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Sarah (Workaday Reads)
on Dec. 02, 2013 :
This was an intriguing book that happened to teach me a little bit of knowledge on a lot of varied subjects, all while focusing on an exciting plot and enthralling characters. I’d never have believed that a book could take a murder mystery, a missing person mystery, paranormal abilities, fire dancing, pharmaceuticals, South Pacific geography and history, and meritocracy teachings and turn it into one cohesive story. Yet this book managed it.
I loved how all the various elements played into each other in a smooth and believable manner, yet there was very little info dumping. Instead, the learnings where pieced out in appropriately small bits during the applicable parts in the story. This was truly a globe-spanning tale.
The characters were quite an intriguing mix. Zane was an incredibly talented and morale-guided young man. Toby was a mysterious yet helpful father-figure. Afi was sweet, and I wanted every happiness for him. Joy was incredibly strong, and so supportive. All the secondary characters, and even the bad guys, were also well developed and a delight to encounter.
Overall, this was a story that took me completely by surprise because while I expected to like it, I ended up loving it. There is so much in the story, yet it never gets confusing or overwhelming. I picked up this story during a free download special, and I definitely regret not picking up the other books in the series at the same time. Speaking of which, this may be the second book in the series, but it is a completely stand alone story, which is always great to find.
(reviewed long after purchase)
on June 05, 2013 :
Having read Ms. Cronin's previous novel x0, I had high expectations for this book and I was not disappointed. This is a marvelously complex tale combining a credible murder mystery with South Seas romance and corporate intrigue. Filled with a cast of real and likeable characters, plus a few bad ones too, it tackles major social and ethical issues without being preachy and it's all wrapped up in a highly entertaining story that grabs your attention and keeps it. Plus, I love books with multiple intertwined story lines which all merge together before the end.
Ms. Cronin clearly does a great deal of research to ensure that the realism part of her magical realism is in fact accurate, and the fantasy elements are very well done. I don't want to give spoilers so just take my word for it - this book is excellent. No wait; don't take my word for it. Read it yourself.
(reviewed the day of purchase)
on Feb. 05, 2013 :
interesting and quikey...having 3 stories revolving around till they start to blend kept me reading...really enjoyed and look forward to X0 and Z2 loved the interactive parts
(reviewed within a month of purchase)