When I was told to read this book, I have to admit I was a little sceptical. The first novel of a new author. However, later that night and over 100 pages later my scepticism was gone.
This book, while clearly written as a young adult text in terms of language and theme, provides an enchanting intertwining of science fiction and fantasy concepts. It deals with issues such as the nature of self, loyalty, immortality, family, friendship, and the wider issues of ethics.
The characters are believable and well developed. In particular I was impressed with the realism of the characters emotions and thoughts. Characters that don't have to take themselves seriously, characters whose emotions are based not just on themselves but the culture and community in which they live.
The plot lines are interesting, suspense is generated and used to maximum effect with some rather nice plot twists. [[Spoiler Alert] In the text, the author plays with the concept of time, using different characters perception of time to move the plot forward. I found this technique a refreshingly original take on plot development.]
My main criticism of the text is that the setting of the story sometimes takes second place to character interaction when it doesn't have to. As the novel progresses the authors techniques in this area are improved, but it still needs a little work.
Having said all of the above, I thoroughly recommend this book. I loved the merging of the science fiction and high fantasy themes. I'm looking forward to the sequel!
[Conflict of Interest: I know the author.]