I am doing things a bit differently with this post, as I will be reviewing all three books in the series at one time. Katie has agreed to do an awesome giveaway: a paperback set of the entire series! In order to be eligible for this contest, please go to the Rafflecopter box at the end of the post. You must enter by November 27,2015 (US ONLY). Good luck!
My Review of The Gifting…
"If science is right, then I am crazy. And crazy is dangerous."
After a séance and an encounter with a Ouija board, Tess Eckhart believes she is slowly losing her mind, especially when she begins seeing things that aren’t there. Her parents worry that she may be mentally ill, like her grandmother. They pack up and move the family so that Tess can receive treatment at the renowned Edward Brooks Facility, where she will be seeing Doctor Roth. Her brother resents her for the move, and she is struggling to fit in at the new school. Things seem to be looking up, as she makes a new friend, Leela, and the most popular boy in school, Luka, seems to take an interest in her. Strangely, she feels a connection to Luka, even though they have never met. She begins to wonder if he is just a delusion, too. All she has ever wanted is to be normal. She knows her parents are still keeping secrets from her, particularly in relation to her grandmother. She is forced to wonder what is real and what’s not. How will she feel when she learns that Luka is apparently keeping secrets from her as well? And just who are “the Gifting”?
This is the first book I have read by Ganshert, but it certainly won’t be my last. I finished this one in less than a day and quickly went to purchase the remaining two books in the series. The fast pace makes it difficult to stop reading. There are so many twists and turns in this YA dystopian novel, which also includes some chilling scenes and supernatural aspects. There is a mild amount of romance sprinkled in. Like Divergent and The Hunger Games, the reader may be left questioning the norms of society, as well as the unseen forces of good versus evil. Themes of hope and salvation are woven throughout. The characters are realistic and scenes believable, even though this book is a bit futuristic. It is a book that is safe for anyone to read, and it is certainly not just for teens. If you are a fan of Frank Peretti or Ted Dekker, you may find yourself adding Ganshert as one of your new faves. Warning: this book ends with a major cliffhanger!
(Note: As of 11-23-15, this book is currently free wherever e-books are sold!)
WARNING: THE REVIEWS FOR BOOKS 2 AND 3 CONTAIN SPOILERS. IF YOU HAVEN'T READ BOOK 1, YOU MAY WANT TO SCROLL DOWN UNTIL YOU SEE KATIE'S PICTURE.
My Review of The Awakening…
"What is The Gifting? Why are we in danger? Who and where are the others?"
This book picks up right where the first book left off. Tess and Luka are fugitives, and they are finding that no place is safe. The man they believed could help them is now dead. Equipped with some patient files, they head to Detroit to find others with “The Gifting.” Now that they have a name for what they are, they want to find out everything they can about it. At least Tess knows she’s not crazy.
In Detroit, Tess and Luka find an underground community of people just like them. Their goal is to awaken as many people with “The Gifting” as possible, but it is a far more dangerous mission than imagined. Even Tess’s dreams are at risk from those out to stop her. She is told that she could be “the One” to save them all. Is that even possible?
While some backstory is included, it is best to read the books in order. This series is so creative and unpredictable, as well as uplifting. There is a depth to the characters, and they seem to jump right off the page. It ends with another cliffhanger, perfectly setting the scene for the final book.
One of my favorite parts pertains to the following message, which is a good reminder for everyone: “Sometimes, the most ordinary people are given the most extraordinary things. Who knows why you were chosen… The gift is yours. You can bury it if you want. You can deny it or ignore it. Or you can embrace it… What are you going to do with the gift you’ve been given? It’s something only you can decide.”
My Review of The Gifting…
“A time approaches when evil will grow to such heights, our kind will face extinction. One will arise with the ability to set captives free. She alone will see evil’s mark and her gifting will be complete in its power. She will be our victory.”
Luka is trapped, but Tess realizes that it is not too late to save him. However, she is not sure that he will ever be the same. She will have to work hard to convince the other members of the Hub that what she saw is true. Their underground community is no longer safe, but neither is above ground. Everyone is focused on the fact that “The Gifting” members are being systematically killed. Tess must decide what she will do with the powers she holds. Can she defeat Scarface and save her grandmother? Will she finally be able to understand the ancient prophecy, of which she is at the center, and fit all the puzzle pieces together? Is she truly prepared for the sacrifice required for victory?
This book is a satisfying conclusion to the series, though it is sad to see it end. It really is necessary to read the books in order. There are great dynamics in the relationships, particularly between Luka and Tess. Like the others in the series, it is an intriguing, multilayered storyline with just the right mix of creepy factor and romance. In general, this series is more hope-filled than some dystopian novels. The entire series is an engaging, quick read which would make a great movie trilogy.
A Word from Katie…
Q: Can you tell us how this trilogy came to be written?
A: I wrote The Gifting Trilogy—on and off—over the course of three years. It started off as this fun, random idea—what if a girl could see things nobody else could see, and then she met a boy who could see those same things? The idea started to build in my head and with its expanding girth, came an equally expanding excitement to write it. I started to flesh out the characters of Tess and Luka. I started to imagine what sort of world the story might be set in. And then the fun part—I began brainstorming with my brother, who is a total outside-the-box thinker. Sky was the limit, and together, we came up with a pretty cool story world that I couldn’t wait to put down on paper. It took awhile, though, since I had to find time in between my contracted books to work on these, but every time I got the opportunity, my creativity was completely fueled. The change of pace and genre was thrilling. I’ve discovered that I seriously love writing young adult literature.
Q: How did you make the decision to self-publish this series?
A: The world of indie publishing has tugged at my curiosity for the past couple years. I’ve had more and more friends who have gone indie and their experiences were largely positive. When I made the decision to do something with this series, I thought that this would be the perfect opportunity to give the indie route a try, as it’s very off-genre than my Katie Ganshert novels. I talked to my agent about my plan. She was incredibly supportive, and then I started learning all I could learn about indie publishing. It’s been a very fun adventure so far! I hope to publish more books like these under the K.E. Ganshert name in the future
I hope we see a lot more books like this in the future, too!
K.E. Ganshert was born and raised in the exciting state of Iowa, where she currently resides with her family. She likes to write things and consume large quantities of coffee and chocolate while she writes. She’s won some awards. For the writing, not the consuming. Although the latter would be fun. You can learn more about K.E. Ganshert and these things she writes at her website www.katieganshert.com.