Title: Edge of Truth
Author: Natasha Hanova
Publisher: Sapphire Star Publishing
Publishing Date: June 6th, 2013
Length: 302 pages
Editions: ecopy, print
Synopsis: Citizens who report to work on time, obey the Overlord’s laws, and stay off the Synbot’s radar, live long lives. Long, dull, monotonous lives.
It’s not a bad plan for someone with a hidden, emotion-based ability to trigger earthquakes. In a world pitted against her, sixteen-year-old Rena Moon strives for a life beyond working herself to death at the factory. Seeing an alternative, she risks selling relics from the forbidden lands at Market. It becomes the worst decision she ever made. Someone kidnaps her best friend in exchange for the one thing that would end her oppression.
Driven by loyalty, Rena and seventeen-year-old Nevan Jelani, soulful composer, green thumb extraordinaire, and the secret love of her life, plot to rescue her friend and reclaim her salvage. Still, the thought lingers whether Nevan is a true hero or another thief waiting for his chance at her loot. Events spin wildly, deepening Rena’s suspicions and pushing her limit of control. With more than her chance for freedom at stake, she must decide if she’s willing to kill to protect what’s precious to her. For once, the Overlord isn’t holding all the power, but can Rena live with being reduced to what she’s trying so hard to escape?
A_Tiffyfit's Review: I thoroughly enjoyed this dystopian novel. While the setting is familiar to many dystopian novels, the world building, character depth and interaction, unique “Other” gifts, make this book stand out. There is SUCH detail in this world, in the interactions, etc., that each scene is so vivid. The teenage Rena is so normal – dealing with what is basically going to be her stepmother and her endless “canyu”s is something that many can relate to, as well as pain in the butt little brothers and a dad that just doesn’t seem wholly there. So she’s relatable. And yet, she is one tough cookie with this power of destruction that she constantly is fighting to control so that she isn’t snatched away. Rena is admirable: she’s dedicated and devoted to her friend, utter loyalty, she is trustworthy, and she just DOES NOT GIVE UP.
Rena and her best friend, Blaze, come across a cave filled with ancient treasures. I found myself snickering as she waved her hand in front of what was obviously (to us) a photo album as opposed to a “broken video album” as she was expecting. Rena’s crush on Nevan and the gentle teenage stalking she does (trying to catch glimpses of him at the celebration, daydreaming about him, etc. this is not creepy stalking at all) is sweet and I loved how she kept putting her foot in her mouth.
Nevan has to be one of the most adorable, loveable love interests I have read in a long time. There isn’t any angst for him, other than a few glares at his little sister as she gives away his thoughts. He doesn’t have an ego, he doesn’t want to make Rena different, he just is and accepts what is, and the instant protectiveness is sweet. These two characters are perfect for one another.
Blaze, Rena, Nevan, and Chai are all likeable characters and I really wanted to read more. I want to follow them as they get older, as they move into adulthood and society. If I liked them this much at these teenage years, I cannot wait to see them as adults. Granted, their “tender” years are not tender by our standards, but downright harsh, practical, and all about survival. I was wholly disappointed when my kindle told me I was at 100% and wouldn’t move forward no matter how hard I touched the screen!
As you know by now, I try to keep my reviews as spoiler free as possible. So if this next section is frustrating to you, I apologize. I’m trying to talk about an occurrence without telling you a damn thing about it! As I was reading on my kindle, it was hard to put down once I got into it. There was a section near 85% or so where I gasped and said NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO and as the percentage kept ticking to 90%, 95% I thought for sure it was done. Happily, that event in particular rectifies itself and the ending, while not a cliffhanger, leaves open the possibility of future novels. I would definitely read more in this world: I would love to see how Rena develops her powers, the future of Chai and others, and what happens with those birch trees. 5 stars because I simply could not put it down, I wasn’t knocked out of reader zone, the story kept me engaged and elicited gasps and mutterings from me, the characters were easily relatable and likeable despite the harsh conditions of their lives, and goshdarnit it was just a good read!
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