Blog Book Tour | “An Uncommon Blue” by debut #Dystopian novelist R.C. Hancock

Posted Monday, 22 December, 2014 by jorielov , , , , 2 Comments

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An Uncommon Blue by R.C. Hancock

Published By: Bonneville Books (@BonnevilleBooks),
an imprint of Cedar Fort, Inc (@CedarFortBooks)

Available Formats: Paperback, Ebook

Converse on Twitter via: #AnUncommonBlue

Acquired Book By: I am a regular tour hostess for blog tours via Cedar Fort whereupon I am thankful to have such a diverse amount of novels and non-fiction titles to choose amongst to host. I received a complimentary copy of “An Uncommon Blue” direct from the publisher Sweetwater Books (imprint of Cedar Fort, Inc) in exchange for an honest review. I did not receive compensation for my opinions or thoughts shared herein.

Interested in Reading:

Initially when I saw An Uncommon Blue come available for book bloggers to host on it’s blog tour, I had a few thoughts on the subject float through my mind. As this isn’t my first dance at the rodeo so to speak for either YA or Adult Dystopian Lit — the more infamous attempt I made to dig inside Dystopian worlds is when I took on a Seventh Star Press debut novelist in 2013 whilst reading The Boxcar Baby. In both Sci Fi November 2013 + 2014 I included a Dystopian category of literary focus, and both years I unfortunately was not able to read the titles I had selected.

They included the following:

  • All Our Yesterdays by Cristin Terrill
  • Under the Never Sky by Veronica Rossi
  • Across the Universe by Beth Revis

There were other selections made, but these were my top three choices I wanted to focus on for a second year in a row; and technically speaking, I am still posting the remaining contributions I have for SFN 2014 between the end of December and the early bits of January, before shifting fully into my showcases for Sci Fi Experience 2015! I am not a stranger to science fiction but I am a bit of a conservative reader when it comes to attempting to read Dystopian Lit, as this is what I had to express when I joined the blog tour for An Uncommon Blue:

This one is a step outside my comfort zone as although I love reading YA Fantasy, this one has a plot and a story thread that I generally have not read exclusively. I am always attempting to sort out stand-alones and series that dip in/out of Dystopian narratives as well as the elements found inside this story. I am not even sure the proper thematic to mention, but what convinced me was not only the enthused note by the author but the information I found about this novel on his website. I like to read novels that challenge me and this one at its core has a strong message I think warrants being read.

I pitched a curious idea to Asti (a wicked awesome host of this year’s SFN!), where I told her as I start to read more science fiction over the course of the next year leading up into the 2015 Sci Fi November month of lovelies, I’m going to hold back the reviews I feel would best be shared with the collective of who has become the foundation of the event’s month long sci-fi fest! Therefore, I am not sure if as I read the three books I mentioned I will blog about them in January (as a cross-post between SFN + SFE) or if I will hold off until revealing my thoughts until November 2015!

One thing is for certain, I do share one common thread with Mr. Hancock (as I read his new website and portions of his old blog before he received his contract to publish this novel) which is simply to say, I am seeking out wicked quality stories fit for children and teens. I have the tendency to avoid most of the hyper popular novels (including a few I saw he had blogged about or referenced himself) as they do not align with my own reading tendencies and habits, but the fact that we both have an eye on Children’s Lit with the intention to bring out the best of the pack, in this, I can relate to him directly! This is one reason my Children’s Lit page will start to carry with it a lot more selections from 2015 – forward! I’ve only just begun so to speak, as I’m currently a 2nd Year Book Blogger whose found her wings!

Blog Book Tour | “An Uncommon Blue” by debut #Dystopian novelist R.C. HancockAn Uncommon Blue
Subtitle: Bruno had many lofty goals... becoming a fugitive wasn't one of them.
by R.C. Hancock
Source: Direct from Publisher

I felt like I was underwater. The pressure building in my chest made the rest of the world seem far away and unimportant.... All I could do was stare at my fire, waiting for it to change shade.

Bruno's never worried about his caste. He lives in the best neighbourhood, attends the best school, and is free to choose from the best professions. Until today.

When an accidental reaction changes the colour of his fire, he finds himself facing a life of slums and prejudice he never knew existed. Now an outcast, Bruno has to decide just how far he's willing to go to get his future back.

Discover another world where the colour of your fire determines everything - your life, your choices, your destiny. Fast-paced and full of action, this thriller is bound to hook teens and adults from the very first page.

