Author: Kayti Nika Raet
Release Date: April 29th, 2013
Release Date: April 29th, 2013
Source: Received from the author in exchange for an honest review.
One can live for several weeks without food but only a few days without water, a fact that seventeen year old Niko is only too aware of as she struggles to provide for her two younger brothers in a post-apocalyptic landscape where the rain burns like acid, food grows scarce, and any Slither that crosses her path is laid low before it can sink its teeth into her.
Then one night everything she's ever worked for, everything she's ever loved is consumed by a raging fire, leaving her with one brother dead, the other missing and herself gravely injured.
She's rescued by the Rose Circle, a rogue group of Slither hunters. They sneak her into Amaryllis City, a decadent metropolis where those able to afford the exorbitant entrance fee live a life of relative ease.
But for Niko, Amaryllis City is not the haven she grew up believing it would be, the deeper she delves the nastier it gets and when her unique abilities as a Slither hunter are discovered things get positively filthy.
All Niko ever wanted to do was find her baby brother but that's proving to be harder than she ever would have expected
So, I feel like I need to start this review off with some disclosure: while this book had a unique plot and was really interesting, it's rating did get knocked down for me upfront just because of some of the distracting punctuation problems. I normally try not to mark books down for things like grammar and formatting (because I know sometimes they just sneak past) but there were a number of areas in this book where commas were needed, periods were needed, and it was generally hard to read because punctuation wasn't handled properly. When the editing gets in the way of how readable a book is, it makes it less enjoyable, thus the lower rating. The good news there is editing is one of the easiest things to fix, so later editions may not have the problems I encounter.
Plot wise, I thought the story was interesting. The deadly properties of water in this world pose some unique threats, although I'm not sure how plausible it is from a scientific basis. The explanation about why the rain was so deadly felt a little hand-waved to me, but it was executed well, and I liked how people adapted in this society. The characters were diverse, although some of the romantic elements between them felt a bit...I guess unrealistic? I felt like maybe in this society relationships were handled a little differently, or should have been handled differently, but I didn't have much to really help me understand that side of life. I guess I questioned how Niko should handle her interactions with the guys when her society is about survival. How would people deal with feelings and affection and kissing? Has it changed from our society? I felt like there were some unanswered questions there.
The Slithers and the plot around them added some twists, and I did want to read more by the time I reached the end. The pacing of the book was good, although I did wish the book was longer. It didn't feel entirely necessary to stop at the cliffhanger, but that's just me. I'm not a fan of cliffhangers like that.
Overall, I did like the story, but there were small things around the way that were distracting from it, if that makes sense. The plot was good, and the transitions were nice, which could make a strong story, but the punctuation tripped me up and then it made it feel like a beta read. The characters were interesting, and I wanted to get to know them, which was great, but then the romance felt strange and sometimes forced. The world felt unique, yet it wasn't quite fleshed out enough to feel believable. Because of these things, I would probably just put this book in a "too-soon" pile. It's not bad, but it needs some time to get edited and polished before it can stand up to it's competition.