While I was at New York ComicCon, I was fortunate enough to be able to snag several advance copies of some really interesting books. I am really pleased to be able to review these books before they are available for sale. Today’s review is Fates, which will go on sale next month.
The cover image and tagline for Lanie Bross’s book were definitely not encouraging. “There will be no miracles today,” the front cover proclaims. I opened the book thinking that I was going to read another fairly trite piece of young adult fantasy. (This is called foreshadowing, and in this case it indicates that the content of the book changed my mind.)
The first couple of chapters were told mostly from the point of view of typical, modern, high school students. The dialogue is atrocious, and my heart sank. I was prepared to put the book down. Then the story seemed to come into its own, and I really started to enjoy it.
Corinthe, the main character, was a Fate, once upon a time. She made a mistake while doing her job one day, and her punishment was to leave her Eden-esque home in Pyralis (in an alternate dimension) and walk the earth. She is now an Executor, tasked with carrying out assignments to make sure that humans’ fates proceed according to plan.
The other protagonist, Lucas Kaller, is a human who has been forced to grow up too soon. His home life fell apart after his mother left the family, and his dad retreated inside himself. His sister turned to drugs, and Luc was left to keep the pair of them alive, if not functional.
In opposition to the orderliness of the Fates and the current system, a group that call themselves Free Radicals roam between worlds and attempt to bring chaos to all dimensions.
The plotline of Fates is fairly straightforward, with few surprises for the experienced reader. The heroes go on a quest, feel a strange attraction for one another, and fall in love. However, the quest itself has some unique twists—Corinthe seeks redemption, while Lucas seeks something else entirely—and the final act of this book is not at all what I expected from fluffy YA fiction.
The setting of this world was well created. Most of the scenes set on Earth feel like a depiction of a yuppy, California city. The secondary characters aren’t quite as fleshed out as I would like, but the primary characters are very bright and lifelike. It is easy to empathize with them. The prose is simple; the vocabulary is light and pleasing. I appreciated that the dialogue matured quite a bit once I got through the first few scenes of high schoolers interacting.
Fates caught me by surprise and made me change my initial judgment. I liked Corinthe a lot by the end. It certainly is not a classic piece of fiction, but it is very enjoyable, light reading.
This book goes on sale on February 11, and will be available in hardback and e-book form. I would say that it is worth buying at the e-book price. Therefore I Geek’s rating is three and a half out of five Death Stars.