Asa is the youngest daughter of the house of Fane, which has been fighting a devastating food and energy crisis for far too long. She thinks she can save her family’s livelihood by posing as her oldest sister in an arranged marriage with Eagle, the heir to the throne of the house of Westlet. The appearance of her mother, a traitor who defected to the house of Galton, adds fuel to the fire, while Asa also tries to save her sister Wren’s life . . . possibly from the hands of their own father.
But as Asa and Eagle forge a genuine bond, will secrets from the past and the urgent needs of their people in the present keep them divided?
Author Tessa Elwood’s debut series is an epic romance at heart, set against a mine field of political machinations, space adventure, and deep-seeded family loyalties.
PUBLISHER: Running Press Kids
A huge thanks to the Running Press Kids and to Tessa Elwood for a free copy of this novel in exchange for my honest opinion.
To be completely honest, I requested this book awhile ago on Netgalley and I just found it on my Kindle. I had completely forgotten I had requested it–I’ve taken a rather long break from book blogging due to finals and stress levels–but, I decided to take a chance on this one.
About eight paragraphs in, I almost gave up on this book. Terrible, right? I don’t have a very high tolerance for choppy, flowery writing. Instead, I urged myself on to continue reading this novel. While I’m glad that I did finish this novel, I have several major problems with this novel.
PG: Some kissing, semi-detailed descriptions of surgical operations that may make some squeamish
Like I said previously, the writing was the biggest problem I had with this book. At the same time, there were some truly beautiful parts of this novel that kept me reading. The growth of Ava and Eagle’s relationship from awkward and gangly to something beautiful–while it did feel rushed–was lovely. While the writing didn’t jive with me for the majority of the rest of the novel, I enjoyed Elwood’s style for these parts of the story.
After a year spent reading many different YA novels, it’s never been more clear that everyone has a different writing style. While I respect that, the writing in this book is clumsy and more than a little bit confusing. If one reads through the book and doesn’t read into the descriptions, you will likely not have problems with this novel. If you pause mid-read, though, and think about what you’re reading, you’ll likely just be really confused. And a bit frustrated.
His chest is skin and scars and muscles and brushes mine on his inhales or exhales or some other breath-related thing he shouldn’t be able to do because the oxygen is gone.
Eagle opens the door and the room stutters.
Breakfast is a reticence of ghosts. The cloudy gray window light dulls everyone’s smiles and clothes. Even the plates and knives are quiet.
NOTE: All these quotes are from the ARC version of this novel and may be changed in the final publication in December.
While the writing is beautiful and poetic and lovely, all of the wordy phrases seem completely unnecessary and only serve to confuse the readers. There are plenty of Goodreads people who are freaking out over this novel at the moment, so it may be a personal preference!
Much of the back-story of the three planets (loss of fuel, quarantine, etc.) and Ava’s strange, slightly obsessive relationship with her sister, Wren, is not explained. There were a lot of loose-ends in the plot of this novel. Maybe Elwood is waiting until the next books in the series to fully flesh out the details of the three planets, the energy crisis, and Ava.
I could definitely see Cloves’ Frail Love playing in the background of this novel. Something about interplanetary conflict and Cloves fits together seamlessly. 😉
Overall, I’d give this novel 2/5 stars. While it does have an average of 3.77 on Goodreads at the moment, I would not recommend this novel and I likely will not be reading the rest of the series. Given more context and backstory, I think I would have enjoyed this novel more, but the writing was more than a bit frustrating for me.