My rating: 5 of 5 stars
Haven, the last and final (insert sobs) installment of Elle Casey’s Apocalypsis series did not disappoint. I almost didn’t want to read it because I did not want to say goodbye to my friends. I have loved this series from start to finish.
Haven starts off exactly where it ended. Bryn and her followers had just settled into the prison that they called home and which they named Haven. Hordes of new kids have come to join them, swearing their loyalty to Bryn and Haven at the door. The newcomers and the old characters have to get their new home into shape and figure out how to live in a strange, cruel world. Haven is to be exactly that, a Haven from the cruelty of the canners (kids that eat other kids), where they can start over again. Together, Bryn and Peter, along with the others must do whatever is possible to start a new life. Regardless of the end of the world feel, teenagers will be teenagers and love and hormones still take root. Bryn is still with Bodo, whom she feels that she must be truthful with. Paci is also back on the scene. When Bryn comes clean with Bodo, all kinds of romantic hell breaks loose and decisions must be made.
When the canners invade the swamp, Bryn and a few of her crew step in to help. This book has heartbreak, betrayal, love, struggle, and most importantly, the constant support of friends and teenagers that must grow up while fighting to make their place in the world. I was constantly amazed at the solutions they came up with and the steady determination they had to survive and start over. There are many unexpected happenings, as well as many sad, tear-filled moments. The ending actually did it for me. I felt like I could close the book and feel good about it. Full of new and old characters, people you love and people you love to hate, Haven is a must-read end to a brilliant series.
APOCALYPSIS SERIES LINKS ON AMAZON:
Connect With Elle Casey:
Here it is Ladies and Gentlemen, the much anticipated interview with Elle Casey. She is the author of so many great books and has many more coming out this year. She is responsible for the awesomeness (I think Jason is rubbing off on me lol) of the ‘War of the Fae’ series, ‘Vampire Seasons’, ‘Desperate Measures’, ‘Apocalypsis’, and ‘Wrecked’. She is also cranking out books left and right for the rest of the year. I am so looking forward to the spin-off series of ‘The War of the Fae’, which is called ‘Clash of the Otherworlds’. I will quit being a fan girl though, and let Elle Casey speak for herself. I hope you enjoy this interview as much as I did. Please share it everywhere it can be shared, you can reblog it, facebook it, tweet it…whatever floats your boat. Also, please like this page at the bottom if you liked this interview. I am also sure Elle would LOVE reader comments. Lets show some support for the Indie authors we ♥
Elle, I love your books. What made you decide you wanted to write? Why YA novels?
I read an article about Amanda Hocking last December and the success she had being an indie (self-published author). It inspired me to finish the novel Wrecked, which I’d been working on for years, on and off. I never finished it before because I’m a very impatient person by nature, and the idea of hounding agents to represent me and waiting for an agent to find a publisher just seemed like it could never happen – like winning the lottery. I had a life, a family, work … better things to do with my time, essentially. But when I found out I could publish the book myself, that changed the whole deal for me. I finished the book in about 6 weeks or so, had it edited, and published it. (And the rest, as they say, is history. lol) — I write YA simply because it’s my favorite genre to read. I’ve written one adult novel so far and enjoyed the process, and I will write more of it, but my heart is still with YA.
What made you move to France? How is life different living in a foreign country?
I needed more adventure in my life, and France was perfect for that. I crave what I call “controlled adventure”. Safe but awesome stuff. You won’t find me in the Amazonian jungle, but a country with wine that flows like water and over 4,000 cheeses? Sign me up. I also wanted my kids to experience another culture and become bi-lingual. I feared that as Americans who had never lived anywhere else, they were getting a somewhat skewed view of the world. France’s language, culture, and people have been near to my heart since I was young. My mom majored in French in college and was always throwing French phrases around at our house. Then I took French in high school. As an adult I visited a few times. I guess I could never get it out of my system. We were originally only going to stay here for a year – but we’ve decided to stay indefinitely because we love it so much. And now that I write for a living, it’s possible for me to live anywhere in the world that I have an internet connection.
The first book I read of yours was ‘Wrecked’. I loved the characters. It reminded me of the dynamics of high school. Do you have a hard time writing from a teenagers point of view?
