Book Review: Intermix Nation by M.P. Attardo

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Title: Intermix Nation
Author: M.P. Attardo
Publication date: March 5th 2013
Genres: Dystopia, New Adult



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Intermix NationIntermix Nation
M.P. Attardo
M.P. Attardo, March 2013
Ebook Only

From the author—

Intermix: to mix together, blend

North America, paragon of diversity, is gone. From its ashes, a new nation has arisen – Renatus – where the government segregates the surviving population into races, forbidding interracial marriage, mating, and love.

Eighteen-year-old Nazirah Nation is a pariah, an intermix, born of people from different races. When her parents are murdered in the name of justice, Nazirah grudgingly joins the growing rebellion fighting against the despotic government.

Overwhelmed with grief, consumed by guilt, Nazirah craves vengeance as a substitute for absolution. But on her journey to find the girl she once was, Nazirah must learn the hard way that nothing … no one … is purely black or white. Like her, every human is intermix, shades and hues of complex emotions. And those who can take everything away are also the ones who can give everything back.

It must be difficult for any author who wants to write young adult dystopian fiction to do so without being accused of derivative storylines and concepts that are weak shadows of the books that have come before and gained great popularity, books such as The Hunger Games and Divergent. Such comments could be made about Intermix Nation, with some justification, but I think the key to creativity with these later books depends on what is done with common ideas.

Yes, it’s true that society has been fractured into a central government and surrounding dependent provinces and rebellion is fomenting in the outliers but there the similarities begin to morph into something different.  The dissolution of the country you and I know came about when the people “in charge” after the Final War decided that America’s biggest flaw was its diversity and that, with so many cultural, religious and racial differences, failure of the system was inevitable. Nearly everything of importance in Ms. Attardo’s novel stems from this belief that the only way to resolve this is by a brutal purification and separation of the races. In essence, this is a study of racism, the great harm that comes from such thinking, and the potential for redemption.

Nikolaus and his sister, Nazirah, were born from the illicit union of two people from different provinces and, because of that, are “intermix” and, thus, impure and excluded from society. Despite that, they were brought up to be proud, well-educated and ready to fight for what is right. Nazirah, though, rebels against what is expected of her with tragic consequences. What will be asked of her next will prove to be nearly impossible and will ultimately change her future forever. Perhaps most difficult of all are the changes that will happen to Nazirah herself.

There are a number of characters in this story who play important roles and one of the author’s talents lies in her character development. Whether I liked them or not—and some I liked very much indeed—most were so distinctly drawn that I could almost see and hear them in my mind. The overlying plot might be considered just a bit weak because of the unavoidable comparisons to earlier dystopians but there is no doubting the vitality and strength of the core story, the task that Nazirah must undertake.

One other thing I’ll mention is that, although there are occasional flaws, the author quite obviously took care in the construction and final production of this book. Such attention to detail and editing added a level of pleasure in reading that I truly appreciated and elevate this book above many self-published novels. I don’t think Ms. Attardo plans a sequel to Intermix Nation (and it is a comfortably complete story) but I’ll look forward to whatever this author writes next.

Reviewed by Lelia Taylor, November 2013.

About the Author

M.P. AttardoM.P. Attardo is a twenty-something, part-time writer, full-time daydreamer. She has a college degree … is still trying to figure out what ever to do with it. She loves amateur baseball commentating, heckling, and overindulging. And putting her bizarre, gritty thoughts into words for all to read.

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Excerpt Reveal: Dead Dreams by Emma Right


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Dead Dreams (Dead Dreams, #1)Dead Dreams

by Emma Right

250 Pages

Eighteen-year-old Brie O’Mara has so much going for her: a loving family in the sidelines, an heiress for a roommate, and dreams that might just come true. Big dreams–of going to acting school, finishing college and making a name for herself. She is about to be the envy of everyone she knew. What more could she hope for? Except her dreams are about to lead her down the road to nightmares. Nightmares that could turn into a deadly reality.

Dead Dreams, Book 1, a young adult psychological thriller and mystery

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Chapter Seven

“There’s a safety catch. See?” Sarah pointed to the Glock.

No, I didn’t see. Big consolation, that safety catch. “I don’t trust safety catches. Or guns.” Or you, I wanted to say. I went to unlock the door, but Sarah stepped closer toward me, the Glock still aimed at my chest. “Could we please set that gun on the edge, over there?” I pointed to the corner of the bed farthest from me. I used the voice I’d always practiced on my dog, Holly, when I wanted to sound firm.

“But, we might need it.”

“Why didn’t you use it on the thug?”

“He was too fast. I always hide it under my mattress. By the time I hit him and rushed to the bed to get it, he’d run to the kitchen. I couldn’t hear him.”

“So, he’s probably gone. We should look around and see what’s missing.” I jerked my chin at the Glock. “That baby stays on my bed.” If Sarah had made it safely to my room without any more attacks, the burglar was probably gone. Besides, I didn’t trust her waving that weapon around. Surely it was safer with the intruder than with Sarah and her gun.

As it turned out, I couldn’t have been more wrong.

