Blog Tour: Inspire by Cora Carmack

Rating: 3.5 stars
Pub Date: December 15, 2014
Genre: new adult paranormal romance
Format/Source: DRC provided by the author
Status: Book 1 of The Muse series

Disclaimer: I was given a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review as part of the blog tour, which was organized & hosted by Ink Slinger PR.

Kalliope lives with one purpose: to inspire.

As an immortal muse, she doesn’t have any other choice. It’s part of how she was made. Musicians, artists, actors—they use her to advance their art, and she uses them to survive. She moves from one artist to the next, never staying long enough to get attached. But all she wants is a different life— a normal one. She’s spent thousands of years living lie after lie, and now she’s ready for something real.

Sweet, sexy, and steady, Wilder Bell feels more real than anything else in her long existence. And most importantly… he’s not an artist. He doesn’t want her for her ability. But she can’t turn off the way she influences people, not even to save a man she might love. Because in small doses, she can help make something beautiful, but her ability has just as much capacity to destroy as it does to create. The longer she stays, the more obsessed Wilder will become. It’s happened before, and it never turns out well for the mortal.

Her presence may inspire genius... but it breeds madness, too.

Inspire is a bit different from Cora's other books, which I knew going into it, but honestly, I expected it to be MORE different than it actually was. See, Inspire is book one of Cora's The Muse series (duology? trilogy? I'm actually not sure) so it introduces immortal muse Kalli and super-hot-but-regular-mortal-human Wilder as well as their primary conflict ie that whole immortal-girl-meets-mortal-boy thing.

I really like both Wilder and Kalli. They're both distinct characters with their own personal motivations and goals, secrets and haunting pasts. I really appreciate that in a book. I think too often the focus is on one character and the other (usually the love interest) exists solely to push for the desires of the mc. That's not the case. Kalli and Wilder are equal and separate parts of the story, which is reflected through their dual narrative. Interestingly, rather than having their pov switch every chapter, as is common with novels containing multiple narrators, Cora chose to have Kalli and Wilder narrate in groups of chapters. I like that. It's nice to stay with each of them for longer than one chapter. It felt very organic to their story and helped me get to know them better than a constant pov flip would have.

Wilder is absolutely an amazing guy. I think even more than with young adult the new adult genre contains fewer family scenes. This makes sense as typically actual new adults are truly striking off on their own, sometimes moving far away from their family; however, it's nice to  have variety so I like that Wilder's mom and particularly his darling sister Gwen were such an important part of his story and his character development. Wilder's willingness to set aside his own dreams to take care of his family show readers that he's loving, unselfish, and responsible. This is important, and I'll get to that in a second. I also love Gwen's scenes because HOT GUYS WITH KIDS BE STILL MY HEART. You absolutely cannot tell me that doesn't make you feel warm and squishy inside.

Meanwhile Kalli is world-weary and just kind of over it. After reading so many books and myths, I have come to the conclusion that I do not want to live forever because it seems like it would blow. Kalli is forced, through her very nature, to repeat the same old tired song and dance with artist after artist after artist. She's trapped by this job she never signed up for and was saddled with at her birth, and the punishment for not performing is a gruesome death at best (her bosses/family are the gods, and we know how creative their punishments could be. See here, here, and here). I sympathized with Kalli a lot, although I found her thoughts to be much harder to follow than Wilder's.

I'd say my two biggest complaints about Inspire are that it's somewhat slow and that I wanted more: more mythology, more external conflict, more action. I wanted the book to go harder, faster, deeper (and I apologize for how naughty that sounds, but hey, this IS a romance book so....). As I said, I like Kalli, and I sympathize with her, but at times, I found her narrative hard to follow. I really want to know more about the mythology and Kalli's world so I can understand her better. There's a lot of internal conflict in Inspire as Kalli and Wilder figure out how to be together, and I really want to see more balance with additional external conflict.

Here's the good news and the bad news: As I read Inspire, I had all these thoughts bouncing around. Close-ish to the end, I had my opinion all formed. And then....BAM. Cora destroyed EVERYTHING with a wham-bam-thank-you-ma'am shocker that honestly made my heart hurt. That thing I said about wanting more external conflict? I TAKE IT BACK, CORA. So Cora delivered big time with this knock-out ending, but it's gonna cost you some major feels for reading it.

Back to when I said it's important that Wilder is unselfish and responsible. The mythology in Inspire is very much Greek-oriented. If you know anything about heroes in Greek legends, those were definitely traits that were 100% necessary for the heroes to fulfill their quests. Without going into too much spoilerific detail, Wilder is going to need every bit of help in book 2 as he can get. He and Kalli are going to have to step up because the stakes are going to be so much higher!

While Inspire didn't completely knock me out the way All Lined Up or Faking It did, it is really an enjoyable novel. I think it creates a really solid base for Kalli and Wilder's story and leaves room to grow from here. I can't wait to see where Cora takes the story, and I'm really excited to see all the paranormal new adult novels that are created because Inspire, well....INSPIRED writers to explore this budding genre.

Book Buy Links:

About the Author:
Cora Carmack is a twenty-something writer who likes to write about twenty-something characters. She's done a multitude of things in her life-- boring jobs (like working retail), Fun jobs (like working in a theatre), stressful jobs (like teaching), and dream jobs (like writing). She enjoys placing her characters in the most awkward situations possible, and then trying to help them get a boyfriend out of it. Awkward people need love, too. Her first book, Losing It, was a New York Times and USA Today bestseller.

Author Links:

$50 gift card to Amazon or B&N (2 winners)

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  1. I really like it when the pov switched aren't each chapter but each pov takes a few more chapters. I recently read a book that was split in 3 parts were part 1 and 3 were narrated by one character and part 2 by the other. It was well done! I never realized this was a mythology book, not sure whether I would enjoy it or not. Great review!

  2. I'd probably try to influence someone to either read the Throne of Glass series or to watch Marvel's Agents of SHIELD haha.

  3. I already commented on a different post in this tour, but I wanted to say that I was really excited to get an email letting me know you had a new post up. I hope you are doing well! Happy holidays!

  4. I expected more paranormal and more mythology too. I did really like this book tough and Cora got me so good in the heart with her ending. It hurt. I think I would want the power to influence people... because then I could make people read all the books I think are awesome and we could talk about them mwahaha.

  5. I do love mythology and I haven't heard of this book. Based on your review, I think i'll check it out if the ending really is that great.