Wednesday, March 19, 2014

Book Review: The Ophelia Prophecy

Our world is no longer our own. We engineered a race of superior fighters -- the Manti, mutant humans with insect-like abilities. Twenty-five years ago they all but destroyed us. In Sanctuary, some of us survive. Eking out our existence. Clinging to the past.

Some of us intend to do more than survive.

Asha and Pax -- strangers and enemies -- find themselves stranded together on the border of the last human city, neither with a memory of how they got there.

Asha is an archivist working to preserve humanity’s most valuable resource -- information -- viewed as the only means of resurrecting their society.

Pax is Manti, his Scarab ship a menacing presence in the skies over Sanctuary, keeping the last dregs of humanity in check.

Neither of them is really what they seem, and what humanity believes about the Manti is a lie.

With their hearts and fates on a collision course, they must unlock each other's secrets and forge a bond of trust before a rekindled conflict pushes their two races into repeating the mistakes of the past.

In Fisher's first book, GHOST PLANET, I had a few qualms with the narrative style.  It was rather confusing honestly.  I'm happy to say that this second book, not related to GHOST PLANET, kept me riveted to my Kindle (of which I read the e-ARC on).

The premise is pretty simple - humans f'ed up by creating a race of beings to be their second class and it turned out very very badly.  For everyone.  For the "Manti" (which is really a short form of anyone with mutagens basically...yes we managed to be even more offensive towards our creations by labeling them all the 'same') it sort of worked out.  Kind of.  For the humans...well...they live in gilded cages.  Or hunted.  Or they disappear.  Really the options aren't so great in the beginning (they get moderately better sounding towards the latter half).

We open to both our heroine (Ash) and our Hero (Pax) waking up on the shore of an offlimits lake.  Ash is dressed in a flimsy dress and Pax is naked having at some point gone into defensive mode.  Neither remembers how they got there, why they are there, why Pax was in defensive mode, why Ash is in a flimsy dress outside the confines of her city or why they're anywhere near each other.  Unfortunately for Pax his mating instincts kick into overdrive with Ash, but he does everything short of putting himself inside of a cage to keep her safe from his...courting shall we say.

Which I'll give Fisher credit, even though Pax is very very keen to get with Ash he is also very very keen to gain her trust, help her recover her memory, keep her safe and untangle the web they're in.  So while his body (which is part insect) is urging him to make her his, his mind (and heart) are like OMG STOP. TELL THE SHIP TO SHOOT YOU IF YOU TRY.  So refreshing from the paranormal books I read.

There's a lot packed into this book--we have the memory issues, the truth of what lies between the Manti and the humans, the rebel faction, the religious faction, the religious rebel faction, Ash and Pax's...relationship and the truth above all truths.  While I found some of it a bit repetitive and the truth behind Ash's memory loss to be a bit of an eyeroll handwave, I genuinely was interested to know what was going on.  I wanted to see where the whole thing with Pax was going, what was going to happen with his sister, why it was so damned important for Ash to risk everything on a gamble that could have turned out badly (spoiler: she has 9 lives, I swear it).

I was also genuinely pleased with how Fisher handled Pax and Ash's evolution towards their trust.  It felt organic and well paced, with only a little bit of impatience with Pax on my end (his urge to mate with Ash had him making...tactically unsound decisions at times, but it was all right, his sister was there to hit him upside his head for it.  I loved his sister so much.).

Definitely give this a shot, fans of Linnea Sinclair especially will enjoy this.