Book Review: The Severed Tower by J. Barton Mitchell

December 16, 2013 5 Exclamations!!! 0

Genres: Apocalyptic, Sci Fi
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About the book:

  • The Severed Tower

  • by J. Barton Mitchell
  • Conquered Earth #2
  • Genres: Apocalyptic / Sci Fi
  • Pages: 400
  • Publication: November 19th 2013
  • by St. Martin’s Griffin
  • Rating: 5/5!!
  • Received From: St. Martin’s Press for am honest review



Holt, Mira, and Max have fled Midnight City with Zoey after watching her repel an entire Assembly army. Zoey’s powers are unlocked, but who and what she is remains a mystery. All she knows is that she must reach the Severed Tower, an infamous location in the middle of the world’s most dangerous landscape: The Strange Lands, a place where the laws of physics have completely broken down. But the closer they get to the Tower, the more precarious things become. The Assembly has pursued Zoey into the Strange Lands. Among them is a new group, their walkers and machines strangely bereft of any color, stripped to bare metal, and whose agenda seems to differ from the rest. To make matters worse, the group hunting Holt are here, too, led by a dangerous and beautiful pirate named Ravan. So is Mira’s first love, Benjamin Aubertine, whose singular ambition to reach the Tower threatens to get them all killed.

Then there’s the Strange Lands themselves. They have inexplicably begun to grow, spreading outwards, becoming more powerful. Somehow, it all seems tied to Zoey herself, and the closer she gets to the Tower, the weaker she becomes.

My Thoughts:

There is so much about this story that I love. It’s hard to believe how many plot lines are running through this and never does it feel mired, instead the plot is always amazing!

I always hear people say that a book is action-packed but I don’t think that most can hold up to this type of book. Every page has something tearing out of it ready to be devoured by the imagination. I also find it amazing how many characters J. Barton Mitchell has managed to get into this book but it never feels overwhelming. And what is finally learned about the tower, and about ourselves while reading, is simply genius. Again, never does this information feel cumbersome, nor does it bog the story down. Instead everything lifts the story up and I found that I wanted to read faster to know what was going to happen and yet I wanted to read slower so I didn’t miss a thing!

My favorite characters are back and ready for action from the first in the series. The Max! My favorite puppy of all time. I love the way he is always ready for action and will do anything to save the one he loves.

Zoey is just amazing in this, of course. She is still very young but I could tell she’s learned from her powers. She is the pentacle of everything and watching what this young girl has to go through just makes me love her all the more.

And then there is Holt and Mira, and their love square. It’s interesting because I normally do not enjoy reading about love triangles but this particular case, involving not only three but four people, is amazingly well crafted and beautifully done. Each step towards or away from one another is understandable and it doesn’t take up a lot of the story, it just all makes total sense! It’s also a nice break from all of the chaos that the assembly has created. Although this particular love square has its own chaos.

And my two favorite new characters, Ravan (love the spelling) and Gideon. Gideon is simply amazing. He’s the type of person that everyone should have around. He always knows what to say to make someone feel good about themselves and it’s no wonder The White Helix follows him. Ravan on the other hand is totally sarcastic, strong, intelligent and kind of crazy. Her edginess brings something completely different to the other characters and it seems like she is her own Gideon, making the people around her stronger because of her edge.

Simply said… I could not put this book down. I am so amazed at the craftiness that J. Barton Mitchell has achieved. This story is fabulous and begs to be read over and over again. I know each time I read this I will find something that I didn’t see before.

“Compassion comes in all kinds of flavors,” Ravan said tightly. There was pain in her voice. “But they don’t all taste like pumpkin pie.”


She looked up and saw Holt. He was awake, staring at her with that look he had when he’d decided to do something dangerous and altogether not smart.


“Is… that your girl?” Ravan asked.

“Yeah,” Holt said, smiling. “that’s my girl.”

Even if you do not enjoy sci fi this is a story that I think everyone could read. The feelings it summons are reminiscent of the movie Independence Day. I found myself upset, happy, mad, sad, and joyous all from one plot and fabulous characters! Already the hubby and I have bought both books on Audible and plan to listen to them together. I know he’s going to love this just as much as I do!

About the author:

J. Barton Mitchell is a creator and writer of speculative fiction, and the author of the science fiction YA novel series CONQUERED EARTH published by St. Martin’s Press. He has sold screenplays to Warner Bros. and 20th Century Fox, and created the comic book series POE for ‘Boom! Studios’.

Or at least that’s what someone wants you to think…

The truth is, J. Barton Mitchell doesn’t exist. He’s a shadow persona created by another shadow persona dreamed up by an even more shadowy persona. Who is he really, you ask? A super villain named Dr. Sinister? Maybe. The world’s most daring thief, desperately trying to save the world from a hidden alien menace only he can see? Who’s to say? A master assassin trained by an ancient crime syndicate in Myanmar? We’ll never know. All we can know is that you take your life in your hands every time you look at this site. And that’s why you keep coming back…

Just one more page, you tell yourself. Just one more blog entry. And each click of that little wireless, bluetooth mouse of yours (that’s right, he even knows what kind of input device you use) is more exhilarating than the last.

Yeah. Now you see his master plan. Now he’s got you…

J. Barton Mitchell lives and writes somewhere in Los Angeles. Or…does he?

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