This review can also be found at Carole's Random Life
I received an advance reader edition of this book from Candlewick Press and Net Galley for the purpose of providing an honest review.
This was one of those books that the more I read, the more I liked it. I find myself gravitating towards YA books right now. I found this to be a great addition to that genre. I was first intrigued by the cover of this book which shows a fierce face of young girl. It is a wonderful cover that I would no doubt pick up if I were browsing in a book store.
This book is set several hundred years in the future. The world has changed a lot in this future. Land masses have changed after a great flood. The new focus is on balance. To keep everything in balance, individuals with special abilities are called Illegals and are kept away from the rest of society. Ashala is part of a group of Illegals who live in Firstwood where they live to stay out of the detention centers.
The book opens with Ashala in a detention center. The administrator of the detention center, Neville Rose, is determined to find out all of Ashala's secrets. To do so, he orders the use of "the machine" on Ashala. The machine has the ability to read the memories of anyone unfortunate enough to find themselves in its clutches.
The beginning of the book was confusing at times. As things are revealed, everything starts to come together to form a very cohesive story. The cast of characters were well developed, likeable, and more than intriguing. The world building was well done and I can clearly envision world that Ashala and her tribe calls home.
I would definitely recommend this book to anyone who enjoys dystopian young adult novels. I would feel completely comfortable with my 13 year old reading this book so I do feel that it is suitable for a younger teen audience and above. This book is supposed to be the first in a series. I definitely plan to read future works by this author.