Release Date: March 8th 2013
Publisher: Lobon Publishing
Series: Sahae (#1)
From the book jacket:
There are things that go bump in the night, and things that do more than bump. Behind the world that we know is the world of the Sahae, a shadowy reflection of our own. Once the dominant species on the planet the Sahae fell from power due to infighting and left mankind to its own devices. In just a few short millennium man has risen as a power to thwart the Sahae and now they have returned to reclaim their place of power.
Eric Green is an unknowing part of this mysterious world. Half human, half Sahae he is lost between two worlds. One that would see him destroyed the other that would use him for their own ends. An orphan that spent his entire life feeling unwanted and fundamentally broken Eric has finally found a real home with the Greens in Seaverville, IA. No sooner has he settled in to his new life than mysterious things begin to happen. From his unexplained martial prowess to an unbelievable visitor from his past his world has been thrown into chaos..
Now faced with the truth of who and what he is Eric must survive long enough to figure out where he fits into this new reality…if a place exists for him at all.
Left on the steps of an orphanage as a baby, Eric has never known anything about his past. He spent his life being shuffled from one foster home to another, due to the night terrors and unusual occurrences that follow him. When he met the Greens, he thought he had finally found a home, until a visitor from his past appears to inform Eric that, not only is he not entirely human, he’s in danger because of that. Eric must learn how to protect himself and his family all white trying to figure out exactly who he is and what his past means.
I really enjoyed this story and I’m looking forward to reading the next book in the series. Pace takes the idea of Fey-like characters and changelings but expands it in a new direction by creating “hybrids” wanted by both species. He manages to create a mythos for this species and their history with humans, but still ground the story in the action surrounding Eric. This combination results in a a very compelling story that left me wanting more.
At times the story didn’t feel as modern as it was meant to, however. The combination of the dialogue, the actions of the characters, and the way technology was presented and referenced felt a little old-fashioned. This attitude worked for the Greens, but didn’t really feel authentic for the rest of the characters. It wasn’t a consistent issue, though, and it didn’t really lessen my enjoyment of the story. It was just something I noticed and found distracting in the moment.
Eric is a very sweet boy who is much less flawed than he could be considering his past. He’s special and powerful enough to make him interesting, but he doesn’t verge into Mary Sue territory. The reader is really rooting for him to survive and figure out his place.
Martin is far more sympathetic than any of the other Sahae. He manages to maintain the superior attitude that seems to be the defining characteristic of the Sahae at this point in the story without being unlikeable in any way. The Sahae in general are really neat characters, especially since they are so diverse. Including technology as their weakness was a neat little detail that really added to the mythos around them.The way their magic is interpreted as something external is also very interesting and I hope more of this will be explored later.
I really don’t have much to say about how the setting was portrayed. Aside from the brief descriptions of Sahae, the story could have taken place anywhere. The presence of large amounts of technology was certainly important, but they were never really described in a way that was particularly striking. With the exception of this extreme level of technology, the town in which Eric lives is very generic small town. However, what little glimpses we got of Sahae really left me wanting more. I’m hoping future books in the series will give us more of a look at it.
Pace’s style is very clear and almost formal at times. However, though he doesn’t use very flowery language, his writing is still very descriptive and the reader is able to really picture the scene. He balances action, exposition, and dialogue very nicely, for a story that is smooth and engaging. My only complaint would be that his formal style seems to extend to deeply into the dialogue. It’s often structured so properly that an English teacher would certainly be proud, but it doesn’t read the way that people actually speak. While it might work for the older characters, such as Mr. and Mrs. Green or Martin, it sounds unrealistic for the teenagers. This is part of the issue that leads to the old-fashioned feeling I previously mentioned.
The combination of magic and technology is really neat.
To restore takes far more energy than to create which, in turn, takes for more energy than to destroy.
Read This If You Like:
Switched by Amanda Hocking
Tithe by H. Black
Wondrous Strange by L. Livingston
Disclaimer: I received a copy of this book from the author in exchange for a review. I did not receive any compensation for this review. All opinions here are my own.