Blog Tour & Review: The Union Series
by T.H. Hernandez
I have read the first two books of the Union series and I am happy to bring you a blog tour today to help spread the word on this completed 3 book dystopian series! In this post you will find all the series information, excerpts, my review, as well as a tour-wide giveaway! Coming soon on the blog, my review for the final book, The Uprising! Hope you check out this really original & exciting dystopian series!
Genre: Young Adult, Dystopian, Romance
Published: November 18th, 2014
Read the first 3 chapters for free! Wattpad
After global warming and a second civil war devastated the former United States, two different societies rose from the ashes – the Union, a towering high-tech utopia, hugging the perimeter of the continent, and the devastated, untamed midsection known as the Ruins.
Seventeen-year-old Evan Taylor has an easy, privileged life in the Union. What she doesn’t have is any idea what to do with the rest of her life. She only knows she wants to do something meaningful, to make a difference in the lives of others.
When she’s kidnapped and taken into the Ruins as a pawn in a dispute involving her boyfriend, Bryce, her ideal world is turned upside down. What she learns while in the Ruins shakes her faith in everything she’s ever known, from Bryce, to her family, and even the Union itself.
Now Evan must choose whether to stay with Cyrus, the sexy, resourceful survivor who believes she’s in the Ruins for a reason, or return to the only life she’s ever known. But when she stumbles upon a dangerous plot that threatens both worlds, her decision could tear her apart.
The Union is a futuristic young adult romantic adventure
Excerpt from The Union:
Once the sun rises, I can make out trees in the distance. Real trees with leaves, which means there must be water nearby. I’m not sure Ruins water is safe to drink, but I do know I’ll die if I don’t drink something.
Even though I’ve been walking for hours, the trees don’t seem to be getting any closer. My legs have taken on a sponge-like quality and I stumble, but manage to stay upright. If I fall, I may never get up again.
I’m almost to the trees. They’re only a little farther now.
There’s no water here. How can there be trees without water?
Despair overtakes me and I drop down, pounding my fists on the barren ground. I stuff a soft green leaf in my mouth, seeking moisture, but my mouth is so dry, I gag on the pieces, tearing my throat like shards of broken glass.
My head spins as I lie on my back and struggle to form coherent thoughts. I take a deep breath and tell myself to think. Think is such a strange word.Think, think, think. It doesn’t even sound English.
Shaking my head to clear my mind, I try to pull myself together, remembering where I am and forcing myself to focus on my immediate situation. What do the Buddhists call it? Being mindful.
My brain works to form rational thoughts, but there’s nothing rational about this. I left home to find my place in the world, is this really where my search was supposed to lead me? It’s more like a cruel joke. If I was on a date with destiny, it just took a bizarre turn into a twisted ending I never saw coming.
God, if only I hadn’t gone to the park that night, none of this would’ve happened. I begin to cry. For my family and friends who will never know what happened to me, and for me. I’m not ready to die, I’m only 17.
I can’t help wondering if I would have spent so much time agonizing over my future if I’d known I’d be dead so soon. If I’d known, maybe I’d have done everything differently. Now I know my future. My life ends here. Alone. In the Ruins.
I absolutely loved The Union, the first book in the series of the same name. I read this book back when I was reading and reviewing book 2, The Ruins, for the blog tour back in June of 2015. At the time I was focused on the tour for book 2, so I never wrote a review for book 1, now that I am looking back, writing a review without all of my feelings and knowledge is harder than I thought it would be, but I will do my best, but it will be shorter than my usual reviews, which in no way says anything negative about this book!
The Union started out fast and kept that pace going throughout this adventurous and creative look at the possible future of the USA. We are following a teenage girl named Evan who is about to embark on her summer break from school to try and figure out what she wants to do with her life, her future career. She somehow gets thrown into a situation that ends up with her being kidnapped and taken into the dead zone of the country, lovingly called the Ruins, which can’t be good. The Union folks are taught that no one and no life can survive in the Ruins and Evan is not only being held captive by a group of scary men, but she also can’t imagine what is going to happen to her out here in the wild. Everything she has ever known or been taught is in great juxtaposition with everything she is witnessing while she struggles to survive in the Ruins.
I absolutely loved Evan. She was strong and willing to take great risks even though she was so scared. Actually, all of the characters were so well crafted, that this story was bright and vivid in my mind and I could literally envision the entire thing. Bryce and Cyrus are two swoon worthy boys that I wouldn’t mind having to chose from! You know you are reading a good book when it is so hard for me to disconnect from the characters and I was so excited when I finished The Union that I had The Ruins to read next!
