Monday, June 10, 2013

{Tour Stop} Book Review: Edge of Truth by Natasha Hanova


Title: Edge of Truth
Series: None
Author: Natasha Hanova
Pages: 302
Pub Date: June 06, 2013
Publisher: Sapphire Star Publishing
Book Source: From the author
My Rating: 3 of 5 stars



16-year-old Rena Moon lives in a world ruled by Overlord Andrick. This world is packed with rules, and if one was to break one of those rules, they'd be punished.

Rena has a secret that warrants the ultimate punishment—she's an “Other”. Others have special abilities. Rena can control her ability pretty well, but when her emotions flare up, her body sends shock-waves into the ground, causing quakes. Rena hides this secret from everyone, even those closest to her. Like her best friend Blaze. Blaze is a fiery redhead and the best friend a girl could ask for.

During a foray into the forbidden land of Westrock, the two friends stumble upon a cave filled with treasures. Rena decides to take some of these relics and sell them at market for a hefty sum.

Things are looking up for Rena, who longs for something more than the life of oppression she lives under the overlord.

Until Blaze goes missing.

After a little digging, with the help of her crush, Nevan, Rena realizes that her best friend was kidnapped. And to Rena's horror, it's because of her own desire to break through the confines of Hollowcrest.

Rena immediately spurs into action. With Nevan at her side, she goes on a journey into dangerous, forbidden territory to save her best friend.

- - -

Okay, I am going to dive right into this.

Let's start with the world-building. World-building is essential in a dystopian novel. I feel that Edge of Truth was lacking in this. It wasn't bad, but it wasn't great either. It was just mediocre. I couldn't quite see what the author was trying to show me. It was like looking through fogged-up glass. I could sort of make out shapes and get a hint of what was there, but nothing clear and crisp.

Another thing that irked me was the repetitive use of the lingo these characters have developed, which seems to solely consist of two words/phrases—“bodink” & “Sweet Mother Earth” (or SME). Bodink seems to be the equivalent of the word idiot, and Sweet Mother Earth is sort of like Oh My God (SME = OMG). I don't mind a made-up lingo. I actually like this, generally. However, I do not like it when it's just two words or phrases used over and over and over. Every time I came across another BODINK I wanted to scratch my own eyes out.

Aside from that, I was quite impressed with this book. I always love a story where you can clearly see the dystopian element. Hollowcrest is the perfect example of dystopia. From the enigmatic overlord, to the Synbots roaming around, issuing citations and meting out punishment for even the smallest of infractions. Then you have the fact that there are forbidden places. It was Hunger Game-esque in that way. Citizens are not to leave Hollowcrest, but of course our protagonist exempts herself from this rule. :) I always love a rebel!

Rena is an inspiring character. She is stubborn and independent. I love that she is so fiercely loyal to her best friend and stops at nothing to save her. The same can be said for Blaze herself. I really enjoyed that there was a focus on their friendship rather than Rena herself being the damsel in distress. It was refreshing.

Another tidbit I liked was the idea of The Burning -- “Every day, from noon to two o'clock, the sun's rays pounded the earth making the air hot, arid, and difficult to breathe. It was tolerable for the first twenty minutes, maximum. Any longer meant the difference between tanning and searing.” -- I always enjoy things like this in a dystopian or post-apocalyptic book.

Overall, the plot was well thought out and paced quickly. There wasn't ever a dull moment and it felt like I zoomed right through the book. The world-building was a bit lacking IMO, but the characters made up for it. Rena is an inspiring heroine who girls could look up to.

Edge of Truth is about friendship and loyalty, first love and independence. It's about being true to yourself and those you love, even if the world is against you. It's a wonderful dystopian with a truly hopeful ending. I could definitely recommend it.