The best introduction that I can come up with for this book is that it is a big time story with lots of heart and soul. It is published by Sky Pony Press in New York who sent me this review copy. I'd like to thank them for sending it over and giving me the opportunity to read it.
I was very keen to read this book when I found that the story portrayed a post-apocalyptic world. I have to say that this theme is difficult to get right when it is featured in books, but when it works it is amazing. So did this book and story live up to my expectations? Well, I have to say yes, in the main it did. This book has a great vision - the author paints the picture in full colour with some great fantasy elements that work particularly well.
The story takes place in a lost valley in which society has been split into two: the Wanderers and the people who live in the pyramid city of Arcone. The Wanderes, by in large, have a very difficult and turbulent life - they have to battle against the elements, the arid desert landscape and each other. Whilst the people, who live in the pyramid city of Arcone, have a closed environment with a tightly controlled society which enables them to maintain a more civilized basic existence in the face of an environmentally devastated planet. I really did enjoy reading this book; it's highly imaginative and very well written. It is a fast-paced easy to follow story aimed at the 13-17 year old market but it also has a strong pull to older readers, just like myself!
The characters are varied and very interesting; they are mostly likeable and take you along on a hair raising adventure. One of my favourite parts of the story involved the gas propelled balloon journey which took me on a breathtaking ride. It was really engrossing and set up the vision for the rest of the book. I loved the small attention to detail that you will find throughout this book - it really does make the story stand out from some of the other books within this genre.
The action intensifies the further that you travel into the story. However, it then very abruptly stops leaving the outcome, for me, to end too early. Perhaps the author took a little too long to set up the story for the next book and then made the story feel like two adventures in one book. That was my only gripe about this book really - I would have liked a stronger ending.
I really would like more people to find a copy of this book as it had a really good pace and rhythm to it. It has a gripping, fantastical world element that will have you engaged by following the characters' hardships, friendships and survival. There were some particularly great scenes and epic battles involving the survival of the main characters that will keep you immersed in the story. I really did enjoy reading this book as it was easy to follow, well written and really engaging from the start. The story included many great ideas which were well thought out and all told with a twist of mystery and a sense of adrenaline. I would recommend reading this book, so track down a copy if you can......