[Blog Tour] Naked As We Came (The Cassidy Tomei Chronicles #1) by Amberly Winn

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10:27 AM

In Amberly Wynn's novel, Naked As We Came, Cassidy Tomei must learn to survive in the barren landscape of Nyx. Her life seems to in a constant state of change and challenge as people begin to die off in this world. Will she survive a world that seems to be designed to be the last place they ever seen?

Review

Title: Naked As We Came
Author: Amberly Wynn
Publish Date: January 21, 2013
Publisher: Self-published
Pages: 395
Other Books in the Series: Flight of the Starwalkers (The Cassidy Tomei Chronicles #2 - To be published in 2013), Citadel of Glass (A Cassidy Tomei Novella - TBA)
Buy the Book: Amazon | Smashwords | Lulu
Rating: ★★★★★

Escaping Earth was the first triumph. Surviving Nyx will be the last…

Sixteen-year-old Cassidy Tomei was one of the lucky few airlifted aboard the Wonder to the planet Nyx. This emergency exodus from Earth was meant to bring new hope for the remaining survivors of humankind, but there’s one problem. Humankind isn’t alone on this mysterious new planet.

On Nyx, Cassidy is one of many living amongst subzero temperatures and with nothing, but a meager ration of food for every household. When the rations deplete, she flees to into unfamiliar wilderness in search of food, but instead discovers debris from a foreign spacecraft that proves humankind is no longer the dominate species.

Soon, everything she knows is at stake and everyone she loves is dead. But she’s got one more battle to fight when she’s taken prisoner within Pelhoi, a concentration camp constructed specifically for humans where hominoid creatures dubbed, “the Achillai” reign supreme.

She seeks freedom, but finds romance with someone who might either save her or get her killed.

In all my years of reading books, I've always been drawn to the ones that I can relate to the best. It's the books the bring to life a world and characters that do not exist, yet in my mind they linger for days. These characters leave a sympathetic plea to be helped, to be loved, to be wanted, and it's something about the characters that make the story real. In all my years of reading, this book brings to life a story that is as heart wrenching as it is heart warming. Cassidy is so real to me that sometimes I thought I could feel her emotions coming off the page. I applaud the author for creating a world and a character that surrounds the reader and makes them never want to leave.

Naked As We Came is the tale of a young woman named Cassidy who just might lose everything in the blink of an eye. In a world like Nyx, it certainly seems like a legitimate possibility. Her fear of what might come is hidden by her strength. She is determined to be whatever her family needs her to be and if it means killing herself in the process, I doubt she would even blink.  This is the story of her survival as she finds herself surrounded by hostile aliens and frightened humans. The only certain thing about this story is that her life will never be the same and this world she finds herself living in might never let her go. Is happiness possible in a world where the inhabitants seem hell bent on making humans suffer? What does the future hold in store for this beautiful young woman? Only time will tell.

The plot of the novel is unique and intense and it definitely would've taken a lot of time to conceive which shows how important this story is to the author. One of my favorite things about the plot is how real it seems and how relatable the author makes it. I never imagined that I would find myself in awe of a story quite like I am of this one. It was well constructed and complex. The whole story itself has to be peeled off layer by layer until you can see the true problems that lie beneath the surface. There is a beautiful darkness that takes up the story and I love that about it.

Cassidy, the main character of the novel, has many different faces to her. She is confident and self-reliant which leads her to refuse charity from others during the beginning of the book. If she does accept it, well, that's because it is absolutely necessary. Her emotional persona is strong or at least her facade is. Even while she is being marked with her number, she tries to hold off the screams and the tears and she holds off longer than I would have. She manages to only cry out but even that happens until her throat is raw with use. As she is introduced into this new world, she is extremely curious about those that she finds her surrounded with. Her eyes seem to be unable to take in everything that she wants to know and she wants to know everything, even the things that might frighten her or even destroy her. Bravado is definitely a good adjective for Cassidy but underneath it all, she is still young and unprepared for the world she is facing. Her greatest asset is her acting ability and it protects her in even the worst situations, it keeps her from collapsing and helps her keep her head high. I definitely love and admire her as a character. But the thing that makes her stand out from all of the other characters is her desire to protect the innocent from horrific fates and the only thing she wants is to make them happy.

