Friday, August 1, 2008

Farworld Blog Tour: Review, Interview and Give Away

I received this book, Farworld: Water Keep by J. Scott Savage, in May, read it in June, and have now had a month or so to think about it and to see what everyone else has been doing with it on their blogs. ACK! It’s made me nervous! Mr. Savage has been blitzing the blogging world for a few months now, having had tons of bloggers take him up on the request to be part of his blog tour promotion. There are reviews, Q and A’s and giveaways every where you look!

So now, it’s finally my turn!

First, a little review.

The heroes of this YA fantasy, 13-year-olds Kyja and Marcus, have a major task to accomplish: save Farworld from the Dark Circle. This takes them on adventure after adventure, bouncing back and forth between their two worlds, with hardly any "catch-your-breath" time in between. There’s always a bunch of nasty bad dudes chasing them, capturing them or thwarting their efforts to get to Water Keep where they can accomplish their first task in defeating the Dark Circle.

In the meantime, they learn about themselves and what makes them special. At first, they don’t think they have any powers at all, but they must learn to "find their magic." This, to me, is the main point of the story which is brought home by my favorite quote, said by Master Therapass to Kyja just shortly after the story begins:

"But magic is not just spells. The magic you see on the outside– making pots and pans fly or brewing potions to make boys swoon before you– is but a tiny fraction of the power of true magic. The real power of magic lies within you. Who you are, what you do, and mostly importantly of all, what you may become."

I totally enjoyed this book. I found myself holding my breath often, hoping for a good outcome for them, and even skipping my eyes ahead to the end of the chapter to make sure it did! I HATE it when I do that! But sometimes, it just happens!

You may also be interested to know what my own 13-year-old son, a very picky reader indeed, says about this book. He’s halfway through and has already deemed it worthy of five stars on Good Reads, and says it’s WAY better than Harry Potter! Strong words I’d say!

We will both look forward to going on more adventures with Marcus and Kyja and meeting all the other cool creatures (and probably some not-so-cool ones!) in the rest of the series.

Second, the interview!

After being on the blog tour for quite awhile now, it’s tough to think of questions that haven’t been asked already, but here’s my shot at it!

So, I’ve invited J. Scott Savage to take a break from all his virtual world travels and come back home here to Utah for a bit of a rest. His reaction? "Excellent! My kids will be glad to learn I’m still alive!" We met up at his favorite ice cream place, Cold Stone Creamery where I’m having an Oreo shake, of course, and he wants something with lots of berries.

I’ve divided my questions up into little categories:

For the book lover:

It’s All About Books: What was your favorite book when you were 13, the same age as our heroes?

J. Scott Savage: Technology Investing 101. Not really, if it had been, I’d probably be writing full time by now. I’d say it was a toss up between A Wrinkle in Time and The Outsiders.

IAAB: Oh, I loved both of those too! Great books!

Who/what is your favorite author/book right now? What’s on your night stand this very moment?

JSS: I don’t think it is humanly possible for me to nail one favorite author or book. My head would explode. But I have three books on the night stand. Neil Gaiman’s "Neverwhere," Stephen King’s "The Stand", and Stephen R Donaldson’s "Lord Foul’s Bane."

IAAB: Sounds like some exciting ones. I need to read more Gaiman, and I just read The Stand for the first time last year. Quite the book!

For the music lover:

Do you listen to music while you write, and if so, what?

JSS: A lot of people listen to music when they write, but with very few exceptions I need quiet to get into my story. Once I am editing, that’s a whole different story. I love to crank up classic 60s-80s rock.

IAAB: Rock on, dude! And if Farworld: Water Keep had a soundtrack, what songs would be on it?

JSS: Is there a song with "buy me" in the lyrics?

IAAB: LOL! Probably actually, sad to say.

JSS: Well let’s see there would be a lot of Led Zepplin, then maybe Hungry Like the Wolf, I’m Holding Out for a Hero from Footloose, Some AC/DC for the Dark Circle. And some really smooth Jazz for the Westland woods. And definitely Another One Bites the Dust for when MT is mowing down the dark creatures.

IAAB: Those sound perfect! I love to imagine what songs would go with a particular scene. Fun stuff.

For the writer wannabe:

Do you write your books chronologically, or skip around, bouncing from chapter to chapter?

JSS: 99.9% of the time it is chronologically. This is totally a me thing, but when I write out of order it feels like I am reading ahead in a book. I want to see the story through the same eyes my readers will.

IAAB: Do you revise as you go, or get it all down first, then revise the whole thing at once?

JSS: Everyone has the style that works best for them. The way I work is to write for a day, and then start the next day by editing what I’ve already written before I write more. It helps keep me in the story.

For the movie/celebrity fanatic:

IAAB: If Farworld: Water Keep was made into a movie, who would you like to see playing Marcus? Kyja? Master Therapass?

