Date Read: May 20th, 2021
Final Score: 8 / 10 !
I have come to realize that I simply adore Amie Kaufman. I still think it's a little weird that she writes almost nothing on her own. but she seems to pick her co-authors very well and I absolutely love everything I've read with her name on it.
This one is no exception, in fact I might like it best of all I've read thus far!
First of all, it's a gorgeous world, richly imagined and deeply developed with intricate nuance and a vibrant liveliness that makes both cultures feel very real.
I did wonder about the rest of the world, because surely 2 tribes of humans cannot be the only cultures left on the planet, but at the same time, the limited tech of the one and the utter indifference of the other does very well to explain away the seeming smallness of the world.
I deeply enjoyed the conflation of magic vs technology and religion vs science here, it was laid out very well how similar the two sets of concepts are and why preaching science at someone is just a aggressive an impolite overstep as preaching religion at someone. While respect for science and for academia in general needs to be cultivated in the modern world we live in, accepting the working of science does not make you a better person on any account than someone who does not (and you telling them that they are ridiculous, backwards, and idiotic doesn't help the problem).
The PROBLEM, therefore, is an over all lack in nuanced education.
I LOVE when topically simply love stories get at concepts like that. And this one looks at it explicitly and discusses it repeatedly.
Sadly, it doesn't go into the fact that the solution is a total rehaul on the entire world's educational system, but still, even making the first statement is unexpectedly deep for a YA romance story. ^_~
And the romance is fun, too! It's well crafted, adorable, and believable in every way... Even if the insta-attraction is still a little over the top and the connection the characters forge comes a little overly quick, there are environmental pressures and cultural reasonings that make such romantic alacrity reasonable.
I saw the big betrayal coming from a mile off, and while I think it could've been handled slightly differently to make it hit a little harder, I really enjoyed the way that every character fully believed that the all things they did, even the very worst of them, were done for the right reasons.
I am eager for the the next book in the series, particularly as the last chapter ended with an unreliable narrator dropping a hint that may or may not be a game-changing truth and I am CONCERNED. ^_~
But, I have to wait until January... *sigh*.
Still, GREAT book, I highly recommend it!
Fully appropriate for the younger YA crowd and as a transitional for the particularly eager Middle Grade kiddo!