No, I think I find it easy for two reasons: First, I have two of them at home; and second, because I’m very immature – practically still a teenager myself sometimes. 🙂
What do you think of sex in YA novels?
I think if an author is writing for older YA audiences (teens 15+) it’s perfectly okay. Why? Because that’s when most teens become sexually active (or their friends do), so it’s real; it’s a realistic world the author creates when it reflects the realities of a teen’s life. I wouldn’t use it in Middle-Grade YA, though. And I do have a middle-grade YA series coming out next year, so my 8-year-old can have something of mine to read. I have one chapter done, just because I had to get it out of my head, and it has the word poop in it a lot (I did mention earlier that I’m immature, right?) — I know some readers don’t agree that YA should ever have sex, violence, drugs, or any of the things some find “inappropriate” for teens who aren’t yet married adults. But those people, in my opinion, want authors to create unrealistic fantasy worlds; and even in fantasy worlds, I like to keep it real, if you know what I mean. I manage reader expectations by warning them there is foul language or sex or whatever in the books – then they can make an informed decision about whether to read it or not. And if I forget to warn about it in the blurb, my readers mention it in reviews, so it’s not a secret what’s in my books.
Most of your books have bad language in them. I, for one, think it makes them hilarious and more realistic. Teenagers have bad mouths lol, and that is just a fact. What do you say to people that do not approve of bad language in YA books? Where do you come up with some of the stuff your characters say?
I tell anyone who doesn’t like the swearing in my books to go to H.E. double hockey sticks. JUST KIDDING!! Seriously. I never say that to reader. I adore my readers, even the ones like my Uncle Doug who think cussing is the devil’s work. When a reader complains (which has happened twice in an email to me, and has been negatively mentioned in a handful of reviews) I tell them that I write in what I consider to be a realistic style and suggest they seek out middle-grade YA for more tame language or even traditionally published YA, because publishers tend to eliminate most cuss words from their books — Everything my characters say comes from the voices in my head, so I guess that tells you a lot about me, doesn’t it? 🙂
I absolutely loved Jayne in the ‘War of the Fae’ series. Is her character based on anyone you know?
Hell yes. Me.
Which do you like better: writing fantasy books like the ‘War of the Fae’ series or more realistic books such as ‘Wrecked’? I also know that you have written a chick lit book. I still need to read it! How was that different from writing YA?
I prefer fantasy and science fiction because believe it or not, it’s easier for me to write. I don’t have the same boundaries – if I can dream it and find a way to make is seem ‘possible’, it works in the story. Readers of realistic work (like Action/Adventure) have a problem when you portray things unrealistically; and of course, if you portray it too realistically, you get accused of writing things that are too cliché. Makes me crazy. I like the freedom of writing fantasy where readers are mentally prepared to play in my world, and I can build it how I want. — Chick lit is different in that I have to move out of the teen realm and move into grown-up realm. Everything’s different from clothes, to language, to habits, to behaviors … I have to make a big shift mentally to go into chick lit, but since I enjoy reading in that genre too, it’s not too big a stretch for me. Plus sometimes I actually have to act like an adult, so I know how to write it realistically, I think.
Why did you write your chick/lit book under the Kat Lee pen name, but immediately out yourself as Elle Casey?
The reason for using the different pen name was twofold: First, I am doing that project and any chick lit books I write with my mom. We’re business partners, I guess you could say. She’s handling the promotion for me and giving me lots of beta reading along the way as I write. Second, it’s not young adult, and the sex is a lot more grown-up and explicit, so I didn’t want to risk a young adult reader who actually is a young adult (I have mostly adult readers, even for the YA books) to pick it up thinking it’s young adult and have their parents get all up in my grill over it (I already get enough grief over the very vanilla sex scene in Wrecked). So a different name made it easier to say, “Hey! This is a sexy book! Maybe not for your fourteen-year-old!” But, on the other hand, I wanted readers who enjoy my writing style – many of whom ask me on a regular basis when I’m going to have new stuff to read – to have access to it without having to hunt for it too hard. The majority of my readers are adults, so I figured if they read chick lit and liked my YA stuff, maybe they’d enjoy that too.
Who is your favorite character, besides Jayne, in the ‘War of the Fae’ and why?
