by Christina L. Rozelle
Rating: 1 Star – DNF
‘Sixteen-year-old Joy Montgomery, daughter of Zephyr the Magnificent, the great magician, can only reminisce of better times. Before the Superiors. Before the uprisings. Long ago. Before the dying Earth ripped the family she loved away from her. In this desolate dystopian future, the Greenleigh orphans are “privileged” with the task of building mechanical trees for Bygonne, so their world behind The Wall can breathe another day, and so the Superiors may continue their malevolent reign. Lured by a yearning for freedom, tenacious curiosity, and hunger for adventure, Joy discovers hope and magic amid the misery, and power in her promise to care for those remaining, whom she loves enough to risk her life for. To save them, herself, and the boy she adores from the abuse and slavery by the Superiors, Joy must entrust the aid of an unlikely ally who harbors a dangerous secret. With an intriguing stranger at the helm, Joy and the treemakers embark on an intense and terrifying, yet liberating quest for the truth about the existence of the forbidden paradise beyond The Wall…’
Unfortunately, this can’t be a long review as I DNF’d after 20 or so pages. This is unusual for me as I usually give any book a least a hundred before giving up. But I was hugely disappointed by how the story played out. There could have been a lot of potential in the concept: a dying world where the lower classes are forced to create mechanical trees to render the atmosphere liveable for their ‘Superiors’. Now that sounds interesting doesn’t it?
But the characters were one dimensional, the dialogue was stilted and I’ve rarely read something that was quite so show-don’t-tell. I was interested by the world, but I didn’t care enough about the characters to stick with it.
I’ve seen some good reviews out there for this book – so maybe it is worth it if you an get past the beginning but I wasn’t interested enough to try. If you do still want to give it a go, the final thing I have to say is that I feel that the darker subject matter may be more suited towards the age range of to late teens (in the early pages a child deliberately commits suicide by walking out into the burning sun) even if the writing style feels much more juvenile.