***** (5) out of 5 stars!
This book was amazing! When I first started reading it, I was not at all sure that I was going to like it. I found the first section to be a bit rough for some reason, and hard to get into. I guess because it was mostly world-building for the actual story, so there was just a lot of boring background to wade through. There was a lot of information provided in a small amount of space, and not all of it made sense, at least at the time.
But once Zo entered the world of the Ram - I was completely sucked into her story! Shortly thereafter the character who was perhaps my very favorite was introduced: Joshua. He is such a valiant young man, trying so hard to be the person that he is expected to be, even though he is really someone entirely different. But even the brutality of Ram life doesn’t seem to shake his positive outlook. He sees the best in people and tries to make the best of everything. I love the friendship that develops between him and Zo, as well as his interactions with Gryphon.
Watching Gryphon’s growth and transformation through the course of the book is truly amazing. He begins as a product and perfect example of his society, doing and believing what he has always been taught. But once he starts to be exposed to other ideas, and allows his outlook to be opened up, he definitely changes for the better. The budding romance between Zo an Gryphon is something truly wonderful to watch, even though it takes them forever to realize what it means.
In fact, watching many of the characters grow and develop was quite enjoyable. Even just to discover that things were not always as they seemed, and that there were many different points of view felt and sometimes expressed, besides just the official Ram official line, was quite fascinating.
The author’s writing style, once she gets into the story, is smooth and easy to follow, as it just pulls you along through the action. I read a quote recently about how when you are really into a novel, you see the world differently, not just while you are immersed in its pages reading, but in the rest of your life as well. This is what this book did to me! I must say, I was so happy to hear that there is a sequel already in the works. Because I simply must know what happens to these characters!
I received a review copy of this book from Month9Books in exchange for an honest review.