Genres: Science Fiction, YA Dystopian Lit

Places to find the book:

Borrow from a Public Library

Add to LibraryThing

ISBN: 9781462114887

Series: ColourBlind

Published by Sweetwater Books

on 9th December, 2014

Format: Trade Paperback

Pages: 275

Note on the cover art: A small clue on my blog to denote which book covers truly catch my eye of attention prior to soaking inside the novel is when I enlarge the cover art on my reviews! I admit I sometimes forget to do this, but am attempting to remember when an eye-catching cover illustration or digital collage artist puts together such a curiously intriguing cover such as this one for ‘An Uncommon Blue’ which designates the exact detail that is the key to the world within!

About R.C. Hancock

RC (Recalcitrant Conformist) Hancock began his writing career with a story about a dead cat which his second grade teacher thought was brilliant. Convincing others of his literary genius has taken longer than expected, but along the road he has acquired a lovely wife, four entertaining ankle-biters (who, thankfully, look more like their mother), and a degree from BYU in Recreational Management & Youth Leadership (which means he’s really good at having fun.) An Uncommon Blue is his first novel.

By far, this author has the cheekiest humour I've seen showcased in the (descriptive) area of his name!

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Telesphore City : being Telesphorian:

I personally love maps – especially when you are reading science fiction & fantasy worlds — the map becomes quintessential to your readings of this new world your attempting to soak inside because everything about the world itself is evolving into existence right before your eyes! I love finding the maps which are across two sides of a page, front and center in the opening of a novel where a map is decidedly needed as a quick reference back and forth as you carry-on with the story! An Uncommon Blue provides a blueprint of Telesphore City, where clearly the essentials are laid-out and seen! Including highlighting Ville Bleu, Hameau Vert, and Taudis Rouge of which I presume are ‘districts’ within the city itself. I was happily surprised to see so much undergrowth of greenery sprinkled over the map, as topographically speaking, I had formed this impression of Dystopian worlds to be a bit on the industrial gray and gritty side of life; absent of forest, green hues, and an downcast world absent of new growth.

The chapter titles had me bemused, especially finding ones such as the first seven: Painted, Dead Grass, Girl Problems, Bad Hair Day, Half Naked, Stoned, and Firecide; prompting me to realise I was in for a ride! Although I was happy to see the guide in the back on how to pronounce words inclusive to the novel, I must confess, I’m a dyslexic reader who has her own compensating methods for enjoying the worlds she reads! It clearly is best for those who are not dyslexic and can sort out the oral variants spelt out for you to say aloud. Dyslexically speaking, I was a bit more confused than enlightened as words sound and appear differently to me than they do to those who phonetically can catch them!

My Review of An Uncommon Blue:

A fish out of water as I entered An Uncommon Blue, I appreciated Hancock’s approach to explain a bit of the threads of his world as the sequences between Bruno’s entrance into the story and the day his hand was painted green from blue; as it left me with a bit of a foundation of this world, yet with a swirl of questions inside my head as well. The most confusing moment for me is how the guard died when Bruno attempted to save the life of a kid (whose reasons to change Bruno’s life were still unknown) and what happened to the guard’s hand as he died. I am certain more will be revealed as what causes the differences in the fire inside the palms of the citizens of this world, but for an opening chapter to set-up the complexities of the story, there is simply a lot to take in! On one hand, there is already a stitched in life lesson about deadly force, oppression from power, and the separation of caste systems; whereas on the other hand, there is an ominous sense that not everything is as it appears to be within Bruno’s world. There is a certain level of uncertainty if everything he has been told up until this day where his fire changes colours has been the whole of the truth about himself and being Telesphorian.

A pursuit of the culprit explodes on campus, whilst Bruno runs through potential outcomes inside his mind; including how to get off campus, escape prosecution (which in his world leads to death irregardless of the circumstances) and attempt to make sense of why he was picked to have his colour ‘painted a new hue’ changing his life completely. Everyone appears to be compartmentalised into different categories of earning a living, where the basis for who you are meant to be inside your chosen career is half contingent upon your test results as much as the colouring of your palm (the fire). A brief explanation was given on what caused the guard’s horrific death and quite ironically the guard inadvertently caused part of it himself due to the technologic watch he was wearing! The most curious aspect for me is how heavy the world feels and how oppressive everything is backlit to work against you. The bare bones of the crime are what happens when two young boys are facing punishment and judgement from a guard who took out the trial and jury sections of our modern world. They were both going to die simply because a guard was on a power kick and felt he had the right to declare what kind of force to use for a small misunderstanding.

