Series: Pendomus Chronicles, #1
Author: Carissa Andrews
Publication date: October 10th, 2013
Genres: Dystopia, Fantasy, Science Fiction, Young Adult
(this link will work as of 10/10/13)
From the author—
Humanity has colonized on a tidally locked planet known as Pendomus, a planet of extremes. Half eternal scorching desert and half perpetual arctic night. Surviving along the temperate band between the two, we’ve set up home in a complex known as the Helix. Within the Helix lies a highly sophisticated, highly technological society functioning solely on humans fulfilling their life’s purpose. That purpose is determined and nurtured through a person’s natural aptitudes, as read by their daily brain scans. Eating, sleeping, even procreation is handled by professionals. These basic concepts, no longer a part of society’s every day norm.
Seventeen-year-old Runa Cophem longs to be more than part of the Helix machine. Her life inside is anything but fulfilling. She feels disconnected, and longs to be more than society dictates. Inside, no one socializes, no one interacts in a meaningful way. It’s never set right with Runa. She would love nothing more than to reach out to her family, but not even her own mother can show any semblance of love for her. Instead, Runa has found solace in the ancient woods nearby, despite being strictly forbidden.
Runa’s life takes an unforeseen turn when she’s brutally attacked, and left for dead in those woods near the Helix. Rescued by a stranger with blue hair, she’s immersed into a surprising way humanity has survived. Fueled by a yearning to belong, and an attraction she didn’t even know was possible, Runa wants desperately to make a new life. Yet, there’s much she doesn’t know about herself, about the planet and the forces controlling her from afar.
What she needs is some answers.
Sometimes, I think authors must really struggle to find a way to make their novels a bit different from all the others in their chosen genre, different enough to make their stories stand out from the crowd. Carissa Andrews has found a way.
The blending of science fiction and pure fantasy works well in Pendomus and the author’s imagination has taken flight in unexpected ways. Runa is a girl of complexity, particularly because she so clearly doesn’t fit in the world she was born into. Helix is a cold place in terms of emotion and personal connection but her mother’s lack of any real attachment to her daughter is not only surprising but also is at the core of Runa’s perhaps subconscious desire to find a better life.
When the time comes for Runa to resist the total control of Helix, she certainly doesn’t expect to find herself in a world of great beauty and freedom and real danger. Most of all, perhaps, she doesn’t expect to find friendship and a completely new way of looking at life.
I enjoyed Runa’s discovery of the potential humans have when not totally controlled by a rigid state and the people she first meets—Traeton, Fenton and Kani—show her that there is much more to life than she has ever guessed. Especially appealing to me was Runa’s introduction to the pleasures of existence that Helix has removed, such as the taste of real food, natural sleep and romantic feelings towards a young man with defiantly blue hair.
Worldbuilding is somewhat thin and more than a little confusing and I wish that there was not such a quick attraction between Runa and Traeton but I did like the four main characters. The only other concern I have is that much tighter editing is needed but it’s entirely possible that my reading copy was a pre-production edition and that the real thing is up to snuff.
Reviewed by Lelia Taylor, October 2013.
About the Author
Born and raised in central MN, Carissa Andrews has always loved books. She started her career at 15 in a bookstore, just to be able to afford her book fetish. By 19, she worked for a magazine publisher. At 22, she was working for printers to learn their trade. At 27, she went back to school for graphic design, and became an award winning designer. Little did she know all of her experiences would lead her to becoming a self-publishing power house.
At 31, a magical world on a planet far away, invaded her mind.
At 34, she’s learned what she needs to make her work successful.
Pendomus (Book 1 of the Pendomus Chronicles) will be released OCTOBER 10, 2013.
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