Arabella and the Battle of Venus by David D. Levine Blog Tour!

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Title: Arabella and the Battle of Venus
Author: David D. Levine
Pages: 432
Genre: YA Fantasy/Science Fiction
Release Date: 18 July 2017
From Goodreads: "Arabella’s wedding plans to marry Captain Singh of the Honorable Mars Trading Company are interrupted when her fiancé is captured by the French and sent to a prisoner-of-war camp on swampy Venus. Now, Arabella must find passage to an enemy-controlled planet in the middle of a war, bribe or fight her way past vicious guards, and rescue her Captain. To do this she must enlist the help of the dashing privateer, Daniel Fox of the Touchstone and build her own clockwork navigational automaton in order to get to Venus before the dread French general, Joseph Fouché, the Executioner of Lyon. Once on Venus, Arabella, Singh, and Fox soon discover that Napoleon has designed a secret weapon, one that could subjugate the entire galaxy if they can’t discover a way to stop Fouché, and the entire French army, from completing their emperor’s mandate."
Thank you to Desirae from Tor Books for providing me with a copy of this book in exchange for review! All opinions are my own.

I recently read Arabella of Mars, the first book in this series, and absolutely loved it! Arabella is a fantastic, strong, and witty character that definitely stayed with me after I'd finished the book. The sequel is just as fantastic, if not more so, and I was so happy to be back in this world with Arabella.

Plot:
Arabella Ashby's plans to marry Captain Singh of the Honorable Mars Trading Company are put on hold when he's called away on urgent Company business to Venus. Now, the Captain has been captured by the French and is a prisoner of war. Of course, this won't do, and Arabella sets off to find passage to the enemy-controlled planet of Venus to rescue her fiance. To do so, Arabella must enlist the help of privateer Daniel Fox of the Touchstone and build her own clockwork navigational automaton in order to reach Venus before Joseph Fouché, the Executioner of Lyon. But once they reach Venus, they discover that Napoleon has created a secret weapon that could dominate the entire galaxy unless they can discover a way to stop Fouché, and the entire French army, from completing their emperor's orders.

I was so excited at the chance to read more about Arabella and her adventures! She's such a great character that really defies the norm of her time and I love that about her. This book certainly felt a bit darker than the first but I really enjoyed that feeling while I was reading. I thought that including Napoleon as an enemy was clever as the author is taking our world history and bringing it into Arabella's world and that made it feel a bit more real for me as a reader. This world is a unique one, for sure, and the idea that wooden ships flying in space was one that took me a bit to accept, but was overall a fun story to follow! The aerial battles were actually really exciting to read about and were probably my favorite part of the book. Again, while it was a little hard to picture, they were very well written and it made for an exceptionally entertaining read. I also thoroughly enjoyed the inclusion of more alien life and how easily Arabella adapts to the Venusians. She's such an open and accepting character and I loved how she was an advocate for equality between the races, both human and alien. This plot moved at a relatively smooth pace, neither too fast or too slow, and it was easy to just sit down and dive back into Arabella's world. I honestly could not get enough of this character and will definitely follow her wherever she may go next. It was so much fun to follow her on her adventures to Venus and I am so excited to see where she goes in the future with her wonderful Captain Singh!

Characters:
Arabella Ashby is such a strong and fun character to follow. She lives in a time where women are treated as delicate little flowers that can't do anything but sit around and do needlework and learn foreign languages. But that's not who she is, and she's not ashamed of that. She's strong and loud and forward and does things that cause people to stop and stare. She disguised herself as a boy to get to Mars and save her brother and now she's taking another adventure to Venus to save her fiance. She likes working with automaton like her father and feels more comfortable in pants than a dress, especially when on an airship. Arabella is the strong female character that I've been dying to read about and there's no doubt that there are other readers out there who will fall in love with her as I have.

I also really enjoy the side characters such as Daniel Fox and Captain Singh. Although we don't get to see much of Captain Singh until about the later half of the book, I still really enjoyed his presence and how he and Arabella interact with each other. Fox was also interesting and definitely lives up to his last name, being very dashing and trying to charm our lovely Arabella. While Arabella is the main character, the other characters such as Fox, Singh, and even the crew are very well-written and enjoyable to read about. David D. Levine does a fantastic job at bringing these different characters to life and giving them each distinct personalities that all combine to make a fun reading experience.