Tim the pixie. He’s hilarious and has lots of secrets I’m dying to know. Plus, I’m a sucker for a misunderstood guy.
Which book is your favorite out of all the books you wrote?
I honestly like them all. Wrecked was my first, and I think as I continued to write, each book got better. So if you want to know which one I think is the best from a technical standpoint, I’d say whatever the most recent one is. I become more skilled with each attempt. But my favorite world so far is the War of the Fae world. And that series is my most popular with readers, too.
If you could be any type of paranormal creature/person, what would you be?
And elemental of course. Mother Fucking Nature, baby. [Quote from War of the Fae, people. Don’t email me that you’re offended by my language. It wasn’t me! I swear!]
I just finished your new book, Apocalypsis. Where did the idea from that book come from?
I have been intrigued by the idea of kids living without parents since I was very young. I was always dreaming up scenarios like that and read books with those themes whenever I could find them. I even left home when I was 17, frustrated with the adults in my life. All of my books in the YA world have an element of teens surviving without adults or living more independently. I guess I just love the concept. As a teen I was depressed a lot and felt very lost and misunderstood, which caused me to want to live away from the adult influences in my life. The memories of those times have never left me and I want to write for people who also might have felt that way before. In my stories, you can escape for a little while and live that “what if” fantasy.
Do you really think that teenagers could survive without adults in a post-apocalyptic world?
Of course. Kids can be very resourceful when left to their own devices. Plus we’re hard-wired to survive.
What is one piece of advice you would give your kids if they were in the situation the characters of Apocalypsis are in?
Stick together, don’t give up, kick ass when you need to, and don’t forget to be kind to each other.
I also have to know because it was just a few days ago that you posted that the first draft of Apocalypsis was finished, and yet the second book comes out in a month…how do you write books so fast? What is your secret?
I’m a cyborg. Shhh. Don’t tell.
What is coming up for you after the Apocalypsis books?
Here’s my schedule for the rest of 2012: Apocalypsis 2 (July), Apocalypsis 3 (August), Clash of the Otherworlds [COTOW] 1 (September), COTOW 2 (October), COTOW 3 (November), Vampire Seasons 2 (November), Reckless, [sequel to Wrecked] (December), Desperate Measures 2 (December). And in 2013: Desperate Measures 3 (January), joint project with Jason “Dead Muskrat on His Head” Brant (February), and then, who knows? More YA series, including a middle-grade one starring an 8-year-old girl named Goo and her 2-year-old brother Looshie. I might also take a vacation for a couple weeks at some point.
Jason Brant told me to ask you why you were such a douche and how do you deal with his awesomeness lol, but you don’t have to answer that, if you don’t want to ♥
Well. You can tell Jason from me that … no. Wait. Let me start over. A-hem. The reason why Jason calls me a douche is because the word douche means ‘shower’ in French (and I live in France, so he’s always being cute and using French words with me), so it’s his sneaky way of ‘showering’ me with affection. It’s a cute little thing he does while guzzling cheap beer and huffing glue over his keyboard. I deal with Jason’s awesomeness by writing ten times as many books as he does in a year. BOOYAH, JASON! Why don’t you spread that on your toast and eat it, Muskrat Head! … wait … did I actually just write that?
Thank you so much for answering my questions! I cannot wait to read whatever is coming next from you. I am also so excited by the prospect of a Elle/Jason book. It is going to be one wild ride!
I hope you enjoyed that interview. Please do not forget to share this anyway you like, facebook, twitter, blog…anywhere you can. I am also sure Elle would enjoy reader comments/questions. Elle is also on facebook and Twitter, as well as has her own website. I am sure that she would love to connect with you on these. Please also ‘like’ my facebook page and/or follow my blog for more great reviews and interviews that will be coming soon.
(Elle’s website) http://ellecasey.com/
(Elle’s Facebook) http://www.facebook.com/ellecaseytheauthor
(My Facebook) http://www.facebook.com/cynthiashepp
Links to some of Elle’s Books! I hope you give them all a chance.
