Publisher: Flux

Review: The Abyss Surrounds Us by Emily Skrutskie

Posted June 20, 2016 by Emily in Review / 1 Comment

Review: The Abyss Surrounds Us by Emily SkrutskieThe Abyss Surrounds Us by Emily Skrutskie
Series: The Abyss Surrounds Us #1
Published by Flux on February 8th 2016
Genres: LGBT, Fantasy, Dystopian
Pages: 273
Source: library
Buy on Amazon
four-half-stars

For Cassandra Leung, bossing around sea monsters is just the family business. SheÂ’s been a Reckoner trainer-in-training ever since she could walk, raising the genetically-engineered beasts to defend ships as they cross the pirate-infested NeoPacific. But when the pirate queen Santa Elena swoops in on CasÂ’s first solo mission and snatches her from the bloodstained decks, CasÂ’s dream of being a full-time trainer seems dead in the water.
ThereÂ’s no time to mourn. Waiting for her on the pirate ship is an unhatched Reckoner pup. Santa Elena wants to take back the seas with a monster of her own, and she needs a proper trainer to do it. She orders Cas to raise the pup, make sure he imprints on her ship, and, when the time comes, teach him to fight for the pirates. If Cas fails, her blood will be the next to paint the sea.
But Cas has fought pirates her entire life. And she's not about to stop.

IÂ’ve posted numerous times about how this was one of my most anticipated books of 2015. The description hooked me immediately. I was so excited about this book that I actually became cautious because I was afraid that it looked too good. IÂ’ve been burned too many times by books that have an incredible description but thatÂ’s the best part about it. Luckily, this book lived up to the hype. Pirates, sea monsters, complete with a monster wrangler, a dystopian world and a slow burn romance make this book a must read.

I loved CasÂ’s relationship with her reckoners. She was an animal trainer, and like any trainer she formed a bond and they became a team. I know and work with numerous guide dog teams and Emily Skrutskie got this 100% right. This was a big part of the book and it could have gone very badly. Emily Skrutskie managed to make the training of an animal that she made up sound interesting at every turn. Animal training is a time consuming and multi-step process that this story captured but never made boring.

Another thing important aspect of this story that Emily Skrutskie got absolutely right was the slow burn romance between Cas and Swift. When they first meet and throughout the story, Cas is a captive of the pirates. She is there as a prisoner. There is a very real power imbalance between Cas and Swift. Cas canÂ’t give consent because she is SwiftÂ’s prisoner. All of this is out in the open in the story and clearly discussed. Cas wonÂ’t start something with Swift while they are not on equal footing and Swift respects that. ThatÂ’s how it should be.

If thereÂ’s any complaint I have about this story, itÂ’s that I wanted more. More information about the supporting cast, more scenes with Santa Elena, more world building and descriptions of the world, more everything. I thought the story itself was great. It was surprising, fun and engrossing and lead perfectly into the sequel. Still, I wouldnÂ’t have complained if it was 100 pages longer.

four-half-stars

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Debut Author Bash: Emily Skrutski

Posted June 13, 2016 by Emily in Blog Tour, Events and Features, interview / 2 Comments

Debut Author Bash: Emily Skrutski

Debut Author Bash: Emily SkrutskiThe Abyss Surrounds Us by Emily Skrutskie
Series: The Abyss Surrounds Us #1
Published by Flux on February 8th 2016
Genres: Young Adult, Fantasy, Sci Fi
Pages: 273
Buy on Amazon

For Cassandra Leung, bossing around sea monsters is just the family business. SheÂ’s been a Reckoner trainer-in-training ever since she could walk, raising the genetically-engineered beasts to defend ships as they cross the pirate-infested NeoPacific. But when the pirate queen Santa Elena swoops in on CasÂ’s first solo mission and snatches her from the bloodstained decks, CasÂ’s dream of being a full-time trainer seems dead in the water.
ThereÂ’s no time to mourn. Waiting for her on the pirate ship is an unhatched Reckoner pup. Santa Elena wants to take back the seas with a monster of her own, and she needs a proper trainer to do it. She orders Cas to raise the pup, make sure he imprints on her ship, and, when the time comes, teach him to fight for the pirates. If Cas fails, her blood will be the next to paint the sea.
But Cas has fought pirates her entire life. And she's not about to stop.

For the second year, I’m thrilled to be participating in the YaReads New Author Bash! Hosted by Ya Reads, this is a fantastic opportunity to celebrate new authors! I won the lottery and I’m so excited to introduce Emily Skrutskie! I just love the book, The Abyss Surrounds Us and IÂ’m so excited to have her on my blog today! 

What was your writing process for TASU? How long did it take you to write?

I actually wrote TASU during the spring semester of my junior year of college. I kept a consistent but relatively light schedule—I tried to write at least 300 words every day, stealing time between classes and before I collapsed in bed each night. It was my most difficult semester of college academically, and it seems impossible that I somehow passed all my classes AND wrote a book at the same time.

Which character do you think is most like you? How about the character that is least like yourself?

As a fellow blue-eyed, bad-haired, ridiculously self-sacrificing, will-do-anything-for-approval person, I’m going to have to go with Swift. Least like me is a trickier question, since I feel like I infused bits of myself into every character in some way or another. Maybe Lemon—Lemon rarely speaks unless necessary, and I’m always unnecessarily speaking.

Is there any news about a sequel or a companion novel to TASU?

The sequel has been written. Things are in motion. Beyond that, I canÂ’t say, but I really appreciate everyoneÂ’s patience! ItÂ’s coming!

What authors inspire you and why?

Maggie Stiefvater for her ridiculously good writing and characters. Leigh Bardugo for her rich worlds and richer wit. Victoria Schwab for her sense of rhythm and her hustle.

Tell us about your journey to get TASU published. Did you always know that you were going to be an author?

I always knew I wanted to be an author, but it was a bit of a surprise when that dream started coming true all of a sudden during my senior year of college. I had been querying books with the intent of getting published since I was fifteen, and TASU was my third. But unusually enough, my editor actually scouted me at an online writing conference and made an offer on TASU before I had even started to query! So I kind of went into this publishing thing backwards, but it worked out!

Do you have any pets? I would love to see pictures!

I donÂ’t have any pets, but I live with my parents and they have a dog! HereÂ’s a picture of us hanging out:

Where can we find more information about you and your books on the web?

My website is skrutskie.com, and you can always reach out to me on Twitter at @skrutskie!

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S.F.D. Open Letter to Emily Skrutskie

S.F.D. Open Letter to Emily Skrutskie

It’s that time again! Agent E reporting for duty!  As part of Sassy and Dangerous Elite agents, I’m participating in different missions to feature the Debut Authors of 2016! I hope you enjoy today’s mission. Be sure to check out all the other agents who are also posting today. We all want to celebrate Debut Authors and show them all our love! Dear Ms. Skrutskie, May I call you Emily? We have the same name after all. You can be Emily and I will be Em. Or maybe we can create out cool nicknames for each other? We can work that out later. I’ll think on it. I asked you to come here today to celebrate your book! I first ran into the synopsis of your novel in a 2016 release catalog. I read the description and I was hooked! Your book was actually the first book I’ve ever emailed the publisher about to request! … We won’t talk about how that ended. I will however admit that I have requested your book twice on EW. It’s not working out for me. I just have to wait.  I am so excited for it to finally be released so that I can read it. In my last letter,  I revealed just how impatient I am. Waiting for your book is a daily struggle. I can’t express how a book about a […]

Posted November 2, 2015 by Emily in Blog Tour / 7 Comments
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