Friday, 18 December 2015

Lost - The Caelian Cycle #1

During WW1, a meteorite crashed, releasing a mist that changed the DNA of all who were exposed. One hundred years has passed and society is divided between the Norms and the Caelians, whose changed DNA awakened dormant gifts, called Talents.

Sadie is over it! She’s an orphan, her boyfriend was murdered, and she’s the only Caelian at St. Vincent’s without a Talent. Once she turns 18, there will be no place for her in the world. That is, until a chance encounter with Kian, a Caelian boy who makes her feel uncomfortable and alive at the same time. Secrets of her past are uncovered and Sadie’s latent, rare Talent is exposed. With great power comes the hunters, hired by an egomaniac who wants to use Sadie’s power to establish Caelian dominance. On the run with Kian and her friends, Sadie will have to decide: hide or fight. Will she accept her new reality or will she stay lost?

I received a free copy of the book from the author in exchange for an honest review, however this is no way influenced my post.

I love a good YA dystopian read, and this book did not disappoint! From the opening prologue hinting at Sadie's heritage and how she became an orphan, I was hooked. Sadie was a fantastic protagonist. Even when she's mourning the loss of her boyfriend or standing out as the only Caelian in her class without a Talent, she doesn't wallow in self pity or sit around moping. And when she discovers her Talent, she gets even better. Think Rogue from X-Men, but the kickass comic book version, not the whiney movie version! Fittingly, the book doesn't pull any punches with the violence and there a couple of surprisingly brutal moments.

The story is surprisingly brief (only clocking in at 127 pages in PDF format) and it makes for a gripping read from start to finish. There was no point where I was bored or tempted to put the book down, the pacing is spot on. When the action isn't kicking off in the plot, there's brilliant character building when Sadie is hanging out with her friends. I loved Rebecca and Madison. A lot of YA books go for the girl v girl angle so I really appreciate well-written female friendships when I read them! Sadie's friendships with John and Mike were cute too, and again, props to Donnielle Tyner for writing platonic female-male relationships. Despite but when many authors seem to think, they do exist! There were lots of lovely little moments between the characters that really made me believe that they cared about each other without having to read page after page of backstory.

I was a little disappointed that the book didn't go into more detail about the Caelian v Normals world. Those with Talent have distinct physical features, like blue skin or bright red freckles which is ripe for endless potential, so I was kind of disappointed that we don't see more of the Caelians and their world. Because the book is so brief, we don't really get to learn much about Sadie's grandfather and why he's so desperate to get her onside, why her Talent is so special when presumably there are far more powerful Caelians around, but I guess that's all to be covered in book two, Bound. However I was somewhat relieved that, while there is a hook for the second book, this book had a satisfying ending. I've been stung too many times recently by book endings that cross the line from cliffhanger to unfinished stories so I'm always happy to see a story wrapped up, even if there's more story to be told. Bring on Bound!

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