Samantha is currently working full time for her company Medley Media Associates as a freelance business writer and communications consultant. The Stitch Trilogy is her debut series. Learn more about Samantha at www.samanthadurante.com.

Twitter: @SamanthaDurante | Hashtag suggestions: #Stitch, #StitchTrilogy, #Shudder
LibraryThing: Stitch | Shudder | Author Samantha Durante

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