Author: Ryan J. Alls
**Book provided by author in return for an honest review.**
I'm not sure where I would classify this book. I wouldn't really think of it as young adult, most fantasy isn't considered YA, and they are 20 years old. It's YA if you would consider Rand, Matt and Perrin from the Wheel of Time YA. It's hard to classify it as fantasy either, it does take place in another world Kismet, but the use of American slang like "cool" confuses that. I suppose I'll just say it's in a class all its own.
The use of proper English in this book takes some getting used to. I guess I'm just acclimated to using contractions most of the time. But at the same time the grammar is atrocious. I don't usually mention this in reviews but it was such a deal-breaker for me with this book. Things like use instead of used, passed instead of past and site instead of sight I found so often that it messed with my enjoyment of the book. But as my husband tells me he would never notice those mistakes if he was reading it. I am just super picky. For the target age group... they won't even be bothered I'm sure.
When I first read the synopsis of this book I thought it was going to be something like Ender's Game. I was wrong about that. I'm sure it will make you laugh but my best comparison is Hunger Games meets Harry Potter & The Goblet of Fire meets Pokemon. Yes, I did say Pokemon. Why? Because they shout out their attacks and unfortunately what pops into my head was Pokemon battles! But they have Trials to the death instead of battles. The audience at the Trials make no sense. They're horrified by a severed arm but cheer at decapitation? Jude has it right when he says: "Barbaric. That's someone's child or friend." But hey the funerals were beautiful!
When reading the synopsis you also get the impression that the book is about Eli alone. There are several other viewpoints. There is Jude, Jed, Bishop and Fox. I like Jude and Jed. Eli is clueless. One look from a pretty girl and he forgets everyone. Even when he's matched up against his friend Zane in the Trials he is clueless considering he is now an opponent. Sia who he likes is like a walking contradiction. I like you but I don't want you near me, he's barely spoken to her but forgets everyone else because of her? I loved Jude. If this book was all Jude I would have finished it in a couple days. I lost interest because of Eli.
The story takes place in a village where the people worship the three gods. It starts when Jude and Eli are old enough to go to the academy to train to become agents and work for their government. It seems that anyone that is of the three bloodlines goes to academy. The bloodlines are combat specialist, weapons master and magi. The combat specialist is the coolest in my opinion. They can inject themselves with a vial and become an animal. In his battle Jude becomes a huge spider. Did I mention I have arachnophobia? Talk about heebie jeebies! The combat specialists can summon any weapon that they have ever held, including a barrage of arrows. Very cool. Eli is a weapons master. Magi are kind of confusing. I guess it would be like a mage type character. Sia is a magi. There's also Pang. He is an outsider and he uses blood magic. Kinda creepy.
The fight scenes were awesome and very gory. The romance between Eli and Sia was exasperating. Everything involving Jude or Jed was great. Fox and Bishop annoyed me but you don't have much of their viewpoint so that's good. Altogether this book made me laugh and it made me cry. It made me like one character so much I swore I would throw the book across the room if they died. Any book that can make you feel so strongly is a good book. It would have been a 4 star book if it wasn't for the grammar.
"Only fools do not fear the inevitable domination of wooden dummies." -Pang
"Trust me. I have been a predator for a few years now. I know what looks appetizing and what doesn't" -Jed