This Sci-Fi / YA novel is well paced and an excellent introduction to the world that Danielle Novotny is giving us in this series.
To start, I love the way this book began. Novotny uses the first chapter to catapult us right into the action. We meet our main character and she is immediately met with her fate. After this, the pace keeps steady throughout the story. It’s easy to follow and although I don’t prefer first person narrative, the author did very well with the style.
The way Novotny highlighted each setting was great. I could absolutely see where I was in every scene. There was a good mix of newly created worlds, aliens and items as well as old, earthly concepts.
Aliya (the main character) is full of self doubt as she goes through her transition. Being confused, bullied and punished for her gifts makes it hard for her to accept them. I do love my tough heroines and Aliya is a bit more gentle for some one who has the powers of a titan, so it took me a while to warm to her. Her hesitation and her doubt was totally valid, but I really wanted her to stand up for herself more often.
As things went on, I then wanted her to see how special she was. This fact was proven to her multiple times but her own self doubt over powered what she really knew to be the truth. There was some back and forth with her feeling confident and then letting others deflate her again. She was a complex character, well written, who really had to work through her esteem issues and find her personal self-worth.
The other characters fit a tidy cast. The leader, the pilot, the muscle, the tech guy(s): all necessary to run the crew! My favorite character was Captain Caspian, hands down. I loved how he believed in Aliya despite her inability to believe in herself at times. He was a good person also, despite his own demons. I would have loved his back story to be fleshed out a little more but I know this is a series so I look forward to how everything blooms!
Also! I don’t think this is a spoiler but I thought I would mention, there is a pronunciation guide in the back of the book! Super cool! I would suggest checking it out before you start reading.
Overall, I enjoyed this story. It put me square in the sci-fi genre in a way I like, the characters were well done and the story had an action packed plot.