I was asked to review this because I read the first in this series, Refugees, as part of my SPFBO 3 self-challenge.
This story picks up right where the last one left off, the three prophesized youngsters are trying to make their way to Tzoldia to fulfill their destiny. They each come from very different backgrounds with different paths to walk to get to where they need to go.
Brin was waiting for her old mentor to show up and escort her to Tzoldia, but he nevere showed up. Instead, she and a group of Gliders and are leaving Kalpok, the only home she’s ever known, to help start a new colony at the behest of the Elders. The elders have been acting strangely lately, and Brin is a little suspicious of their motives, but don’t see any real reason to decline her new mission. From the very beginning there is trouble, because they even make it to the ship to set sail for their new home, they are attacked by Lormonkeys. They are a poisonous and carnivorous species of monkey that’s a capable hunter that can easily take down a Glider. Once bitten, a Glider will almost always die even if the initial wounds wouldn’t have been life-threatening. Seeing no other choice, without waiting for authority, the group sets out for the ship that’s taking them to a new area to colonize.
Brin has a mild crush on the cat rider, Meltan, for whatever reason she finds him attractive despite his betrayal. I don’t usually get along well with inner dialogue along the lines of “he’s an asshole, but he’s so hot”, I guess it could be because I don’t experience that kind of thing. If someone’s a dick it doesn’t matter how handsome they are, my personal attraction to them would be nonexistent. This was compounded by the fact someone else in the group has a crush on Brin, creating a love triangle. It doesn’t help that I don’t like Metlan as a person. His entire personality revolves around power and domination. Every once in a while he will show some compassion, but most of the time he’s broody, angry, and selfish.
Meanwhile, Moshoi is having difficulties getting to Tzoldia as well, he and his brother stumble upon a mass murder, dozens of Armored people have been murdered in their sleep. The Armored people go through a hibernation phase they are extremely vulnerable, it’s difficult to wake them up, and on top of that for a long time after waking up they are weak and in a daze for being dormant for so long. The “Watchers” are supposed to be people who are trusted implicitly. A few Watchers break this trust and cut the hands off of the women and children and then tossed their bodies into melting vats. Moshoi and his brother have to wake up the remaining Armored people and help get them to safety – foregoing their trip to Tzoldia until this side mission is complete.
Amanki is traveling with Baskrod through the Webby capitol of the world on his way to Tzoldia, at first he was enjoying himself and having a good time, but the longer they stayed in the city, the more obvious it became that the city was dangerous. They were going to leave before a certain festival took place, but when they didn’t make it out in time one of his friends gets caught up in a cultural ritual sacrifice.
Like in the last book there’s a lot of world building in this, each species of humanoid has a distinct culture that was pretty well thought out. I particularly like how Moshoi’s people go into hibernation, with a thick layer of armor that protects them while hibernating, but the period between hibernating and waking up they are particularly vulnerable. There are designated members known as “Watchers” who need to be trusted implicitly.
The writing was overall pretty good, although there were a few awkward phrases that made me pause. It had been a while since I read the last one, and with a lot of books in between but I found I followed the story very easily. There are a few moments where the characters reflect on the recent past which brings you up to speed. I prefer this over dialogue between characters which can feel very forced. This is definitely aimed at a younger audience, this was a pretty classic coming of age story and the writing was “clean” from cursing. Insults like “lizard’s butt” were used in place of more adult terminology.
This is a short book, only around 281 pages so I got through it in one sitting. The plot is pretty easy to follow and you know from the start what the end goal for each character. The beginning for me was pretty fast-paced, but as the book went on there were inconsistent character switches. What I mean by that is, one character would get left behind while two of the other characters alternated back and forth for a while. It felt like Brin’s story was put on the backburner for the other two, which is strange since the book opened with her.
Overall, this is a really strong YA that I probably would have liked a lot in my younger years. The world building is imaginative, the characters (except for Metlan) are pretty easy to root for as well.
- Multi POV
- Epic Fantasy
- fast paced
- quick light reads
- in depth world building
- Plot: 11/15
- Characters: 11/15
- World Building: 12/15
- Writing: 10/15
- Pacing: 11/15
- Originality: 12.5/15
- Personal Enjoyment: 6.5/10
Final Score: 74/100 – 3.7/5 stars on GR