Review + Interview || Riot of Storm and Smoke by Jennifer Ellision

Riot of Storm and Smoke
by Jennifer Ellision
Series:  Threats of Sky and Sea (#2)
Release date: August 18th 2015
Publisher: N/A
Genres: High fantasy
Age category: Young Adult
No. of pages:  239 pages (kindle edition)
War draws closer, like a tide to the shore.

Bree and her friends have escaped the clutches of the Egrian King, but their troubles are far from over. Still reeling from the secrets that drew new breath when her father took his last, Bree sets off for the safety of Nereidium-- the kingdom she's just learned is hers.

But with the King's ire at its peak and war a certainty, Nereidium is no longer safe. As Prince Caden rallies the Egrian people against his tyrant father, Bree, Princess Aleta, and Tregle race to the Nereid shore to warn them of the incoming danger—and to put the Nereid Princess on the throne.

The only trouble there: Bree can’t bring herself to reveal that the Princess is her.

It’s not a dilemma she can waste time pondering. With a new weapon in his arsenal, the King's strikes are sure to be bolder than ever before. And Bree may not be ready to wear a crown… but she won't let her kingdom down without a fight.
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My thoughts and whatnot

My rating: ★★
I had a great time reading this... in roughly two hours... on a school (uni) day.

So, I had a bumpy love-hate relationship with the first book. I had problem connecting with the characters and feeling sympathy to them. Anyway, this book is generally recommended to fans of Throne of Glass. But, uhm, I don't like that book. So, to say that I was skeptical was an understatement. I am really wary with books under high fantasy. BUT, thank goodness, this book was great! Great character and story development!

The main character Bree is now my favorite kick-ass heroine! Seriously, she's so, what do you call it, relate-able. And have I said that she's so kick-ass? I also like the other characters, special mention: Caden & Tregle. The supporting characters are easy to like because they do their job; which is to support the story and the leading character. I even like the antagonist, Kat. But there's this one character that annoys me so much. It was "Princess" Aleta. She's a primadonna, in my opinion.

I had some trouble getting past Jennifer Ellision's writing style. I mean, it was great but there's just something that I was looking for or maybe that's just Aleta. See? That shows my irritation with Aleta. Jennifer now gave way to multiple/dual, alternating, point of views, as opposed to the single pov in the first book.  I like the additional stuff, such as the letters sent and sneak peeks of other povs. I also love the world building. It was impeccably done. It was easy to imagine the world Jennifer describes in each word her character says and/or think. But what I love the most in this book? Was the "action." It was not overly done, not too much, it is just right.

Overall, it was a very enjoyable and swift read; I enjoyed the gripping and fast-paced storyline.

Did I like the ending? It was a fucking cliffhanger! How could I enjoy that? I need the next book!
Is it a page turner? I finished this book in more or less two hours, so... YEAH.
Would I re-read it again? Hell, yes!

Aside for having a copy of this book, I also had a chance in interviewing Jennifer Ellision! I'm now in love with her books so I'm so pumped up with this interview! Check out my interview below!


When did you first realize you wanted to be a writer?
At a very young age! I think I was around 7 or 8 when I started writing. I considered a few other careers (pop star, editor, journalist…) but ultimately I love reading and I couldn’t think of anything better than letting someone escape into a story I’d created like other authors had been allowing me to for years.

How long did it take you to write this book?
Riot of Storm and Smoke took me about a year and a half to write and edit, since I was writing around a time-consuming full-time job. I don’t intend for Book 3 in the series, Fall of Thrones and Thorns, to take me that long!

Where do you get ideas for your books?
I find that it’s different for each book. For instance, in Threats of Sky and Sea, which is Book 1 in this series, a scene jumped into my head: two girls were arguing and one of them pushed the other into the fire. She didn’t burn. I was at work at the time and immediately sat down on my break to write that scene. It didn’t make it to the final draft, but it inspired the whole story.

