Series: The Shadow Ravens
Vol or Book #: 2
Author: Lola Dodge
Format: E-book and Paperback
Publisher:Ink Monster, LLC
Cover by: Art by Ana Cruz, Graphics by Paddy Donnelly
Editor: Ink Monster, LLC
The son of two senators, Altair Orpheus leads a life of privilege that provides the perfect cover for his side job: working with the rebel Shadow Ravens to undermine the ruling Seligo government. Everything is running like clockwork until he crosses paths with Quanta. As he watches her deftly maneuver through life in a perverse prison, his plastic heart melts. A jailbreak would be suicide, but Tair is willing to sacrifice everything to give her a chance at happiness.
Now Quanta senses a terrifying new future brewing. She and Tair are bound together, but every image of them kissing, snuggling, and acting knee-weakeningly happy is balanced by a much darker possibility. They’ll be picture perfect together, but only until time rips them apart. How can she follow her heart when she’s seen how their love plays out?
Mother smiled like a cat, full of ambition and smugness. "Someone wants to meet you."
Someone? Suddenly, I knew where this was going. "Mother—"
"There are the Astors." Mother gave a demure wave and started gliding toward a trio standing near an ice sculpture. Her fingers clamped my arm, dragging me along. Father walked on my other side, sandwiching me in place.
No way to run without making a scene. Senator Astor and her husband stood waiting with their daughter.
My free hand bunched into a fish, but I tucked it into my pocket. I couldn’t make a mistake in front of this audience.
Mother exchanged greetings, then made a sweeping gesture. "This is my son, Altair. Altair, this is Layla Astor."
Layla's blonde hair tumbled in artful curls and braids. She wore tasteful neutral makeup that emphasized her full lips and emerald green eyes, but a hint of darker eyeliner smudged like a leftover from some previous night's debauchery; that was half of what I needed to know to escape the conversation.
And I would escape. I had no interest in these shallow romances meant to gain my family position.
"It's nice to meet you, Altair. I knew your sister at academy." And that was why Cass had been invited. Some common bond to me to a potential future mate.
Good thing Cass had stayed home. She'd hate the situation as much as I did.
The girl extended her arm, flashing her Green Helix and I couldn’t avoid the handshake. "Likewise." Layla's rough fingertips gave me the last clue I needed. Calluses from playing an instrument. Between that and the eyeliner, I had an excellent guess at how to get rid of her. Rather than sell her out in front of her parents, I offered her an arm. "I was just about to admire the ice sculptures. Would you care to join me?"
"I'd love to." She smiled and placed delicate fingertips on my arm.
Our parents grinned conspiratorial smiles as we strolled away. No doubt they'd already picked a wedding date. I waited until we were out of modified earshot to speak. "How upset would your family be if I mentioned that you plan in a band?"
"Very." Layla tenses, and her expression and tone shifted from vapid politeness to shrewd consideration. "Not that you should know."
I shrugged. "I won't say a thing as long as you don't press and engagement."
"Thank God." Layla shuddered. "Our mothers schemed this one. I thought you were in on it."
I grinned. I didn't often stumble onto others faking their way through Helix life, but every so often an ally dropped in my lap. "Should we small talk for a few minutes and then pretend to offend each other?"
Layla pressed her lips together, eyes me up and down. "If you're up to it, I have a better suggestion."
"Oh?" I handed her a drink taken from a passing tray. our parents still watched from across the room.
"Let's meet for coffee. We could draw this out for months."
"A faux courtship?" It had promise, although there were certainly risks.
"You're the first guy they've set me up with who's not a self centered ass." Layla's mischievous smile made her eyes sparkle. "My girlfriend would love you."
Her voice was clear of subterfuge and I found myself smiling back. "Next week? I'm sure our parents already exchanged our contact information." And faking a relationship would save me getting blindsided at every event.
"Call me." She finger-waved and then headed for a crowd of friends who proceeded to glance my way, slipping a few quickly smothered cackles. I nodded before heading off to work the crowd.
Despite my parents' efforts, the night was going better than expected.
Lola is a compulsive traveler, baker, and procrastinator. She earned her BA in English from Stonehill College and MFA in Writing Popular Fiction from Seton Hill University—and hasn’t stopped moving since. When she’s not on the road, Lola spends her time indoors where the sunlight can’t melt her, writing or bingeing on anime and cherry soda. She can be summoned in a ritual involving curry, Hello Kitty idols, and a solid chocolate pentagram.
Hi! I'm so happy right now. I'm getting to do interviews with all three of you lovely ladies at Ink Monster on three series I am just in love with so sort of fangirl heaven! Okay let's get started!
Why did you become a writer/author?
Because Jurassic Park isn’t real yet. I’m switching to a brontosaurus wrangler as soon as that’s a legit career option. Also because I answer question like that and there’s no other job I can do without getting fired.
How do you come up with the names for your characters?
I get a lot from my travels. Thane (one of the minor characters) was an elevator inspector in Chiang Mai, Thailand. Although oddly enough, I didn’t name Quanta. She came pre-named when I signed onto the series with Aileen and Christina. I changed literally everything else about her (at least three times but the name stuck!
What books are you currently reading?
I just finished Throne of Glass by S. J. Maas and started The Mark of Noba by G.L. Thomas. I’ve been in a YA mood lately.
Haven’t we all! With two POV's, Quanta and Altair, what were your favorite parts of writing each?
