Tuesday, April 1, 2014

Legacy by Jesikah Sundin

Author: Jesikah Sundin
Publisher: Just Imagine...
Pages: 499
Release Date: January 20th, 2014
Source: Received a copy from the author in exchange for 
an honest review.

A sensible young nobleman, Leaf Watson, and his sister, Willow Oak, live a rustic medieval life rich in traditions and chivalry. Sealed inside an experimental biodome since infancy, they have been groomed by The Code to build a sustainable community devoid of Outsider interference. 

They are unwitting pioneers on a path toward confined interplanetary homesteading. 

Life within their walled garden is predictable and peaceful until the unthinkable happens. With his dying breath, Leaf and Willow’s noble father bequeaths a family secret, placing an invisible crown of power on Leaf’s head. Grief-stricken and afraid for their lives, the siblings defy their upbringing by connecting with Fillion Nichols, a punk hacker who, unbeknownst to them, is linked to their lives in shocking ways. Their encounter launches Fillion into a battle with his turbulent past as he urgently decodes the many secrets that bind them together, a necessity for each to survive. 

Youth cultures clash when the high technology of the Anime Tech Movement collides with the Middle Ages in a quest for truth, unfolding a story rich in mystery, betrayal and love.

In a book market somewhat saturated with Dystopian books and futuristic time-frames, it is rare to find a world so well thought out and planned as the one in Legacy. Everything from technology to social trends mingles in this novel in a remarkably believable setting. Detailed almost to a fault, the world Jesikah Sundin created comes to life in a way many books fail to achieve, and I am excited to see where future installments take this series.

To be truthful, I usually shy away from books that carry pop-culture references in them. They usually feel cheesy and out of place, and often don't read in a believable manner. Yet this story used them in a clever way, so the novel really felt like it could be a future glimpse at our world. The anime culture mingled with futuristic technology, and the green movement all felt believable. And what can I say, I'm a Browncoat. There are things a few things that won me over in the book that those in that fandom might recognize. 

I've actually visited Biodome 2 several years ago, which brought the story even more to life for me. I could definitely imagine such a project gaining ground and growing to the level it did in this book. The descriptions matched some of the things I experienced there, and I am always excited to see a book that can come to life in that way. The random quotes at the end of each chapter confused me a bit at first, but with time, I found those to be fun snippets that sort of bridged the gap between our time, and that where the story takes place. 

The characters felt thought out, although I will admit I had trouble understanding Willow. Her temper and irritations swing in an almost bi-polar manner, and I am surprised the other characters tolerated it so much. Leaf always seems to let her get away with her brash and insulting actions, and while I understand part of that may be because of the death of her father, I was really waiting for someone to set her straight. 

I was a little disappointed the book was so long, but we really didn't get very far in a story sense. A lot of time was devoted to the emotions and thoughts of the characters, but there were times the action lacked a bit. There wasn't much rush in this story. I kept turning pages to find out more, but some of the mystery elements remained fuzzy, and I really wished I had gotten more of a story. There was plenty of world, characters were fleshed out, everything was here but a sense of movement. I debated between nine and ten stars for awhile, but eventually that was the point that tilted things for me. I think the next book could do a lot better because it only has to build on the foundation laid here, but this one was just a bit too slow for it to really be a WOW book for me.

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