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Laika in Lisan Paperback – 15 May 2014

4.7 out of 5 stars 3 customer reviews

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Product details

  • Paperback: 250 pages
  • Publisher: CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform (15 May 2014)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1499285043
  • ISBN-13: 978-1499285048
  • Product Dimensions: 13.3 x 1.6 x 20.3 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)

Product Description

About the Author

Maron Anrow grew up in California, came of age in the Midwest, and is now passing time in New Jersey. She lives with her husband, stepdaughter, and three awesome cats.

Maron has a Ph.D. in social psychology and has published (under her real name) over 20 scientific articles since 2008. "Laika in Lisan" is her first novel.

http://maronanrow.com

Customer Reviews

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Top Customer Reviews

Format: Kindle Edition
Book – Laika in Lisan
Author – Maron Anrow
Star rating - ★★★★★
Plot – excellently paced
Characters – diverse, well developed and relatable

Movie Potential - ★★★★★ (I see this being along the lines of Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon)
Ease of reading – very easy to read and follow
Cover - ✔
Suitable Title - ✔
Would I read it again - ✔

** I WAS GIVEN THIS BOOK, BY THE AUTHOR, IN RETURN FOR AN HONEST REVIEW **

I was intrigued by this book right from the start. I instantly took to Laika and I don't mind admitting that she thinks a lot like me. She can be naïve, sometimes overly so, but she's also feisty and she's willing to do whatever it takes to follow her dream of going to Lisan. I think her excitement perfectly sets us up for what's to come in the rest of the book. I also love that the beginning promises this will be different to all the other hero-saves-the-day novels. And this delivered on that promise, right until the last page.

I loved the inserts of information. Sometimes, with a world unfamiliar to the reader, the author tries too hard to explain everything at once. Not so, with this book. All the information came when it was relevant and we were only told what we needed to know at the time.

I love Laika's excitement, even when she knows it's probably the wrong emotion or the wrong time to feel it. She just can't help herself and I can't help but like her. I really hoped, as I was reading the first 20-30% that Laika would fall in love with a Lisanese person, or even Aland, just so that she would get her adventure and love story wrapped up in one. As soon as Rodya came into the story and I read their funny, sarcastic exchanges, I knew I wanted him as her romantic counterpart.
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Format: Paperback
Living an academic yet humdrum life, graduate Laika jumps at the chance to visit the neighbouring country of Lisan as a scholar. This is not only her chance to gain first-hand experience of a place she has thus far only read and heard about, but to throw off the shackles of everyday life and go on an adventure.

The story takes us on Laika's journey into a place teeming with danger; a country run under a strict regime akin to a dictatorship. The world of this novel is extremely well realised, so much so that Lisan felt like a real country complete with a political system, economy, culture and topography. The author truly must be commended for her world-building; Lisan could have come straight out of a history textbook.

As we know setting is of huge importance in any novel but particularly so in fantasy and fans expect to encounter places that take them away inside their heads. The authors knowledge of political manoeuvres, economics and the relationship of technology to both of these things was impressive. Whether she has done some thorough research or has a background in these subjects, her application of them has lifted the setting to another level.

The only drawback for me was that we learn way too much about Lisan before we get there and this is achieved mainly by Laika's detailed conversations with other people on the way. I would rather have learned about the country gradually and have it revealed bit by bit. But someone was always giving Laika an explanation beforehand. As a result there is no real surprise when we finally see the Holy City other than the twists in the characters of Aland and Lord Hamin. And by the way I hate Aland! Which means he is a great, well-written villain.

Our heroine Laika is intellectually curious, independent and bold.
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Format: Kindle Edition
Maron Anrow contacted me to ask if I would review her book. I was more than happy to do so at the time, but now I feel entirely honoured to have been asked. This book is wonderful, and I absolutely loved it.

The world Anrow shows us is very believable, very terrifying, yet completely fascinating. Set some years in the past, Lisan is a dystopian country run by a complete tyrant, with his son and heir, rumoured to be even worse than his father, waiting to take the reigns. It's out and out totalitarianism, with dashes of communism, very much akin to the way some countries are run in our world to this day. The way the people in Lisan are treated is shocking; forced from a young age to love and respect their leader, who drinks imported wine whilst the populace starves. Although it's difficult to believe this could happen in our world, the plot is similar to that of something you could see on the news today.

Laika is a gorgeous protagonist. She's intelligent, brave, and driven, but shows us her softer side at the best of times. We often see female, young adult narrators as incredibly strong-willed, but who will fall apart when a male comes on the scene to seduce them. Laika is smooth and subtle around her love interest, but shows us her emotion when it comes to grittier parts of the novel. This makes her entirely endearing, and completely believable. Most of us girls can work our way around a charming man without batting an eyelid, but overthrowing a government might be a little challenging.

