Wednesday, January 6, 2016

Book Review: Fourth World (#1 Iamos Trilogy) + Excerpt + Giveaway


Fourth World: Book 1 of the Iamos Trilogy
Genre: YA science fiction
Published December 29th, 2015


IAMOS, S.C.D. 8378

Nadin’s planet is dying. As its atmosphere drains away, her people are forced to live huddled in domed cities for protection. With only enough resources to support the population for one more year, time is running out. Nadin thinks she’s found a way to save Iamos, but it will mean defying the planet’s rulers, the geroi—and betraying the geroi could cost her everything.When a strange boy from another world appears out of nowhere outside the citidome’s glass walls, Nadin knows for sure that her plan will work. But to build the device that can save her people, Nadin must first find the legendary city of Elytherios. And to do that, she’ll need the help of the mysterious alien boy named Isaak.MARS, 2073 C.E.

All Isaak wanted was to get through his senior year at the Academy in one piece. Everything would have been fine if he hadn’t found that ancient coin among his missing father’s possessions. The coin seems to have a strange connection not only to Isaak’s family, but to Mars’ ancient past.But how is that possible, on a planet that was supposed to be dead until just forty years ago? Now Isaak’s got agents of the Earth’s government on his tail and a deranged factory worker stalking his every move. Everyone is desperate to get their hands on something called the Key. And the only way to escape is to unlock an even bigger secret, one that could change his life—and the fate of Mars—forever.

Review

SPOILER-FREE

Fourth World is an interesting YA sci-fi adventure involving primarily Isaak and later Nadin. I liked both characters but I found myself able to relate and understand Isaak more than Nadin. Perhaps it's because the world Isaak lived in is more relatable than Nadin's but I also found his personality endearing while hers occasionally annoying. Let's just say I enjoyed his POV better than hers but she wasn't that bad near the end.

That said, I do like the world building in Iamos, the world Nadin is from. It's a fascinating approach and without spoilers, pretty sci-fi or dystopian feeling. The colonization on Mars is interesting, it lives up to what I would imagine living on Mars be like. I loved how the author wove into the story how Iamos, Mars, and Earth are tied together. That was awesome and rubbed my hands with glee at that clever plot point.

The pacing was slow for me. I found myself skimming ahead most of Nadin's parts. We do jump into the story which I like but there were unfamiliar, made up words for the story. I didn't realize that the unfamiliar terms had a glossary in the back since I was reading on an e-device. I should have skipped ahead but I didn't so I fumbled reading through. Since I haven't read the definitions, once I kept going I was able to decipher most of the foreign words. It is possible to understand most of the foreign words if you can gather through context but it's not easy.

Now I loved the diversity in this book. If you're looking for diverse characters, race or sexuality, you'll find it in this book. I loved it and it was one of my favorite things about this book. There aren't a ton of characters so there aren't that many that can cover all the spectrum but you'll see it here and it's well executed.

I felt the ending was satisfying. It tied up the ends of the main arc but the end was left at a bit of a cliff hanger. I wanted to know more about what happen. Since this is the first in a trilogy it would be expected and didn't disappoint. Although, I wouldn't say the cliffhanger left me in jaw dropping awe, I do feel curious as to how the characters will handle things now.

Overall, I liked the book and while I enjoyed it, I feel like the execution could have been better. There were moments I felt bored and I guess there wasn't enough excitement or action for me in the book. Still, this book has a promising concept and the overall arc and execution still had me read to the end to discover what happens with the characters. I recommend it if you like gradual mythical or sci-fi world stories with a bit of adventure.


3.2 out of 5 rating for me!

(A copy was provided for an honest review. I was not compensated in any other way.)


About the Author:
Lyssa Chiavari is an author of speculative fiction for young adults, including Fourth World, the first book in the Iamos trilogy. She’s also the editor of Perchance to Dream, a YA collection of Shakespeare retellings, and the upcoming Circuits & Slippers anthology. When she’s not writing—which isn’t often—you can usually find her exploring the woods near her home in the Pacific Northwest or losing an unreasonable number of life balloons on Donkey Kong. Visit Lyssa on the web at lyssachiavari.com.


The Excerpt:

The sky looked red.

