Friday, January 27, 2012

Apocalypsies Love! Book Review: Harbinger by Sara Wilson Etienne

Apocalypsies Love is all about me telling you what I loved about a 2012 debut book written by one of the amazing Apocalypsies. I also chat with the author to gain insight into their very favorite parts of their creation.

Today I am spotlighting HARBINGER, a book about a girl who is sent to a very special boarding school and must walk the "path". 

So the first thing I really liked about HARBINGER is that it's set in a near future where oil is rationed, where trees are pretty much extinct after being harvested for firewood to survive freezing winters and people are really worried about the state of the world - is the apocalypse coming? 

Those who can afford it live in closed and guarded communities, and Faye has always stood out because of her visions and nightmares.  Her parents decide to drop her off at boarding school where she can hopefully get help.  The boarding school turns out to be an even bigger nightmare for Faye though - it's run a bunch of sadistic staff members who try to break Faye and her classmates.  Faye forms a bond with her "family" group of students - all who wake up every morning from their drugged sleep with blood on their hands.  And it gets weirder from there.

HARBINGER is a trip, an exciting mystery with a killer ending.

Now let's talk to Sara!

What is your favorite scene in the book?

In one of the early scenes, Faye is up on the roof of the Holbrook dorms. It’s the first time she feels connected to this place and the scene’s been with me since I started writing the book. For a long time, readers found the scene confusing and I tried again and again to do justice to what I imagined in my mind. I finally succeeded and now I feel like my vision is there on the page. That makes the scene very important to me. Plus I love that moment.

What is your favorite line in the book?

The last line. But I’m NOT telling! There is nothing like writing that last line of a story and knowing that it’s just right.

What setting was most fun to write?

There are a lot of tall cliffs and mysterious buildings in Harbinger, but my favorite place to write was actually solitary confinement. Shutting your character in the dark really forces you to focus on all the senses we often think of as secondary. This extra sensory layer gives an intimacy to the scene that was really fun to work with.

Who is your favorite supporting character - one you could see getting a spin-off book - and why?

That’s hard! I love all of Faye’s Holbrook “Family.” Nami was probably my favorite to write, with her mohawk and eff-you attitude. But the person I became most interested in was Zach, with his Bizarro Superman shirt and his hidden courage. His backstory took on a life of it’s own, even though I barely got to touch on it, and he surprised me by who he became.

I enjoyed spending time with all the characters, so I can see how hard your choice was. What has been your favorite part of your publishing journey so far?

How amazing it is to work with an editor who sees where you want to go and knows how to ask the questions that get you there. It is a revelation!

Thanks Sara!


HARBINGER comes out on Feb 2, 2012.  Watch the trailer, visit Sara's website, and add it to Goodreads.

FTC disclosure: I received a review copy from the publisher.


Giada M. said...

I already preordered it and can't wait to read it. The trailer is fantastic!!!
Thank you for posting! :D

Unknown said...

Harbinger sounds exciting! I already love the cover. I just finished reading Variant, and the 2 books sound like they have a lot in common - boarding schools with extremely sinister secrets!

Sarah said...

Wow that cover is freaky. It kind of has a BDSM thing going for it.

Zibilee said...

I always love it when an author admits that his or her characters surprise them with the things they do or the traits they display as they are being written, it's always so fascinating to think about how that happens. Looking forward to this one. It sounds really freaky!

Melissa said...

I added it to Goodreads before I raed anything else. I LOVE that cover.