I really liked this book. The premise is wonderful and I quickly got hooked on the story, and given what a struggle I’ve had in recent months4 ½ stars
I really liked this book. The premise is wonderful and I quickly got hooked on the story, and given what a struggle I’ve had in recent months finding books I’ve enjoyed immersing myself in, that says quite a lot.
I got very invested in the characters, caring about so many. The writing is very good, the pacing is excellent, and there is a lot of suspense, and several twists, all enjoyable and well done.
I loved the chapter titles but I wish the chapters had also been numbered. I did appreciate that most of the chapters were short, making it easy to read entire chapters during the short breaks I had over the week, although I found it hard to put down the book when I had something else I needed to do.
This is the first book in a planned young adult trilogy and in general I’m tired of trilogies and yearn for standalone books. One thing I did very much appreciate about this book though is that it’s one of the best endings of the first book of a trilogy I’ve read. At the end I got more answers than questions, even though I knew a lot more to the story is coming. I was left wanting to read more but I didn’t feel tortured by the typically written cliffhanger. Book one felt sufficiently complete so that I was left satisfied by the story thus far. I wish more authors of trilogies would write their stories like this!
For a young adult book I was also pleased that at least so far the seemingly obligatory love triangle was avoided, though for a while I thought that was what was coming. I was pleasantly surprised by how the love interest part of the story was handled. By the way, so far the romantic components are PG rated. The violence is a bit less tame but still not overly upsetting.
I think this book would be great for discussion, especially as it pertains to some of the moral quandaries the characters face, and also the society as a whole.
I sometimes guessed what would happen next, but I found that enjoyable, just as I do when reading mysteries, and I was surprised just as often, and that was a lot of fun.
Some random notes: a vegan character is mentioned (I got a kick out of that given that I’m a vegan), as is a horse I found interesting, and I loved the cat character.
I know about author’s daughter so I can guess why some of the characters were named what they were. The characters’ names are original yet very believable.
Occasionally the author used all caps for words and short phrases and I sometimes got why that was done, but I found most were not needed. As a reader I was able to read for myself what was being emphasized, without the caps.
I enjoyed the author’s earlier two children’s books. They showed a tremendous amount of creativity, they were great fun to read, and I hope they get wider readership because of this book, but they were amateurish compared to this book, which is a cut above! I would have really enjoyed those first two books at 7-10 years old and, even more than as an adult, would have delighted in the adventures and fun details, so I’d still recommend them. However, this young adult book/series deserves a professional publisher, as it’s equal to or better than many similar books published traditionally. It’s excellent.
I can recommend this for age 11 or 12 and all the way up, possibly younger if the kids are really interested. This is a good book for readers who like speculative fiction, dystopian stories, older kids and teens who face special challenges, readers who like thoughtful adventure books, coming of age stories, books about friendship and (unusual) families, and futuristic earth stories, and stories that are both escapist fun and thought provoking. This book is fine for independent readers, but also for reading aloud, including group reads with families and school classes.
Full disclosure: The author is a Goodreads/online friend of mine and she gave me the book as a gift, hoping (but not requiring) that I would read it and honestly review it. I am grateful for the opportunity to read it and really loved reading it in advance of official publication....more