The decisions Laika has to make over the course of the novel give a good message about the notion of right and wrong, particularly in relation to war. Is there anything you wouldn't do for the greater good? Should you be willing to do awful things for the greater good?
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)

Amazon.com: HASH(0xa0077f48) out of 5 stars 24 reviews
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0xa00a5a68) out of 5 stars Great Read 19 Jun. 2014
By Aly - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Kindle Edition
Maron Anrow is quick to draw the reader in by giving them a glimpse at the end. But not enough to do more than make readers curious, almost forcing them to read on and find out more about Laika, Lisan and the dangerous adventures that Laika has.

Descriptions of character's emotions are able to get those feelings across to the reader without going overboard or using more words than necessary. And yet, it's undeniable that you immediately feel what Maron Anrow is trying to portray through her words.

Politics is always a difficult thing to understand(at least to me) so Laika in Lisan having political agendas in the book should have made me lose interest. But Maron Anrow explains it out, not all at once, but in enough small parcels for the reader to understand clearly and add to the drama that is taking place.

I can't forget the characters. Laika's thought processes are interesting, to say the least. And Rodya is a mystery that you just have to solve. It keeps the reader interested, drawing them into the book. And while romance plays a part, it's not a large part.

There's also several difficult questions that are brought up and they don't have easy answers, if any at all. Many of them are moral and it's difficult to watch Laika go through, trying to keep herself from being destroyed. And yet I was frustrated with Laika. She seemed to be pushing responsibility off on others for the most part and this annoyed me to no end.

Then there's the ending. It's open enough to allow readers to draw their own conclusions but it also ends the book effectively.

Laika in Lisan was a good book, and if you find yourself looking for books that aren't necessarily about romance but do include some than you should certainly check out this book.

Find this review and many more at Reading Shy With Aly(http://readingshy.blogspot.ca)
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0xa00aae40) out of 5 stars A Delightful Fantasy with Suspense and Intrigue! 7 July 2014
By Moonrise Book Blog - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Kindle Edition
Laika in Lisan is an intriguing fantasy tale with an airtight plot, believable characters, and an exciting element of romance. A true gem, and a pleasure to read!

Laika, a recent college graduate, is invited to assist in the early formation of a university in Lisan, a country that is known for its isolation from the rest of the world. Recognizing the rare opportunity at hand, Laika jumps at the chance. But as she sets out through the mountainous, remote region strange events abound. Soon, she discovers that nothing is as it seems... and that her life is about to change forever.

I admired Laika for her independence, intellect, and sense of adventure. When she encounters obstacles and ethical dilemmas it's easy to empathize with her, and to ponder what you would do in her situation. And then there's Rodya -- handsome, intelligent, and full of intrigue. Having slipped into Laika's life and heart in a rather unusual way, the stage is set for a rare, heartfelt, and refreshingly sweet romance!

The secondary characters are fully developed, and play an integral role in the story. The world building is exceptional. Overall, the author does a fantastic job of reinforcing the setting by weaving in subtle details in a way that appears effortless. The end result is a well-paced, original, and absorbing tale of mystery, suspense, and self discovery. A must read!

Note: This book was provided by the author in exchange for an honest review.
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0xa00aa408) out of 5 stars An excellently paced mixture of mystery, suspense and action 20 Nov. 2014
By ElleLainey - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Kindle Edition
Book – Laika in Lisan
Author – Maron Anrow
Star rating - ★★★★★
Plot – excellently paced
Characters – diverse, well developed and relatable

Movie Potential - ★★★★★ (I see this being along the lines of Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon)
Ease of reading – very easy to read and follow
Cover - ✔
Suitable Title - ✔
Would I read it again - ✔

** I WAS GIVEN THIS BOOK, BY THE AUTHOR, IN RETURN FOR AN HONEST REVIEW **

I was intrigued by this book right from the start. I instantly took to Laika and I don't mind admitting that she thinks a lot like me. She can be naïve, sometimes overly so, but she's also feisty and she's willing to do whatever it takes to follow her dream of going to Lisan. I think her excitement perfectly sets us up for what's to come in the rest of the book. I also love that the beginning promises this will be different to all the other hero-saves-the-day novels. And this delivered on that promise, right until the last page.

I loved the inserts of information. Sometimes, with a world unfamiliar to the reader, the author tries too hard to explain everything at once. Not so, with this book. All the information came when it was relevant and we were only told what we needed to know at the time.

I love Laika's excitement, even when she knows it's probably the wrong emotion or the wrong time to feel it. She just can't help herself and I can't help but like her. I really hoped, as I was reading the first 20-30% that Laika would fall in love with a Lisanese person, or even Aland, just so that she would get her adventure and love story wrapped up in one. As soon as Rodya came into the story and I read their funny, sarcastic exchanges, I knew I wanted him as her romantic counterpart. I won't tell you whether I got it or not, but I will say that I was very satisfied with the progression of her romance and the ending.

The romantic in me had a field day, during the first 50% wondering who Laika would fall for. First it was any Lisanese person, then Aland, then Rodya, then I wanted her to fall for one of the spies so that she would get a touch of danger mixed into her adventure. I have to admit that I never really saw any of the plot coming, ahead of time. The only thing I got right was my assumption over Rodya's past. I did hope and wonder if that was true.