The Union has everything I need in a good book; a well-built futuristic world, political intrigue, action, adventure and love. I mean what are we doing if there isn’t love in our world! It is fast-paced and I couldn’t get enough of this story! If you like YA and/or Dystopian, I think you will devour this series!
Published: June 16th, 2015
Heartbroken, grief-stricken, and wracked with guilt, seventeen-year-old Evan Taylor returned to the Union, leaving behind the boy she loved.
Now, she and her friends must find a way to do the impossible – warn the citizens of the Union about an impending rebel attack without alerting the government and risking retaliation against her friends in the Ruins.
When every move Evan makes is thwarted, it soon becomes clear she’s being watched. Faced with a daily fight to stay one step ahead of her pursuers, she returns to the Ruins. But life in the Ruins has its own dangers, and soon she’s fighting a different battle – to stay alive long enough to discover the truth.
Excerpt from The Ruins:
Lisa opens the door still in her pajama pants and a tank top. Jack’s behind her in nothing but a pair of sweatpants. I raise an eyebrow in silent judgment. How could she have Jack spend the night with Colin here?
“Where’s Colin?” she asks, looking past me.
“What do you mean, where’s Colin? Isn’t he here?”
“No. He never came home last night. I thought he was with you.”
“You were with me.”
“No, I mean after we separated. I figured he showed up at your place.” Her cheeks turn bright red.
“You’ve got to be kidding me.” My hands ball into fists of anger at my sides. “You can’t really be that…” I bite off the words. It’s not my place to share how Colin feels about her.
“He probably left with one of those girls we saw him with,” she says.
I push into her apartment and find Colin’s duffel bag on the floor where it’s been since he began camping out on her couch last week. “So, he just blew off his train?”
“Maybe,” she shrugs.
“Not likely,” I say, stalking back outside, unease gnawing through my stomach. If all this other shit wasn’t going on, I could chalk it up to Colin getting laid, but I can’t shake the feeling something isn’t right. I’m halfway to Bryce’s before I realize that’s where I’m headed. Hopefully he takes me seriously.
My fast walk turns into a jog as I cover the remaining three blocks and two flights of stairs down to the apartment he shares with Jack. I’ve only been here once before, but I think I remember which one it is. I lift my hand and knock on the pale blue door then pace the small empty concrete porch. Thirty seconds pass before I knock again, louder and longer this time. Still no answer. I’m beginning to think he’s not here when the lock clicks and the door cracks open.
Bryce swings the door wider, and my eyes zero in on a bare chest. My gaze drifts from his firm abs and pecs up to meet a pair of gray eyes, squinted against the morning light. Confusion fills his features as he stares at me.
“Colin didn’t come home last night,” I blurt out, my voice breaking.
His gaze rests on my face for a moment before circling the room, reminding me we’re being monitored. “I’m sure he’s fine, but let me get dressed, and we’ll look for him.”
Stepping inside, I close the door and bounce on the balls of my feet while I wait for him. The place is decorated in neo-classic guy. A fireplace and hearth runs the length of the front of the apartment, and opposite that is a solid glass wall overlooking a weedy, overgrown garden. The limited furniture is a jumble of chairs, a couch, and a couple of mismatched tables littered with empty beer bottles.
Bryce dresses in record time and takes my hand, pulling me outside. He leads the way to the depot to catch a train back to the nightclub. “I want to retrace his steps after we left,” he says. “He might’ve just found some company for the evening.”
“That’s what Lisa said, but I think there’s more to it.”
“It’s no secret how he feels about Lisa. He might’ve just wanted to get away for the night.”
“But his bag is still at her place. He would’ve had to come get it before catching his train.”
The nightclub is deserted with the exception of a handful of staff still cleaning up. Bryce walks up to a lanky guy pushing a broom. “Can I talk to the manager?”
A woman in her mid-thirties approaches us a few minutes later, wiping her hands on an apron. She sweeps a chunk of blond hair out of her face with the back of her wrist. “Can I help you?”
“Yeah, I’m Detective Cooper,” Bryce says, flashing his credentials. “We’re looking for a friend. He was here with us last night, but we’re not sure what happened to him.”
She glances between me and Bryce. “Did something happen to him?”
“That’s what we’re trying to find out. Can we take a look at the security feed from last night?”
“Sure,” she says, inclining her head. “Come on back.”
We follow her past the bar and into a small office beyond the kitchen. “Here,” she says, indicating a chair in front of a display screen.
