A new world that is not what it seems... Terraformer by By Colleen Houck (Interview, Review, Trailer & #Giveaway) @JeanBookNerd

Welcome to my tour stop for this new SciFi release from Colleen Houck! Check out an
interview with the author, my review, a book trailer and enter the tour giveaway below...

(Terraformer #1)
By Colleen Houck
YA SciFi, Dystopian
Audiobook & ebook, 348 Pages
May 12, 2020


A new dystopian sci-fi YA series from the New York Times bestselling author Colleen Houck

Warning all Astronauts:

In the future, a terraforming ship lands on a perfectly green planet.
Two perfect young men, one a budding colony leader, the other an engineer, compete for the affection of one perfect young woman training as a botanist.
The only problem?
She’s not perfect.
Astra has a secret.
A big one.
And someone or some thing just maybe trying to kill her for it.

Deadly toxins can be hidden inside the most beautiful flowers.

That's what Astra Meador's famous biophysicist mother taught her.

As her mother's apprentice, Astra has developed skills in botany, chemistry, medicine, and, most importantly, in keeping secrets.

In fact keeping Astra's secret was the reason her family decided to leave the Earth and join a terraforming mission to colonize a distant planet called Crillain IV. But when Astra wakes early from hypersleep, she discovers that her mother never made it onboard, her father died in transit and his body has been ejected from the ship, and she suspects that she's not the only one awake.

When the ship finally lands and she's reunited with her brother, Nash, Astra hopes to settle into a new life, especially when she meets the charming young engineer, Jax, and is recruited by the mission commander to train alongside his handsome son to be a future leader of the small colony.

Then Astra learns that she's not the only one with a dark secret.

As both young men contend for her affection, Astra searches for answers, trying to determine who to trust. But with theft and murder occurring in the colony along with the sudden disappearance of her beloved brother, Astra can't listen to the whisperings of her heart, especially when someone or something else on the planet is whispering to her mind even louder.


“I was rooting for Astra and entranced by the seamlessly crafted world of TERRAFORMER! Colleen Houck gives you a chilling glimpse into what can happen when technology and nature collide.” —Kimberly Derting, author of award-winning young adult novels The Body Finder, The Pledge, and The Taking

"A richly imaginative page-turner!" —Melissa Landers, bestselling author of Blastaway, the Alienated trilogy and the Starlight duology

(Affiliate links included.)


I'd love to welcome Colleen Houck today to answer a few questions about this new scifi release!

1. What inspired you to write a futuristic story about colonizing a new planet? 

I’ve always been a sci-fi fan and I loved Star Trek: The Wrath of Khan and the genesis planet. I wondered what would happen if we tried to colonize a world where the planet fought back and the native life we assumed wasn’t a dominant species literally turned us on our heads. I’m absolutely not the first author to come up with the idea of sentient flora but hopefully this one is a slightly new twist. 

I'm a scifi and Star Trek fan as well and I love the idea for this new series!

2. Would you tell us more about the main characters from TERRAFORMER, and which you relate most to and why? 

Sure! I find that as I get older, I relate more to mother characters than the teens. I suppose that’s natural. There is a prologue that was held out of the book that will be added into the paperback as bonus material where you will get to see how Astra’s mother, Ainsley, struggled with infertility. This was very personal for me as I struggled with this myself. You don’t get to see much of this woman in the book but I poured a lot of myself into her character. Another one I really related to is Uncle Harm. His no nonsense approach to life and fearless way of living is something I aspire to and, like him, I’ve been known to do what I like regardless of permission. 

I think a lot more woman struggle with that than we think since we seem to not always talk about it. It is very personal.

3. What advice would Astra give about navigating this new planet? 

I would say she should be careful not to lose the good things about Earth. Astra was raised in a very secluded way and was hesitant to trust others but there’s a lot of good that can come from relationships with people. They’ll surprise you if you let them. Yes, some are out to cause harm but by and large, most people have good hearts.

Amen to that! 🙂

4. Why did you decide to have a love triangle from the start and will it play out through the entire series? 

I’m not sure I’d call it a love triangle. There’s some physical attraction and even admiration but never a full sense of trust that would lead to love. Astra has a difficult time with trusting anyone and this is even more compounded as she begins to change. As she settles into who she is, it becomes very obvious that there is only one person who she can love and who loves her.

I love this answer because I'm not a huge love triangle fan.

5. When you reach for a book to read, what genre do you grab and what are some of your favorites in that genre? 

I typically read YA and I still have so many YA books on my TBR pile that I’m working through backlogs from years gone by. Romances and fantasy are my preferences. Anything with action and adventure in far away places with exciting stories are what catch my attention. Contemporary isn’t really my thing and murder/mysteries keep me up at night with bad dreams.

6. What are you working on next? 

I just submitted a children’s fairy garden tea party story that is part book, part how to throw a children’s tea, similar to the Disney Tea Book. I love tea parties and fairy gardens so I combined it all into one project. I’m also working on a Bermuda Triangle YA book and the follow up to Terraformer.

These all sound very exciting! Thanks so much for answering my questions!

My Review

TERRAFORMER is a story of a group of humans who are sent to colonize a planet and find that not only is their mission not as it seems, neither is the world they've landed on. Readers will enjoy the rich setting as these characters explore a new planet, as well as the underlying suspense as the colony tries to survive not only their new life, but a saboteur as well. Recommended to YA scifi fans who enjoy their stories heavy on the romance.

I really liked both Astra and Jax. I felt like they were skilled in their areas, intelligent, but also a bit like normal teenagers with their doubts and vulnerabilities. They also have their clear weaknesses, but those seem to make them more genuine and open to different ideas instead of the prejudices of many of the crew. The world they land on is lush and well detailed where I could easily envision what it looked like as they explored. I had my guesses as to who the villain was, but it changed a bit and I wasn't completely sure if I had guessed correctly. The overall plot was unique and definitely creative, to say the least. I also liked the chemistry between Astra and Jax and how their relationship slowly builds. The ending is climatic with some action and sweet moments mixed in.

I also had several issues with the story. Too much romance for my taste and a bit too mushy. Also too much back and forth from Astra, even though I got her scientific reasoning. Some of the dialogue felt rough and unrealistic. Parts of the plotting didn't work for me. I also didn't get Astra's choices and not disclosing some information in places.

In the end, was it what I wished for? Overall, this was a creatively unique story. It definitely held my interest between its endearing characters and the interesting plot, leading me to read to the last page. I'm curious to see what the second book will bring.

Content: Some violence, heavy making out, and quite a bit of talk about procreation in order to colonize the planet.
Source: I received a complimentary ARC from NetGalley through JeanBookNerd Tours, which did not require a positive review. All opinions are my own.

Book Trailer

About the Author

New York Times Bestselling author Colleen Houck is a lifelong reader whose literary interests include action, adventure, paranormal, science fiction, and romance. When she’s not busy writing, she likes to spend time chatting on the phone with one of her six siblings, watching plays, and shopping online. Colleen has lived in Arizona, Idaho, Utah, California, and North Carolina and is now permanently settled in Salem, Oregon with her husband and a huge assortment of plush tigers.


Tour-Wide Giveaway

- 1 Winner will receive the TERRAFORMER Storytellers BOX.
- 1 Winner will receive a $25 Amazon Gift Card.
- Giveaway is open to International. | Must be 13+ to Enter | Ends June 29, 2020

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