I find the whole story original, intriguing right from the start, well written and enjoyable. There wasn't really anything I didn't like about it. I fell in love with Rodya and could happily have been good friends with Laika. I also had a bit of a soft spot for Neek and Lord Hamin, when we finally met him. He was so eccentric that I really enjoyed reading about him. Aland was everything I expected and anticipated, from the little hints we were given in the build up to meeting him.

I read a few reviews, when I was 80% of the way through, just to gather what other people were saying. I never read them before a review, because I want to make up my own mind. I noticed a lot of comments about no Happily Ever After and the sudden ending. I have to disagree with both. We were set up on the first page for no HEA and I don't think the ending is sudden at all. I love the realistic ending and how it perfectly fits the story and the characters. Everything is told through Laika's POV so we only know what she knows.

I'll admit that there's so much more I'd love to talk about that I can't. I don't want to spoil the story for anyone, so you'll just have to go read it to find out.

This is an excellently paced mixture of mystery, suspense and action. I never knew who to trust or what would happen next. I love how honest Laika and Rodya are, especially when things get complicated. I love the academic slant we have, from reading in Laika's POV and how I never felt out of my depth because even the things I wasn't familiar with were explained just enough for me to keep up.
I'd love to see another book from these characters, maybe with Rodya stepping up and being a bigger character, but that's all up to the author. If not, it doesn't change how much I enjoyed this book.
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0xa00bd030) out of 5 stars I Love Laika! 2 Aug. 2014
By Melissa Veracruz - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Kindle Edition
*I received this stellar book from the author for free in exchange for an honest review.*

Laika in Lisan is the story of Laika Roen, a tutor from the country of Trea. Laika has studied Lisani ways, learned their language, and longs for the opportunity to see the closed-off country she's read so much about. Even if its leader is said to be a despot. The opportunity comes her way when Lisan's government opens its borders for three Trean scholars.

A twist of unkind fate on her journey to the Holy City gives Laika an unprecedented look into just how the people of Lisan are living. An even less kind twist of fate leaves her with choices that no one should ever have to make.

At first, I had my doubts about this book. I couldn't tell what it was going to be about. Turns out, a little bit of everything. Subterfuge and spying, romance, a glimpse into a totalitarian government, morality. The reality of Lisan is what is most unsettling in its reality. Maron details the differences between the countries exceptionally. She never underestimates the human factor of ingenuity, although her characters are allowed to. A good thing, definitely.

Maron's character's are well-developed and believable. In fact, every character in the book is believable, from supporting characters to the lowly farmer who gives Laika a ride. I have to say, though, that I love Laika. She is an intellectual and every aspect of her life is analyzed. Even her romantic interests and actions are intellectualized. Laika never loses her sense of self. She is astoundingly well-written. And can I go ahead and crush on Rodya? Is that ok?

Back on topic. The plot is five star. The characters are five star. The pacing is five star. The editing is six stars. Six. The ending? I could complain, but I won't because...well, I won't. See for yourself!

I truly and sincerely hope to see more from Maron Anrow.
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0xa00bd1e0) out of 5 stars Bringing Truth to Fiction 7 Jun. 2014
By Steven R. Lindahl - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
In Laika in Lisan by Maron Anrow, the author has built a fictional world apparently inspired by North Korea. Lisan is a country with closed borders, a leader who has manipulated his people to make them worship him, and a son of the leader who is biding his time to gain the power his father enjoys.

While the accuracy of what we know about such a closed off country will always be in doubt, Anrow has created her own world where conjecture and imagination are not only allowed, but probably bring us closer to truth than any list of facts ever could. Also, the villains (both individuals and governments) of Anrow's novel aren't entirely evil and the heroes aren't without their own flaws. This alone brings a truth that can't be found in most news articles.

Lakia is a young woman who lives in the democratic country of Trea, but has always been fascinated by the neighboring country of Lisan. She is also fluent in their language, which apparently is not common among the people of Trea. When Lord Hamin, the autocratic leader of Lisan, decides to open a new university, Laika jumps at the opportunity to become a visiting scholar. Her decision forces her to leave her position as a tutor for the children of a wealthy family and to disappoint her family, especially her father who had fought in a war between the two countries and is still bitter about the experience.

At times I felt Anrow's writing lacked detail, causing the plot to move too quickly and some important scenes to lack credibility. I also thought Anrow told too much of what her characters were feeling rather than allowing her readers to discover their feelings through their actions. One area where this criticism was not true was in Lakia's relation with Rodya, a young man she encounters after she and her guides are attacked on their way to the Holy City. The relationship between Lakia and Rodya grows slowly with twists and turns that are fascinating to read.

Laika in Lisan is a story about making important decisions in a world that isn't black and white. Laika is put in positions she isn't prepared to handle and as a result is consumed by doubt. This is what makes Anrow's characters real and what makes her novel an interesting read.

Steve Lindahl – author of White Horse Regressions and Motherless Soul
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