White Heart of Justice (Noon Onyx #3) by Jill Archer-Blog Tour, Review and Guest Post
White Heart of Justice
Noon Onyx 33
by Jill Archer
Release Date: May 27, 2014
Genre: dystopian, UF,
WHITE HEART OF JUSTICE
(Noon Onyx #3)
by Jill Archer
Genre: dystopian, urban fantasy
ABOUT THE BOOK: May 27, 2014
Since Lucifer claimed victory at Armageddon, demons, angels, and humans have coexisted in uneasy harmony. Those with waning magic are trained to maintain peace and order. But hostilities are never far from erupting…
After years of denying her abilities, Noon Onyx, the first woman in history to wield waning magic, has embraced her power. She’s won the right to compete in the prestigious Laurel Crown Race—an event that will not only earn her the respect of her peers but also, if she wins, the right to control her future.
However, Noon’s task is nearly impossible: retrieve the White Heart of Justice, a mythical sword that disappeared hundreds of years ago. The sword is rumored to be hidden in a dangerous region of Halja that she is unlikely to return from. But Noon’s life isn’t the only thing hanging in the balance. The sword holds an awesome power that, in the wrong hands, could reboot the apocalypse—and Noon is the only one who can prevent Armageddon from starting again…
REVIEW: WHITE HEART OF JUSTICE is the third instalment in Jill Archer’s dystopian Noon Onyx urban fantasy/post apocalyptic series focusing on Maegester In Training Nouimo (Noon) Onyx.
BACKGROUND: Archer’s series focuses on the simmering truce between Angels and Demons 2000 years after Armageddon, and the destructive nature of the Maegester and their dark ‘waning’ magic. But for 22 year old Nouiomo Onyx (aka Noon) a reversal of fortunes has occurred at her birth-she was imbued with the dark waning magic (once only accorded to men) and her twin Nocturo (Night) is gifted with the waxing magic (once only accorded to women). Women were the creators not the destroyers. Noon’s ability to wield waning magic will become both a curse and a blessing.
Told from first person POV (Noon) the premise follows Noon and her latest second year ‘assignment’ as a Maegester in Training (MIT). To make reparations for the destruction of school property Noon is entered into a ‘competition’ for the Laurel Crown-the winner is offered his or her choice of position-and the competition is difficult and nearly impossible to win. Noon is commissioned to find and retrieve the ‘White Heart of Justice’ –a magically imbued sword-that has been missing for hundreds of years. The sword’s special abilities are known only to a few and if it falls into the wrong hands Armageddon may see a second coming.
Jill Archer takes the reader through the snow swept plains of a dark and dangerous landscape where once teaming villages laid claim to the land. Now, the icy cold desolation is only the beginning for Noon and her chosen guardian angel Raphael. Our duo will encounter mystical demons, marauding creatures and the walking dead. Noon’s once beloved friend Peter is determined to stop Noon at every opportunity and in this the storyline takes a decidedly shadowed and treacherous turn.
The secondary characters set up the story revealing history, background and the circumstances of Noon’s upcoming quest for the White Heart of Justice; they challenge Noon about her ability to be successful and push our heroine forward in her task. The world building continues from the previous storylines as Noon encounters the people from her past and possibly her future. As with all dystopian storylines and series there is a foreboding of evil-one in which Noon must face head on in order to survive.
WHITE HEART OF JUSTICE is a graphically detailed and intensely personal tale of one woman’s journey to prove she is worthy of acceptance into a world of which she does not belong. Jill Archer’s dystopian world of Angels and Demons is breathtaking in its’ vulnerability; disturbing in its’ discrimination; and passionate in its’ expectations and needs. White Heart of Justice and the Noon Onyx series is a must read for fans of urban fantasy and dystopian fairy tales where Armageddon is only the beginning-not the end.
Copy supplied by the publisher.
Reviewed by Sandy
Fantasy Covers: Jill Archer Discusses the Noon Onyx Covers
I am a cover lover.
Everyone has heard the expression “don’t judge a book by its cover” so many times, it almost gets an auto eye roll these days. We know we shouldn’t but we do.
Or do we?
The truth is probably a bit more complicated. Disregarding any sort of scientific method, I’m going to use myself as the quintessential “every reader” and let my experiences disprove the age-old adage. (I know, no two readers are alike, but bear with me).
In truth, I don’t judge a novel by its cover. I know that the words inside have only a passing relationship with what’s portrayed on the cover. The rational, clinical, cynical part of me knows that covers are designed for that other part of me – the part of me that wants to be viscerally and instantaneously moved by a single image. The part of me that has an instinctive knee-jerk reaction to touch what I like. To pick it up, to hold it in my hand, to flip it over so that I can see more of it.
Let’s face it. The cover of a book is our gateway drug to a whole other world. It’s neither the red pill nor the blue pill. It’s blissfully purple. Because covers are our first glimpse into a verisimilar escape from reality. They are our ticket to Fiction.
When my editor first contacted me about the cover design for my first novel, Dark Light of Day, I was thrilled. Contractually, my publisher was under no obligation to consult me. But I was asked for my thoughts. And I gave them! So many, in fact, that had I been in charge that first cover would have resembled a fantasy I Spy page. It would have had creepy, gothic academic buildings in the background, filigreed ornaments, tarnished bells, and bits of half-digested corn-dolls in the foreground, all interspersed with Seraphim court jesters, demon shape-shifters, diabolical illusions, and the book’s recurring motifs: fire, flowers, gardens, greenery…
Uh, what about Noon?
Well, I had thoughts about her too.
But my editor patiently reminded me of what I should have known already. Eight seconds gives bull riders an eternity to make an impression. What reader spends eight seconds looking at a cover?! Try one second. Two seconds, tops.
