This book failed to blow me away as much as I’d hoped. And that makes me sad.
The plot started off really well. Loads of little clues were dropped in the first chapter or two that made me want to keep reading and find out more about the world. It sounded dystopian, but there were psychic powers, so then I started thinking it was fantasy. Then a scout spaceship gets chucked in - so ... sci-fi? Well, actually, it’s all three. I’ve only seen this kind of cross-genre thing done a few times (most notably in Peter Hamilton’s Nights Dawn Trilogy) and I decided it boded well. I love a nice, messy, overblown plot with loads of stuff thrown in. I started rubbing my hands in anticipation.
Well, like I said, it did start off well. The first quarter or so was pretty action-packed with loads of surprising revelations, but after that it just seemed to tail off a bit. I came to the conclusion that the level of action that’s crammed into the first quarter was just unsustainable and after that the plot just meandered into a big long walk.
It does pick up right at the end and there’s a huge twisty cliffhanger in the last few pages which made me think about picking up the second book, but I’m not sure if I can be bothered. That sounds awful, but I’m just not invested enough to plough through a thousand-odd more pages to find out what happens.
I’ll tell you something I did like, though: two MCs that don’t end up having a romantic relationship. Instead, they develop a platonic friendship based on trust and loyalty. It was really lovely to see their friendship develop to the point where they can’t be without each other, and while I’m sure a romantic element will come into the plot somewhere along the line, this was a really good start.
Todd was an okay character. Only okay. He’s very resourceful and brave but sadly he did suffer from the old Wilful Ignorance trope. Early on, he gets given a book that could basically hold the key to the universe, oodles of backstory and clues about what he should do next to officially fix the world. Todd doesn’t read that well, though, but that’s okay because his best friend does. So does he ask his friend to read the book out to him? No, of course not. He keeps refusing - for no good reason, as far as I could tell - to even contemplate translating the book, even though they both know that the book is really important.
And Todd's overuse of double-negatives! AAARGH! It made me want to jump out the window. ‘You can’t trust no one!’ I wanted to tock him on the forehead with a pencil and say, ‘That means you CAN trust SOMEONE!’
Unfortunately, one major criticism of this book is that it overuses the trope, Baddies That Don’t Die. There are two baddies chasing Todd and even though he manages to get into numerous fights with them, they just keep popping back up again, like a Whack-A-Mole. It should have been tense, but it ended up being a bit annoying.
I know a lot of people who have really enjoyed this book and I’m kind of bummed that I didn’t love it. I liked it just well enough to carry on through to the end, but ultimately wasn’t excited enough to follow up with t he next two books. Oh well. Onwards and upwards.