Genre: YA fantasy
Carmine Tarrenborough is a courier from the township of Tarrenborough. An orphan, she lives with other orphans who are either teaching, learning, or actually making deliveries. On one delivery to the remote town of Ravenwood, she wrecks her aether-bike, which presents a multitude of problems, including possibly raising ambient aether levels to toxic amounts. Bad, right? Throw in a loveable but daft man named Tomas and a sneaky fae called Alkallen, and…well…
There’s a lot to love about this book. I particularly enjoyed the minor steampunk elements in the aether-bike and how it seemed to have its own personality. Carmine herself is an enjoyable heroine. Spunky, unforgivingly sarcastic and smarter than she thinks, she definitely drives this first person narrative. At first, when Tomas and then Alkallen were introduced, I feared there would be some kind of love story or triangle or who knows what else, but this is where the book is a breath of fresh air–there’s neither! *Tosses confetti* It’s so refreshing when that happens. Excuse me while I dance a small jig.
The book isn’t without problems, though. At some points, Carmine’s personality can be a touch overbearing. Being in her head can almost feel like yelling at yourself, but at the same time, I don’t feel the story would be as effective in a third person perspective. There are also some flaws in grammar and homonym usage. However, if you can overlook these issues, which in the end are only minor, you will likely enjoy this book.
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Katherine Fosso grew up in Indianapolis, Indiana and went to college at Washington University in Saint Louis. There she earned a Bachelors of Science in Psychology, and soon learned that clinical work was not for her. She moved back to Indiana to write, draw, and work, where she lives with her boyfriend and two cats.