Read: May 16, 2012
Release Date: July 2012
I got this copy free in exchange for a review from Library Thing.
This book was in a lot of ways what I expected and also not what I expected. I expected it to be gritty, action-packed, and for there to be a love triangle. Kaya starts out dangerously close to being a damsel in distress but shies away from it by barely a hair’s breadth. The book starts out weak, but don’t give up hope until she’s at the Academy for a little bit before you pass judgement. Between tough-as-nails Maddox, Kaya’s babysitter/guardian, and Trayton, you really see that Kaya isn’t just some pushover heroine.
I didn’t expect, however, for the book to be both action-filled and dragging. Training in secret with a hot off-limits Unskilled is about as risque as the book goes in terms of not conforming to society and working to ensure Kaya’s Barron parents’ safety. In between these forays, there’s a bunch of sitting in class and Kaya holding her anger about the discrimination of Healers versus Barrons which was so close to being a turn off. I was left knowing that Kaya was a bit of a hothead when it came to her beliefs, but not the why. Yes, she did grow up around Unskilled with two Barrons for parents (unheard of and illegal; usually a pair is a Healer and a Barron) so I understand that aspect of her life but for her to buck against anything and everything about the Skilled for such a strong but flimsy reason didn’t really do it for me. I found myself fussing at her in my mind whenever she mouthed off because I didn’t really feel for her cause.
The book is written fairly well, with good solid bases for the characters and some light humor and rebellion. However, I just wasn’t sure I followed where some of the leaps of logic the characters decided upon came from. It wasn’t a deterrent, and I certainly liked the book very well so it is most likely me being a little more critical than normal, but I just wanted a little more.
Enough to keep it on my shelf and eagerly await the next installment (called Soulbroken in case you were interested) and lend it to some friends for sure. A good adventure that sidesteps the worn ideas of “healing with a touch” be it magical or not. There is no easy solution, and this book delves into that caveat.