The root of the problem for me is how no one is using their words and their explanations to sort out what happened — everything is magnified by presumption and a misuse of power. Bruno’s mother briefly comes into his life at his rugby game where he confesses everything to her which felt normal and a bit stilted at the same time, as I was quite surprised no one overheard his confession. The stands were starting to populate with fans and it seemed surprising to me no one had identified him as of yet. Another curious observation is despite how far technology was advanced in Bruno’s world, where were the video feeds and cameras across campus to pin-point exactly who was at fault and how what happened worsened by the guard’s actions?!

I think the main issue I find with Dystopian Lit is the fact everything is a bit cock-eyed; meaning, where you can observe what is wrong it isn’t enough to evoke change; you have to prove change needs to happen and oft-times that means putting your own life at risk. There is a clear wave of bullying between the different caste systems in the story, and the boy who caused Bruno to become painted is the classic bully whose connections protect him yet he is allowed to manipulate events without consequences. Bruno starts to unravell the underpinning principles of his world, whilst noting not everything on the Blue side is effectively the same elsewhere. For the Greens and those whose fire are reflective of blended hues (which points to the fact they ‘painted’ or blended their fire with someone else; either by force or compliant) getting through their lives is not quite the same as what Bruno had whilst he was a purebred Blue. The Blues are more elite in this world, as they are given opportunities the others are not privy to receiving themselves; even if by opportunity they are controlled. There is an imbalance between individual freedoms and the internal workings of the government who seek to control every aspect of their choices and how they act on their free will can determine their fates.

Bruno has an internal clock set to protecting those who do not have a strong enough voice to help themselves, whilst being hindered a bit by the anxiety of not knowing what will become of him once he is found. He’s in a proper quandary of choosing between doing what is right for another person’s life and what is going to help him survive the circumstances he still doesn’t fully understand why they occurred.

I made it to Chapter Nine (page 96) until I simply couldn’t read any further. It wasn’t the writing that bothered me it was the structure of the story itself and how powerless everyone in Telesphore City truly were as perception on events trumped the truth of them; reducing any ability for justice. As I turnt around in my mind everything I had read up until this point, I realised why I struggle so much with Dystopian Lit and why I have been the last to admit it simply might not be for me at all. Its the disparity of it all. The overwhelming anguish of having the world painted black (here this refers to an intense thickening of darkness not a coloured variant of a word) to the brink where the light has barely any wick to shine. This is what bothers me a bit about Young Adult novels in general, but in regards specifically to Dystopian, I think I struggle with letting go of my optimistic spirit whilst I am reading them.

I love conflict and adversity in the books I am reading, but when it comes to Dystopian story-lines, I find myself uncomfortably displaced and a quickening sense of how fast everything can change. It is a bit like trying to sort out where you’ve gone wrong with a map written in a language you do not speak. I have read two Dystopian novels now, wells, technically I read a portion of this one and I struggled to finish the other one (The Boxcar Baby), giving me pause for realising sometimes what your curious about isn’t always worth uncovering. I just cannot give my heart to Dystopian Lit no matter how much I try to think there is a writer or a story within these worlds that will appeal to me.

My take on reading a YA Dystopian Lit debut novelist and their world:

Hancock makes interesting choices to steer the reader away from using strong language as a method of expressing what is being felt during the height of intense emotional moments; yet he cleverly uses colour as a way to not only explain the world but how colour itself can express the darkest shades of emotion. He makes clear definitions between what is considered right, wrong, and questionable (the in-between) yet personally I struggle to tuck inside a story whose undercurrent of tone is backlit with such heaviness; which is becoming the way I can express Dystopian story-lines. The uneasiness quickened a bit whilst seeing how callous some of the characters were towards each other and how the guards in the story were equally so towards everyone.

Hancock I believe has given a strong presence for YA Dystopian Lit for those who understand how these worlds are underlit and written as a whole. For an outside perspective, I didn’t find it a good fit for me personally but those other book bloggers I am thinking of tonight (including the girls of “Oh the Books” who co-hosted Sci Fi November this year!), I think they might tuck inside this and enjoy what he gave to the genre. For me, I checked out when a boy was killed simply for helping his best friend get out of a locked down campus — the manner in which he was killed just wrecked me on a lot of levels and the unnecessary force was just too disturbing. In light of recent current events, I respect a need to show different points of view and a clarity of conscience but in the end, the novel just broke my heart once too many times.

