Thursday, July 3, 2014

"The Grower's Gift" by Vanna Smythe

The Grower's Gift
(Progeny of Time Book 1)
by Vanna Smythe

The Grower's Gift is the first book in Vanna Smythe's Progeny of Time series for young adults. Coming soon: Sanctuary and The Destroyer's Dream.
This book blast and giveaway is brought to you by Masquerade Book Tours. Please be sure to visit the other participating blogs as well.

The future is bleak in the year 2102. The planet is in chaos and the weather patterns have completely shifted, turning most of the world into an uninhabited wasteland.
The rich and powerful of North America have pulled back into the six remaining megacities, erasing all trace of a central government and leaving millions displaced by the environmental crisis to fend for themselves in the dying world.
Sixteen-year-old Maya has a gift, a power she thinks can heal the earth and make it habitable again. A gift that she must learn to harness. The school for the gifted in Neo York is the only place where she can learn to control her power and reach her potential.
Yet the school is not what it seems. Ran by the ruthless head of the city of Neo York, the school’s only objective is to extract the powers of the gifted and then discard them. Only Ty, heir to the city, can keep Maya from being destroyed there.
But Ty has a secret and his loyalty to his family has never wavered. Will his growing love for Maya be strong enough to save them both?

Ty stopped by a nearly empty stall, behind which a woman with a heavily wrinkled face and dark grey hair sat. Only a small jewelry box and a bracelet made of brown grass and clear blue beads lay on the tabletop in front of her. No one was trading anything for those two things.
She smiled up at him, though her grey eyes were so unfocused he doubted she saw more than his outline. He picked up the box and examined the flowers worked into its surfaces. Meticulously carved, not a line out of place. His little sister Eve would love it.
“How much for the box?” he asked the woman.
“Some bread if you have it. Or at least enough flour to make some,” the woman said in a raspy voice.
“All I have to trade is money.”
“Money? What would I do with money?” the woman chuckled, then a coughing fit took her.
Ty sat the box back on the tabletop.
“No, no. Take it. And this bracelet to go with it. It is made from real aquamarine and wheat grass. It will ward away any and all evil energy from the person who wears it. Aquamarine’s even been known to stop the flow of magic right in its tracks. Here, hold out your arm, I will affix it for you.”
Ty ignored Rober’s shocked gasp as he stretched out his right arm. A cool stream of water seemed to flow up his arm as soon as the stones touched his skin. Maybe it really worked. Usually, the freezing cold only ever ran down his arm. Not that he liked to think of his power at all.
“How much for the box and the bracelet?”
The woman smiled again. “Keep your money, young man. These two things are the last of what I have to trade, unless you count the clothes on my back. Only then I would have to walk around naked.”
The woman laughed at her own dark joke and slowly rose from her stool.

Featured Review
The Grower’s Gift is a strikingly original and thought-provoking story that allows the reader to foresee a future where the environmental issues we face now have spun out of control.
Author Vanna Smythe enables us to envision the world she has created with ease. The characters and situations are brought fully to life in an all-too-real manner. The hopelessness and despair that exists in a world where natural resources have diminished and all except the rich are struggling to survive, is offered a glimmer of hope when Maya endeavors to develop her gift. Maya leaves her home to study at a school in Neo York that will help her develop her gift and share it with the world. Only as it turns out the school is not as altruistic as Maya had believed. There is also Ty whom Maya has developed feelings but is not sure about trusting. He is the heir to Neo York and comes from a privileged family.
Smythe is able to weave together a multi-faceted story involving youth, love, romance, fear, suspense, catastrophe, environmental failures and hope. There are many unexpected twists and turns that keep you on your toes. Maya is a beautiful character and a great example to the young people who read this book. She is kind and gentle yet strong and brave, intelligent, noble and beautiful. It is about time someone introduced this kind of heroine to modern literature.
I highly recommend it and am anxiously awaiting the next book in the series!

About the Author
Vanna Smythe is the author of the Anniversary of the Veil fantasy trilogy and The Grower's Gift, the first book in a new YA dystopian series. She has been writing creatively since her early teens, though one could say her creative writing efforts started long before that. While still in kindergarten, she once tore up a library book to make alphabet soup, and has been fascinated with what words can do, the pictures and worlds they can create, ever since.
The Progeny of Time YA Dystopian series was inspired by the bleak future presented in The Hunger Games, the fight between good and evil played out in Harry Potter, and the TV show Heroes, but with a totally unique story and twist. The story is equally fun for teens as well as adults. The second book in the series will be released in July 2014

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Plus, everyone can download a FREE copy of Protector (Anniversary of the Veil Book 1) by Vanna Smythe.