Tag Archives: Meagan Spooner

Undying (Unearthed #2) – Amie Kaufman & Meagan Spooner

Undying (Unearthed #2) – Amie Kaufman & Meagan SpoonerTitle: Undying (Unearthed #2) by Amie Kaufman, Meagan Spooner
Publishing Info: January 8, 2019 by Disney Hyperion
Source: Received from the publisher for review purposes
Genres: Young Adult, Science Fiction, Time Travel
Date Completed: December 26, 2018
Find it on the web: Buy from Amazon // Goodreads
Related Posts: Illuminae (The Illuminae Files #1), Gemina (The Illuminae Files #1), Unearthed (Unearthed #1), These Broken Stars (These Broken Stars #1), Obsidio (The Illuminae Files #3)

Trapped aboard the Undying's ancient spaceship and reeling from what they've learned there, scavenger Mia and academic Jules are plunged into a desperate race to warn their home planet of the danger humanity's greed has unleashed. From the mountains of Spain to the streets of Prague, the sequel to Unearthed is a white-knuckle ride that will send readers hurtling back to earth, and leave them breathless until the last page.

The earth's fate rests in Mia and Jules's hands in the epic conclusion to New York Times best-selling authors Amie Kaufman and Meagan Spooner's tomb-raiding sci-fi duology.


UNEARTHED was one of my favorite books from 2018 so naturally I was dying to read UNDYING! The way UNEARTHED ended was such a killer and I couldn’t wait to see what happened next!

UNDYING was quite a solid progression in this series and had some great plot-building and overall concepts that continued building the series, but basically until this review was published, I didn’t realize this was the last book and that there were only two. The whole book read like it was going to be the second book in a series and it felt like a good stepping stone. It had some incredibly interesting elements that I was guaranteed to love, and I did, but I almost wished those things that had been revealed as things that had already happened in the past had been a main part of the book, because they were things I love reading about. (That’s a complicated sentence but without spoilers, it’s a little difficult to word, but you get what I mean.)

I loved the space/other planet element of UNEARTHED and it was part of what made me love the book so much with the added bonus of mysterious alien elements and a treasure hunting feel. UNDYING had a much different feel for me, and it wasn’t a bad thing but it didn’t have that same special feel that UNEARTHED did. The more I think about it, the more noticeable it feels so that’s kind of a bummer. I did still enjoy UNDYING and I liked where the series went, but it didn’t feel as magical and as exciting. Mild spoiler (sorry) to say that we make it back to Earth somewhat quickly in the beginning of the book and so that space element is lost and it just wasn’t as thrilling for me in that respect. The change of setting gave the book quite a different feel for me.

This is where my review gets extra complicated — The whole time I was reading this book, I was sure it was the second book in a trilogy. It just sounded and felt like it was and didn’t feel like it was leading towards the end. There was so much that was left to happen and I thought this was another one of those series (*cough* Renegades *cough*) that was advertised as two books but was getting stretched into three. That’s how not-a-last-book this felt. So as I was reading, I had many “second book” feelings. I was expecting a cliffhanger at the end like the crazy way we were left in UNEARTHED and I was disappointed at the lack of cliffhanger (so I guess thank goodness there wasn’t one). There kiiiind of was something that happened that was supposed to be shocking but I also kind of knew it wasn’t going to stick? (Another complicated non-spoilery sentence but you’ll know what I mean if you’ve read it.) Especially me thinking it was only the second book, I just didn’t feel like it was something that would be permanent so I wasn’t too worried about the shocking moment. If I had known better, I would have been a bit more panicked. I also really loved that the other cliffhanger from book one was a reveal about the plot and history and we didn’t have that same sort of feel here. There were a lot of reveals within the book that were cool and surprising, but they were also surrounded by action so it didn’t have time for it to sink in, at least for me.

I have to say, the blow that this was the last book in the series really affected my love for it. I suppose if I had realized that as I was reading, it would have changed much except for my knowledge while I was reading it, and it may have actually taken away more enjoyment from my reading experience because it really didn’t feel like an ending at all. There was so much left to explore and there wasn’t enough time in UNDYING to cover it, or rather, the book could have spent more time with the neat reveals instead of holding them for the end if this was how it was all going to conclude. The more I think about UNDYING, the less excited I feel, sadly. It’s still quite a solid read and very enjoyable, but I just didn’t get that level of excitement or engagement that I was hoping to achieve here.


