Blog Book Tour | “What is Lost” {a Japanese re-telling of ‘Red Riding Hood’} by Lauren Skidmore

Posted Saturday, 28 March, 2015 by jorielov , , , , , 0 Comments

Ruminations & Impressions Book Review Banner created by Jorie in Canva. Photo Credit: Unsplash Public Domain Photographer Sergey Zolkin.

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 “What is Lost” 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.

I did attempt to borrow Skidmore’s debut novel {“What is Hidden”} however time and life took me away from being able to consume the pages before the ILL (inter-library) loan was recalled back to my local library. It looked like such a beautiful novel too, and I was quite curious how she had transported us into the world of Cinderella, as I have been discovering how much I appreciate ‘fairy-tale fiction‘!

in lieu of reading what is hidden, i gained this insight from other book bloggers: (whose reviews are linked below)

I loved how a book blogger (at Novel-Ties) had a wicked new perspective on the novel inasmuch as they had on behalf of the author, due to an interesting set of circumstances surrounding reading the book and meeting the author IRL. It presented such an original lead-in to the story, I found myself nearly wanting to ask for a few more details which is always a good sign! The introduction to the setting was quite lovely as I had a feeling this series was set around ‘masks’ both in artistry and identity; a society of clandestine behaviour if you will.

I originally wanted to read What is Hidden during May [2014] for the blog tour itself, however, I was betwixt hours and availability as I had come to find Cedar Fort for the Uncovering Cobbogoth blog tour; with an upturnt schedule and less hours to accomplish everything in sight than planned, I made the gutting choice to forestall reading What is Hidden and opt instead to read Cobbogoth. IF Cobbogoth hadn’t entered my life via the cancelled blog tour of TLC Book Tours, I might never have discovered Cedar Fort and that is quite a dire revelation if you take a look-see at my Story Vault via the Publishers! It has been a true blessing to discover a third Indie publisher [as previously I had found Seventh Star Press and ChocLitUK] whose quality and capture of wicked good fiction is by far the best reading joy I’ve experienced in a very long time.

I liked the dichotomy of differences [Novel-Ties] bridged into their recollections, because it goes to the heart of character-driven story-telling as much as how to perceive what is contained within the first installment of the series itself. The way in which Skidmore threaded the depth of her character’s journey and fused it into the narrative wherein even the reader might have been a bit surprised by their responses and actions at certain parts of where what they took as a given and what they took back by seeking independence might have shown character growth as much as moxie. I even liked seeing how even a seemingly innocuous scene could tip the scale of an emotional trigger of angst for the reader.

I was a bit curious about the absence of an emotional arc on behalf of the title lead character as pointed out by [Seasons of Humility] but I do know how a character reads on paper can become as different to each new reader who picks up the novel; as stories have a quirky way of being read a thousand different ways by a thousand readers. I have experienced this myself, where I pick up a story and find myself faulting either the tone, the pace, the inclusions, or the lack of an anchour into the character yet find other readers did not find offense at all. It is healthy to find each of us absorbs stories in our own unique way and thereby are able to give the most out of our honest recollections to help guide others to know which story is truly one they will attach themselves inside.

The powerful part of the story is how Evie was able to overcome her adversity by being given a fate and identity which were not of her own choosing. When someone acts maliciously to take away her life and those of whom she loves inside it, it is how she elected to confront the situation at hand that left me seeing where her true strength lay. She is a girl who defiantly refuses to accept her lot and chooses to take what needs to be done as just dues in order to work her way back into an hour of redemptive freedom.

I can agree with the book bloggers who were a bit miffed about a lack of announcement for a sequel or an Epilogue to understand how everything ties together at the end. The book which broke my own heart for this very reason was The Golem and the Jinni and it took a very, very long time to find resolution, of which I added to my review. Being that I am picking up this series in-progress, I am thankful to have had the chance to go back through the blog tour for What is Hidden as I find blog tours very beneficial in this one particular way as to give us a way to understand what ‘happened before but what is hoped to come next’ as we are settling into the sequel. All things equal, I would have read What is Hidden but as most of the bloggers in the book blogosphere will understand, time can wick away from you!

