Tuesday, April 18, 2017

Review: Lotus and Thorn

Title: Lotus and Thorn
Author: Sara Wilson Etienne
Page Count: 464
My Rating: 4 TURTLES: A great read, I definitely recommend.
*I was given this book in exchange for an honest review

About the Book:
A thrilling science fiction adventure perfect for fans of Tamora Pierce and Sarah Maas

Ravaged by a plague known as Red Death, the planet Gabriel, a former colony of Earth, is a barren wasteland. Since being abandoned by Earth 500 years ago, resources are scarce and life is cheap. To stay alive, the survivors, the Citizens, scavenge the remains of a now dead city, trading for food with the resource-rich Curadores, the only other survivors on Gabriel. Every old computer, every piece of wire, every scrap of metal counts. To steal is the ultimate sin. So when tough-as-nails seventeen-year-old Leica is caught doing just that, she's exiled and left to the mercy of Gabriel's unforgiving desert for the rest of her life. 

While in exile, Leica discovers a mysterious shuttle, which may not only lead her home, but even more impossible—reestablish contact with Earth. Then Red Death rears its head again, killing her entire work crew, leaving Leica all alone until a handsome Curador offers her refuge in the Dome—the only place on Gabriel untouched by Red Death, where a decadent and sultry life awaits. But there's a catch: Leica can only enter the Dome as his concubine—his Kisaeng. When a rogue group of Citizens see their chance for revolution in Leica's good fortune, she finds herself unraveling a deadly mystery with chilling answers to the true origin of Red Death and the reason Earth really abandoned them so long ago. 

A richly imagined fantasy in the vein of Tamora Pierce, Lotus and Thorn, is a magnificent, epic adventure.

I really enjoyed this book! I’m sorry it’s taken me so long to get to, but it was certainly a good way to spend my flight back to college after going home for Easter break. Dystopian worlds (and many fictional worlds for that matter) fall into the pit of being extremely European and United States-centric. So after reading so many of those worlds, it was really cool to read a dystopia where the culture before the world went to pot was apparently a latino one. I love how the author envisioned the people would cling to certain traditions, and how they would evolve and change over time and how they would stay the same.

The characters often weren’t what they first appeared, and that made them interesting to read – and it kept me on my toes. There was quite a cast of them, but no one felt left in the wayside. They all added something to the story. (I also loved how all the Curadores were named after famous scientists, I thought that was an awesome addition!)

One thing that didn’t quite sit right with me about the story was the “big reveal” at the end. Without spoiling it, I think that part of the problem was that while it was a huge rug pull for the characters, there is a famous story that uses this exact same plot twist. Because of that, when I read it I wasn’t thinking “whoa, I didn’t see that coming” (even though I didn’t) I was thinking “oh, this is just like blank.” I think part of the reason why this reveal fell flat for me is that there was not enough foreshadowing for the reveal to not feel completely out of left field and abrupt, and because the story would have been strong enough on its own without the plot twist. The ending would not have even changed that much except that a few loose ends would have been explained differently and the characters would have had one less truth to integrate.

Lotus and Thorn is a gripping YA dystopian story of intrigue, family, and revolution. It is a real page turner and I highly recommend that you check it out.

Disclosure: this post contains links to an affiliate program (Amazon), for which I receive a few cents if you make purchases. 

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