Today is my turn on the Blog-Tour for Winter Halo by Keri Arthur. It is the second book in the Outcast series. (The first is City of Light). Enjoy the fantastic Q&A with Keri Arthur and my review!
About the author
Keri Arthur is the New York Times bestselling author of the Outcast series, including City of Light, as well as the Souls of Fire, Dark Angels, and Riley Jenson Guardian series. She has written more than thirty books and has been nominated in the Best Contemporary Paranormal category of the Romantic Times Reviewers’ Choice Awards and has won a Romantic Times Career Achievement Award for urban fantasy.
About the book
From the New York Times bestselling author of the Souls of Fire novels comes the second in the futuristic fantasy series that will make you want to keep the lights on…
When the bombs that stopped the species war tore holes in the veil between worlds, they allowed entry to the Others. Now, a hundred years later, humans and shifters alike live in artificially lit cities designed to keep the darkness at bay…. The humanoid supersoldiers known as the déchet were almost eradicated by the war. Ever since, Tiger has tried to live her life in peace in hiding. But in the wake of her discovery that Central City’s children are being kidnapped and experimented on, Tiger’s conscience won’t let her look the other way. The key to saving them lies within the walls of a pharmaceutical company called Winter Halo. But as she learns more about the facility, Tiger’s mission is derailed by a complication: Winter Halo’s female security guards are being systematically attacked by an unknown force. Now Tiger must summon all her gifts to stop those responsible for both atrocities—no matter the cost to herself.
Before we get down to business (i.e. talking about your book) I would like to ask a set of questions I call ‘Breaking the Ice.’ (readers love to get to know all about their favourite authors)
The last book you read? (Inquisitive bookworms want to know) Anne Gracie’s The Summer Bride. I waited so long for Daisy’s story, and I loved it!
The last movie you watched, which you felt left a mark (in your heart, soul, wallet…you name it) I recently watched Spectre on Blu-ray, and was ever so glad I missed it at the movies! I couldn’t believe how bland/blah it was. I’m a huge James Bond fan, but in this, Daniel Craig wasn’t even trying.
Are you more of a Game of Thrones or Outlander, a movie night or sitcom kind of gal? (Combinations are possible) I haven’t watched either Game of Thrones or Outlander, and have no intentions of ever watching the former. I do, however, love Westworld. I’m also a huge lifestyle program fan (mostly British–Great British Bake-off, Escape to the Country, Location Location, etc). I also love the Aussie versions of those shows.
Which famous person (dead, alive, barely kicking) would you most like to meet? I’d love to have met Dick Francis, because he is one of my all time favourite authors. And for one out of left field, I would love to have met John Constable, and have him teach me how to paint just like him.
Something you treat yourself to, now and again? (Cream éclairs, doughnuts and chocolate totally count) Shoes. Totally shoes. I have something of a fetish for them 😀
All of the above questions are actually a pretty elaborate pysch evaluation disguised as random questions. Have no fear here come the real ones. Let’s talk about Winter Halo.
I really enjoyed the mixture of genres in Winter Halo, a dystopian tale with sci-fi elements and a portion of urban fantasy. Was mixing the genres something you set out to do or did the ideas evolve as you were writing? I’ve never been a planner when it comes to my writing. I usually set out with a vague idea and the story and setting develop from there. That’s what I love about writing–the discovery of where it’s going!
Was it your intention to get both the readers and even the characters to question the humanity of the genetically modified dechets or to be more specific questioning Tiger’s humanity? That developed as the story developed. In truth, what does make us human? Is it as simple as the nature of our birth? Is it higher brain capacity, the ability to think and feel? Or is it something more indefinable? Why are we considered human, and yet the great apes, who share something like 98% of our DNA, are not? I’m not sure The Outcast Series answers these questions, but I’d like to think it at least gets those who read it thinking about things like acceptance and tolerance. We really need a lot more people thinking about those in the current clime.
Staying with that line of questioning, Tiger was created with a specific purpose in mind, and although she acts as programmed she is also capable of acting independently. Is her initial programming the reason why she was engineered the reason some characters don’t trust her or is it because she doesn’t conform to their preconceived ideas of the dechet? Most humans and shifters only ever had contact with the soldier dechets. Very few people outside the Humanoid Development Program ever knew about the existence of dechets such as Tiger, who was developed as a lure–a seductress designed to infiltrate shifter encampments and steal battle information. The other characters views are tainted by their experiences with the soldiers; they’re having to battle ingrained beliefs about what dechets are with the reality Tiger presents to them.
Tiger carries around an extreme amount of guilt about the ghosts (children). She seems to blame herself for their deaths. Is that why she is willing to go the extra mile to try and save the living children? Yes. She’d been assigned as the children’s guardian while waiting reassignment, and she believes she failed in that duty, even though she almost died trying to save them. It’s that guilt that drives her to save Penny and Jonas, and keeps her involved in not only the quest to find the rest of the missing children, but to stop those who want to give the vampires and wraiths light immunity.
Tiger and her relationship to sex is quite an intriguing aspect of the story. Tiger uses sex to obtain information and achieve her goals. Her relationship with it is very calculated. Will we see her experience sex in a different way when and if she finally does have intercourse because she wants to and not because she has to? I really can’t answer this question, because it would step into spoiler territory!
Will we be seeing/reading more about Tiger? If the answer is yes (hopefully) will it be soon (no pressure *laugh*)? I’ve planned the Outcast Series as three books, so yes, there will be more of Tiger after Winter Halo. The third book is tentatively called The Black Tide, but I’m not sure when it’ll be out yet. Hopefully by the end of 2017 or beginning of 2018.
Thank you for answering all of my questions, especially the odd ones! You’re welcome–and the odd ones were fun!
Despite being a successful award winning author I don’t believe Keri Arthur really gets the recognition or attention she deserves for her writing. Regardless of the genre, sub-genre or the topic, Arthur always gives her readers a run for their money.
Winter Halo, which is the second book in the Outcast series, is a perfect example of her ability to flow seamlessly from one genre to the other within the same story. It’s a dystopian extravaganza with sci-fi elements and an urban fantasy flair.
It is set in a world of genetically enhanced soldiers, shifters, ghosts, vampires and perhaps a few humans. Tiger is determined to save a small group of children, who have been kidnapped with the intent of committing unimaginable atrocities.
Watch this space for the Tiger and Jonas saga, because it is definitely coming. The sexual tension between the two of them is like a volcano set to erupt. No pun intended. Okay that’s a lie it’s totally intended. Jonas can’t help but be drawn to the feisty dechet, perhaps because she is the complete opposite of what he thinks she should be like.
Instead of hard cold reasoning there is a strong compassionate vein, and her ability to communicate with ghosts makes her seem more humane instead of like the genetically enhanced soldier she actually is.
One of the more fascinating aspects of Tiger is the way she compartmentalizes her actions, emotions and choices. Her sexual activities are sorted into boxes labelled ‘a means to an end.’ All business all the time. Maybe it is time she did it for herself and for the pleasure instead.
I am looking forward to the third part in this series, especially a possible Tiger and Jonas relationship. Winter Halo is an action driven read with creative ideas, intricate world-building and plenty of potential for further development.
It was, as always with a Keri Arthur book, a read I would recommend.
Readers from the US and Canada also have the fantastic opportunity to take part in a giveaway for City of Light and Winter Halo by Keri Arthur by retweeting the giveaway on Twitter. Or just comment below. (Winner will be notified at the end of the tour) Good Luck!