Blog Book Tour | “What is Lost” {a Japanese re-telling of ‘Red Riding Hood’} by Lauren SkidmoreWhat is Lost
by Lauren Skidmore
Source: Direct from Publisher

"You're focusing on the wrong things here." Kit said.

"What should I be focusing on?" I asked.

"The people who want you dead."

"Does that include you?"

She grinned at me, her white teeth gleaming.

After failing to exact vengeance on the prince, maskmaker Joch flees Venesia to find his long-lost love. Along his way, Joch meets a red-clocked assassin named Kit, who tells him she knows where to find the answers he's seeking.

Soon Joch and Kit are racing to avoid the prince's guard and find their way to safety. And though Joch wants to trust Kit, he suspects she's leading him straight into a trap.

This dazzling story of second chances features a sumptuous setting, rich characters, and a plot that will keep you guessing. Unravel the deceptions and uncover the mysteries in this thrilling fantasy.

Places to find the book:

Borrow from a Public Library

Add to LibraryThing

Series: What is Hidden,


Genres: Fairy-Tale Re-Telling, Fantasy Fiction, Historical Fiction


Published by Sweetwater Books

on 10th March, 2015

Format: Paperback

Pages: 240

Published By: Sweetwater Books (@SweetwaterBooks),
an imprint of Cedar Fort, Inc (@CedarFortBooks)

Available Formats: Paperback, Ebook

About Lauren Skidmore

Lauren Skidmore grew up in Kansas, with stints in Ohio and New York, and currently lives in Utah. She attended Brigham Young University where she earned a BA in English Teaching with an emphasis in Teaching English as a Second Language and Japanese.

She then spent a year in Japan teaching and traveling. She hasn’t made it to Europe yet, but it’s on the list and has been to 30 states in the U.S. so far. When she’s not exploring new places, you can probably find her on the internet with fifteen windows open and looking at just one more thing before actually getting something done.

Rainbow Digital Clip Art Washi Tape made by The Paper Pegasus. Purchased on Etsy by Jorie and used with permission.

My Review of What is Lost:

Coming into the story a bit late in the game, despite reading the reviews of What is Hidden, I must admit, I felt a bit out of step with the story at first until I adjusted to the pace and the rhythm in which What is Lost is trying to tell the reader. The story is rooted in Japanese mythology and lore, rather than a direct fusion of cultural and environment references; as I did not pick up on the Japanese connections at first as they were a bit too subtle for me. There were references by name or by city, yet outside of that scope, everything felt very Western and within the fable of Red Riding Hood.

As I started to shift my position on how I felt about reading this novel, I was surprised at first I could read it in one sitting but further still, that I was a bit betwixt how I honestly felt about the novel as a whole. The lead character this time is Joch, a known assassin and shadowy figure who lived his life on the fringes of society and always within the darkened corridors of where most would not travel much less work. He was an outcast by the time I met him, as he attempted to take down a prince and in his failure, was set on a course to collide straight into a plot to unmask the truer intentions of his master and the world he had left behind to find his true love.

This is a fairy-tale which has a clear-cut transition between what you remember of the fable it’s based upon and the ill-fated romance of Romeo and Juliet. More than half the novel is caught up in a dead-lock of a chase to ‘get away’ from Venesia, but what surprised me more is that the area in which Joch and Kit ended up in was a place meant to be identified by tattoos. Except to say, I might have mistaken this marker of identity for the first place Joch was heading whilst he was aboard ship. There are certain pieces of the story which felt a bit untethered to where I was growing a bit confused about the realities of place, setting, and time.

The most fully fleshed out bits are the emotional anguished past for both Joch and Kit; Kit was a counter-part to Joch, as each were highly trained in deadly arts and both did not quite have a life either of them would have advocated nor spoken about openly. Kit was a bit more resided to her trade than Joch; as he felt as though he was pushed into his role without his choosing whereas Kit made the most out of the life she selected to live. The setting on the island where they were spending most of the novel ‘lost’ and on the run was quite interesting as I appreciated reading about their survival skills and how they dodged everything from spies within the guards to mudslides which nearly killed them outright.

