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Legacy (The Biodome Chronicles series Book 1) Paperback – January 19, 2014
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"A captivating YA hybrid of sci-fi and medieval fantasy, mystery, and romance, Legacy opens The Biodome Chronicles series with divergent worlds on a carefully planned collision course." -- Chanticleer Book Reviews
"Jesikah Sundin is pioneering a whole new genre: near-future medieval fantasy with a cyberpunk twist..." -- Selah J. Tay-Song, award-winning author of Dreams of QaiMaj series
"...This book was beautifully written. It was detailed, immersive, and had a subtlety that I cannot help but be impressed by." -- Kookie Krysp Reviews
LEGACY proclaimed winner of:
2014 Chanticleer Book Reviews Great Beginnings Cygnus winner for Sci-Fi/Fantasy
2014 National Indie Excellence Award Finalist for Science Fiction.
2014 Cygnus Award for Sci-Fi / Cyberpunk
2014 Dante Rossetti Award for Sci-Fi / Cyberpunk
2014 Dante Rossetti Grand Prize Award for Young Adult Fiction
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On the surface, New Eden Township (or N.E.T) is a veritable paradise where every life is cherished by the community in a closed-loop system. Everything has a purpose. Every person, plant, ritual, serves a function that then serves the entire self-sustaining medieval community—even death, when the ashes of the departed are burned and then mixed with the soil to provide nutrients for new growth.
However, this paradise on Earth is not quite what it seems. The inhabitants of the biodome containing this magical world pulled out of medieval fairytales are actors in an experiment, or LARPers (Live Action Role Players). As the project nears completion, when the society will be disbanded, a faction forms within this seemingly peaceful society, unraveling the family at the center of the attack.
If there even was an attack…
The question lays heavily as the main characters question, was Joel Watson murdered?
The question hits Willow Oak, the middle of the Watson children, hardest. The first glimpse of Willow shows the impulsivity and emotional-rashness that define her throughout the story. A sudden orphan, Hurricane Willow struggles with acceptance of her ever-changing life aloud, as her brother struggles inwardly.
Fillion Nichols, the eco-prince son of the manipulative Owner and CEO of New Eden Biospherics & Research and New Eden Township, lives in stark contrast to the Watsons and other families living within New Eden. As a member of the Outside world, Fillion struggles with a life that is so overrun with technology that relationships, and the empathy they cultivate, have disintegrated to become practically nonexistent.
Despite the vastly apparent differences between the two societies and the three main characters, Sundin subtly displays just how similar they still are, for the mere fact that humans exist in both, and therefore the same human dysfunctions exist.
The experiment is clear: how will humans cope psychologically to being isolated in an enclosed space, entirely dependent on their community members? However, the people inside the dome are not the only ones being isolated. Technology in the outside world has advanced so far that human contact and relationships are almost unnecessary. While the Watsons are traditionally isolated by their community in the wake of mourning their father’s death, Fillion is isolated by the media for being the son of a killer.
I went into this book with an open mind, knowing little more about it than the title on the cover—not even having read the back cover. Immediately, I was thrust into a world that was not my own, but was excited to learn about. Jesikah Sundin has a clever writing style that is dripping with an intense amount of creative detail.
Legacy lives up to its name as it entwines the lives of three people from two entirely opposite existences, suffering from the same tribulations that fracture every society.
The first generation play along—quite literally, as LARPers role-playing per a script created by Hanley Nichols, one that includes a noble class divided into four houses and social mores gleaned from medieval times. For the young people of New Eden Township, however, although they have a vague sense of being an experimental colony, all they really know of life is that it’s an agrarian affair based on ritual, work, and the laws of nature.
Heirs to the Earth Element noble house, chivalrous Leaf and temperamental Willow Oak Watson, discover all is not as idyllic as it seems. They learn soon after their father’s death that secrecy and murder have also been scripted into the game. A mysterious death card, a lost scroll, and a secret underground room lead the siblings to a portal to the Outside world, and to Fillion Nichols, self-professed Dungeon Master of New Eden.
Once Willow conquers her terror of “magic” satellite communications, she finds herself spellbound by the strangely dressed, tattooed, and pierced young man. Fillion is equally captivated: not only by Willow’s beauty, but by the fact that the Watson children supposedly died nearly six years ago. His father went to trial on charges of negligence and manslaughter, and though never convicted, the infamy lingered on the family name.
Although he is now the Earth Element, Leaf finds that the other Elements are determining his future, even making conditions for his marrying the daughter of the Fire Element, whose son passionately pursues Willow. Meanwhile, Fillion endures his own trial for falsifying IDs, resulting in a 90-day sentence, which, as he’ll soon find out, was also manipulated by his father from the start.
As Leaf and Fillion grapple with understanding their respective legacies, New Eden Enterprises begins preparation for the project’s completion, Even as their increasingly twining paths are set out by their elders, the two young men are determined to discover the mystery behind Joel Watson’s murder and the unexplained faking of his children’s death.
Laced through with excerpts from news reports and interviews with both the real Biosphere 2 participants and the fictional members of New Eden Enterprise, and infused equally with near-future technology and ancient ceremony, "Legacy" will entice readers into its unfolding epic cyberpunk story. A captivating YA hybrid of sci-fi and medieval fantasy, mystery, and romance, "Legacy" opens The Biodome Chronicles series with divergent worlds on a carefully planned collision course.
The story opens in New Eden Township (NET) with a death. Leaf Watson must perform final rites for his father’s body and deal with the aftermath. Unfortunately, this coincides closely with the ending of the New Eden project - an experiment that placed people inside a biodome in the roles of medieval actors.
An idyllic paradise, New Eden Township is not truly what it seems. And with the ending of the project, Leaf, his sister Willow and all the young people who grew up inside the dome must come to terms with an outside world full of technologies they can’t comprehend.
Mysteries abound and soon questions arise about their society and truths they were taught.
Overall, it’s a well written book blending the ultra-modern with the medieval. The characters are interesting and well rounded. The writing is easy to follow even as the author weaves together the strands of her mystery. Best of all, she manages to convey a real sense of bewilderment and confusion as Leaf and Willow come to terms with the end of New Eden.
Most recent customer reviews
This was a very unique book! It took me a while to get a grip on what kind of story it was---then once that was settled, it really is a fascinating book!Read more