Friday, February 26, 2016

The Revenger by Debra Anastasia Blog Tour

The real hero of this story is dead. You should have met him. He was a beautiful man. The love of my life. I didn’t deserve him.

Now what’s left are the jagged edges of the person I am without him, and what I have to do to get by. This isn’t even a story about love. Not really. It’s a twisted tale of revenge and hate—a happily never after.

The only man in my life now is the one I have to kill.
I’m Savvy Raine.
I used to be a wife.
I used to be a mother.
Now I am the Revenger.

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There was very little chatter after the alarming phone call. Savvy looked at the clock. It was only five, but the extra help Tallow had enlisted acted like she was about to disintegrate. When they were finally done, they hung Savvy’s costume from a door, fully expecting her to drop trou in front of all the strangers.

She looked at the silver outfit meant to demean her and classify her as his, just like all his other favorites.

“Yeah, I’m not actually going to be wearing that.” She looked from one shocked person to the other.

Tallow recovered first. “But this is what he told you to wear!”

Savvy laughed hollowly. “Yeah, he can suck his own d*ck for all I care.”

The atmosphere changed. The others now realized Savvy didn’t think it was a huge honor to be a f*ckhole.
“That’s not acceptable. I’ll put you in it myself if I have to, but you’re leaving here in that outfit.” Tallow bravely gathered up the skirt and came into Savvy’s personal space. He obviously thought she was just a regular girl.

In an instant she’d lifted Tallow into the air by his neck. “I’m not wearing it.” She stared him down until he began to turn blue. Then she set him back on his feet.

Tallow was a quick learner and smoothed his fancy shirt. “Okay then, let me see what else we have.”

Reviews by the Wicked Reads Review Team

I was eager to begin The Revenger after reading the blurb. The first page had tears prickling my eyes as I read about how lifelike the emotions felt by Savvy when dealing with the loss of her husband and daughter. I settled in to read the book in its entirety, just knowing it would be a page-turner.

Then it took an odd yet unexpected turn. A turn I hadn't anticipated after reading the blurb again. The Revenger took on a science fiction note. Not that I mind Sci-fi, but it was an odd transition. I experienced emotional whiplash, and continued to do so for the rest of the read.

A year after her husband and daughter's deaths, on the anniversary, Savvy is not coping. Her brother, Tobias, lives with her to make sure she doesn't attempt suicide yet again. Despondent in her grief, wishing for death herself, Savvy's every thought is about her loss. She returns to the scene of the accident that took their lives, and all goes haywire.

I won't explain what happens next, because I don't want to ruin it (spoil it). But what I had a hard time wrapping my mind around is the transition. Savvy, the one wishing for death, dwelling in her self-inflicted pain, not wanting others to feel such pain, didn't have one single emotion besides glee when she saw red. This was the opposite of human nature, even if it took a science fiction turn, because her emotions didn't. Seeing red or not, being bad or not, people in their lives would feel the same level of grief Savvy felt, and someone grieving wouldn't want to do that to anyone.

Back and forth, Savvy would go from lying down and dying, full of emotion that tugged at the reader's heartstrings, to seeing red where she was ballsy, arrogant, antagonistic, and sociopathic. Two opposites, neither healthy, and neither enjoyable to read.

The Revenger was an intriguing read, inventive and original. But I wanted more out of Savvy, the emotion she showed during her grief, even if it was true negative emotion, when she saw 'red' – other than I'm going to kill him. Some of the moments were humorous in their badassery, but it disconnected me as a reader.

Overall, it was a well-written, compelling read, where I got more than I bargained for after reading the blurb, but I'm on the fence on whether or not I actually enjoyed reading it.

This is an amazing book. I almost feel that is all I need to say!

Ms. Anastasia has a very different way of viewing the world and sharing this with us is something that can only be for the good. The story is twisted, and complex, and yet really quite believable, and undoubtedly beautiful. It will stay with me for a very long time, and will definitely be reread, probably in times of sadness, when I need some comfort. Not that this book is conventionally comforting, not at all, but it is life affirming, and meaningful.