The idea behind the novel, sparks the reader to consider the gravity of how when your masking who you are to the world you are not allowing yourself to be vulnerable to the experience of where life can lead you forward. If you are clouding your experience by your past, you forsake your present and this can forestall your future if you are not giving yourself the grace to be in full acceptance of ‘where’ you are at any one moment in time.

What I missed is more of the world-building I am used to in fantasy novels, as aside from their adventures on the run, I couldn’t quite grasp a foundation of what this world looks like or how it is run and set-up from an outside point of view. There are light paintings of it’s setting and the timescape is completely elusive to me as I wasn’t sure which century or point of time we were meant to be caught up inside. Overall, it’s a very quick read, in fact, by far the quickest I’ve experienced from Cedar Fort. For the third novel (as a sequel is being written), I’d hope for a deepening of the world, where we could ‘see’ Venesia and the surrounding locales a bit more than ‘interior’ and ‘exterior’ quick shots which give action merit but do not fully ground us in the overall scene.

Rainbow Digital Clip Art Washi Tape made by The Paper Pegasus. Purchased on Etsy by Jorie and used with permission.

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

Cedar Fort Publishing & Media

Virtual Road Map of “What is Lost” Blog Tour:

I do apologise, my review was meant to post on Saturday, except a few unexpected life moments and a few issues with my computer forestalled my ability to present my review until Sunday night.

What is Love Blog Tour via Cedar Fort Publishing & Media

For readers who would like to gain reader impressions on behalf of the first novel in this series, please draw your attention to the original blog tour for “What is Hidden”:

What is Hidden Blog Tour via Cedar Fort Publishing & Media

Reader Impressions which helped me understand the beginning of the series:

About Face: Lauren Skidmore’s “What is Hidden” | (Novel Ties – novel-ties.blogspot.com)

Cedar Fort Blog Tour: What is Hidden | (Seasons of Humility – seasonsofhumility.blogspot.com)

Blog Tour/Review: What is Hidden by Lauren Skimore (w/ Author Q&A) | (Mel’s Shelves – melsshelves.blogspot.com)

What is Hidden by Lauren Skidmore | Book Review | (that Artsy Reader Girl – thatartsyreadergirl.com)

Select Author Features of Interest:

Guest Post (Earthquake in Japan) | (On the Road, On the Record – ontheroadandrecord.blogspot.com)

Embrace the Mystique, Romance, and Magic of Lauren Skimore’s “What is Hidden” | (Books & Benches – booksandbenches.com)

Rainbow Digital Clip Art Washi Tape made by The Paper Pegasus. Purchased on Etsy by Jorie and used with permission.
Comment Box Banner made by Jorie in Canva.
Find out which Cedar Fort new releases I am hosting in 2015!
Visit with me again soon!
{SOURCES: Cover art of “What is Lost” and author photograph of Lauren Skidmore were provided by the author Lauren Skidmore and used with permission. Book synopsis and author biography along with the Cedar Fort badge and blog tour badge were all provided by Cedar Fort, Inc. and used with permission. Ruminations & Impressions Book Review Banner created by Jorie in Canva. Photo Credit: Unsplash Public Domain Photographer Sergey Zolkin. Rainbow Digital Clip Art Washi Tape made by The Paper Pegasus. Purchased on Etsy by Jorie and used with permission. Comment Box Banner made by Jorie in Canva. Tweets embedded due to the codes provided by Twitter.}
Copyright © Jorie Loves A Story, 2015.
Tweets I shared as I read the Novel:
{ share if inspired }

Reading this book contributed to these challenges:

  • 2015 Historical Fiction Reading Challenge

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

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Posted Saturday, 28 March, 2015 by jorielov in Action & Adventure Fiction, Blog Tour Host & Reviewer, Castles & Estates, Cedar Fort Publishing & Media, Cliffhanger Ending, Espionage, Fairy Tale Fiction, Fantasy Fiction, Fly in the Ointment, Heroic Bloodshed, High Fantasy, Historical Fiction, Inspired By Author OR Book, Inspired by Stories, Re-Told Tales




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