Wednesday, 28 September 2016

Blog Tour: Guest blog post, Extract + review Eden's Escape by M. Tara Crowl (Children's, 9 years +, 10E/10E)

 September 2016, Disney-Hyperion, 320 pages, Hardback, Review copy

Content: lots of peril, humour 

Book Summary
Eden's new life on earth begins in New York City under the guidance of her new guardian: Pepper, a petite, bubbly genie alum who's also a Broadway actress. Before she has a chance to settle in, though, Eden is whisked away for a granting--only to find herself trapped in a laboratory. David Brightly, owner of the world's leading tech company, cares more about tapping into the lamp's power than making a wish and starts performing tests on Eden. With Brightly's plasma shield around the lamp, Eden has no way home. Left without a choice, she escapes the lab and goes on the run. After her daring exit, Eden finds herself on the streets of Paris--home to Electra's headquarters. Left in a strange city with a price on her head (courtesy of scheming Brightly), Eden has to keep her wits about her. She dons a chic disguise and flits around Paris incognito, investigating Brightly Tech. Assisted by Pepper and her old adversary Bola, as well as some new friends, Eden embarks on a quest to retrieve the lamp and protect the secrets of the genie legacy.

Nayu's thoughts
 Eden is back! Yay! Book one introduced me to the magic of Disney-Hyperion books which are AMAZING! My kind of read for sure. Eden's life has a great mix of friendship, humour, danger, not being overly doom and gloom, plus and Eden has such a cool power. I'm not talking about being a genie. That is a cool power, but can be dull and as Eden finds out in her second adventure can bring trouble with the entire word being in capital letters. Genie life is full of politics which leaves Eden right in the middle, and sees an enemy becoming a frenemy (an ally didn't seem the best word for that relationship).

I loved learning about genie culture, how each upon retiring can choose their special powers - which powers they choose says a lot about the kind of person they are. I loved watching as Eden grows in knowledge about living outside the lamp, on earth, she has new characters who show her the ropes and who warmed my heart with their loyalty to Eden. After being lamp bound Earth is a strange place, even if Eden can speak every single language culture has to be experienced to understand it. 

I loved meeting the genies Eden had learnt about in book 1, as they are her heroines (or were, in some cases). Genies like people are extremely different both while granting wish and once they retire. Eden experiences one loopy genie who does help save the day - I totally approved of her menagerie because it including finches! I think it was zebra finches, which made me smile as I have one so it was even easier to imagine what the tweeting was like (the non internet variety).

It was nice if very bizarre the way Eden's friends from book 1 come to her rescue, the story was so absorbing that I didn't get jolted out of the magic and weirdness when I thought about the logistics of her  friends arriving in the nick of time. Eden is pretty adventurous on her own - she does her utmost to escape when captured, thinking on her feet provided moments where I cheered her on when Eden was in a tight spot or two. She isn't perfect, and does get grumbled at for some of her choices by her mentors which made me smile. 

I especially love the groundwork laid for book 3 (there can't not be one!), Eden will never have a normal life, but that would be boring. Looking forward to diving back into her world!  

Find out more on  M. Tara Crowl's website. You can find out a bit more about Eden's clothes during her adventures in the guest blog post below!

Buy the book from many online (& offline) stores include

Suggested read

M. Tara Crowl's on Eden’s fashion in the Eden of the Lamp books

            Some girls are known for having an edgy sense of style. Others’ could be called classic, trendy, or elegant. But if I had to choose a word to describe Eden’s wardrobe in the Eden of the Lamp series, it would probably be “incidental.” 
Eden is a twelve-year-old genie. When Eden’s Wish begins, she is living like a princess in her lamp. She has a huge bedchamber and a closet filled with gorgeous dresses, coats, and shoes. But none of it means anything to her, because Eden’s only desire is freedom. She’s fallen in love with the world, and she’d give anything to be there and explore it. After she escapes the lamp, Eden’s adventurous spirit gets her into one unexpected situation after another—but somehow, she always finds friends who help her. That’s why Eden’s wardrobe doesn’t show any kind of fashion sense, really; rather, it reflects her adventures, and the friendships she makes along the way.

            Late one night, Eden sneaks into her master’s study and discovers the spout of the lamp. Realizing it’s the entry point to the world, she climbs out and finds herself on a beach in California. Unfortunately, she’s still in the long white nightgown she wore to bed. When she meets Sasha and Tyler, a brother and sister who become her first friends, she struggles to explain why she’s wearing pajamas at the beach. Luckily, Sasha lets her borrow clothes: first a blue swimsuit and a cotton dress for the beach, then, when Eden starts school with her new friends the next day, a white T-shirt, a red pleated skirt, brown sandals, and a denim backpack. 
            In Eden’s Escape, Eden finds herself in New York under the care of her new guardian, a genie alum named Pepper. Pepper buys Eden a dress that she loves: a light-pink-and-white-striped sundress with thin straps and a loose skirt. That’s what she’s wearing when she’s whisked away from a karaoke bar for a granting. But when the wisher turns out to be a power-hungry tech mogul, Eden has to run away. She escapes his lab and goes on the run, only to realize she’s in Paris. Eden meets and makes friends with a young fashion blogger named Melodie. Melodie dresses Eden in a disguise: a Parisian school uniform, complete with sunglasses and a dark wig to hide her blonde hair. The disguise helps Eden evade employees of the wisher’s company, as well as members of Electra, an evil organization of genie alumni.

            Maybe Eden’s clothes would reflect more of a sense of fashion if her life weren’t so unpredictable. But so far, her clothing choices have resulted from two things she’s very good at: getting herself into trouble, and making friends who are willing to help her out of it. 

Eden's Escape fashion related extract

           Wow,” Eden said. “You do love clothes.”

            “I told you.” Melodie started to sift through the racks. “Now, what we’ve got to do is find something that looks like the opposite of anything you’d ever wear.”

            “Isn’t the point for me to go unnoticed?” In Eden’s line of sight were an orange jumpsuit that looked like a prison uniform, a shiny green skirt like a mermaid’s tail, and a feathered Native American headdress. “I don’t think I’d blend in wearing most of this stuff.”

            “We’ll put you in something subtle.”

            Taking it all in, Eden wondered where exactly Melodie planned to find that.

            Though Melodie’s wardrobe seemed chaotically disorganized from an outsider’s perspective, she seemed to know precisely where everything was. After careful consideration, she pulled out a white collared shirt, a navy blazer, a pleated green-and-navy skirt, shiny black shoes, and a navy beret to top it all off. Eden put all of it on as instructed.

            “See?” Melodie said delightedly. “You’re just a regular student in Paris!”