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2.5 stars rounded up to 3 stars.
Cyena and Tyana are twin sisters from the ruling class on their planet. They have mind powers like the rest of the elite. Separated when those outside the walls rebel, they part to meet the men destined for them through prophecy. Two brothers who will help them bring peace from the ashes of the war.
I don’t think anyone will be harmed in the reading of this fluff of a sci-fi romance. It was easy to read and fun in its way. I didn’t hate it even though the book is confused about whether it is a New Adult genre or a Young Adult. Personally I think anyone who wants sex to be a permanent fixture in young adult books needs to read this book, just to get a taste of why it only works when it is an integral part of plot. **Warning to anyone who doesn’t want to read gratuitous sex – there is a sex scene immediately and it verges on a one night stand sort of interaction. And it picks up later in the book again having suddenly morphed into a relationship thing. So its not riddled with sex but it comes up often enough to be off-putting to a certain type of reader.
Sex aside, the plot of the book is terribly simple and while you get caught up in the immediate problems much is smoothed over as each section jumps events a month at a time. I didn’t hate it. Upon reflection though for this review much of the plot did not make sense nor was it tied up in a satisfactory way. All of the presented villains didn’t seem like villains to me so much as scapegoats. The world building was simple but the author clearly has some skill in laying out a story well enough for us to give the story the benefit of the doubt and keep reading. There is a time spent on earth and I thought it a really cute idea despite being to most boring part of the story. The twin premise was neat and as a fan of dystopian I thought the crystal world and the mind powers were a nice twist on old favorites. The abilities were nothing new but they were described well and worked well with what plot there was.
So nothing terribly offensive with some decent writing skills put to use… (If you need something to unwind and like both NA and YA fiction then I highly suggest this book. There are no love triangles and its a thinly veiled romance that verges on instalove because the rebel guys are hot and stuck up power boys are not.) …if not for the end!! The end made me sick and is why I gave it 2.5 stars. I won’t ruin it for potential readers but the end was hurried and loose ends tied up in a nonsensical way. It was clear how it would end for the couples so the sci-fi part of the story was the focus of the end and it really disappointed.
There is one other major problem that gives me pause. The girls are portrayed in a very dangerous way. Tyana has one of the most powerful mind abilities in their society, is popular and well thought of and wants what she wants irregardless of how it may effect others. She’s also of the mindset wild and free with no thought of tomorrow. Cyena on the other hand has average abilities, much is made of her having two instead of only one but she is still picked on and looked down upon. She loves her sister but her sister is literally the only person other than her nurse who raised her who loves Cyena. Cyena refuses to sleep with her guy and is horrified that her potential betrothed wants to sleep with her as soon as possible. **I think it is dangerous to connect popularity with sleeping around and maintaining one’s virtue with being an outcast and of subpar talent. Through the book Tyana didn’t really see the problem with their society. She wanted to sleep around and not be subject to some man from a particular family but that was more about not wanting restrictions than believing that things should change. It’s Cyena because of how she was treated who wanted the changes, but even at the end much was made of Tyana’s talents changing the world and it would be an effort for Cyena to come up to snuff. Is this really what we want our future generation of girls to believe?
Personally I would have made Tyana the prude and Cyena the wild and free one. Just that one change would rock this dangerous dynamic!! (Though more melded girls not so set on extremes makes for a better, more realistic story.)
BOTTOM LINE: A fluffy sci-fi romance with some dangerous subtext.
Received an advance reader copy in exchange for a fair review. Thank you Netgalley and Captured Press, Valknut Press.