So we went with Noon, front and center.
After that, the process became more streamlined. I was asked for input on possible settings, poses, clothing, and how to illustrate her magic. Starting with Fiery Edge of Steel, I also opted (in lieu of the ridiculous everything-but-the-kitchen-sink list I’d given them for Dark Light of Day) to include a brief story summary, similar to back cover copy.
So how did my covers turn out? Here are the stats:
DARK LIGHT OF DAY
Cover artist: David Palumbo
Setting: St. Lucifer’s Law School (“St. Luck’s”)
Pose/expression: In brilliant ambiguous Mona Lisa fashion, Noon either looks defiant or unsure of herself. Perfect for the character in this book.
Clothing: A bustier and cloak. Frankly, Noon would never wear a bustier in book #1. But the cloak cleverly hides her demon mark.
Magic: A fireball. Loved it. I now give out Atomic fireball candies at book signings.
Other details: Terrific! In her other hand, Noon is holding a stack of books. Great signal to readers that she’s a student. And – it was subtle – but I appreciated the blackened vine motif on St. Luck’s gates. It was a nod to the fact that Noon’s touch is deadly to plants.
FIERY EDGE OF STEEL
Cover artist: Jason Chan
Setting: New Babylon docks
Pose/expression: Noon advances toward the reader holding a flaming filleting knife. She looks feisty.
Clothing: A bustier and cloak again. Even though Noon still wouldn’t wear this in book #2, I was glad they chose this clothing because, with the cover artist change, it gave the covers some continuity.
Magic: The fiery blade, of course. Noon’s waning magic allows her to shape weapons out of fire. What makes this cover so amazing is that I had to choose the title before seeing the cover. And yet, how lucky did I get that the cover and title synched so perfectly?
Other details: I gotta admit, I love Jason Chan’s style. The clothes are awesomely detailed and Noon looks arresting, which is great because she has some tough choices to make in book #2.
WHITE HEART OF JUSTICE
Cover artist: Jason Chan
Pose/expression: Grasping a sword with both hands, Noon looks contemplative. There are grave consequences for missteps in book #3.
Clothing: The fur-lined hooded cloak was a nice change and I liked the way the double-disc cloak clasp echoed Fiery Edge of Steel’s single-disc cloak clasp. I adored the gloves.
Magic: The fiery war bird MADE this cover for me. I didn’t know if they’d be able to work it in – but they did! I don’t want to say too much about it other than it’s a signal to readers that Noon uses her magic in new and different ways in this book.
Other details: Do we need any with this cover?! It’s fantastic! But to finish off the stats, I’ll say that I like the sword’s hilt. It’s apropos of nothing in the story, but it works. And it’s clear, at least with my covers, that Jason Chan loves a sweeping left visual arc. Lastly… the cover quote! I love how The Reading Café’s quote references the dark world of my stories while the cover itself is so light, bright, and white. It’s an ingenious juxtaposition of cover elements that deftly represents the entire series.
So those are my thoughts on my covers. What about you? What do you think of the Noon Onyx covers? What other covers have you loved? What visual elements make you want to pick up a book (or click on it for more info if you’re a digital reader)?
Thank you to Sandy for inviting me to guest blog today. Best wishes to everyone here at The Reading Café!
Jill Archer is the author of the Noon Onyx series, genre-bending fantasy novels about a post-grad magic user and her off-campus adventures. DARK LIGHT OF DAY and FIERY EDGE OF STEEL, the first two books in the series are available now from Penguin/Ace. The third book, WHITE HEART OF JUSTICE, will be released May 27, 2014. Jill lives in Maryland with her husband and two children.
The Reading Cafe is NOT responsible for the giveaway. If you have any questions, please contact the author.
Click HERE for giveaway details and information.
4/24/14 – 6/3/14
WHITE HEART OF JUSTICE
SNEAK PEEK TWEETS
Below are some fun, somewhat tongue-in-cheek, sneak peek tweets about White Heart of Justice (say that five times fast!)
Anyone who tweets one of these will be entered to win ANY fantasy book of their choice from Book Depository (https://www.bookdepository.com/) up to $10.00, so long as Book Depository ships to your address. No purchase necessary. Void where prohibited. International participants age 18 and older. Ends at midnight EDT on 6/3/14. See my Giveaways page (http://jillarcherauthor.wordpress.com/newsandevents/giveaways/) for official rules. One tweet/entry per person.
“Lucem in tenebras ferimus. Into the darkness, we bring light.” @archer_jill #DARKLIGHTOFDAY
“When traveling into the unknown, sometimes the biggest danger is the one you bring with you…” @archer_jill #FIERYEDGEOFSTEEL
“One out of every two hunters who follow the Old Trail will not return.” @archer_jill #WHITEHEARTOFJUSTICE
Finally! I’m looking forward to seeing Noon embrace her fiery magic. @archer_jill #WHITEHEARTOFJUSTICE
Ari Carmine is smokin’ hot. I wanna see if Noon can forgive him for that nasty surprise at the end of B2. @archer_jill #WHITEHEARTOFJUSTICE
I heard a rumor that Rafe Sinclair makes a wish and I wanna know if it’s granted. @archer_jill #WHITEHEARTOFJUSTICE
Nocturo. Tall dark handsome. Heard his scalpel’s put to good use. Is he gonna threaten Brunus w it again? @archer_jill #WHITEHEARTOFJUSTICE
I love the characters, but I’m really just in it for the monsters and magic. Bring on the ice demons! @archer_jill #WHITEHEARTOFJUSTICE
Armageddon is over. The demons won. But it’s not as dark as all that. Parts of it are romantic and sweet. @archer_jill #NOONONYXSERIES