Hero Regan has some problems. She is “special” – without her medication she hears voices, feels other peoples emotions and can hear people’s thoughts. She hates being medicated, which has led to her being surrounded by minders and tutors. Hero’s only comfort is Fink, massive, genetically designed companion animal with whom she shares everything.
Hero is equal parts excited and dubious when her mother gives her the opportunity to attend school with other teens. She not only finds a friend, but discovers that her ‘nanny’ is not who she thought she was and finds herself in the middle of an intrigue that endangers not only everyone she loves, but the whole planet.
This is such a good read. The first part of the book reminded me of a mix of Harry Potter and The Golden Compass, if either of those books had included illegal street racing and police chases.
The story moves fast and just dumps you into the world with little to no explanation. If you like to be gently eased into a story, this book is not for you. The author assumes that the reader will keep up with the world building, new words and the action.
There were a lot of plot points developed in this book that weren’t fully explored – as this is the first in a series I anticipate that the author has laid a lot of ground work in this book to set up her story arcs going forward.
There are some great characters in this book, and I was particularly jazzed that there were so many notable women. Hero’s mum is the ruler of the roost – her father is mentioned in passing in the book but is otherwise absent. Her minder, Imogen, is great value despite first appearances. The two notable scientists, whose work has shaped the society, were also both women. Fink, Hero’s companion animal, was one of my favourites though. Who wouldn’t want a massive cat-like creature that you can talk to in your head and ride on?
This is a great debut novel by Aussie author Belinda Crawford – I’m looking forward to finding out what happens next!
4 1/2 out of 5 irritatingly snotty AIs.