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Kept Me Hooked On: Sci-fi future. I love seeing how things “may be” in the future and what’s happening on out planet… and others. This series has a great way of making you think about everything and its consequences!
Left Me Wanting More: Space. I just loved the setting of being on another planet in the first book. So much. Being back on Earth here just didn’t have as much of a thrill.

Addiction Rating
Read it

It’s still worth the read but the more I think about it, the more upset I am that this was the ending. The first book was SO GREAT and this felt disappointing.




These Broken Stars (These Broken Stars #1) – Amie Kaufman & Meagan Spooner

These Broken Stars (These Broken Stars #1) – Amie Kaufman & Meagan SpoonerTitle: These Broken Stars (These Broken Stars #1) by Amie Kaufman, Meagan Spooner
Publishing Info: December 10, 2013 by Disney Hyperion
Source: Audiobook borrowed from library
Genres: Young Adult, Science Fiction
Date Completed: February 28, 2018
Find it on the web: Buy from Amazon // Goodreads
Related Posts: Illuminae (The Illuminae Files #1), Gemina (The Illuminae Files #1), Unearthed (Unearthed #1), Obsidio (The Illuminae Files #3)

Luxury spaceliner Icarus suddenly plummets from hyperspace into the nearest planet. Lilac LaRoux and Tarver Merendsen survive – alone. Lilac is the daughter of the richest man in the universe. Tarver comes from nothing, a cynical war hero. Both journey across the eerie deserted terrain for help. Everything changes when they uncover the truth.

The Starbound Trilogy: Three worlds. Three love stories. One enemy.


This one didn’t really do it for me. I wonder if it’s in part because of the audiobook narrators? Lilac’s narrator was not very good — over dramatic and she couldn’t just SAY anything. It was always a whine or an exclamation or drawn out. But I also know that my favorite narrators can voice things that I don’t like and I still wouldn’t be hooked.

I sort of worked my way backwards here, obviously being a huge fan of the Illuminae Files and then reading UNEARTHED this year so I was like well, I better go back and read THESE BROKEN STARS to read more of Amie’s works. I knew it had received a lot of five star reviews and I can’t remember who I had talked to who was frustrated with it but I remember our conversation and didn’t think I was going to read it anyway. I’m not upset that I read it but it also wasn’t really something of interest for me.

Obviously this came first but it did feel like ILLUMINAE meets UNEARTHED (which makes sense since Amie is the author of all of those) but this book just didn’t have that hook that really grabbed me. I really wanted to love it but I didn’t really feel connected to it at any point in time. I liked Tarver. I did not like Lilac, but she was okay. The romance was a little too overdone and I just don’t feel like a whole lot happened throughout the book. I wanted so much more exploring and less just traveling. There was so much to explore in a BRAND NEW WORLD/PLANET and yet there wasn’t that much revealed about it except for the fact that Lilac and Tarver appeared to be alone there.

It sort of had a Lost vibe at the end which…. was kind of eyeroll-inducing. I guess I do want to see what else happens here and I know that this series is sort of a collection of companions, so I’m excited to see what the next group of characters have in store for readers and how it connects to the Lilac and Tarver story.


Kept Me Hooked On: Foreign planets. It was very cool to see more of space, planets we don’t even know, and all of that cool sci-fi stuff that I love exploring, even if it is fictional!
Left Me Wanting More: Of a little of everything. I didn’t love the romance or the plot or the pacing BUT I think this will get better as the series goes on. I hope?

Addiction Rating
Try it

I didn’t LOVE it but it was definitely interesting! I’m actually more interested to see where the rest of the series goes and how everything connects!




Unearthed (Unearthed #1) – Amie Kaufman & Meagan Spooner

Unearthed (Unearthed #1) – Amie Kaufman & Meagan SpoonerTitle: Unearthed (Unearthed #1) by Amie Kaufman, Meagan Spooner
Publishing Info: January 9, 2018 by Disney Hyperion
Source: Received from the publisher for review purposes
Genres: Young Adult, Science Fiction
Find it on the web: Buy from Amazon // GoodreadsDate Completed: January 9, 2018
Related Posts: Illuminae (The Illuminae Files #1), Gemina (The Illuminae Files #1), These Broken Stars (These Broken Stars #1), Obsidio (The Illuminae Files #3)

When Earth intercepts a message from a long-extinct alien race, it seems like the solution the planet has been waiting for. The Undying's advanced technology has the potential to undo environmental damage and turn lives around, and Gaia, their former home planet, is a treasure trove waiting to be uncovered.