I am so excited to be announcing this! Tomorrow I will post an interview with Elle Casey. You will not want to miss this. She is the Indie author of the ‘War of the Fae’ series, ‘Wrecked’, ‘Vampire Seasons’, ‘Desperate Measures’ (pen name Kat Lee), and most recently ‘Apocalypsis Book 1-Kahayatle’. She has a boatload of new books coming out this year. I do not know how she does it! She is a wonderful and hilarious author and person. I hope you tune in for this event. You will learn so much about her and her writing. Something will be revealed that I think is just SO cool!!
I also have reviews up for the ‘War of the Fae’ series and for ‘Apocalypsis’ here on my blog. I would love for you to check those out!
I hope that if you do tune in that you will share the interview everywhere that you can think of…Facebook, your blog…everywhere. I would also love it if you would ‘like’ my Facebook page and follow my blog. I have so much more great stuff coming up soon. I know that Elle Casey would love for you to check out her website and Facebook page as well!
Let’s show some support for the Indie Authors we l♥ve by tuning in and sharing this news and the interview tomorrow!
I am going to post a few links to some of her books here and tomorrow at the interview. I hope you check them out if you have not already! They are mostly YA and oh so good!
Apocalypsis Book 1: Kahayatle
Elle Casey has done it again. Created a world that drags you in and won’t let you go. I think I am a little bit in love with her brain lol, at least the imagination part of it. I love books that make me root for the characters, and this one has you rooting from the very first page. This is a 3 book YA series.
Just imagine a world where there are no adults and no children, nothing but hormonal teenagers left alive. This is the world that 17 year-old Bryn lives in. All of the adults and children, including her beloved father, have died of a mysterious disease. Bryn is all alone in an unforgiving world, where danger lurks just outside her front door, and starvation is only a tin can away. But Bryn is no helpless little girl. Her father taught her to survive, taught her Krav Maga and taught her how to “Go American White Girl All Over Your Ass”. (I hear more than a hint of Jason Brant in that statement lol!)
Bryn thinks she needs nothing and no one until the day she almost runs out of food and decides to explore the house behind her. Despite the gangs raging through the streets, taking whatever they want, Bryn decides it is worth investigating. She gets more than she bargains for in this decision.
Cue Peter into the story. A small, skinny boy that holds up Bryn with a .357 magnum and instead of killing her, worms his way into her heart. Peter may be weak, but he knows who he is, which is a smart and able…even in a pair of too big red high heels. Bryn decides to take him in and realizes that Peter has a hell of a story to tell, one that changes their lives forever.
They decide that they have to leave where they are because the danger is too great to stay. There are “Canners” running the streets (I’m not going to spoil it by telling you what Canners are!), and after a confrontation that leaves one dead, Bryn, Peter and a naked pink poodle named Buster, hit the road on mountain bikes; hoping to find a new place to start a life.
There they meet the third member of their newly formed family, Bodo. He is a German exchange student that lost his family. He is cute, has an accent and a happy disposition. They take him in and continue on their journey. They are headed to a place they think that they can survive in and maybe that others won’t find them. A place to get lost in…and a place to start a new life in.
The journey they take to get there is often times hilarious, filled with raunchy teenage humor. “Peter has to go do a doodle. No poodles allowed during doodle time!” I will never hear the word doodle again without dying laughing. Bryn is loyal, hilarious and a bad ass. Peter is sweet, and strong despite his small stature. He is often funny at times as well. Bodo, well, he is just a big puppy dog. Always happy, always willing to help out, and would do anything for his new family…especially Bryn! “Dat’s not a problem.”
Their journey also has plenty of heartbreak. I found myself with tears in my eyes quite a few times. They meet many new characters along the way, some good, some bad, and some just so sad that you feel it in the bottom of your heart.
They do make it to their goal, but this is where my review stops. I refuse to tell you anymore because that would just ruin the story. Just know that they have many adventures waiting for them in their new home, and if you want to know what happens to Bryn, Peter, Bodo and Buster, well, you need to read the book! Also, if you are curious what “Kahayatle” means, as I was, go grab the book and give it a chance. You will not regret it. Once I started this book, I was hard pressed to put it down. I kept snickering and laughing out loud at the book and my husband kept telling me “You are so weird”.
Once again, if I have talked you into reading this book, please leave a review where you bought it. Every review helps the author. I am inserting a link below for the book. I hope you give it a chance!
Also, I would love it if you would ‘like’ my facebook page if you enjoyed this review. Thanks!