World of Shell and Bone
By Adriana Ryan
In a world ravaged by a nuclear holocaust, Vika Cannon knows there are no guarantees: no guarantees of safety, no guarantees that your neighbor is not actually a spy for the government, and no guarantees you’ll be allowed to emigrate to a new life in Asia.
New Amana (as the North and South American continents are now called) is dying. Food and water are scarce, and people suffering from radiation-caused mutations—the Nukeheads—are the new class of homeless. To control the conditions, the government operates under a totalitarian regime.
Every resident of New Amana has only one purpose. Females must produce healthy progeny using Husbands the Match Clinic assigns. Unhealthy children are carted away to Asylums to be experimented on, just as Vika’s little sister was, eight years ago. Parents incapable of producing healthy progeny are put to death in gas chambers.
When Vika Cannon is assigned a Husband shortly after her twentieth birthday, she expects him to be complacent and obedient. But Shale Underwood has a secret. He is a member of the Radicals, the terrorist group intent on overthrowing the government. And Shale has information about Vika’s sister, Ceres.
As she learns more about the Rads’s plan, Vika finds herself drawn to Shale in ways she’d never imagined. When freedom calls in the way of a healthy pregnancy, will she betray her government and risk death for Shale and Ceres?
My View: Gah! Just Look at that cover. I’m in love with it. I keep going back to look at it again and again. What do you think of it?
When I started reading this book, I found myself comparing or rather identifying it with Eve (Eve, #1) by Anna Carey and Matched (Matched, #1) by Ally Condie. But as I progressed with my reading, I found World of Shell and Bone making its own place in the bookish world with an innovative world-building and an entirely different storyline.
The book hooked me right in and I devoured it in less than a day since I couldn’t possibly part with it. The editing is flawless, not a single extra word is written. The speed with which the book moves is thrilling and captivating.
The characters are well-built and as I love myself a strong female character, Vika fit the bill perfectly.
The story is so well-written that I found myself emoting with the character’s situation – smiling, feeling sad and fearing for her.
The plot took turns I didn’t even expect, throwing me off balance. I like that – unpredictability in a book.
Overall, I think Adriana has done a brilliant job with her very first book. It hits the mark for me on all fronts- the plot, characters, pace, editing.
Go grab it right now.
4/5 stars – I really liked it.
Today let’s welcome Adriana Ryan, author of World of Shell and Bone to Reviewing Shelf. She has graciously agreed to share her writing experience with us.
Welcome Adriana Ryan!
When did you decide to become a writer? Do you have tips for aspiring writers?
I think, if you cut me open, you’d find that my blood is partially ink. Writing runs in my family, and I’ve been doing it since I
was really little. I used to pen these rhyming poems with words like “darling” and “starling”—true story. It makes me cringe now to think about it, but hey, we all have to start somewhere, right? I’m glad I outgrew that phase, though. 🙂
As for an official beginning to my career, I think that happened when I was offered a contract for book one of my urban fantasy, Enlightened, in May 2012. (Enlightened will be out in February 2013.) I’d been considering graduate school in forensic psychology when I got the email from the acquisitions editor telling me she loved my book and would like to speak to me about a contract. I remember reading it and asking my husband to read it to make sure it really said what I thought it said. When I said yes and the contracts had been signed and everything was official, I told my husband I felt like I ought to pursue my writing career. He’s always been really supportive of my need to write, so he was thrilled. I haven’t looked back since.
If you’re an aspiring writer, I’d say run, don’t walk, to your nearest bookstore (or e-bookstore) and buy Bird by Bird by Anne Lamott. She describes the writer’s life in a funny, yet very real, way. Most people imagine writers locked away in a room with a glass of whiskey at one elbow, madly typing away at their keyboards. The truth is a lot less glamorous. There are some serious ups and downs to the writing life—everyone has them. You’ll want to give up about thirty-three times a day. But it’s also so, so worth it.
If you want to write, the first thing you should be doing is writing (I know—crazy, right?). Write a little bit everyday. If you don’t have a book you’re working on yet, just start by writing what you’re comfortable writing. Journals/diaries, short stories, poems, all of those count. Concentrate on getting better, on plucking those words out of the ether and getting them down on paper.
If you can find a critique group in your local area, that’s excellent. If not, look online. There are so many resources, and you can connect with writers all over the world. It’s a humbling and exciting experience. Some of my best friends are writers I’ve met online. But make sure people who read your work are going to be brutally honest, because that’s how you learn. The second thing you should be doing is reading. Read good books—books with excellent prose—and books in genres you hope to write.
It’s not particularly difficult to get started on the writing path if you truly love words and have a burning desire to tell stories. The hardest part, I think, is training yourself to be disciplined enough to write every single day. Most writers write because they’d die if they didn’t (melodramatic as that sounds!). So go forth and conquer that pen!
Wow! I think that’s the most wonderful writing advice I have ever got. It’s so basic and makes so much sense. Ms. Adriana has shown us the first few steps to start a writing career. I hope many of us will benefit from that. I, for one, sure did. I’m going to grab my pen right now. And thank you Ms. Ryan for sharing your writing journey and useful tips with us. It was a pleasure having you here and I loved your book.
About the Author
Adriana Ryan writes in beautiful Charleston, SC. A huge fan of spooky stuff and shoes, she enjoys alternately hitting up the outlet malls and historic graveyards. World of Shell and Bone is her first book.
Buy World of Shell and Bone at: Amazon, Barnes and Noble, and Kobo.
Adriana Ryan is a member of the Romance Writer’s Association (RWA).
1 ecopy of World of Shell and Bone