Thursday, May 21, 2015

Defend (A Lost Tribe #2) by Kallie Ross Review

Hey Readers! Happy Thursday! Ethan here with a 5-star review that's sure to rock your socks off. Looking for your next favorite read? Stop looking! I've found it for you! What am I raving about today? Defend, by Kallie Ross! Before we get to my thoughts, here's a bit about the novel and out author!

After emerging from her Descent into an uncharted underground world, Ollie Miller is sure of three things. First, her feelings for her best friend, Mateo, are far from platonic. She can't even look at Mateo without blushing at the memory of his lips on hers. Second, an evil man named Zadok is plotting to destroy the civilization above the surface. Third, there is no way to save the earth without returning underground. At least this time, she will have her mother along with Mateo and her friends to help guide her.
On their journey, noor, a mystical blessing guides them, but only if they’re willing to follow. Ollie’s determined to save the tribe from their evil leader, even if it means facing off with her long-lost grandfather. As Zadok comes face to face with his runaway daughter and his granddaughter, his plan starts to unravel, but is it too late to stop the destruction that he put into motion? Can the tribe survive and the surface be saved? Will Ollie learn to trust her own heart before it is too late?

Defend is the conclusion to Ollie's discovery of a lost tribe in Descent. Don’t miss this adventure, brimming with ancient secrets and a thrilling underworld.

Author PhotoAbout Kallie Ross: 

Kallie Ross has a love for learning that has gravitated toward studying conspiracy theories and contradictions in our culture. Her creative conclusions have ignited a passion to write compelling young adult fiction that incorporates legend, conjecture, fantasy, and conviction. Kallie's first novel Descent: A Lost Tribe Book 1, was released last year.

Kallie Ross loves being a wife, mother, friend, writer, and teacher. She began teaching high school English in 2002 and started blogging and podcasting in 2008. She has a brilliant husband, two redheads, and never imagined her life would ever be this fun!

My Thoughts:

A little over a year ago, I was introduced to a debut author with a big story to tell. A story of hope, fantasy, and exciting adventures into the unknown. At the time, I didn't have any work with debut authors under my belts. I'd heard enough horror stories to leave me a bit leery. Ever potential fear, however, was completely abated upon diving into Ollie's world in Ross' Descent. I quickly took the story and devoured its' contents as one of the most unique and original novels I read in 2014. This debut novel very quickly climbed the ranks and earned a spot on my 'Best of 2014' list.

From the day I closed the back cover to Descent, I've pondered what was next for Ollie, Mateo, and the gang. What adventures would await them in their next journey? After twelve long months of waiting, Kallie Ross has relieved us all of anxiety with the release of Defend. The thrilling, heart-stopping conclusion to the Lost Tribe duology.

Picking up shortly after the conclusion of the first novel, Kallie Ross hit the ground running and didn't stop for over two hundred pages. Unlike its' predecessor, Defend has nothing to lose. It's face paced, dark, gritty, and comes with more feels than you can ever hope to handle: Defend has it all.

When it comes to the plot, I won't say much. As this is such a quick-paced novel, I'd hate to give away any potential spoilers. While the story does end on a much happier ending, the 'getting there' sure isn't easy for our cast of characters. With Ross' clever use of some unique plot devices, she draws in the reader and leaves them hanging on, page after page. With so much happening, i even found myself having to reread passages to ensure I was following along. You have to keep up with this on folks, don't take it lightly. I will admit that I was a little shocked that a few things didn't happen, but I really loved the way Ross handled her story. She took the reins and steered it in the perfect direction for her audience.

I was worried the story would wrap itself up in a neat, glossy little package where every character got their happy ending. I was shocked to see that the ending really provided some surprising feelings. Character allegiances are tested and the plot twists will leave you rearing. There was a much darker theme to Defend than book one. As always, this is a risk in a YA novel, but in this case I really believe this played well into the favor of Ross. It's a true testament to her storytelling ability.

Defend did an incredible job of keeping with the characters and expanding on their personas for book two. The novel has a fairly large cast so it's easy to get confused with who is who and who may or may not be important. Thankfully, Ross did a fantastic job of keeping her main characters in focus. many times I see series with large casts where the author spends more time on secondary characters than focusing on where the story is heading. Ross' means of writing allowed for both character development and plot execution simultaneously. This is a big plus for any reader. The characters were complex. Ollie continues to channel her feelings towards Mateo (even if I was hoping she ended up with Gabriel, lol), while Alexis and Jesse really shine in their scenes. A handful of new characters added to the mix bring some much appreciated emotion to the storyline and really help to up the ante. Our sadistic villain, Zadok, was made to be much more human in this second installment. While we did see some truly evil moves from him, it was great to see his backstory and read about what really made him into a monster.

In true Kallie Ross spirit, the setting to this novel was spot-on. The noor filled underground caverns, ravaged by the effects of seismic activity have changed a lot since Ollie's first journey into the underground. Darkness, fear, confusion, freedom. Ross is able to display such a plethora of emotion and reflect upon numerous themes with her descriptive settings. I truly hope she pens the screenplay when this series is optioned for film!

With this timeless story of adventure and redemption, Kallie Ross has secured her spot on the bookshelf of our bookish pleasures. Fans young and old, and from all walks of life will be moved by Ross' gripping tale. This second installment proves that she is only beginning to hone her true talent. This reader cannot wait to see what the future hold for Ross and her career. I know I'll be first in line for all of her upcoming reads. What about you?

It should come as absolutely no surprise that I am granting Defend by Kallie Ross and incredible-well deserved, 5-star review. Ross wrote this story to near perfection and I am so proud to say that I loved it. I highly recommend this novel to any and all YA readers, fans of fantasy, adventure, and for those of you who are looking for a unique read you can share with your bookish friends. While I'm not sure if there are plans for more novels based in this world, I can tell you without hesitation that I would be downloading them if there were!

Check out my thoughts on 
Descent (A Lost Tribe #1) 
by clicking the cover below!

Alright readers, that's all I have for you on the topic of Defend by the incredible Kallie Ross. Working with Mrs. Kallie has been one of the greatest highlights of my blogging experience. She's a class-A author and friend who lives a life full of faith and love, something I have massive amounts of respect for. If you're looking for an excellent friend and role model in the literary world, look no farther than Kallie Ross! If you get a chance, head over to her fan pages and give her a shout out, tag her on Twitter to say hey, go read her awesome blog, you won't be disappointed!

Until next time, Happy Reading!


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