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Of course, I'm not here to talk about the two characters in comparison, simply to state that Young-Turner's character, story, and world are very much their own thing. Since we've discussed Sydney some, let's dig into plot first. Sydney starts the story as a common street thief, albeit one raised by a man with a strict code of ethics, one who became something of a hero to the people. Sydney fears that she's strayed far from Edgar's principles and betrayed his method of raising her, even as we see that she has her own code of ethics driving her onward. Syd's journey truly begins when she robs a representative of The Guild, something of a socialist worker collective that has seized control of the government and run amok, its original goals twisted by the top party members. This brush with the Guild leads to her discovering that magic is still alive and well in the world, that there is an active resistance to the Guild, and that her own mysterious heritage will push her onto the central stage of the coming conflict. The story is a good one, and I especially enjoyed the peeks at the lives of the Tuatha, or "Fairy Folk". More of their culture and story would be appreciated in the sequel, along with the story of the Shadow Folk, but I feel that Young-Turner gives us just enough here to whet our appetite; I'm quite satisfied with what I received on them, for now.
For better or worse, Young-Turner devotedly sticks to Sydney's point of view through the events that follow. I found myself a little bummed at points, wishing that I could witness some of the other events that were going on (maybe some of these could make interesting short stories), and while the pacing slowed a bit here and there, it was never enough to keep me from reading onward.
Young-Turner's strength lies in her characters and their interactions, and they shine through here. Even the subtlest of interactions is laced with meaning and feeling; these characters hesitate and stumble, they feel awkward in the presence of others and don't know how to deal with certain situations. There's a particularly poignant moment toward the end of the book that I'd love to share with you, but unfortunately it would be too big of a spoiler.
All in all, I found the book very enjoyable and have already started the prequel novella, Journey to Hope, which I hope to review soon.
The author presciently predicts what the future of the world, especially the US, could very well be. And the book was very well written with no glaring grammatical errors.
I've always been sort of a rebel myself. One quote from the book I will keep: "I think it might be easier to forget the whole thing, to instead live a normal, simple life. But I can't. It's not who I'm meant to be."
That quote has largely been the focus of my own life. Read this book, and understand that your own "comfort zone" is an illusion.
On the mean streets of Hope, Sydney does what she must to survive. She knows the places most decent people are afraid to go, and the dark corners criminals haunt. What she doesn't know, about her own past and her own powers, is enough to keep her in mortal danger. Life in the back alleys has taught her to sniff out trouble where it lurks, and it lurks all over the town. From the evil Guild members, to the soldiers who hunt her, the wizard with powers to find her wherever she runs and even in the shadows themselves, Sydney fights to keep herself and her companions alive.
Young-Turner combines all the danger with a couple of thorny love interests and it's enough to keep you engrossed for hours. A well drawn world, with complicated characters, unpredictable twists and turns and satisfying relationships, Young-Turner's debut is a hit.