(I received a free copy of this book in exchange for a review).
(This review may contain spoilers).
I’m not sure what I can say about this first book in the trilogy. The book itself and the storyline was actually quite intriguing. Ambra’s character was an interesting one and I felt myself empathising with her through the course of the book, despite not always being entirely sure of what was going to happen.
Although I have read many books that address the reader directly, it’s always a good thing to feel that drawn into the book that I feel as if I’m a true part of the story. By the end of this, that was a fairly strong feeling I had. But even from the beginning, I felt pulled into the storyline in a way that doesn’t often happen to me.
There were many parts of this book that did feel like it was an autobiography. There was quite a lot that was glossed over, but there was also quite a lot that did have enough time spent on it. I think the book would have been much longer than it was if everything I wanted to see expanded was, though.
There were quite a few things in the book that did make me cringe, especially with the green stuff Ambra and her fellow humans had to consume. But there was a lot that did make me really feel a lot of empathy towards Ambra, especially when she was clinging so desperately to the hat that seemed to be her only precious possession.
It was really interesting to see the different alien races in this book, though I was a little bit unclear about the relationships they had with each other and to humanity. There were a couple of things that seemed to contradict each other in regards to my understanding of the ‘good’ alien race.
The concept of Readers was a really intriguing one, as was the explanation about where the different abilities came from. Ambra was an odd mix of maturity and naivety, which I felt came across really well. I also liked how clear it was the two main alien races were so different to humans.
When I first started reading the second book in the trilogy, I was a bit concerned that I was going to be subjected to multiple first person POVs when I realised I was looking at the perspective of a different character to Ambra. I was relieved to see I was wrong.
This book started off with a really intense scene. Even though I didn’t know the character whose head I was inhabiting, I had grown to know Ambra through the previous book and the danger she was in felt really real.
It was really intriguing to see Ambra through the eyes of someone else. Although I’d got to know her fairly well personality-wise in the first book, I found it really hard to picture what she looked like until I was seeing her through someone else’s eyes.
I was somewhat confused by how drastically Earth had changed from its original incarnation. I didn’t feel enough explanation was given as to how the culture had been modified so much, an entirely new religion had sprung up. I would have liked to see a bit more background of that.
The clones of Ambra Dawn were especially creepy, I felt. Towards the end of the book, I couldn’t help but feel empathy towards them, despite knowing they were more than likely beyond help.
I had some very mixed feelings about the romance in this book. On the one hand, I thought there were some really sweet aspects to it. On the other… I felt Ambra’s character underwent a massive change when she was with Nitin.
Of the secondary characters, I probably liked Moore the best. He was a much more well-rounded character and although he acted suspiciously at times, he did come through for the rest of the team. I did enjoy reading about their interactions together as a whole.
I liked that this book also had comments addressed directly to the reader and I felt the whole book was intriguing and well-written. Onto book three!
Each of the previous books in this trilogy seemed to have reached a conclusion. Maybe not an entirely satisfactory one, but I think they each had a proper ending. So I wondered what more this book could reveal about the characters and the storyline played out between them.
It was interesting to see the third book told entirely from the perspective of an alien. Waythrel was an interesting character and I found myself enjoying learning about its past and personality. I liked seeing its interactions with the other characters, too, and also seeing how it viewed Ambra.
I found Kloan a really intriguing character. With her first appearance in the previous book, I wasn’t sure what to make of her. But in this book, I felt she was a much more developed character and although she seemed to act much older than she appeared, I found myself able to empathise with her a lot.
Although the repeated entries through the gate were quite interesting, I did find they got a bit repetitive at times. I could understand why, but I kept reading variations of the same conversations over and over again, which was giving me something of a headache. At the same time, it was good to learn more of Kloan’s origins and see what prompted her actions in the present.
I would have liked to learn a bit more about Waythrel’s race. It was good to see it with one of its mating grouping, but I still don’t think I really understood how that all worked. Apart from two of the genders, my understanding seemed to be that for a lot of them, it was just about needing to reproduce and not about any emotions involved. Since Waythrel and others of its kind were clearly capable of strong emotions, such as love, I found it strange that there was no reference to the individual other four of the mating grouping.
It was good to see more of Ambra in this book, even though I’m not sure I completely understood what the whole thing going on with her was. I think I might have lost track of exactly what was going on… or how Ambra could grow to the level that she did.
I found the ending intriguing, but I was a little bit disappointed by one of the aspects. Although this was the last book in the trilogy, I would very much like to see more of the characters and their world.