That was all I could think as I gazed out over the desiccated plain. The once-gray rocks and boulders, strewn about the old dry coastline, were now almost completely covered with rust. Orange-tinged clouds swirled above my head, the air thick with choking dust kicked up by the harsh wind that raked over the parched ground.

Even though we'd been forbidden to leave the safety of the citidome, I’d decided to take the risk that night. I had wanted to see the sunset—really see the sunset—for what could be the last time. It had been so long since I’d seen the sky, I couldn’t remember what it looked like.

But I certainly hadn’t expected it to be so red.
The oxygen was too thin. It made breathing difficult, painful. I couldn't believe how quickly it was depleting now, at the end. Last year on my annual we’d still been able go outside. But now we had to huddle in our enclosed cities, looking out at the world through the tinted filter of smooth blue glass. And even that option wouldn't last much longer. The world really was ending.
It was much too soon. This was the first day of my eighth year, my enilikin. I still had my whole life ahead of me. I hadn’t even completed my schooling yet, thanks to Gitrin. It would be at least another year, now, before I was ready to take my place in the ranks of the geroi.
But in their last report, the scientists said that our planet couldn't sustain us another year. My heart stuck in my throat at the thought. Standing here, looking at this, I knew it to be true. Sometime in the next six-hundred days the last of our atmosphere would be gone. The energy sources used to power the citidome would be entirely depleted. And if the colony on Hamos wasn’t stabilized—if we didn’t complete evacuation by that time—we'd all be dead.
I’d be dead. Before I even got a chance to live.
We needed more geroi. And still she told me I wasn’t ready. Everything was so hideously unfair.
I shivered as the biting wind dragged over me, pulling wisps of colorless hair loose from the tight braid encircling my scalp. There was briefest hint of the fragrance of flowers on the wind’s breath, but it was overpowered by the dry, metallic scent of the ever-reddening earth. What if this was the last time I’d ever smell Iamos? The last time I’d ever see the sun, or the sky, without something in between me and it?
No.
I took a final shuddering breath, and, tucking a flyaway hair behind my ear, I made my decision. I was not giving up. It was not over. No matter what it took, this would not be my last annual.
It was only as I turned to head inside that I saw him.
I might have missed him otherwise, but the light from the setting sun threw his form into relief. A boy was sprawled across the ground. He wore no breathing apparatus. He was completely unprotected. And he wasn’t moving.
Panicked, I raced to his side. I was out of breath by the time I reached him, even though he lay only a short distance away. “Are you all right?” I asked, wheezing. When he didn’t respond, I rolled him over onto his back.
He was young—probably close to my own age. I realized instantly he couldn’t be from my city; his traits were all wrong. He must have come from another citidome. But how? He couldn’t have walked. All that way, unprotected? He would never have made it…
I reached for my earpiece, then hesitated. I was invisible right now—the System couldn’t track me—but if I called for help, I’d be back online and the geroi would know I’d broken the edict. Not to mention that it could draw their attention to the fact that my earpiece had been altered. Ceilos would never forgive me.
But there was no way I could shift this boy’s dead weight on my own, not when I was already feeling the effects of the thin air.
Before I could give myself a chance to change my mind, I pressed the button. “Gerouin Melusin,” I called.
“Nadin?” Melusin’s voice was soft in my ears, like the drip of water in the caverns.
There was no time for explanations. “I need help outside the dome,” I said as calmly as possible.
“‘Outside’?” she repeated, her gentle voice faltering almost imperceptibly. “What are you doing—”
“Just hurry,” I interrupted her, breathless. “I found someone out here. He’s injured.”
The gerouin said nothing more, simply disconnecting. I turned back to the boy. He was still unconscious, but he was breathing—barely. I crouched to get a better look at him. His hair was coated in the red dust that the wind kicked up in swirling eddies, but I could see it was curly and dark. His skin, on the other hand, appeared bleached like an old man’s, even though he was clearly young. Could unprotected exposure to solar rays have done this? The atmosphere was so thin now…
I inhaled shakily, my lungs burning. It was already painful for me to be outside, and I couldn’t have been out for more than five minutes. This boy… how did he get here?


The Giveaway!
One signed copy of Fourth World + a bookmark open to US only.

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