My rating: 4 of 5 stars
The narration was fairly solid with a good range of voices.
The story is based on a planet that has arrested its rotation and subsequently reducing civilization to small rings or crowns between the hot and cold while also providing a pseudo-steam-punk (think air-ships) world to play in. Most of the animals appear to have evolved into greater threats and/or intelligence, with bats in particular gaining a hive mind organization that was pretty interesting. There were a number of other takes on animal life that added to the general dystopian feel of the story. The principle societies appear to be marked off with a north/south divide and provide the engine for much of the plot conflict. There is a dash of magic that was based on visualizing songs that control the environment in some fashion mixed in with mechanical alchemy (which was a bit weird). Only all it felt like a solid setting for the story.
The main characters were also well developed and generally sympathetic figures. Nyx is a girl abandoned at birth in the beginning of the story under mysterious circumstances that are gradually revealed throughout the story and is generally pretty interesting. Raffe is a thief, betrayed by his guild who escapes from the Salt mines with a powerful artifact/weapon that Kingdom forces want to aid their desire for conquest/war. Kanthe is the spare Prince of the Realm on the run from assassins. These POV run mostly parallel for the first half of the story before you start to see them come together … and it takes a LONG time to develop that part of the story where you really don’t see much in the way of action (for 10 hrs or so). There is some … but mostly you just get people on the run, but most of the story is the characters trying to figure out what is happening to them and why. The second half gets a lot more exciting once they all get together and the hunt kicks into high gear, but the ending seems a tad unfinished (as if this was just the setup for the series).
So … the story is really 3.5 stars … but I am rounding up for the narration and world building.
I was given this free advance review copy (ARC) ebook at my request and have voluntarily left this review.
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