End of Athens Blog Tour: Interview & Review

Monday, July 8, 2013


Welcome to my stop for End of Athens Blog Tour! I have an interview and review for you below!

Tour Schedule!

Author: Anthony Karakai
Release date: May 5th 2013
Publisher: Self-Published
Series: N/A
Age Group: Adult
Genre: Urban Fantasy
Purchase: Amazon 
Add to your library: Goodreads


In the year 2091, humans have lost the ability to dream. After decades of financial and social depression, dreams and aspirations have become a recessive gene—an impossibility of the modern mind.
Greece is one of the worst social and economic disaster zones, and all hope of a better future has been lost. One young man, Nikos, discovers that he is not like everybody else—there is something different about him.
Believing that he may be going crazy, he soon discovers that he is the only person in Greece who has inherited the ability to dream. Time is running out as the government continues its tirade of corruption and suppression against the people, and Nikos must find a way to teach others how to dream so that once more society can free itself from the shackles of mental slavery. (via Goodreads)


INTERVIEW 
1. I'm so honored to have you here in my blog, Anthony! What can you say to my readers about you other than the ones we usually read in your bio? 
The pleasure is all mine. Aside from being a genuine travel addict with a love for the written word, I love French, Spanish, German and Japanese cinema. I'm also interested in philosophy, ancient texts and exploration- especially the new cities and temples being discovered in the Amazon Rainforest. I find it comforting to know that as people, we really haven't revealed all the secrets of the world. Do we know what's really 'out there'? No, it's all a bunch of theories. I talk about this at length in Vagabond- science is whatever theory fits a set of parameters at that moment in time. Over time, theories are disproved, changed, new discoveries lead to new conclusions and ultimately, we realise that we never really knew anything to begin with- we only speculated with courage. 

2. You are such a well-rounded person. Business graduate, musically inclined and a talented writer. Seriously, what cannot you do? Kidding aside, how are you able to manage your time between these things?
Aw thanks. I manage my time by prioritising writing first and foremost, even though it can be difficult. I miss out on a lot of social events so I can stay home and work on my writing. I have always had the view that the people who work hard to live their dreams, have to do the hard yards. I won't achieve what I want to achieve by socialising all weekend- which makes me sound like a hermit, but sometimes you just have to put your foot down when you really want something, and go for it.

3. What was your ultimate push to start writing? 
My ultimate push to start writing came after spending a few years travelling. I saw that there is so much beauty in the world that I didn't want to forget. It was impossible for me to see and experience what I did, and then pack up, go home and remain stagnant. I began writing because I wanted to live in different parts of the world and report the wonders of life, as I experienced them, so that readers might be inspired to go travelling themselves.

4. Please tell us about your writing process. Do you have a specific time for writing? Or you just write whenever an idea pops in your mind? Do you write in your office or just wherever your laptop is?
I write whenever an idea pops into my head, and I'm always thinking of new stories. There's no specific time for writing- I usually start early in the morning and work until I go to sleep. I use my laptop, or my iPad when travelling. The keyboard that's available for iPads, as well as the apps, make for a great, compact, portable office you can take anywhere. 

5. What was your inspiration in writing End of Athens? It seems to be such an adventurous and a thrilling read. And why dreams of all things?
I saw two schools of thought on life predominantly: Follow your dreams, or follow the crowd. More people abandoned their dreams and chose a life they didn't want out of social pressure, fear of failure and fear of ridicule. I could never get my head around it- we have one life to live, why would you do anything other than what you want to do? Dreams are the most important thing we have. Without them, we are nothing. We become cogs in a machine, fulfilling somebody else's idea of a dream. I wanted readers to find courage and solace in knowing that they aren't alone- there will always be detractors, but the most important thing is to push forward and not let them stand in your way.