It’s nice to have two very different voices. Quanta’s fun to find verbs for (and she and I share a serious sweet tooth) and then I like switching from her quirky tone to Altair’s tighter, almost more academic style.
Quanta sees many different possibilities for the future that change by the choice? How does she cope with this and not go crazy? Can she be surprised?
The future is always changing, so she’s never really certain what people will do until right before they do it. It gets hard for her to figure things out when there are a lot of possibilities, and it makes her a little disconnected from reality at times. She can definitely be surprised, though! Especially when something big’s on the way that’s going to change her path…Wonder what that could be?! ;)
Altair seems to have it all, on the path for everything her was designed for in their world but he became a Shadow Raven fighting against the system he would excel in. What makes Altair different from the rest of the Seligo?
He had a bad experience that seriously changed his way of thinking (you’ll see…!). He also got tired of watching the Seligo treat his sister like a loser because she didn’t get a Helix. You don’t mess with Cassiopeia Orpheus if you want to stay on Altair’s good side!
If you could have immortality, would you take it? I admit I might like the idea, that way I might have a real chance at finishing my TBR ;)
Sure! And for the same reason. I’m going to need a lot of years to write all the books I have planned.
I know there is a lot of team work at Ink Monster, but The Shadow Ravens seems like a real group project with Aileen Erin writing the first book featuring Cipher, you working on Quanta, and rumor has it Christina Bauer working on the third book and character. How is it working on the project? Are there any difficulties not being the only voice?
We really have to cooperate. It’s all a bit of an experiment and we keep changing the plan and learning what works and doesn’t in a collaborative world like this. Right now, we’re planning two more Quanta books (a full trilogy of Quanta!) and then the baton will pass back to either Cipher or Christina’s character. Luckily we’ve all been writing together for a few years, so we know what everyone needs to be effective. It’s definitely not for every writer, but we’re all still speaking to each other, so we much be doing okay with it J
Now for a little fun. Book boyfriends. We all love them. Who is your book boyfriend?
My first book boyfriend ever was Numair Salmalín from Tamora Pierce’s Immortals series and I still have a soft spot for him. The scene where he and Daine finally kiss still gives me butterflies! Wizards are really underrated as book boyfriends.
Do you have any new projects coming up?
Quanta: Reset will come out next October, or possibly sooner depending on scheduling and how much people are clamoring for more Shadow Ravens J We’re also planning for more to write an Alpha Girl spin-off one of these days. Aileen’s been letting me slowly take over one of the characters…Can you guess which one??
I’m hopping on Meredith! How can your readers get in touch?
I’m on all the social medias. Instagram and Twitter are my favorites, but I love a good e-mail, too!
Okay so you may have noticed how excited I've been for this book for a multitude of reasons if you've been following my blog long. I was beyond excited to receive and ARC for review, already had it pre-ordered but getting it early just means I can enjoy it that much sooner. And enjoy it I did.
Rating: 5 Cupcakes
Quanta is the second book in The Shadow Ravens series, this book is written by Lola Dodge. Now you can read it alone, the story holds it's own but it will have some spoilers of things mentioned that happened in book one, Cipher. So be warned there. That's it. Same world but this time we follow the path of another red, Quanta. She is a captive. She has a very rare and unique red power, the power to see into the past and different possible futures. It's dual prospective, so we also see things from Altair, a Shadow Raven himself but one that is on the fast track to becoming Seligo, the immortal elite, born to be perfect but a prisoner in his own life as well. When they meet it hits the fan and things start moving.
There isn't a dull moment in this book. I couldn’t put it down. I got so mad when people interrupted me from reading, having to remind myself I was at work so I couldn’t ignore them or yell at them, but still. It was amazing. I loved Quanta from the first moment. What she is living with, a test subject trying to use her gift to protect those she can while also trying to protect herself from losing what little control she has of her life. She is a lab rat and never seeing a positive future for yourself only ones with less pain would drive anyone insane. And Altair, he is somewhat of a know it all, but one you like. He kind of reminded me of Sherlock and House in a way, knowing everyone is out for something and noticing things others wouldn’t catch to use to his advantage. He is also completely focused on is work. He doesn't like the way things are and only plays along to keep up appearances for a bigger purpose. Constantly being watched and told how to behave to advance while others plan out your life, he has only slightly more control over his life than Quanta.
These two meeting was priceless. Her visions of him, of them, would distract the most strong willed person. Quanta has some hilarious lines that made me snort while reading. Priceless. I was stuck between understanding her reasons and wanting to strangle her when she made some decisions, as is par for most books. Images of them happy and in love kissing and snuggling, hopeful followed up by images of pain and loss and death are hard to sort. The happiness is so easy to want given her life but when the happiness seems tainted with blood, pain, and heartache is it worth it? Altair knows they are bound and he has to free her, not just because he feels it is right but somehow they have found a way to use her skills to hurt the shadow ravens. Neither of them will stand for that.
This book has a great story and characters you want to know every single thing about but it's also full of action. You have corporate espionage type thing going on, all 007 like working for shadow ravens and gun fights, chases, and more. There was always something happening be it action or with the characters that you wanted to keep going. Also it's hard to have covert conversations when your every move is monitored. I highly recommend this book! If that wasn't clear enough already. Quanta is out on the 13th so pick up your own copy and give it a go. Share any thoughts and questions down below in the comments as usual!