PROPHET OF THE BADLANDS by Matthew Cox
Genre: cyberpunk, science-fiction
Publisher: Curiosity Quills Press
Date of Release: April 27, 2015
Cover Artist: Conzpiracy Digital Arts
Find Online: Amazon US | Amazon UK | Goodreads
For most twelve year olds, being kidnapped is terrifying. For Althea, it’s just Tuesday.
Her power to heal the wounded and cleanse the sick makes her a hunted commodity in the Badlands, a place devoid of technology where the strong write the law in blood. For as long as she can remember, they always come, they always take her, and she lets them. Passed around in an endless series of abductions, she obeys without question―mending those who killed to own her.
After three whole months in the same village, the affection of a young warrior makes her feel almost like a member of the tribe rather than a captive. Her brief joy shatters when raiders seize her yet again; for the first time in six years, being stolen hurts.
A reluctant escape sends her wandering, and she realizes her gift is a prize that causes as much death as it prevents. Her attempt to return to the tribe leaves her lost and alone, hounded at every turn. When a family who sees her not as the Prophet―but as a little girl―takes her in, she finds the courage to use her power to protect those she loves.
A strange man from a world beyond her imagining tests her newfound resolve, seeking to use her power to further his own agenda. Tired of being property, her freedom boils down to one question:
Can Althea balance the sanctity with which she holds all life against the miserable truth that some people deserve to die?
(I received a free copy of this book in exchange for a review).
(This review may contain spoilers).
I felt like I was drawn into the world of this book very quickly. Althea was a character I was able to empathise with as the story progressed. I felt that her attitudes and feelings came across very well, especially when she was in an environment that was entirely new to her.
The world of the Badlands was one I found especially horrifying to read about, particularly in view of the fact that Althea was treated like a possession… even by the people who were supposed to be the good guys. I felt that the different ways the characters talked came across really well. I could differentiate between the different places due to their dialects and cultures.
I felt that Althea came across really well as a mixture of adult and child. While in the Badlands, she’s a survivor. She knows where she is and she knows what’s expected of her. But when she’s out of her comfort zone, she’s a scared child… and I found myself wanting to give her a hug.
I was particularly intrigued by the character of Rachel. It was interesting to see a strong female character in a world and time completely out of her comfort zone. It was also interesting to see evidence of other abilities; not just of Althea’s.
I felt it came across really well that, to Althea, all life was sacred. It was also good to see that she didn’t have unlimited energy resources… that she could and did tire herself out; and that she couldn’t work her abilities perfectly all the time.
I liked the parts when the other characters treated Althea as a member of the family and not as a tool to be used. Seeing the other places through her eyes made me able to connect with her more, too, as she struggled to understand what she’d never experienced in her life.
I think I would read a sequel to this book at some point in the future. There seems to be some connection to the world in other series by this author and I’m eager to see if that’s actually the case.
About The Author
Born in a little town known as South Amboy NJ in 1973, Matthew has been creating science fiction and fantasy worlds for most of his reasoning life. Somewhere between fifteen to eighteen of them spent developing the world in which Division Zero, Virtual Immortality, and The Awakened Series take place. He has several other projects in the works as well as a collaborative science fiction endeavor with author Tony Healey.
Hobbies and Interests: Matthew is an avid gamer, a recovered WoW addict, Gamemaster for two custom systems (Chronicles of Eldrinaath [Fantasy] and Divergent Fates [Sci Fi], and a fan of anime, British humour (<- deliberate), and intellectual science fiction that questions the nature of reality, life, and what happens after it. He is also fond of cats.
Find Matthew Cox Online:
About Curiosity Quills Press
Curiosity Quills Press (CQ) is a small hybrid publishing company specializing in genre fiction of the highest quality. With 150+ titles in our catalog already and approximately 6 new books coming out each month, there’s never a dull moment at CQ. We work with major retailers such as Amazon, Barnes & Noble, and Audible to ensure that you, the reader, can find whatever you are looking for at your convenience.
Founded in 2011 by Eugene Teplitsky and Lisa Gus, CQ was initially a resource portal for writing and publishing, created in an effort to help writers, like themselves, survive the publishing industry. After rapid success, CQ morphed into publishing press that over time has solidified its share in the market. Now we spend our days searching for the next great escape!