Bryce sits and she shows him how to move through the video files. Bryce locates the one time-stamped from when we were here and forwards through frame-by-frame. I see us leaving for the night and Colin dancing with the girls, getting another drink, dancing some more, then about an hour later, Colin walks toward the exit alone. A guy in a sweatshirt, hood pulled up, hands shoved into his jeans pockets, approaches Colin. They appear to exchange words. Colin nods before following the guy out the front door.
“What the hell?” I ask. “Who was that guy?” Terror sweeps through me, turning my blood to ice. “And where the hell is Colin?”
“I don’t know,” Bryce says, reaching over to squeeze my hand. “But we’ll find him, I promise.”
Review: The Ruins
Previously posted BookCrushin on 6/24/2015[book rating=4.5/5.0]
The Ruins picks right up where book 1, The Union left readers. Evan and company are back in the Union and they have to figure out what their next moves are going to be and to ultimately try and break the case of who is facilitating the upcoming rebel attack. All the while Evan is holding the weight of this impending doom on her shoulders and trying to save the people she loves both in the Union and the Ruins. I have to say that I actually liked The Ruins better than The Union! You can’t ask for more than that; with how a lot of sequels fall into that sophomore slump. Don’t get me wrong, The Union was great and both books share tons of the same qualities but The Ruins just pulled me in so much deeper and had me trying to read pages during all hours of the day! I had to finish, I had to know! Oh and these covers…just brilliant.
The Ruins explores a lot of dystopian themes; rebellion and love coming through most heavily. I happen to love it when there is a solid romance in my dystopian and I usually loathe a love triangle, but I actually felt that in this instance the duplicity of the romances worked in favor of the plot and not against it. Plus, it just meant a whole lot more of ‘make my knees weak’ kissing scenes! It also explores a lot of new adult themes of finding your place in the world, figuring out what love truly is, making your mark on the world and finding where your moral compass lies. I can’t elaborate because I am keeping this spoiler-free and that is so not easy!
I absolutely loved the characters in this series! They all felt so realistic and I wished they were my friends! Some of the new side characters from The Ruins didn’t resonate as much as the cast in The Union, but I think that is because in The Ruins the side characters really are on the sidelines now that Evan has a singular motivation and she doesn’t need anyone else to help her along the way or stand in her way. Speaking of Evan, she is headstrong and reckless but both of those qualities just fit her to a tee. She wasn’t going to go through some epiphany and just be a bystander and let someone else handle everything. She knew she couldn’t trust anyone anymore except her life-long friends so why not try to escape danger with those you trust most.
The Ruins is page-turner. It is action packed, suspenseful and full of swoon worthy romance. Evan is strong, determined, and a little reckless. Sure I had moments where I just wanted to say “What are you doing? You silly girl!” Other times I wanted to jump up and down and cheer “Go Evan! You can do it!” I had so many emotions while reading and I honestly cannot wait for the next book in this series!
If you like YA and or Dystopian I think you will devour this series! I love nothing more than discovering an amazing new series one that belongs mentioned with some of the most popular dystopian books out there!
Published: January 19th, 2016
Recovering from a near-fatal gunshot wound, eighteen-year-old Evan Taylor must find a way to stop the Uprising, an underground movement committed to destroying the Union, before her homeland is attacked.
After spending the last four months in the Ruins trying to get back to the only girl he’s ever loved, nineteen-year-old Cyrus needs to get past his jealousy over Evan’s involvement with Bryce or risk losing her again.
Together, Evan and Cyrus join with their friends to devise a plan to save both the Ruins and the Union, but when the pressure’s on, bickering and infighting threaten to undermine their goals. New information revealing a weakness in the Uprising is uncovered, forcing them to act quickly or risk losing everything.
With the help of old friends and new allies they set out to make history, but it might just take a miracle for everyone to make it out alive.
THE UPRISING is the third book in THE UNION series, a young adult romantic adventure set in the near future.
T.H. Hernandez is the author of the young adult futuristic/dystopian series, The Union. The first book, The Union, was a finalist in the 2015 San Diego book awards in the Young Adult Fiction category.
When not writing, you can usually find her reading, finishing more than 200 books over the past two years. She loves pumpkin spice lattes, Comic-Con, Star Wars, Doctor Who marathons, Bad Lip Reading videos, and all things young adult, especially the three young adults who share her home.
When not visiting the imaginary worlds inside her head, T.H. Hernandez lives in usually sunny San Diego, California with her husband and three children, a couple of cats and a dog who thinks he’s a cat, often referred to as “the puppycat.”
(1) $25 Amazon GC, (2) $10 Amazon GC, (5) $5 Amazon GCs