Blog Tour: The Forgotten Ones by Laura Howard

Rating: 4/5 stars
Pub Date: April 28/May 15, 2013
Publisher: Self-published
Genre: New adult, contemporary fantasty (fairies)
Format/Source: ebook, bought through Amazon's Kindle store
Status: Book 1 of The Danaan trilogy

Thanks to Julie and the ladies of AToMR Tours for setting up this tour!
Full schedule found here.

Allison O'Malley's plan is to go to grad school so she can get a good job and take care of her schizophrenic mother. She has carefully closed herself off from everything else, including a relationship with Ethan, who she's been in love with for as long as she can remember.

What is definitely not part of the plan is the return of her long-lost father, who claims he can bring Allison's mother back from the dark place her mind has gone. Allison doesn't trust her father, so why would she believe his stories about a long forgotten Irish people, the Tuatha de Danaan? But truths have a way of revealing themselves. Secrets will eventually surface. And Allison must learn to set aside her plan and work with her father if there is even a small chance it could restore her mother's sanity.

Laura is a friend of mine, and I'm proud as punch to be part of her crack ninja street team for the Danaan Trilogy. I signed up on a whim to be part of something bigger than my blog, and it's been a great experience. I had no idea what I was getting into since I'm a relatively new blogger and The Forgotten Ones is Laura's debut novel. I'm so glad that this novel totally lived up to my expectations! 

 First, the characters: Allison is fiercely protective of her family, particularly her mother, which is definitely something I respect and can relate to. She's also in that stage of life where she's trying to figure out What Comes Next while trying to balance family, work, and school, which doesn't leave a lot left over for friendships and romance. Sometimes I really wanted to shake her because, Earth to Allison, Ethan is completely in love with you and you should totally jump on that! Allison spends much of the first few chapters sassing poor Ethan and trying to convince herself that it would be a bad idea to get involved with him, even though she's been in love with him for ages. This is clearly a terrible idea because Ethan is adorable. Seriously, if I could have Ethan, my life would be, like, 97% better. Despite Allison's misgivings, Ethan is actually a Good Guy. He's sweet, he's gentlemanly, he's super helpful (I mean, Allison stood the kid up, but he still came over to help her look for her mom!), he's charming and handsome and funny and handsome and did I mention he was handsome? No? Well, he is beautiful in a totally manly way. These two just need to hurry up and make out already. I also really liked Nicole, whose effervescent personality is a perfect foil to Allison's quieter, more withdrawn persona. Nicole was great at drawing Allison out, which I think was definitely needed. The fairy characters are much more mysterious and harder to get a grasp on, but I definitely love Aodhan, the big protector of humans who have been screwed over by fairies with a superiority complex. I want to know a lot more about all the Danaan characters, especially Aodhan. And props to Laura for including a pronunciation guide because I had zero clue how to pronounce the fairies' names!

One of the very very best parts about TFO was how much research Laura put in to create her fairies and their world by incorporating old-school Irish mythology. While I love Ireland and its awesome old-school history, I generally don't seek it out because it's so foreign to me and kind of hard to understand. I love how Laura carefully wove the threads of the mythology into her story without massive info-dumps so I felt like I was getting a mythology lesson without the lesson. Also, pronunciation guide. Seriously, so helpful. More authors should include these!

My favorite aspect of The Forgotten Ones is Laura's masterful writing, hands-down. The keyboard is Laura's paintbrush and the screen, her canvas. The descriptiveness of this book is ridiculous! Consider my senses fully engaged! I felt like I could see, touch, smell, taste, hear, feel (emotionally) everything that Laura described. The imagery was lovely and perfect from the beach to Ethan's crowded family gatherings to the forest to the realm of the Danaan. Well-done, Laura!

I do wish the scenes had been a bit longer. Their short length ensured a quick grasp at the action and a quick read, but I think some of the scenes could have been combined and some filler included as well. I felt like everything happened so quickly that I would have liked to see a bit more "normal" interaction between Allison and the other human characters (like Ethan. Mostly Ethan.). Also, I would have liked to see more of whatever's going on in Tir na n'Og because those Danaan are tricksy hobbitses. Also, my one huge complaint is that Ethan was TOTALLY naked during the climax of the novel [pause for inappropriate giggle break...okay, I'm back] and Allison didn't give him more than a cursory glance. ALLISON! There is a gorgeous, perfect male speciman RIGHT in front of you! More descriptions of said perfect manliness, kpleaseandthanks! Especially because Laura fancast TFO and picked Steven R. McQueen as the perfect Ethan so pretty much, we missed out on Laura's lovely descriptive language in regards to this. Yeah. Cruel and unusual punishment! Seriously, though, I like that this is a new adult novel that is actually clean! I know a lot of authors are using new adult to include scenes that are maybe too mature for young adult, which is cool, but right now new adult is kind of just the slutty older sister to young adult. Props to Laura for focusing on Bigger Issues than just sex. But srsly, Laura, throw us a bone for #2 and describe Ethan's glistening pecs/shoulders/biceps/abs/etc. Pretty pretty please!

The Forgotten Ones has some good twists to it and sets up very nicely for the second book in the trilogy, which I can't wait for. I would call this a definite success for Laura and self-pubbed authors in general. It's rare to find gems in Amazon's glut of self-published ebook, but I can tell you that The Forgotten Ones is definitely one of those gems. You should go buy it for sure, especially because it's currently only $0.99. NINETY-NINE CENTS. Macklemore is practically screaming at you to go buy it!

Book Buy Links: 

About the Author: 
Laura Howard lives in New Hampshire with her husband and four children. Her obsession with books began at the age of 6 when she got her first library card. Nancy Drew, Sweet Valley High and other girly novels were routinely devoured in single sittings. Books took a backseat to diapers when she had her first child. It wasn’t until the release of a little novel called Twilight, 8 years later, that she rediscovered her love of fiction. Soon after, her own characters began to make themselves known. The Forgotten Ones is her first published novel.
Author Links:
Please note, this giveaway is NOT hosted by me. This is hosted by the ladies of AToMR Tours, and they will be the ones contacting the winner, but feel free to enter their Rafflecopter here!

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  1. BAHAHA! I love the Macklemore joke. ;o)

    1. "Thrift Shop" is perpetually in my head these days so as I'm writing it, that line just kept repeating over and over. I couldn't not include it. :)

  2. Great review! I love the cover for this book and fairies! I haven't read a fairy book in a while. I love them!

    1. Gosh, yes, the cover is gorgeous! I've also seen the mock-up of the second book and it's just as stunning. These fairies are really interesting because you see them more in the modern human world, but you hear a lot about the good old days in old-timey Ireland. An interesting juxtaposition for sure.

  3. I can totally relate to the writing taking a backseat to changing diapers!

    1. Especially with FOUR kids! I mean, I want a big family, but I'm amazed by people who already have them.