For Jules Addison and his fellow scholars, the discovery of an alien culture offers unprecedented opportunity for study... as long as scavengers like Amelia Radcliffe don't loot everything first. Mia and Jules' different reasons for smuggling themselves onto Gaia put them immediately at odds, but after escaping a dangerous confrontation with other scavvers, they form a fragile alliance.

In order to penetrate the Undying temple and reach the tech and information hidden within, the two must decode the ancient race's secrets and survive their traps. But the more they learn about the Undying, the more their presence in the temple seems to be part of a grand design that could spell the end of the human race...


First, let me say… I was NOT ready for that ending! I wasn’t paying attention to how much was left in the audiobook and I was so surprised and shocked and… well, you should have heard the string of curses I shouted in my car when I found out that was how this book ended! It’s been a long time since I’ve had such a reaction to a book so that was pretty awesome, actually. The ending definitely launched some more feelings that has me wanting to rate this a little bit higher, but there were also parts that I just didn’t click with as much. I DO think that’s because of my lack of focus, though, so I can’t fault the book for that.

I loved both Jules and Mia (Mia more) and I liked how the girl was the tough one and the guy was the academic. I didn’t quiiiite pick up on their chemistry but I didn’t not feel it either (if that makes any sense at all). I wasn’t super shipping them but I enjoyed their connection, and you know I like anything where there’s banter or a sort of hate-to-love concept, so that worked for me!

The world-building was awesome. I don’t always do aliens (which is also why I didn’t read THESE BROKEN STARS, which apparently now I have to) but certain authors are totally nailing that and making me enjoy things that I didn’t think I liked. The concept behind this book was super interesting and I loved how things are constantly discovered and how everything evolves throughout the book. I’m sure a lot of people saw what was coming but again, that’s kind of the glory of listening to audiobooks while I work — I’m listening to the story but I’m not thinking ahead because my brain is already multi-tasking, so I’m often super surprised by plot twists and crazy developments, and UNEARTHED? You totally got me. I had chills. I shouted! I was stunned. There were a lot of super awesome moments in this book that had me reacting which aside from rage at “bad” things in books, I haven’t done in a long time.

This is an awesome adventure book. It’s pitched as Indiana Jones meets Lara Croft in space. I don’t know Lara Croft but Indiana Jones is definitely a good comparison. It’s part treasure-hunting, a lot of history, and a whole lot of adventure, and I really enjoyed the pacing from start to finish. There were a couple of slow-ish spots right after the beginning when things are getting set up, but I connected to the characters and this world pretty quickly.

I really enjoyed this book and I’m SO happy to have found a book that evoked feelings from me that wasn’t a re-read, and feelings that weren’t just rage. For that alone, it deserves quite a bit of praise because I’ve had a hard time finding a book that does that to me, for really almost a year now (I had very few 4.5 – 5 star reads last year) and DUUUUDE do I really have to wait for the next book?!? UGHHH. I need it now. I need it yesterday. I need it before I had even finished this one.


Kept Me Hooked On: Aliens. I’m not an alien book type person but this was done SO well. It almost had more a historical/world-building concept rather than just alien invasion.
Left Me Wanting More: Spark. I really did love almost everything but I wish I had FELT that spark more between Jules and Mia!

Addiction Rating
Read it

This was soooo enjoyable and I had so much fun reading it! I had a couple of slower spots but really, it was so solid all-around.




Skylark Blog Tour: Interview with Meagan Spooner!

Today at The Book Addict’s Guide, I’m very excited to say that I have Meagan Spooner stopping by for an official part of her SKYLARK blog tour! Check back at her website for more details about the blog tour and all the exciting news before the launch of SKYLARK on August 1st!

Before we launch into the interview, here’s a little info on Meagan’s debut novel, SKYLARK:


Vis in magia, in vita vi. In magic there is power, and in power, life.

For fifteen years, Lark Ainsley waited for the day when her Resource would be harvested and she would finally be an adult. After the harvest she expected a small role in the regular, orderly operation of the City within the Wall. She expected to do her part to maintain the refuge for the last survivors of the Wars. She expected to be a tiny cog in the larger clockwork of the city.

