This is the book I ‘adopted’ for this months Adopt an Indie event. The cover really captured me, and the premise sounded interesting.
When fourteen year old Seckry Sevenstars is forced out of his village by the greedy Endrin Corporation and relocated to the daunting metropolis of Skyfall City, he harbours resentment for the company and vows to get them back one day for taking away his home, his school and his friends.
Fortunately, the marvels of the city do a good job in distracting Seckry from his anger and homesickness, and it isn’t long before he’s competing at Friction (the city’s most popular multiplayer video game), slurping awe-inspiring multicoloured milkshakes, and getting butterflies on his first date.
Then, when a mysterious email asks Seckry to break into the headquarters of the Endrin Corporation and steal a container full of worms for a hefty sum of money, his anger resurfaces, and he can’t resist the revenge he promised himself. Alone at night, Seckry creeps through the sewers whilst wondering what experiments Endrin might be doing on the worms, and emerges into the silent complex. But the worms aren’t the only thing that he finds.
Staring at him through the darkness, with wide, innocent eyes, is something that makes Seckry’s heart almost stop. A girl. She’s shaking, petrified, and has no recollection of who she is or what she’s doing there. Floodlights bleach the area and Seckry has no choice but to grab a hold of the girl and escape with her. Suddenly the question of what Endrin were doing with a few worms becomes the last thing on Seckry’s mind. What were Endrin doing with a human?
This book was actually a really good read. While I felt like it was written for an audience far younger than I (with the character names and style of writing reminding me strongly of the first Harry Potter book), I still felt myself drawn in. Evans has a really easy style of writing, so the story flowed nicely.
The characters are all fairly well drawn, and there is everything you would expect from a YA novel from the love interest, the best friend, the teacher/mentor, family members through to the bully and other less likable characters. The thing to note here though, is that all of these have reasons for being the way they are, even the less desirable characters, the author has done a really great job of making them all real, rather than card board cut outs.
There are many, many threads in this book, so while it was an easy read, it was by no means a simple story. By the time we get to the end of the book most of these are tied up nicely, while others are still open and leave us wanting the next book to find out what happens. I loved the little twists, and didn’t see some things coming at all. I also thought it was really well balanced between kids doing extraordinary things and kids doing normal early teen kind of things, like listening to music and playing games.
I’ll be picking up the next book when it does come out, and I think this is one I’ll be sharing with my girls when they get a bit older – it’s got some of the great elements that you’ll find in Harry Potter, but in a science fiction setting, which really appeals to me.