Stars: 4 out of 5
This is the third series I have picked up by this author and I can say with confidence that Django Wexler is a creator of worlds, which is good praise in my books. Each of his series has a very distinct feel, with an original world and engaging characters.
I loved a glimpse of the world in this book, where humans live on the ruins of a war between two Elder races – the Chosen and the Ghouls, who had been intent on mutual annihilation. The Ghouls unleashed the Plague that wiped out the Chosen, but not before they bombed the ghoul underground cities into oblivion. That was 400 years ago. Humanity inherited a planet full of ruins, broken weapons, and magical artifacts. And also plaguespawn – an unfortunate side-effect of the Plague. These monsters have just one purpose – attack anything living and assimilated it, and they prefer humans. Unfortunately, they are also all over the place, so humanity lives in cities and walled villages, and travel is dangerous…
I also really liked both of our siblings – Maya and Gyre. Even though they are on the opposite ends of this conflict, it’s really hard to say who is right and who is wrong. They both believe in their own truths. They are both decent people deep inside. They are also very young, so they still see the world in black and white, even though they allowed a few shades of gray in the end which helped them find a compromise long enough to get out of a very bad situation they were in.
I liked that they both felt “alive” to me. No, I didn’t agree with all of their actions, especially with what Gyre did in Deepfyre, but I understood their motivations. To me, that’s the most important part. I might not like the character or agree with them, but I need their actions to make sense with what I know about them. That’s exactly what I get every time I pick up a Django Wexler book.
Of course, there are still a lot of questions left unanswered – who or what is that black spider that Maya keeps encountering. How did it get ahold of Jaedia? What is the Thing on Maya’s chest and why does the spider call her an experiment? What are the plaguespawn and are they really the by-product of the Plague? Are the Chosen really gone? And a lot more.
So this book accomplishes what a first book in a series is supposed to do – introduces an interesting world with engaging characters and left us with enough questions to pick up the next book. Well done, Mr. Wexler, well done. I am definitely continuing with this series.
PS: I received a fee copy of this book from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.