Her family, although they may not make up a big part of the story, are the driving force behind Cassidy's thoughts and efforts. The first family member introduced is her younger brother, Tariq, and he is perhaps one of the most innocent characters in the book. It is hard not to love him. He is the one family member that lasts the longest in this world but once he is reintroduced, it is clear that he is not the same boy he was in the beginning. Her Mama is described as a strong woman but not indestructible and I think that Cassidy learned a lot of her greatest traits from her. I wish I would've had the chance to get to know and understand her mother in greater depth. But the only reason is because I want to see what led Cassidy to be who she is. Her elder brother, Lonnie, is another character I admire greatly and I think he gave her the strength to survive in the beginning. He is described as being like her Papa who had died prior to the book's beginning with his easy smile and sense of humor.

The lieutenants or soldiers of this alien race are the herders of these humans. The creatures that are introduced in the beginning are definitely cruel and take pleasure in killing the humans under their charge. It was sickening to watch them find humor in the murder of innocents and yet, when we humans are in a war, we are as cruel as they are. And this is to our own race. It's a game of superiority I suppose and they assert themselves over these humans by killing them off in front of the other ones. The most cruel of the lieutenants introduced is Kivo Nixo, who seems to target Cassidy from the beginning. Apparently, he has a thing for damsels in distress and that is what he sees from the moment he is introduced. The people that Cassidy tries to protect are the ones that are threatened by this alien.

Red-Eye or rather Alyen Ofeni is the love interest of this story, despite the fact that he is not human. He is a lieutenant in charge of the human prisoners but for some reason he seems to be the less cruel of them. He does not seem to take pleasure in killing them or hurting them in any way, including using derogatory terms for them. Cassidy calls him the soldier that cannot kill or at least he won't. From the moment he is introduced, you can tell that he is protective of Cassidy and cares for her beyond what she assumed was possible for her captors. I honestly adore him and even though he is an alien who's job is to keep humans in line, I think he is the best thing for Cassidy. Their love is wonderful story and I want to see it continue on. Perhaps they can beat the odds. Perhaps true love will win out.

I fell in love with a lot of the minor characters as the story progressed and as things happened, my heart broke for them. The author definitely made me fall in love with every character and that is what makes it most difficult to read. I think the fact that every character is so lovable is the reason why I love this book so much.

Go read this book, it's really amazing. I love this story and I know you will too. 


ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Amberly is an avid reader, a writer and a lazy blogger. Raised in the dirty south, she is a lover of BBQ as well. At just the tender age of 22, she's had her share of college and refuses to go back for as long as possible. After earning an associate’s degree in Graphic Design and Media Arts, she returned to her first love of writing full-time. She currently lives in Memphis TN.

Her favorite tales come from a plethora of the classics such as Jane Austen and some of today's modern favorites such as John Green and Laurie Halse Anderson. She's a lover of all things YA and enjoys even more putting her own spin on the genre herself. She writes for horror, suspense and sci-fi audiences of all ages and loves every second of this whimsical writer's life.  

Website:  amberlywynn.blogspot.com
Twitter: @rozkae


Excerpt from Chapter 1


Tariq’s screams wake me.
I jerk up in a daze, colliding headfirst with the frame of the top bunk. The whole wooden bed trembles in rhythm with Tariq’s thrashing body. It wouldn’t surprise me if he rolled out of bed and hit the floor. Poor kid. This is the third cold he’s had this month.
It’s no wonder why. The fire is a smolder. Nothing but ashes burns in the belly of the furnace across the room. He’s probably freezing to death up there.
“Cassidy, are you up yet?” Mama shouts. Her voice quavers from the other side of my bedroom door when she knocks. She’s catching a cold too.
We’re all on the same schedule for cold season this year. It’s not unusual these days. Born and raised in southern Arizona, none of us have gotten used to planet Nyx’s everlasting winter. But it’s a sacrifice we had to make to keep from perishing on Earth with the others.

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About the author

Bailee is the type of person you would expect to find with her nose buried in a book or a notebook and a pencil in hand. She loves reading and she loves reviewing the books she reads. This is certainly becoming a passion of hers.

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