6. What do you believe is the edge of End of Athens from other novels?
I think people will relate to this book because at some point in time, they've likely been told that they can't do something, or they're 'dreaming.' They might have had people tell them that the odds are stacked against them, that it's impossible to do what it is they want to do. The End of Athens addresses a point in time when the haters rule the world, and have destroyed our ability to dream. It's a techno psychological-thriller with a touch of magical realism. I'm not sure that such a blend of genres has been morphed before. It's different- inspiring, dark and radiates with hope.

7. After End of Athens, what kind of novels can we expect from you?
'The End of Athens' and 'Vagabond' are both Coming of Age, Magical Realism stories which aim to lift the spirits and inspire people. I will, however, likely follow up 'The Black Lion' with a longstanding series. The first book is about an elite group of intelligence officers who fight international crime. The main spy that the story revolves around is a ruthless, dark character who lost the love of his life. He lives to this day to exact revenge on all perpetrators of evil. I really wouldn't want to come across him in real life.

8. Lastly, you can now persuade my readers to read End of Athens. Thank you for taking the time to answer my questions!
Thanks for your time. To all the readers out there who want an inspiring, psychological thriller that will make them think about the importance of their own dreams, and what type of world they want to bring their children into, read 'The End of Athens' and connect with me on facebook and twitter. If you're looking for inspiration in your life, are a deep thinker who wonders how the world works or often think 'what on earth is the government doing?' then 'The End of Athens' is for you.


Thank you so much, Anthony! 

REVIEW
Dreams are very important in our daily life. It affect us physically, mentally, emotionally and psychologically. Of course, dreams can either be what we experience when we sleep or what we want to achieve. At first, I thought End of Athens was only pointing out to the ability of people to dream while asleep. Then as the story went on, I realized it has a deeper thought, and that is, people have lost the hope of dreaming for their present and their future. 

As much as I love the premise of End of Athens, I just find it hard to believe that people cannot dream anymore when they were asleep. Even if you tell me a million times that it was an effect of the great depression. No can do. Maybe I just didn't find that clear line between the meaning of dreams here. At first, it was about the human ability to dream while asleep. I just didn't buy the idea of needing to have the recessive gene to be able to do that. Because really, dreams are part of the system of our brain and mind. So whether we like it or not, we dream. I just can't really buy that dreams are part of a recessive gene. It's like, since the people of Athens cannot dream for hope, they lost the ability to dream while asleep too. It's just so, I don't know. Weird for me.

Although I don't buy the recessive gene part, I enjoyed Nikos' journey in figuring out how he can help other people to dream. That's where the inspirational meaning of dreaming comes in. Nikos was the only one who have the recessive gene so he was able to dream while asleep. His grandfather's journal help him figure things out. Then he realized that dreaming is also about having hope for the present and future. It was such a gracious moment to think about people having dreams of hope again after being trapped in their body. That was how it felt like for me. The people of Athens were like robots who can think for their selves but they cannot dream for hope.

The ending of the book is quite controversial for me. It's like it hit a self-destructive button for itself. It was both the beginning and the end. I'm just hoping for the best for the people of Athens, okay.

On a side note, it's just so weird that Nikos didn't know Hades. I don't know. Given that Hades is a big part of their history. So it was a bit confusing for me. Also, I've said 'dream while asleep' for a couple of times. Sorry for the repetition.

End of Athens is a nice fantasy novel about dreams. Despite the fact that this is fantasy, I had the feeling that it was more of an inspirational one. It'll give you the creeps of the thought of not being able to dream while asleep. and even not being able to have dreams of hope. This is surely a nice novel for realizing some things.


  About the Author 
Anthony Michael Karakai was born in Melbourne, Australia, and is a dual citizen of Hungary. Holding an International Business degree, he is also a qualified percussionist and music producer, having studied music extensively since the age of seven. Working in journalism, his work has been published in various magazines and websites. With an insatiable appetite for travel and an eagerness to explore off the beaten path, Karakai travels at every opportunity- his travels and ongoing commitment to exploring the world are what inspires him to write.



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