When Preta attempted to help a boy in the forest that day, she had no idea that it would come back to uproot her in the manner it did. A new symbol on her back and a weird blue light shooting out from her legs, Preta didn’t know if she had been given a boon or a curse. But, as the chase caught up with her family and everything she knew was being turned upside down, Preta had no time to think. She ran.
The author seems to have a definite story in mind and this first book in the series serves more as a setup. Preta’s powers are not fully explained, neither to her nor to the reader and hints are dangled in the air like low mangoes ready to be picked. I can only hope that every question in this book is fully fleshed out in the later stories.
The setting is rich. There’s a map in the beginning and the names and places and the world seems real and vivid and very much original. The time period is before the advent of indoor toilets and the railways. But, in such a setting, the dialogue being in very modern, young-age terms was a little disconcerting.
A couple of other problems I had with the prose: the tense is constant. He writes only in simple present tense and many times I had subconsciously converted it into something more fitting while I read. Also, a couple of words- like “butt” “gyrate” and a few others felt over-used.
Another thing was I didn’t like was how Yaz quickly became a very irritating and very dumb character in order to further the plot. In fact, the characterization in places, was a bit inconsistent.
On the whole, the beginning of the book was tight. But, there was a little struggle towards the end, to the build of a climax and it shows.
BOTTOMLINE: Aron Sethlen built a rich fantasy land that’s worth a tumble. But, it can be better. I would pick up the next book in order to see if it contains any answers. But, I would prefer it much much more if the tense is fixed and the characters grow up a little.