Earth’s End by Elise Kova – A review

Earth’s End by Elise Kova is the third book in the Air Awakens series.This post contains spoilers so don’t read it unless you’ve read the first two books (and the third book as well). It’s a great series that I highly recommend!

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First off I have to say I really like this series. This was the first book I have pre-ordered and I’m really glad I did. I just had to know how things would play out!

I really like the start of this book where it kicks off after the fall and when we are introduced to new characters like Jax and Erion. This book has all the intrigues and roller coaster of emotions as the previous books, I love it!earths end

This book is not slow, but it hasn’t got the same pace and flow as the previous two books. This book mainly takes place in their camp and around the strategy table. There is a lot of diplomatic talk and things that need to be settled before the story moves on. compared to the previous books it was a bit slow and not as fantastic, but still very entertaining. I would have loved to get to know more about things going on around them and not only what happened in the camp palace. It is in situations like these where I like books from different points of views.  That said, I really enjoyed this book.

There’s a lot of focus on Vhalla and Aldriks relationship in this book. The love story has been prominent in the previous two books as well so I’m not surprised.  I love how we really get to know them and how we get to be part of the times when their relationship gets deep. I also love how Aldrik defies his father, the emperor and makes the majors accept Vhalla as a Lady.

I wish we could have seen more of the other characters we’ve gotten to know  like Fritz, Eleica and Baladir. They’re there, but I really like them and I want more!

So, this was a really good book and yet again I can’t wait to read the next one. Kova has a great writing style and has created a very interesting world in which this story takes place.

design-2The cover for Earth’s End is as fabulous as the previous covers. Merilliza Chan has done a great job with her illustration for this book. Now that I’ve read the book I also noticed some details in the cover that I didn’t see before. Like the necklace she’s holding in her hand! Merilliza is a great illustrator and if you have missed the interview I posted with her you can read it here.

I’m now looking forward to the next book, Water’s Wrath  which will be released April 26 and the cover that is revealed on February 26.

 

Interview with Merilliza Chan, the Illustrator for Air Awakens series

Air Awakens
Merilliza Chan is the Illustrator for the Air Awakens Series by Elise Kova. Her illustrations have gotten a lot of praise and I love them as well. I reached our to Merilliza and I was very glad when she agreed to do a little interview for my blog.

 

How did you get involved in these covers?  (Did you know Elise Kova from before? Did she contact you somehow?)
No, I didn’t know Elise until she emailed me looking for a cover artist. She told me she found me through my account on Deviantart. She saw one of my commissioned works.
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Commissioned work “Marah and Tanner”

Elise told me that particular work captured the essence she wanted for Air Awakens. I guess it was all just luck that she actually saw one of my works and it eventually lead me into being her cover artist.

Do you get to read the books before designing?
Yes, I did read the books. Initially when Elise was looking for an artist, she sent me cut up scenes and character descriptions, along with the first book. She never expected me to read them all but I loved her story and got hooked. Now I want to know how it all ends. The books are, at the moment of this interview, still being created, so I still read as we go along. Elise has an amazing schedule and time table for when she sends me manuscript.

 

Do you get a set theme for the book cover or are you free to come up with ideas by yourself?

Fire Falling
Both. What I love about working with Elise is that we have an open communication that enables our work flow to be flexible. Sometimes Elise has ideas too so I try to incorporate them along the way but the theme itself comes from the book, which is why I try to read what I can in order to come up with ideas. I think it’s important to get the “feel” and atmosphere of the book first and what’s really the point of interest in it. With that, I can make sure that whatever ideas I come up with stays relevant and unique with the story.

 

What do you think is the most fun during the process of making a cover?

Though I love and enjoy the whole process of my work, personally I think the real fun part comes during the painting process itself. I love my tools and sometimes I experiment along the way. Whenever I paint I learn something new, even in little ways. It’s the part that comes after idea generation / thumbnailing so I feel more relaxed when painting. Not to say that I stop problem solving when painting. In fact most of the problem start to arise once you begin painting. To me it’s like solving a puzzle game, piece by piece, until it is finished. And I love puzzle games!

 

How loearths endng does it take for you from idea to finished piece?
The time to finish a cover depends on overall complexity of the artwork. If I count by the hours worked on it, I’d say it can span from three days to a week or two, this includes reading time. With Elise, she gives me at least a month and a half until the deadline. It’s up to me how to manage my own time of course.

 

Do you have any tips for aspiring cover designers?

To design a cover is different from painting an illustration, I think. I can only speak from my experience but when and before I even begin illustrating for the covers, I make sure my dimensions are specific and correct. I also keep in mind the bleeds and such to remind me not to put anything important around the sides. With that said when it comes to cover design, I think the most important would be a proper composition. When it comes to the illustration principle however, make sure to keep the ideas relevant and unique for the story. You want to create something that people will remember, in other words, iconic.

 

How long have you done cover designs?

I’ve been freelancing since I was in college. But with covers, not long. Elise was my first client when it comes to cover illustrations. There are now others, all my thanks to her.

 

Thank you so much Merilliza for doing this interview!
Merilliza Chan is based in Manila,Philippines and she is always looking for fun collaborative projects and would love to hear what you have to say, so feel free to contact her anytime!

 

Don’t miss Earth’s End by Elise Kova which goes on sale Feb 11 2016!
You can buy it or pre-order it  here: Amazon, Book Depository, Barnes&Noble

 

Romantic fantasy at its best – Air Awakens series

 

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Air Awakens and Fire Falling by Elise Kova

I have to start by saying that these are the best books I have read this year! Really. Not only did they tick every box of what I wanted to read, but the books are well written, the plot is good, great character building and the world the story takes place in feels well developed. It even has a map (Fire Falling)! Awesome books! I started reading this series because the cover  was so pretty! Along with a enticing synopsis, of course. But really the great cover really matches the greatness of the book.

We get to follow Vhalla as she “awakens” and she needs to decide to either become a sorcerer or cut herself off from it. Her choice would have been easy had she not gotten entwined with Prince Aldrik and Prince Baladir. A good romantic story is something I like and this book had me hooked from the start. I really could not stop reading it! Kova has a great way of building up feelings and the romantic tension between Vhalla and Aldrik. It’s a great romance that gives you butterflies in your stomach, but that also makes you frustrated because you can’t control the events.

I would easily say that these are the best books I’ve read this year! If you like fantasy, great characters and a bit of romance you’ll like these books.

The third book in the installment is called Earth’s End and it is on the way (will be released in febuary). For more upcoming information you can Visit Elise Kova’s homepage.
Fire Falling

Design
If it’s something I love it’s great graphic arts. And I’m a sucker for these kinds of covers. The airiness and the roses makes the cover very pretty. It’s very clear that the graphic designer has skills and paid interest to details in these images. For the cover of Fire Falling I like that Aldrik is featured in the cover together with Vhalla. Again, look at the details in the cover, it’s so well done.

The cover for the third book in this series is out and it too looks really good too. I can’t wait to read it!earths end

In January I’ll share my interview with the designer of these great covers but in the meantime you can visit her home page. Merilliza.com.