Lark did not expect to become the City’s power supply.

For fifteen years, Lark Ainsley believed in a lie. Now she must escape the only world she’s ever known…or face a fate more unimaginable than death.


I was lucky snag an interview with Meagan as well and we learned some new info about SKYLARK and were introduced to some inside facts about the main character, Lark:

WOW, ever since I read the summary of SKYLARK, I have been anxiously awaiting reading it! Can you sum it a little bit for us?
MS: SKYLARK is about a girl who’s forced to flee the only world she’s known, exchanging the safety of life inside the Wall for the uncertainty and darkness of the magical wasteland beyond. There’s a lot of self-discovery in the book, and facing fear and finding strength. It’s a dark and twisty kind of story, but I think there’s hope in it too.

So it sounds like a little bit of dystopia, a little bit of fantasy and magic, and right up my alley! I love the idea of the energy concert behind the novel. Were you always interested in sci-fi aspects of novels?
MS: Definitely. I’ve been reading adult science fiction and fantasy since I was eight or nine, and it’s always been the genre that I wanted to write. There was never any question in my mind! I think you can do so much more with science fiction and fantasy when it comes to exploring human nature, using contexts we’d never see in real life.

I saw from your bio that you’ve been all over the world (including Antarctica!) with your family. Did you use a lot of your experience with different environments in creating a totally new alternate world?
MS: Strangely enough, most of Lark’s world comes from the world around where I grew up (and live now) in northern VA. Her city is an alternate version of Washington, D.C., and the wilderness she flees through is very like the forests I played in as a child. Though many of my story ideas are actually inspired by the places I’ve traveled, this one—for reasons I can’t quite articulate—came from right here at home.

Your main character Lark seems like a real fighter! Did you see a lot of yourself in Lark’s determination and rebellious nature?
MS: Heck no! I’m a wimp compared to Lark—especially Lark by the end of the book. She grows a lot over the course of the story, shaped and honed by events and by her choices. That said, I think I’d have some fight in me if it came down to fighting for the people I care about. At one point in the book, a character tells Lark (who actually makes the same protest I just did, that she’s not a fighter) that she fights for the people she loves. So maybe Lark is sort of the person I wish I was—the person I hope I am, deep down.

As much as I am taken away by the action and adventure of a story, I know one of my favorite aspects is still the love story. Can you tell us a little bit about the relationship between Lark and the “wild boy” Oren?
MS: When Lark and Oren meet, Lark is on the verge of starvation and, for that matter, happens to be drowning at the time. He saves her life, but it’s not a damsel in distress situation. He doesn’t swoop in on a white horse and sweep her off her feet. There’s no love at first sight—and indeed, you’ll have to read and find out if there’s actually any love at all. At first Lark needs him to survive, because she doesn’t know how to do it by herself—she’s lived her whole life in a controlled dome. But gradually that begins to change, as Lark comes into her own and Oren begins to realize he needs her as much as she needs him. And in the end, Oren’s the one who actually needs saving.

Regardless of age, I know there are so many of us who love YA. How did you decide to set your novel in the young adult range?
MS: For me, there was never any question that I’d write YA. For one thing, I find the journey of self-discovery that’s so prevalent in YA fiction to be fascinating. Getting to explore what it means to be human right along the exploration of what it means to be an adult, what it means to be YOU and not THEM… that’s what it’s all about. But it’s not just about the age of the protagonist for me—I love the quick pacing in YA. I love the challenge of keeping young readers engaged. And nobody reads with more intensity and enthusiasm than children and teens—there are no greater fans. Teen readers are truly devoted.

And now a little less serious, and a little more fun – Quick Bookish Q&A 

Where is your favorite place to read/write?
MS: Reading: On the couch. I used to read in bed most often, but these days when I go to bed I’m asleep within minutes, making reading kind of hard! For writing, I’m happiest doing it at my own desk, at my computer. I have a very specific chair and keyboard and so forth. I can write from anywhere, but I prefer to write at home!

