Here we are, at the beginning of a new dystopian story, where corn is the only thing that grows widely around the world, and only a bunch of privileged people are allowed to have some comfort and happiness.
I’ve already taken you on two trips to Earth in more or less our times. It seems fair to visit the future. This particular future doesn’t seem too bright. World crops are dominated by an aggressive breed of genetically modified corn. Society is split between poor, living on the ground Heartlanders, and rich Empyrean, living on sky flotillas.
People living in Heartlands can grow only this one plant. And it’s not even safe to eat as it’s meant to be refined into fuel, but it’s so aggressive, you can’t even grow anything else. Not that you could without seeds as these are only available to the lucky citizens of Empyrean.
Story starts with a race. A race to a treasure of sorts. Cael, captain of a scavengers crew, is trying to beat his biggest competitor – mayor’s son Boyland. They’re almost at the destination, getting ahead of the other crew, when their catamaran crushes. Because of Boyland’s trap they’ve lost again.
Or maybe not…
Just when they think all is ruined, they find something that shouldn’t be possible. Something that exists only in stories and on Empyrean flotillas. A garden filled with healthy fruit and vegetables.
That’s when all their problems start. Cael wants to get as much money as he can for these crops to get out of Heartlands. This changes him, and not for the better.
Because of all the things he’s going through, he doesn’t seem very likable. He still is better than Boyland and his father. Cael has his good traits, he cares for people closest to him, even if he doesn’t always show it. He’s trying to play all tough, to appear strong and manly. The truth is he still has a lot to learn about life.
Throughout most of the book, we see everything from Cael’s perspective, but author also gave voice to other important characters, so we can see how Cael’s behavior affects people close to him.
Story evolves dynamically from the very beginning. You can expect to find something new every few pages. Some things you wouldn’t expect will happen, and they will change your point of view.
From the very first pages I enjoyed reading this book. Even though the main character didn’t appeal to me, I simply had to know what will happen to him and his friends. At first the conflict was rather simple – Cael against Boyland racing for best scavenging loot. Then we found out it’s just a boyish quarrel, and there are far more important things going on around them.
This is the first book in series, so obviously the ending is very catchy. After reading it, you wish you had the next book waiting for you to read right away.
I can recommend this book to anyone who likes dystopian and young adult books. It’s a good read worth your time.