They thought the biggest problem they faced was each other.
Welcome to one of the October 12th stops on the book blast for The Chasm by Branwen OShea with Goddess Fish Promotions. Be sure to follow the rest of the tour for spotlights, reviews, and a giveaway! More on that at the end of this post.
And before you go, consider reading my 4-star review of the previous book!
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Author Guest Post
All novels have tricky scenes or characters to write. The Chasm has five characters with their own points of view chapters, and each of those characters gave me unique challenges.
Rana is a young star being whose species strives for Crowning, a form of enlightenment where they undergo a metamorphosis and gain mental powers. Rana’s difficulty is that her parents never Crowned, and as a result she’ll do nearly anything to accomplish it. However, falling in love becomes quite the distraction. The hardest scene to write with Rana involved her decision on whether or not to enjoy the distraction of particular guys or to stay focused on her goal of enlightenment.
In the first book, Bleu risked going to the glacial surface of the Earth to find a cure for his kid sister’s illness, but as he does so he also starts having visions. In this second book, he discovers why he has these visions (he’s not magical or a chosen one) and explores his romantic feelings for a particular star being. The hardest part about writing Bleu was that he didn’t tell me he was asexual until I had tried unsuccessfully to write several intimate scenes. Once I understood he is romantically interested and also asexual, those scenes were much easier to write. I have never before experienced this sort of “coming out” with a character.
Atsushi is a shy fifteen-year-old who, due to his brave choices in book one, ends up as part of the team on this dangerous expedition. He struggles between trusting his nonviolent star being mentor to protect him and needing a weapon when facing constant life-threatening situations. If he uses a gun, he loses his mentor’s willingness to train him, but if he doesn’t use a weapon, he may lose his life. One of my goals as an author has been to explore our dependence on violence and weapons in a nonjudgmental way, and Atsushi’s dilemma brings this to a forefront. I’m still not sure what I’d do if I were in his situation.
Kahali is another star being teen, and Rana’s best friend. He experiences something traumatic with the humans in book one that transforms him from a compassionate prankster to a disillusioned, angsty soul. There are several scenes in this book where his post-traumatic response affects the team and it was tricky to balance the depth of his pain, his incredible strength, and his struggle to remain true to his belief in nonviolence. Those scenes were also hard because everything he believes falls apart. Poor Kahali deserves a nice long vacation to somewhere without any humans.
The final point of view is the morally gray antagonist, Commander Savas, who mistakenly believes he’s the only real hero. He’s super complicated, and will do whatever it takes to save the last three hundred humans. He often chooses the absolute worst possible actions for what he believes are the best reasons. The difficult part of writing him is that he’s incredibly strategic and highly intelligent, but lacks emotional intelligence. While his inner conflict makes him a blast to write, my constant fear was that readers might dislike him too much.
If Rana, Bleu, Atsushi, Kahali, and Commander Savas sound interesting to you, I hope you’ll give them a chance to share their adventures with you. The Chasm is the second book in the series, so these characters have plenty more pages to make things difficult for each other and their author. It’s a good thing I love them.
About the Book
Finding Humanity Series Book Two
by Branwen OShea
Published 24 June 2022
SIGMA Orionis Publishing
Genre: YA Science Fantasy
Page Count: 466
Add it to your Goodreads TBR!
They thought the biggest problem they faced was each other.
After Bleu, Rana, and their new friends narrowly prevent war between the star beings and humans, they hope the upcoming negotiation will secure the peace. Newly emerged from their subterranean haven, the Northern Haven humans are clearly not suited to Earth’s ice age, and require assistance from the enlightened star beings to survive long term on the Surface. But Commander Savas doesn’t trust the suspiciously kind star beings and their unexplainable abilities. When both sides reluctantly negotiate a joint mission to find the other Havens, Bleu must somehow cooperate with the manipulative commander to keep his friends safe.
As their team confronts unexpected dangers, Bleu and his teammates begin to suspect the star beings don’t know as much about the Surface as they claimed, while Rana is torn between remaining true to her nonviolent ways or becoming more human to survive. When an unnatural predator attacks, even the nearly all-knowing Kalakanya can’t explain it. Now the team must pull together or their new discovery will pull them apart, limb by limb.
Savas grinned. “Think of it as research. They’re a new species. You’re doing field observation.”
“I don’t think she eats at all.” Atsushi frowned. “None of the Crowned Ones seem to. They go to the gathering hall to socialize.”
“You do realize that’s impossible, right? They’re alive. They need an energy source.”
“Kalakanya said she eats air or something.”
Savas snorted. “Well, be curious. Ask Kahali when you’re alone. Later, ask the others. We’ll compare answers.”
Atsushi grimaced. “They’ll know what I’m thinking. I don’t want to upset them.”
“No, you don’t.” If he had another Medicci device to block mindreading, he’d offer it to him. There must be something the boy could do to stay safe. A tiny, guilty voice rose within him at exposing the boy to the dangers of mind-control. No kid should go through that.
“What if you keep that chant Kahali taught you running in your head? Maybe then they won’t catch on?”
“Maybe.” Atsushi was silent. “I’m supposed to be chanting that all the time, but I’m horrid at remembering.”
“Then work on that.”
Atsushi nodded and then glanced toward the fire, where the star beings suddenly sang more loudly. “You still don’t trust them, do you?”
“No, I don’t.”
“But why? They’re so nice.”
“There used to be a fish that lived in the depths of the ocean. It evolved a beautiful light that shone magnificently in the darkness. Other fish would swim close, mesmerized by the beauty, feeling completely safe. And then the light-bearing fish would tear them to pieces.”
About the Author
As a young girl, Branwen wanted to become an ambassador for aliens. Since the aliens never hired her, she now writes about them.
Branwen OShea has a Bachelors in Biology from Colgate University, a Bachelors in Psychology, and a Masters in Social Work. She lives in Connecticut with her family and a menagerie of pets, and enjoys hiking, meditating, and star-gazing. Her previously published works include contributing to a nonfiction yoga book, wellness magazines, and her published science fiction novella, Silence of the Song Trees.
Branwen OShea will be awarding $30 Amazon or B&N gift card to a randomly drawn winner via rafflecopter during the tour.a Rafflecopter giveaway
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