Are there any authors you’re dying to meet?
MS: Some I’ve met but would love to actually get to hang out with for more than the length of a panel and signing: Kristin Cashore and Peter S. Beagle, for example. Others I wish I’d met when they were still with us, like Diana Wynne Jones and Maurice Sendak. Still others, I hope to meet someday, like Neil Gaiman, Terry Pratchett, Tamora Pierce, Lois Lowry, and Robin McKinley.

What’s the best book you’ve ever read?
MS: THE LAST UNICORN by Peter S. Beagle. No, wait. THE GIVER by Lois Lowry. No, hang on, I can do this. ENDER’S GAME by Orson Scott Card. Or—you know what, screw it. This question is WAY TOO HARD.

Who’s your biggest literary crush?
MS: Radcliffe Emerson, from CROCODILE ON THE SANDBANK (and the other Amelia Peabody mysteries) by Elizabeth Peters. I can’t describe why, I honestly can’t. He’s so not my type—not to mention WAY older than I am. He was older than me when I read the book as a tween, and is STILL way older than me now. I don’t even read mysteries much—and I don’t tend to go for burly, muscly-type guys. But he’s a sexy Victorian archaeologist excavating in Egypt and solving murder mysteries with his ahead-of-her-time feminist wife. WHAT IS NOT TO ADORE?

Who’s your favorite literary villain?
MS: Oh, that’s a tough one. Overall, I’d say I prefer antagonists to villains—which isn’t always a clear distinction, but let me explain a bit what I mean. I like the anti-heroes… characters who aren’t necessarily just evil, and in fact could have been (or would have been) heroes if not for the choices they thought were right at the time. I love Inspector Javert, for example, in Les Miserables. I love how focused he is on apprehending Jean Valjean, on upholding the law. And yet his passion turns to obsession, and ultimately destroys him. I find villains who are bad for the sake of being bad to be a bit… unrealistic? Uninteresting? I like antagonists who believe they are acting in whatever way is best for everyone, that the ends justify the means. I like having to put my protagonists in the position of working out what’s morally correct… what you can sacrifice in the name of what’s “right.” How much can you give up before you yourself become the villain?

MS: Hardcover, if it’s a book I love and want to have permanently on my shelf. Mostly, though, it’s important to me that all books in a series match. If the first one I get is a hardcover, then I need to have them ALL be hardcovers! Otherwise they’ll look strange on my bookshelf.


Don’t judge me. The bookcase organization is the only thing I’m weird about, I promise. (Hint: I am lying. I am utterly weird about many, many things.)

I completely understand! I do the same thing with my books as far as keeping a series all paperback or all hardcover!! 

Thanks so much for chatting with me, Meagan! I had an absolute blast!


Author bio:
Meagan Spooner grew up reading and writing every spare moment of the day, while dreaming about life as an archaeologist, a marine biologist, an astronaut. She graduated from Hamilton College in New York with a degree in playwriting, and has spent several years since then living in Australia. She’s traveled with her family all over the world to places like Egypt, South Africa, the Arctic, Greece, Antarctica, and the Galapagos, and there’s a bit of every trip in every story she writes.

She currently lives and writes in Northern Virginia, but the siren call of travel is hard to resist, and there’s no telling how long she’ll stay there.

In her spare time she plays guitar, plays video games, plays with her cat, and reads.

She is the author of SKYLARK, coming out August 1 from Carolrhoda Lab/Lerner Books. She is also the co-author of THESE BROKEN STARS, forthcoming from Disney-Hyperion in Fall 2013.

Another big thanks to Meagan Spooner for the interview and for having me as a part of the SKYLARK blog tour! Here are some more links where you can find Meagan!

Pre-order the book! Coming out on SOON on August 1st, 2012!!!

Meagan’s put together a great swag package for one lucky winner! Click the link below for your chance to win some awesome Skylark swag!


Speaking of contests!: Have you entered yourself in THE SKY’S THE LIMIT contest at Meagan’s website yet? If not, you should go do it right now. The contest is ending TONIGHT 7/27 AT 11:59PM!! And here’s the kicker: Everyone is a winner! Check back at Meagan Spooner’s website for all of the details and enter yourself for even more Skylark goodies! Don’t forget, contest ends tonight so hurry up and enter to win!!

One more big thank you to Meagan for having me participate in the SKYLARK blog tour, as well as effectively wrapping up my Wild Worlds feature week!
Miss anything during Wild Worlds week? Check back here for links to all of the author interviews as well as chances to enter giveaways!