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This Blog Tour Stop is courtesy of Cedar Fort, Inc.:

Cedar Fort Publishing & Media

Visit the Virtual Road Map of “An Uncommon Blue” Blog Tour:

An Uncommon Blue Blog Tour via Cedar Fort Publishing & Media

Find out which Sweetwater & other Cedar Fort books

I am hosting in 2014 + 2015!

Visit with me again soon!

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Adding to my Dystopian Reads for SFN 2014:

SFN Book Review Badge created by Jorie in Canva

Cross-promoting via my participation of:

2015 Sci Fi Experience hosted by SteelDroppings
(“Space” by Stephan Martiniere, used with the artist’s permission)

I created a list on Riffle to share the books that I simply could not become attached to as a reader myself, but stories which would benefit a reader to find them, and appreciate them for what each writer gave to their story. For me, the reason I included An Uncommon Blue is because I simply could not connect to the world in which the story alights and the backlit inertia of how dark a Dystopian world can become under oppression simply turnt off my heart to proceed forward. Therefore, this is now listed on my Riffle List entitled: Stories Seeking Love from Readers.

SOURCES: Author photograph, Author Biography, Book Synopsis and Book Cover of “An Uncommon Blue”, Blog Tour Badge and Cedar Fort badge were provided by Cedar Fort Publishing & Media and used with permission. Blog Tour badge provided by Parajunkee to give book bloggers definition on their blogs. Post dividers badge by Fun Stuff for Your Blog via Pure Imagination. Tweets were embedded due to codes provided by Twitter. Sci Fi Month / SFN Book Review badge created by Jorie in Canva. The 2015 Sci-Fi Experience was granted permission to use the artwork by Stephen Martiniere in their official badge for all participants to show their solidarity during the event!}

Copyright © Jorie Loves A Story, 2014.

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About jorielov

I am self-educated through local libraries and alternative education opportunities. I am a writer by trade and I cured a ten-year writer’s block by the discovery of Nanowrimo in November 2008. The event changed my life by re-establishing my muse and solidifying my path. Five years later whilst exploring the bookish blogosphere I decided to become a book blogger. I am a champion of wordsmiths who evoke a visceral experience in narrative. I write comprehensive book showcases electing to get into the heart of my reading observations. I dance through genres seeking literary enlightenment and enchantment. Starting in Autumn 2013 I became a blog book tour hostess featuring books and authors. I joined The Classics Club in January 2014 to seek out appreciators of the timeless works of literature whose breadth of scope and voice resonate with us all.

"I write my heart out and own my writing after it has spilt out of the pen." - self quote (Jorie of Jorie Loves A Story)

read more >> | Visit my Story Vault of Book Reviews | Policies & Review Requests | Contact Jorie


Posted Monday, 22 December, 2014 by jorielov in Bits & Bobbles of Jorie, Blog Tour Host, Bullies and the Bullied, Cedar Fort Publishing & Media, Coming-Of Age, Death, Sorrow, and Loss, Debut Author, Debut Novel, Dystopian, Good vs. Evil, Indie Author, Mother-Son Relationships, Prejudicial Bullying & Non-Tolerance, School Life & Situations, Sci-Fi November, Science Fiction, Teenage Relationships & Friendships, The Sci-Fi Experience, Trauma | Abuse & Recovery, Young Adult Fiction

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2 responses to “Blog Book Tour | “An Uncommon Blue” by debut #Dystopian novelist R.C. Hancock

  1. Sam

    Wow, this sounds awesome! Gosh, you’re making me want to. The MC doesn’t sound half-bad either, so maybe I should give this a try. I guess I’m adding it the my Christmas list, which is probably bad considering Christmas is in less than 4 days. Eek!

    • Hi Sam!

      Thank you for your enthused response! I was hoping someone would see my review and feel inspired to read this novel! Yes, the MC captured my attention because his heart is conflicted by what he needs to do vs what he wants to do to survive. He has a good soul but he’s been put into situations where his choices are not easy to make. I struggled to tuck inside this niche, but if your used to reading Dystopian and do not mind a lot of intense sequences of medical incidents than you should do just fine!

      I am thankful to see a new visitor commenting and appreciating what I am sharing! Thanks for your visit! I noticed you interviewed the author of “Snow Like Ashes” and wrote a review! I shall be leaving notes for you soon! I discovered the author via Twitter and look forward to ILL’ing the novel in Spring 2015! (ILL = inter-library loan)

      Let me know what you think if you get a Happy Christmas surprise & find this book amongst your gifts!

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