Author: Michael A. Rothman
Publisher: M & S Publishing, L.L.C.
Publication Date: June 01, 2016
Genres: Young Adult, Fantasy, Dystopian
Source: ARC from publisher
In a post-apocalyptic world ruled by a Governor who is both feared and worshipped, Willow is a seventeen-year-old girl who is just trying to get through her last year of studies. But when her father dies, she experiences strange dreams that change everything about how she looks at the world and at herself.
Haunted by the tragedy, Willow begins pushing herself beyond anything she could have imagined she was capable of. It’s only when she catches the attention of some of the Governor’s minions that her world is turned upside-down.
I received this book for free from the publisher via YA Bound Book Tours in exchange for an honest review.
This is probably one of the most original stories that I have read. This is just a very unique story, and I enjoyed it very much. The thing that makes this book so unique is the blending of genres. The way that the author weaves fantasy and dystopia together is amazing.
I admit to being a little confused at the beginning of the story. We get to experience two different worlds, and the execution of this left me scratching my head a few times. Once the story gets going, things start to fall into place.
I like how this book kept me guessing. It certainly didn't expect the book to go to the places that it did. You think that one thing will happen, but the story surprises you and goes a totally different direction. The lack of predictability was quite refreshing.
I liked the diversity in this book. The main character, Willow, is of Korean descent. And in a world of slender body types, it is nice to see a character that has some meat on her bones, at least at the beginning of the book. I did like Willow's personal goal to get healthy for herself, not to look better.
I loved the personality of the main character. She was very driven and goal oriented. She had some struggles, but she was a trooper. I really connected with her. I also enjoyed Tristan's character.
The pacing in this was great! I was surprised how fast I was able to read this once I got started. Nothing seemed to drag. The flow was just perfect.
I felt like some of the things about the story were never resolved. This is the only thing that really didn't sit well with me in the book. It felt like there were too many things that were unexplained prior to the last page. I am a reader that craves details, and this book didn't have enough of them for my taste. Adding some more details and filling in some of the gaps in the story could make this book truly enchanting.
There was a lack of romance in the book. You think that there is a romantic relationship being forged, but there isn't. It takes an interesting turn in the end, but there is never any real romance.
There seemed to be some religious undertones in spots of the book. I don't personally care for religious undertones in books, but I can actually appreciate them in this story. They were very fitting. Not preachy, just sort of there.
I highly recommend this book! It is one of the most unique stories that I have had the pleasure of reading. The meshing of genres really makes this one stand out.
About the Author
Michael A. Rothman – Author, Engineer and Cat Herder.
In a nutshell:
First-born American in my family
Accepts no excuses
Despises self-importance in himself and others
Loves Epic Fantasy, Science Fiction, Thrillers
Willow planted her hands on the ground and popped up onto the balls of her feet, glaring at the student who’d had the nerve to ask her to leave. “How about this,” she pointed at him, “make me leave.”
He blinked up at Willow as other students laughed and jeered.
“Steve, she’s threatening to kick your ass....”
“You can’t fight a girl....”
“She’s got to be kidding....”
“...I dunno, she looks serious.”
With a shove from one of the other students, Steve grudgingly stood, face red with embarrassment.
Willow smiled and placed herself in a ready stance. As she tensed her legs and upper body, a sudden calm washed over her.
Steve moved deliberately as he circled around Willow, arms hanging limply at his sides. She could tell that he was studying her, trying to figure out if she was serious.
Willow motioned him toward her with the tips of her fingers. “Come on Steve. Make a move.”
The teasing from the others got louder and he grudgingly brought his arms up and slowly approached.
He was short for a guy, maybe only an inch or two taller than Willow’s five-and-a-half feet. His reach was about the same as hers, and the stance he’d taken was a boxer’s stance.
He was barely out of jabbing range when Willow ducked low and swept out her right leg, sending one of Steve’s legs out from under him.
Willow leaped forward as Steve stood off-balance and she smashed him in the chest with a front kick.
Steve flew backward and landed on his back, breath whooshing out of him as a deep male voice yelled across the field, “What the hell is going on here?”
Everyone but Steve, who was gasping for breath, turned as the heavily-muscled combat teacher approached with frustration etched on his face. He was followed by a handful of other students.
Zeno stood, and the giant of a student glanced sheepishly at Willow and addressed Mister Krauthammer. “Sir, Steve and Willow were settling something between each other. No harm done, right Steve?”
Willow extended her hand to Steve, and he grabbed it. She pulled him to his feet. His face was brilliant red and she wasn’t sure if it was from lack of oxygen or sheer embarrassment.
Steve grimaced as he rubbed his chest, turned to the teacher and nodded. “It’s all done. I was just getting to know our new classmate.”