JSS: Marcus: I imagine him looking a lot like Freddie Highmore. But I want more attitude. Shiloh Lebuff is way too old. But I like his in your face acting. Who do you think?

IAAB: I think Freddie Highmore would work. I bet he could get some more attitude going on. There’s that other cute kid that seems pretty popular lately, Josh Hutcherson I think his name is. Maybe he would work?

JSS: Kyja: AnnaSophia Robb, but with dark hair.

IAAB: I bet she’d dye it for you!

JSS: For MT: Hmm tough one. You know what? We haven’t had enough black wizards in movies. Let’s go with Morgan Freeman. I totally think he could pull it off.

IAAB: Of course he could! He’d be perfect!

So, if YOUR life were made into a movie, who would you like to see playing you?

JSS: Who would I like to see or who would be realistic? Bruce Willis is a stud. But I don’t see him pulling off a quirky writer. Johnny Depp is awesome, but last time he played a quirky writer, he killed his wife. I’d say Tom Cruise for looks, but I’m not much of a couch jumper. So I guess I’m going to have to go with Beaker from the Muppets.

IAAB: LOL! Oh, head! Dang! I’ve got a brain freeze! Hate when that happens!

And now, about the book:

Those creatures, The Unmakers, creeped me out! Did they came straight from some nightmare you had? :)

JSS: I have a very warped imagination. I really like to come up with creatures or settings that are so different the reader feels like they are actually getting a glimpse into another world. The whole slurping thing freaked me out as I was writing it, which is a good sign. Of course once it was out, someone asked me, "Did you know there was a being called The Unmaker in one of Card’s books?" Oh well. At least it wasn’t the same creature.

IAAB: Oh, man... that crazy Card guy!

Water Keep and its inhabitants are fascinating. Will we be seeing more of them in the next books, or do we just move on to the other elemental worlds?

JSS: This is a a great question that no one has asked me. I think a lot of people assume that the elementals are just kind of placeholders—goals to complete the quest. But they are a huge part of the story. What are they really? Where did they come from? Why their unique powers? Why don’t they work together? There is a lot more about the elementals to come.

IAAB: Yeah, I can’t wait! Thanks, Scott, for hanging out and eating ice cream with me! Good luck with this book and all the rest that are to come!

And finally, the give away!

And hopefully you all aren’t totally "giveaway-ed out" by now. If you’d like to win a signed ARC copy of this book, Farworld: Water Keep by J. Scott Savage, let me know in a comment on this post and I’ll draw a winner from those comments on August 15. Double your chances if you post about my contest in your blog! (We can only do US and Canada addresses this time... sorry. :( )

Now, I’m outa here to go camping for the weekend, so when I get back, I hope to see a bunch of comments coming in... even from those of you who I know are readers, but never commenters! Now’s your chance to speak up!


  1. Do I get double chances for being the first to post a comment?

    Sounds like a great book! One that my kids and I would all really like.

    Great review and interview!

  2. Yeah! What a tour stop. Your interview questions were very original. I'm glad you liked this book too. (I already had my tour stop and already have this book, so no need to enter me in the giveaway.)

    Jessica @ The Bluestocking Society

  3. I'd love to read this! Please enter me in the giveaway.

  4. That was a great review and interview! I especially love the fact that you've got your kiddo reading the book.

    Nope, not all give-awayed out. I've been signing up to try to win a copy of this book all over the galaxy. Apparently, the galaxy and I are at odds. I'm spinning off away from the winning number piles. So, heck, sign me up and I'll try, again! :)

  5. I'd like to enter. Thanks.

  6. This comment has been removed by the author.

  7. I really enjoyed your review and the interview you did with the author. Loved the questions you asked him! I revised my post about your review/interview. Hope your trip went well. :) -Michelle

  8. Oooh, I'm glad I"m not too late! Please enter me in the contest...I love YA fantasy. On a side note, what did this author look and act like? Demeanor? Habits? I'm going to link to you on my blog to "double" my chances too. :)

  9. Great post! I'm interested in the book!

  10. The book sounds fascinating. I love these kinds of books. I'll have to check it out even if I don't win the giveaway. I bet my son would enjoy it too!

  11. LOOOOOVED the review - what total fun that must have been to review an actual author!!! And how neat that he is from your local area. I thought your questions were great. I am intrigued by the idea that a person can write a BOOK while listening to music! No way! I am with him in thinking that complete quiet would be best.

    Please enter me in the drawing --- my 11 yr old is very excited to read this book SOON! I will be kind and let her read first but I am looking forward to reading this story too!

    Keep up the great blogging! Melanie

  12. Stopping off from the "ning" site. :) Wish I had known about this earlier. I'd have blogged about it.

    Glad you were one of the spots, because I love this post.

  13. Thanks so much for the great interview. And tell your son that he totally rocks! My highest praise is having picky younger readers like Farworld, because they are my target audience. Thanks again for joining the tour and the fun interview. Sorry I'm just getting around to commenting.



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