In the near future, a devastating global war leads to a worldwide ban on the use of all technology. A few hundred years after the war, a sort of magic—called the Power—manifests in every living person. Thousands of years later, the Power has become a part of everyday life in the country of Pithea.
Missy Seeger is struggling to find her place in the world. She reluctantly decides to follow in the footsteps of her well-known and well-respected father. As other options begin to call out to her, she can’t let go of the need to please him.
Naolin Dark knows exactly what he wants to do with his life. He finds the adventure and excitement of life in his local militia, with a sword strapped to his side, to be the only worthy path. The primary goal of Pithean militias is to protect the country’s citizens from animals afflicted by the Madness, and Naolin is eager for his chance to prove himself.
In this account told by Naolin's brother and spanning over two years, Missy’s and Naolin’s abilities, ideals, and even bodies are put to the test in many ways as they are forced to deal with villains and monsters that are made possible—and all the more dangerous—by the Power and the Madness.
The fantasy setting of this book was really engaging. I enjoyed getting to see how the Powers and Madness worked and how it played out in each of the characters’ lives! I enjoyed one character arc in particular, but will keep it a secret, cause, spoilers 😅
Kristi has created a wonderfully imaginative world full of monsters and the madness that drives them, Power that both helps and mystifies its occupants, and friendships forged in the fires of struggles, pain, and love.
With parents who are supportive of her quest to decide the best plans for her future, young Missy finds herself thrust into a journey of discovery. Along the way she makes new friends, fighting alongside many of them, as they attempt to rid their island of the monsters that threaten their existence. As I followed her through battles, both physical and emotional, I found myself swinging from cheering her on and throwing her high fives to becoming frustrated with her outlook on her life and wanting to yell at her. But, to give her credit, she is young and her struggles would not be easy for anyone to live through.
The action is fast-paced and the development of characters, especially Missy's, is well done. For a first novel, Kristi has done a great job pulling it all together. I am very much looking forward to reading the next book in the series to find out what happens in the lives of these Pitheans.