I take review copies for self-published books but I've been a little disillusioned lately and reluctant to promise reviews but I can tell you my faith in my fellow self published authors has been revived by this book. A pleasant surprise and read in one sitting.
Set on Earth, at first, in the future when Earth has joined a group of other planets called the PULSE but we are the newbie runts of the pack and Earth is to be tested. Earth send their best to become Soldiers. This story is about the Trail that every human contestant must go through to become a Soldier and it is brutal.
I was enticed by the blurb. All female cast, but you know what, I kind of wished there were men in the story. The main characters are awesome. Diverse enough to feel they are three dimensional characters but you can see why they are friends and conversely enemies. The writing is really good and it is completely chocked packed with action.
The action is alleviated with quirky and funny interactions between Faye and Stella. This is a Frodo and Samgee kind of friendship but without the weird gay undertone. There is also Miri and even though she is the best of the best of the class and slated to win accolades she isn’t a totally bee-itch about it all. Mostly we see the best and the worst of the human race in this story as it explores the depth people will go just to survive. Warning, the author doesn’t pull any of their punches and this book will make you run the whole gamut of emotions.
Over all it reminded me of Scorch Trials but I wished it could have done with a bigger bad guy than just the girls and the Huntress. That is really the only down side. I wanted there to be some conspiracy against the PULSE who are sending all these girls to their death. The action is great, the writing is awesome, the characters are marvelous. But I wanted to see more of the universe that was created. I must say the author has tried to solve this in the book with the character Koot who has trained all the girls and has to watch them die horrible deaths and all because of the powers that be who decided the humans needed to be stronger, better, to be part of the PULSE.
I almost gave it a four because I wanted that ‘more’ that this book doesn’t deliver. But the book made me cry and if you can grab my emotions like that any book deserves five stars.
P.S. I kind of liked the original cover. This one has great colour and font but that beasty is in desperate need of a displacement map to make it look like the sand is rippling beneath it.