Go, get a copy, and see just what I mean.

Being the last on the review team to read a book has its benefits. Unlike my co-reviewers, I had the advantage of learning from their reviews (which I barely skimmed so as not to influence my reading experience) that The Revenger wasn’t quite what we expected when we heard that it had dark subject matter. Also, having read Anastasia’s Poughkeepsie Brotherhood series and Gynazule series, I’m well aware that the author’s writing can range from bust-a-gut hilarious with a side of raunchy to deadly serious with a huge helping of heartbreak. So I began reading The Revenger with one heck of an open mind, prepared for anything…or so I thought.

As expected, The Revenger isn’t like the previous books I’ve read by the author. It is dark in that Savvy is a woman dealing with severe depression and survivor’s guilt. A woman who feels as though her continued survival after repeated suicide attempts is her punishment for swerving left when she should have swerved right. A woman whose body is undergoing an unexpected transformation that has given her a sense of purpose. A woman who has become The Revenger. This book has a definite sci-fi twist to it as we learn that something that Savvy was exposed to on the night she lost her husband and daughter has changed her life even more than she realized. And it is through vengeance that she finds moments of peace. But Savvy’s vigilantism brings her to the attention of the last person on Earth who should ever want to be in the same room as her – Silas Sagan – he just doesn’t know it yet. But what Silas wants, Silas gets…and boy does he get more than he bargained for. What follows is a tale of love and redemption in the most unexpected of ways as Savvy finds herself thrust into an underworld of drugs, guns, and flesh ran by a man who’s never known love. But who is saving whom?

I actually enjoyed the sci-fi twist to The Revenger and probably would have even if I hadn’t had the heads up from my co-reviewers. Why? First, because I rarely reread a book’s description before I start it so that I have a better chance of reading it without any expectations of where the story is going. Second, I freaking love sci-fi romances and while The Revenger isn’t your typical romance, it is story about love. I was going to say that Savvy’s fearlessness made her a force to be reckoned with, but then I realized it wasn’t a matter of her being fearless. Rather her take-no-prisoners attitude is because she’s suicidal and feels she has nothing to live for. So if she can take out a few bad guys along the way, while feeding her need to “see” her family, then so be it. There is a serious amount of action as Savvy is a butt-kicking machine when she’s in The Revenger mode. The action, the conflict between her and Silas, her quasi-friendship with Boston, and her metamorphosis as The Revenger kept me glued to my Kindle. I had to know how it was going to play out. What Savvy’s happy ending was going to look like. Who was going to live and who was going to die. I will confess to shedding a few tears toward the end of The Revenger because of the dang dog. I absolutely enjoyed The Revenger and the only reason it’s not getting five stars is because I’m just not sure it’s a book I’ll read again. I will say that I am very happy that the author decided to take a chance on the story and released it, because it was a great read.

There are a lot of eyes in Debra Anastasia’s house in Maryland. First, her own creepy peepers are there, staring at her computer screen. She’s made two more sets of eyes with her body, and the kids they belong to are amazing. The poor husband is still looking at her after 17 years of marriage. At least he likes to laugh. Then the freaking dogs are looking at her—six eyeballs altogether, though the old dog is blind. And the cat watches her too, mostly while knocking stuff off the counter and doing that internal kitty laugh when Deb can’t catch the items fast enough.

Debra has a smattering of books in a few genres. There are two in the Seraphim Series and three in the Poughkeepsie Brotherhood Series with a prequel, Poughkeepsie Begins in the near future. Fire Down Below is the first in the comedic Gynazule Series. The second, Fire in the Hole, will be published in late 2015. The Revenger, a dark paranormal romance will debut this summer. And last, a novella called Late Night with Andres is special because 100% of the proceeds go to breast cancer research. (So go get it right now, please!)

You can find her at and on Twitter. But be prepared...

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Reviewers on the Wicked Reads Review Team were provided a free copy of The Revenger by Debra Anastasia to read and review for this tour.

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