Friday, May 9, 2014

Book Tour for Ladder to the Red Star by Jael Wye (Review & GIVEAWAY)

As a fan of sci-fi I'm excited to introduce you to Ladder to the Red Star by Jael Wye, the second installment in her Once Upon a Red World Series.  Keep reading to get a tantalizing taste of this book as well as the author's viewpoint on the art of combining sci-fi and romance.  You'll also get my impressions of it along with the chance to win the first book in this series just by telling us what your favorite sci-fi TV show, movie, or book is!

In a science fiction romance novel, blending the science and the romance can be a tricky proposition. People working in the genre often make the point that scifi focuses on ideas, and romance concentrates on emotions. But a scifiromance combines these two elements by showing how theideas affect the hero and heroine’s growth and their love.The characters are the balancing point for idea and emotion.
Of course, the miraculous technology of the future world has to be detailed and cool enough to be interesting on its own, like a floating space city and a cure for old age. But to engage the emotions as well as the mind, the reader has to experience the through the characters’ thoughts and feelings about it and how they live their lives around it. In my new release Ladder to the Red Star, technology like the space elevator and genetic manipulation is woven into the fabric of Devi, he heroine’s world, much as cars and theinternet are taken for granted in our world. Seeing her reaction to another ordinary day working on a space station makes the tech feel real.
However the futuristic setting has to be more than just a backdrop. It both creates obstacles that the hero and heroine must overcome, and provides them with tools to help them along their way. For example, the hero, Jacques,desperately needs medical technology to cure his disease and save his mother’s life. This is the object of his quest,the promise it holds is what drives him into action and ultimately brings him together with Devi. But in order to get the cure he has to navigate the dangers of the space elevator, a high-tech fortress controlled by his worst enemy.
Science, and the moral and physical challenges it provides, becomes the means of furthering Jacques and Devi’srelationship and proving their heroism. It wouldn’t be a romance without it.

Once upon a ruined Earth 300 years in the future...
Jacques Tallinn, biotech smuggler and thief, is after the cure for a brain disorder he's suffered since childhood--a disorder inflicted by a powerful tyrant. To get the cure, Jacques will need to climb the space elevator to the new Zenith space station hovering above Earth and go undercover in the lab where it's produced.
Martian head tech Devi Chandra is immediately intrigued by her sexy new lab assistant. Though she insists on keeping things professional, she finds herself charmed by Jacques. Until he betrays her trust, kidnapping her and spiriting her off to Earth.
All Jacques needed to do was steal the biotech and get back home. But when things go wrong, he can't bring himself to leave Devi behind. Now she's injured and a simple caper has become an intergalactic cause, endangering his life and the lives of millions of others. But the hardest part? Winning back Devi's trust.


She ran her hands up his back until she reached his collar. Then her fingers dipped beneath the fabric and stroked his neck, rubbing up the muscles until her fingertips were on his scalp, massaging in little circles.
Ciel, to be stroked like this, to feel the simple pleasure of hands over his skin—he could barely process it. It had been so long. So long…
Something hot prickled beneath his eyelids. Intolerable. He scrubbed his face against his arm.
“It’s been hard for you.” His eyes flew open. She was watching him, her gaze deep and all-too-knowing. “You can talk to me about it, you know.”
Suddenly he was furious. Hadn’t she already exposed enough of his weaknesses?
And how could she possibly understand the life he had lived? She had led a practically utopian existence on Mars. She couldn’t comprehend the violence and deceit that made him, but if she did she would shudder back in horror.
She was innocent. She was everything he would never be again. She was too good for him. And she was about to drive him cracked.
He pushed up slowly, and her hands slid out of his hair. He came to his knees and looked down into her beautiful face, the scent of the grass rising around them. All at once the mood shifted, like a current of water running against him, growing stronger with the thrum of blood in his veins. Ay, she was too good for him. And he was a bastard, so he didn’t care about that fact at all. “No, I…I don’t want to talk right now.”
Her face was luminous in the soft light, an undeniable heat sparking in her eyes. Her rose-colored lips parted. “What then?” she whispered.




As a fan of the sci-fi genre I've read and watched numerous additions to the genre and my favorites blend vivid world-building with strong characterizations that make you think and take you away from it all for awhile.  Ladder to the Red Star succeeds on that level, though it's a complicated read at times trying to keep all the various factions and their agendas straight.  At its heart though it's a story about a boy and girl from two very different worlds trying to find love despite the machinations of others in keeping them apart.  Their pasts also get in the way and add an extra layer of drama to their already uncertain future.

Earth is still a mess as this story opens and the Martian invasion offers the only chance of survival though the offer is only for select groups.  For those deemed unworthy they have to use their wits to get what they need.  Jacques is in dire need of medical intervention to save him and his mother.  She has cancer and the experimentation done to him as a child is creating increasingly serious problems leaving his future in doubt and a body that feels nothing physically and that makes him feel less than human.  His emotions aren't in doubt though as they're intense and show a man committed to his plan, a fiercely loyal man who also happens to be super sexy.  His plan to sneak on to the space station Zenith doesn't go quite as planned as the doctor with the knowledge to help him intrigues him, but she needs saving herself which leads to an edge of your seat escape that doesn't end there.  Jacques must decide if his needs are more important than the unexpected attraction he feels towards Devi and if he can gain her forgiveness before the villain finds them.

Devi is a talented Martian doctor dedicated to her work.  She doesn't have time for romance but feels alone which is why she came to the Zenith space station...she's come to find her father.  Her plan goes completely awry once a sexy man full of secrets kidnaps her.  Though this leads to plenty of danger and uncertainty, it also saves her from the nefarious and twisted plans her father's business partner seeks to unfurl on her.  This man won't let her go without a fight and puts her and Jacques' future in doubt.  With danger from every side she only has Jacques to count on which allows their relationship to evolve slowly during their time together.

This is a fast-paced story at times though it was a bit slow at the start.  The damage Earth is going through is vividly depicted and gives credence to its inhabitant's desperation.  The space station and beyond seems like a haven but the hidden costs to get there may be too high.  There's a lot of political conflict and one man's obsession with world dominance to further put the main couple's, and humanity's, future in doubt.  Amongst all the chaos is a sweet and sexy romance that is given time to flourish.  The main couple are immensely likable with emotional baggage that bonds them and they are the heart of this story.  The action scenes keep you on the edge of your seat with their lives constantly in jeopardy and it's easy to become immersed in the story because of this.  Though this book can be read on its own the overall storyline will be richer after reading the first installment of this series.

My rating for this is a B+

*I received this book from the author for review in exchange for my honest opinion.


Jael Wye grew up on the American Great Plains, went to school in the Midwest, and now lives in beautiful New England with her family and her enormous collection of houseplants. For more of Jael’s unique blend of futurism and fairy tale, don’t miss her ongoing series Once Upon A Red World.

TWITTER:  @jaelwye


Jael will be awarding a digital copy of Ice Red to a randomly drawn commenter during the tour.

-To be entered, LEAVE A COMMENT TELLING US YOUR FAVORITE SCI-FI MOVIE, TV SHOW, OR BOOK, along with your email addy (no email=no entry).
-Winners will be chosen randomly from all comments made throughout the tour, so the more you comment the greater your chances of winning.  A list of all participating blogs can be found here.
-Giveaway ends at 11:59 PM CST on 5/23!