We tiptoed across the hallway and except for the wind whistling through a crack in one of the windows, sounding like a banshee, the apartment was quiet as a graveyard.

“He must have cut the window with a glass cutter after climbing up the balcony,” Sarah whispered, even though we’d agreed no one was there.

Perhaps my potted honeysuckle, my mother’s housewarming gift that had grown wild, had provided him with a good hold as he’d hauled himself up to our third-floor balcony. We stood still in the kitchen and strained our ears, but only the sound of the oak branch scraping the side of the building near the kitchen window disturbed the quiet of the night. He’d left no visible prints, no markings, nothing we could see.

“Let’s hope he left some DNA stuff,” I said. She looked blankly at me. How could I get her to see we needed to bring the cops in on this? I was willing to risk my mother finding out if our lives were at stake.

“Let’s check out your room,” I said, trying to sound brave.

Sarah gripped my arm, but I walked ahead of her.

Four of the drawers in Sarah’s bedroom were pulled clear off the dresser and were stacked in a tower on the floor. Except for a massive writing desk, the matching set of dresser with the drawers, and her white four-poster twin bed, she’d kept her room decor to a minimum. We rummaged through the stacked drawers.

“You didn’t hear him do this?” I motioned at the tottering drawers.

She shook her head. “My Rolex watch is missing,” she said after a while.

“Anything else?” That’s pretty paltry loot considering all the bother to break in.

She shrugged and led me to her closet.

“What’s that?” I pointed to a huge black box hidden behind her cocktail-looking dresses, some long, some with flirty frills and most terribly short.

She pushed the dresses aside, knelt before the black box, and placed one hand on a knob. “My safe.”

So, that was what had lain in that humongous carton. Was the burglar after her treasure chest?

She twisted the safe’s knob, and after a few turns left and right and a click, she heaved the door open. One by one she removed velvet-covered boxes and opened them. One held fine jewelry, her mother’s diamond earrings, an heirloom from her Scottish great- grandmother, she said. In another lay a Mikimoto pearl necklace. She set these boxed treasures, which totaled about a dozen, by her foot after she checked their contents. She had numerous papers hidden in the safe, too. Most of them were rolled up like scrolls.

“What’s with all those in there?” I asked as I peeked over her shoulder and pointed at the trash. Don’t tell me she litters in her own safe!

We’d always bickered about her lack of housekeeping standards. She left a trail of mess in her wake and tossed all sorts of paperwork everywhere: grocery receipts stuffed in kitchen drawers, ice cream wrappers on counters and tables. It was a pain picking up the pieces, literally. It must have been a headache for the maids who had to clean up after her in that huge West Virginian mansion she grew up in. But, things have a way of working out. Later, it was in her trash that I would discover answers that prevented me from running into the arms of my deceiver.

Sarah took out one of the scrolls and unrolled it. “Gawd! You never saw stock certificates before? Birthday presents from my dad, since I was two. They’re old. Coca- Cola, Apple. Oracle. The bluest of blue chips in here.”

I couldn’t imagine any toddler being thrilled at getting stock documents as presents. For the first time I noticed the safe was plugged into the wall socket and had a temperature control. Refrigerated? Sarah and her advance technology.

“Why’s your safe plugged in?” I knew nothing about safes. Some other closed boxes were arranged in the back.

“Humidity control.”

“We can’t ignore this burglary, Sarah. We have to tell someone. What if we get killed next time this thug breaks in?” Where had I placed Sergeant Twist’s card? It had probably gotten tattered in the wash, if it was still in my yoga pants.

To be continued…

About the Author

Emma Right
Emma Right is a happy wife and homeschool mother of five living in the Pacific West Coast. Besides running a busy home, and looking after too many pets, she also enjoys reading aloud to her children and often has her nose in a book. Right was a copywriter for a major advertising agency during her B.C. years. B.C.meaning “Before Children,” which may as well have been in the B.C.era, as she always says. Please feel free to contact Emma. She’s always happy to hear from her readers.



Tour-Wide Giveaway:

October 29 – December 3

Paperback Copy of Dead Dreams (US Only)

5 eCopies of Dead Dreams (Int’l)

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The Excerpt Tour
Each day will reveal another piece of Dead Dreams…
10/29: Launch
10/30: My Seryniti – Excerpt #1
10/31: My Devotional Thoughts – Excerpt #2
11/1: Mel’s Shelves – Excerpt #3
11/4: The Bookish Fairy – Excerpt #5
11/5: My Love for Reading Keeps Growing – Excerpt #6
11/6: Tressa’s Wishful Endings – Excerpt #7
11/7: Nocturnal Predators Reviews – Excerpt #8
11/8: The Pensive Chronicler – Excerpt #9
11/10: kimberlyfaye reads – Excerpt #10
11/11: Min Reads and Reviews – Excerpt #11
11/13: Colorimetry – Excerpt #13
11/14: fundinmental – Excerpt #14
11/15: Bookworm Lisa – Excerpt #15
11/17: Sylv Jenkins Author – Excerpt #16
11/18: The Wonderings of One Person – Excerpt #17
11/19: Buried Under Books – Excerpt #18
11/20: Grand Finale