Genre: YA Science Fiction
Action, Parasites, and Savior. These three words sum up Rex Rising in a nutshell. Combine those 3 words with an unlikely hero and an amazing supporting cast, and you get a book that will have you speed reading through the dead of night. My secret— I read this book in 3 hours. A testament to how good it was.
For those wanting a bit more detail the book opens with Elei, a young aircar driver, on the run and suffering from a real crappy case of amnesia. Think Cellular with a touch of Memento. Not enough time and bleeding like a stuck pig, Elei is desperate to reach a the location on a slip of paper in his pocket. What happens when he reaches his destination is everything but predictable. The poor kid doesn’t seem to catch a break, and either is getting shot at, suffering from some internal pain or thinking to hard about life. I liked Elei. He’s easy to relate to and all his actions are justifiable due to the parasites roaming his body and the personal life experiences. This is definitely not a kid who was raised with a silver spoon. Heck, his fondest memory is of communal showers and being lucky enough to eat a good meal (something besides algae bread and fungi).
The world Thoma has created is fascinating. A group of islands where water is a hot commodity, and suffering from parasitic diseases an everyday challenge. The ruling parasitic race, Gultur is wicked and insane. Though you don’t get a ton of face time with the bad guys there is plenty to suggest that they could care less about spilling blood in the name of their parasite. The descriptions and locales are vivid, and devastating from the fancy Gultur towers to the poor villages filled with people struggling to survive.
Overall, I couldn’t get enough of this book. Imagery, plot, characters everything was easy to fall into step with. The only thing I hope for is a glossary at some point so I can make sure I’m pronouncing character names correctly, but other than that personal preference I can’t wait to see what Thoma has in store for Elei in the future. Oops… yes, the story doesn’t end with this one.