Ｓｅｒｉｅｓ： Book 1
Ｒａｔｉｎｇ： ★ ✩ ✩ ✩ ✩
＊Ｎｏｔｅ：I received this book in exchange for an honest review
A sensible young nobleman, Leaf Watson, and his sister, Willow Oak, live a rustic medieval life rich in traditions and chivalry. Sealed inside an experimental biodome since infancy, they have been groomed by The Code to build a sustainable community devoid of Outsider interference.
They are unwitting pioneers on a path toward confined interplanetary homesteading.
Life within their walled garden is predictable and peaceful until the unthinkable happens. With his dying breath, Leaf and Willow’s noble father bequeaths a family secret, placing an invisible crown of power on Leaf’s head. Grief-stricken and afraid for their lives, the siblings defy their upbringing by connecting with Fillion Nichols, a punk hacker who, unbeknownst to them, is linked to their lives in shocking ways. Their encounter launches Fillion into a battle with his turbulent past as he urgently decodes the many secrets that bind them together, a necessity for each to survive.
Youth cultures clash when the high technology of the Anime Tech Movement collides with the Middle Ages in a quest for truth, unfolding a story rich in mystery, betrayal and love.
✩ Willow was just about the only character that I was starting to like. I liked how proud and confident she was. She respected herself and spoke her mind. I think she was a very strong character.
As you probably saw in my What Makes You DNF? post, this is one of the few books that I was not able to finish. As such, this post will be shorter than most of my other reviews.
I picked up this book from instafreebie and did it mostly because the cover was pretty (yeah, I know). I actually didn’t plan on reading this anytime soon either but I didn’t notice that by downloading this I was agreeing to review it so…. yeah, here we are. Nevertheless, I went to go look at it on Goodreads and I was like “Alright, well, it has good reviews so at least it’ll be a fun read!”
Narrator: It was not fun.
My overall reaction to this book was: “What the f**k is going on?”
I only read about 50-60 pages in and I still could not figure out the story. I think there was a certain degree of mystery that was supposed to be in it (because Leaf’s father had told him something secret although as the reader we didn’t get to know what it was). And then another character had secrets too. I just … there was so much that wasn’t written and held back from the reader that it made it hard to figure out what was happening.
The first thing that set me off with this book was that it was so tediously covered how Leaf’s father had died and every little detail that went into getting his body ready for the funeral. It went into cleaning one arm, then the other, and each leg, his chest, then turning him on his back–
There definitely did not to be that much detail. There were also more than a few instances where the same adjective was used to describe things in the same sentence. I just could not handle all the repetition and excessive description.
Aside from that, I was a decent way into the story and I still couldn’t figure out where the setting was. At one point there was some background dropped about how two communities were created. The first was created on Mars, and the second was supposed to be in California and created by roleplayers. Right after this was explained one of the characters, Fillion, kept referring to Leaf and Willow as Martians, but he also said that they were the community created by “nerds” or “geeks” (I forget which). Essentially I was confused. You just said the roleplayer-created community was on Earth…. Why are you calling them Martians?
I feel like when you’re 50 pages into a book you should be able to explain to someone else what the book is about. If you can’t understand what’s going on and have someone else understand your explanation for it then you have a problem.
I didn’t like Leaf as a character. He felt really… bland, and boring. Willow was the only one I was starting to get behind simply because she was reactive (she got mad, she got sad, she showed some kind of feeling). Fillion … well, I didn’t get to read much about him so I couldn’t say. He seemed kind of sarcastic which I can always enjoy but since I didn’t keep reading I couldn’t make a call either way.
My final thoughts about this book are that it probably could’ve turned out to be a fun read had the author not kept so much from the reader. It also felt like there were too many ideas going on all at once (roleplaying, terminology for the community, traditions, history between characters, history of the community, etc).
I think if you’re into sci-fi and you don’t mind really long descriptions then you might be able to give this a shot. Otherwise, I don’t think this is you.