by Brittany Geragotelis
The Story: In 1692, when witch trials gripped the community of Salem, Massachusetts, twenty-six children were accused as witches, exiled, and left for dead. Fourteen of them survived. The Survivors is the first installment of the tantalizing tales of the fourteen ill-fated Survivors and their descendants, who have been content in hiding for over three centuries. Isolated on a Montana mountainside, only Sadie, the rogue daughter, dares to abandon the family's sacred hiding place. But no matter how far Sadie runs, something always pulls her back.
On a muggy summer night in Tennessee, she witnesses a shocking scene that will change her life forever. It is the first in a sequence of events that will drag her from the human world she's sought to belong to for over a century and send her back to her Puritanical family and into an uncertain future filled with cunning witches, mysterious nosferatu shape-shifters, dangerous eretica and vieczy vampires, millennia-old mythology, and the search for her own mortality. After all... HOW DO YOU KILL A SURVIVOR?
Why It's a Must-Read: A lot of research went into writing The Survivors. Besides the fact that it's loosely based on the Salem Witch Trials, the author Amanda Havard, really delved into the history of all monsters, supernatural beings, etc., which for someone like me who's intrigued by creepy-crawlies, was really cool. On top of that, she's created a world that's rich with interesting characters, and the story itself is beautifully written. Fans of Twilight will LOVE The Survivors....It's a much more creative and complicated book, but it will give you the love story you crave, along with all the supernatural elements that you loved so much from Bella and Edward's world.
What a Character: I really gravitated toward Sadie, our main character, because she's a strong-willed and independent woman. But on the flip-side, she's also desperately looking to make a connection. She's constantly on the search to find a place where she fits in, even though she knows that she's unlike anyone else in the world. And there's something about that that's incredibly endearing. I also really liked Mark and Ginny; Mark because of his easy-going attitude but fierce loyalty to Sadie, and Ginny because of her sweet and caring demeanor. But really, there are so many characters in this series that you're bound to connect with someone!
Namely, she's created a totally Immersive experience for her readers. If you buy her Immersedition from iTunes, you'll get extras that you can't find anywhere else. In this edition, you'll get links to documented moments in history throughout the book, that will give you more background info on specific parts. Amanda created a book soundtrack, both with existing artists, as well as singers/songwriters that she signed to her own music label, created specifically for this project (Some of her signed artists have been on "Glee" and "The Voice"). Amanda is an avid music junkie and felt very strongly that music was just another dimension needed to accurately tell the story.
On top of that, you can check out the cars the characters drive, as well as the clothes they wore, watch music videos for the soundtrack and link straight to the Twitter accounts for most of the characters, which date back to two years before the book was released. The Survivors is a truly unique experience and one that I see books heading toward in the future. Oh, and I had the pleasure of writing a blurb for the sequel, so you KNOW it's gotta be good!
Follow her on Twitter @AmandaHavard and then go out and buy her book!