Writing:
I never would have thought that I would enjoy a book that was described as steampunk, but here I am, absolutely loving it. I did have a hard time imagining that a wooden ship could travel to other planets, but the author really did an incredible job at making me suspend disbelief and just enjoy the story. You get some really descriptive, beautiful words throughout this book and are able to picture the crazy airship battles and amazing locations that are visited. Everything, even the automaton, come to life between the pages of these books and I think that everyone will enjoy reading the adventures of Arabella Ashby.

The world is unique, mostly because these characters spend most of the time on either Mars, traveling between planets, or on Venus, the leading lady is one that many will likely relate to and love for her out of the norm behavior, and the writing will take you on an out of this world adventure that you won't soon forget. Arabella and the Battle of Venus is an exciting sequel to Arabella of Mars that is sure to delight fans of steampunk and space travel and capture the attention of fans of fantasy with a hint of historical fiction.





Get Arabella and the Battle of Venus here!


Giveaway!

About the Author

David D. Levine is the multi-award-winning author of the Regency interplanetary airship adventure novel Arabella of Mars (Tor 2016), sequel Arabella and the Battle of Venus (Tor 2017), and more than fifty science fiction and fantasy stories. Arabella of Mars won the 2017 Andre Norton Award for Young Adult Science Fiction and Fantasy, his story “Tk’Tk’Tk” won the 2006 Hugo Award for Best Short Story, his story “Nucleon” won the James White Award, and he has been shortlisted for awards including the Hugo, Nebula, Campbell, Sturgeon, and Locus. His stories have appeared in Asimov’s, Analog, F&SF, Realms of Fantasy, Tor.com, numerous anthologies and websites, and multiple Year’s Best anthologies, as well as his collection Space Magic from Wheatland Press, which won the Endeavour Award for the best SF or Fantasy book by a Pacific Northwest writer. David is a contributor to George R. R. Martin’s bestselling shared-world series Wild Cards. He is also a member of Book View Cafe, a writer-owned publishing cooperative, and Oregon Science Fiction Conventions Inc., a non-profit organization which produces OryCon and other SF conventions. He has narrated podcasts for Escape Pod, PodCastle, and StarShipSofa and the audiobook of Space Magic, and his video production “Dr. Talon’s Letter to the Editor” was a finalist for the Parsec Award. In 2010 he spent two weeks at the Mars Desert Research Station, a simulated Mars base in the Utah desert. David lives in a hundred-year-old bungalow in Portland, Oregon. His web site can be found at www.daviddlevine.com.

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Check out the rest of the Arabella and the Battle of Venus Blog Tour hosts!


July 17th Monday Rainy Days and Pajamas EXCERPT
July 17th Monday Movies, Shows, & Books EXCERPT
July 18th Tuesday JeanBookNerd EXCERPT
July 19th Wednesday Reading for the Stars and Moon REVIEW
July 20th Thursday CBY Book Club EXCERPT
July 21st Friday Here's to Happy Endings REVIEW
July 21st Friday Mythical Books EXCERPT
July 24th Monday A Dream Within a Dream EXCERPT
July 24th Monday Bibliobibuli YA REVIEW & EXCERPT
July 25th Tuesday Crossroad Reviews REVIEW
July 26th Wednesday BookHounds YA EXCERPT
July 26th Wednesday Under the Book Cover REVIEW <-- That's me!
July 27th Thursday Sabrina's Paranormal Palace REVIEW
July 28th Friday Mixed Book Bag REVIEW
July 28th Friday The Forest of Words and Pages REVIEW
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Thank you so much to Jean Book Nerd Tours for having me a part of this tour and to Tor for providing me with a copy of this book to read and review! This was so much fun and I absolutely adore Arabella and I highly encourage everyone to pick up this book series. Let me know in the comments if you've read either of the Adventures of Arabella Ashby books and what your thoughts were on them! Thanks so much for stopping by and I'll see you in the next chapter!

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