by Heather Terrell
Series: Books of Eva #1
Published by Soho Teen Release date : October 29th 2013
Genres: Dystopian, Fantasy, Young Adult
Source: The Publisher | Format: ARC
The truth will test you...
For fans of Game of Thrones and The Hunger Games: high fantasy and dystopia meet in this high-stakes tale of a civilization built on lies and the girl who single-handedly brings it down.
When Eva’s twin brother, Eamon, falls to his death just a few months before he is due to participate in The Testing, no one expects Eva to take his place. She’s a Maiden, slated for embroidery classes, curtseys, and soon a prestigious marriage befitting the daughter of an Aerie ruler. But Eva insists on honoring her brother by becoming a Testor. After all, she wouldn’t be the first Maiden to Test, just the first in 150 years.
Eva knows the Testing is no dance class. Gallant Testors train for their entire lives to search icy wastelands for Relics: artifacts of the corrupt civilization that existed before The Healing drowned the world. Out in the Boundary Lands, Eva must rely on every moment of the lightning-quick training she received from Lukas—her servant, a Boundary native, and her closest friend now that Eamon is gone.
But there are threats in The Testing beyond what Lukas could have prepared her for. And no one could have imagined the danger Eva unleashes when she discovers a Relic that shakes the Aerie to its core.
I received this book for free from The Publisher in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.
With all the novels out there, it’s getting really difficult to find a book that separates itself in originality. I mean, really hard. So, I must give credit where credit is due, Relic is pretty different. Yes, you can probably find a lot of similarities to other novels in it, I did, but the World as a whole is so distinctly different. And just for the record, I don’t like the comparison to the Hunger Games or The Game of Thrones. Not.One.Bit.
Eva’s world is 242 some odd years after “The Healing”, a catastrophic event basically causing the “end of the world”. The community lives by rules of their book, The Lex and has resorted to live a more simple life, without technology, with maidens and social classes. Woman not in favor, who’s use is for lady like things. They believe that were chosen by their Gods, Mother Sun and Father Earth, to survive such a tragedy. <~~ OK, this is where things get shaky.
CONFESSIONS-For over 90% of the book, I was thoroughly confused. By the world. The language. The Hierarchy of the Triad. What the jobs of the Triad are. I kept finding inconsistencies in the story and honestly, I was so frustrated I wanted to quit. I had no idea, aside from this competition, what in the blazes was going on. WHY is it so important? WHO are these people? What are their roles? And there were so many random words and terms given in the novel I gave up trying to figure out what they meant. I am glad I stuck with it, because the last 30 pages or so things started to fall into place, (a little too late, mind you) and that ever-present light bulb started to shine like no other. The last few pages of the book has a little bit more insight to the world and ALL it’s people, this book called The Praeamnulum. Had this been placed in the beginning of the book, I would not have struggled with it and more than likely would have enjoyed it so much more. Whether this is something that will change upon publication, or was the intent from the get go, is anyone’s guess. But for me, when you create a world you have to give a little. Don’t give me a “role” without a definition of said role. Although I dislike having a glossary in a book, it was much-needed here. It was hard to value anything because I just didn’t understand.
For the life of me, I couldn’t figure out what lies there were to uncover. From the blurb, you know there are things to uncover and things to figure out but I just.. I couldn’t wrap my brain around everything else that was going on to look for subtle clues. The story takes an old well-known tale and weaves it into the story. Also, I literally laughed my bum off when we learn more about the God Apple. That, was funny, yet it was different and now that I know more about WHY this was weaved in, I appreciate it more.
I did like Eva, though I wish I was able to connect with her more. She was a little too.. monotone most times but was very brave. Taking the place of her brother, Eamon, in this Testing, she didn’t have the training like the others did, not by a long shot. She thought it was his dream and that this would be the best way to honor him. However, I never really felt like she grew much over the course of her journey. I didn’t see her working very hard to accomplish what she did. I felt like she didn’t care enough, until the very end after discovering her Relic. But even that seemed so easy for her. I was never worried whether or not she was going to survive or run into ANY real obstacles. She also changed a little bit after returning from The Testing; when she started to learn about the truth about the Aerie, the Boundary People, the Lex and it’s rules.
There was a hint of romance towards the end and it just didn’t work for me. I just had a feeling this guy, Lukas, was going to be the love interest. For one, they were close. Two, he was Boundary Companion and it’s forbidden to have relationships with them. So yeah. But then she left for the The Testing and it was never really mentioned again and then BAM! Then, there is Jasper, the Gallant that her parents are hinting at a betrothal to. He too, competed in the testing and he was so hot and cold with Eva, not to mention a friggin hypocrite. I didn’t feel it.
I was also very confused over the fact that pretty much everyone, at some point or another, were breaking these sacred rules of the Lex. At every turn, someone was breaking a rule. It’s just hard to comprehend the fact that they take such things so seriously; only to turn around a break a completely different set of “rules”, when they deemed it necessary. Could you find a more hypocritical bunch? I mean, really. I get it, who really follows all the rules? But the punishment is SEVERE. Gallows people, The Gallows.
My Peeve- Like I said, I wasn’t understanding a lot of the book because there were no details or back story given. It isn’t one of those book were you can just go with the flow. I needed more detail. I need to understand the world, the people and how things came to be.
Overall- Pretty different and has a fascinating concept to it. After I finished and everything pretty much was explained, I see the book differently and I see the angle that the author was trying to take us. But putting the history in the back of the book does this book NO justice. I think I might re read soon, especially before I read the second book.
Tonyalee is an avid reader, gym junkie, coffee addicted workaholic, and blogger. Be sure to follow on Twitter, Facebook & Instagram for random shenanigans.