For other books (including the one I’m working on now that isn’t a part of the Threats of Sky and Sea series), I find that getting to know the characters that show up in my head really drives the books.

Why did you choose to write fantasy? Why not contemporary or sci-fi or other genre?
Well, the original scene that inspired Threats heavily implied fantasy, but I’ve been a fantasy fan since I was a teenager and devouring works by Tamora Pierce, as well as Sailor Moon fanfiction. But I love a lot of different genres, so I intend to write others!

Will you be writing books with genres other than fantasy?
Yes! As a matter of fact, my next release is a contemporary romance. It’s titled Now and Again, and it will be out later this year.

What do you do when you're not writing?
I read! And I watch a lot of TV and movies. Basically, I’m all about a good story. Other than that, on my good days, I try to get a work-out in, and I like to get together with family and friends for some laughter and good conversation.

Can you describe your writing process?
Ah, this is a tough one because my writing process is… not a definitive thing. Sometimes, I write linearly. Sometimes, I jump ahead to a scene I’m looking forward to. Sometimes, I write every day. Sometimes, I need a day in between long writing marathons. One thing that seems to hold true across my “process” is that (right now, anyway) I’m a “pantser" and I find I am most into my story when the first draft is done and I can revise. For me, that’s where the magic happens.

Do you have writing inspirations? Who are they?
Tons. First and foremost, Tamora Pierce. Her works definitely had a formative influence on me. I read and reread them during my teenage years. More recently, I’ve been inspired by the beautiful prose of Kristin Cashore, Rae Carson, Laini Taylor, and Franny Billingsley, though my work doesn’t always lend itself to that style. I also love to follow the works of Marissa Meyer and Victoria Schwab. Their dedication to their craft is inspiring.

What does your family think of your writing?
They’re very proud! My family and friends have been nothing but encouraging.

What was one of the most surprising things you learned in creating your books?
How much I enjoy revisions! I was a Creative Writing major in college, but for some reason, I always resisted making major edits in the final drafts I submitted. Now, from my first draft to my final, my work always undergoes significant change.

Would there be a companion novel/s to Threats of Sky and Sea series?
Well, I’m not ruling anything out, but at this time, I don’t have plans for anything set in the Threats world that’s not a part of the series… though I currently have 2 prequel shorts in the series out now, and I plan on releasing another in December.

How did you come up with the book title?
Author Jamie Grey (of The Star Thief Chronicles) helped me brainstorm a title for Threats of Sky and Sea and I knew I wanted the other novels in the series to have a similar format. Riot of Storm and Smoke was easy to come up with because it was indicative of the elements at play in Book 2, as well as a sense that the stakes are heightened. In Book 1, there were only “threats,” but now, in Book 2, things have come to a head… a “riot” has started.

Is there anything you would like to change in your latest book?
Nope! I changed everything that I was unhappy with during edits or revisions and Riot of Storm and Smoke is a book that I’m very happy with.

Can you describe the characters in this book?
Hmmmm… there are so many characters, this time around! But I think something that most of the characters are in Riot of Storm and Smoke is increasingly desperate. Like I mentioned, the stakes are higher, so there’s more to lose.

What's next for you?
That contemporary romance that I mentioned— Now and Again. I also plan to release another Threats of Sky and Sea prequel short before the end of the year, called Breathe In. And next year will bring the conclusion of the Threats of Sky and Sea series in Book 3, Fall of Thrones and Thorns.


About the author:
Jennifer Ellision spent a great deal of her childhood staying up past her bedtime with a book and a flashlight. When she couldn’t find the stories she wanted to read, she started writing them. She loves words, has a soft spot for fanfiction, and is a master of the fangirl flail. She resides in South Florida with her family, where she lives in fear of temperatures below 60 Fahrenheit.

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A copy of Threats of Sky and Sea Riot of Storm and Smoke, and your choice of pre-order for: Queen of Shadows by Sarah J. Maas, Six of Crows by Leigh Bardugo, or Truthwitch by Susan Dennard 08/30
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