Book Rating: ★★★★☆ (4/5 stars)
I was honored to be a beta reader for Thorunn as well as receive an ARC copy of the book prior to publication. Neither of these experiences have impacted my review.
Imagine being whisked away from Earth, relocated to a foreign planet where you’re expected to start anew. Of course, in most cases this would be uneventful, but this is not the case of Laine Riven whose parents whisked him away against his will to the planet of Thorunn. Yet, he manages to make the best of his new life…until the Outpost Terrorist attacks. And that’s when everything begins to change.
Esther T. Jones introduces us to the “shocking” world of Thorunn – literally. The unique landscape is known for its electric storms, as well as creatures reminiscent of dinosaurs, as well as cat-like shifter people known as klia’ans (or lokians). In an action packed adventure, Laine, as well as Kenton and Bo, uncover secrets about their families, the government, and in a series of correlated events, unintentionally come together to bring peace to Thorunn.
Yet, the journey to Thorunn is not without its hiccoughs. The start of the book is notably slow. It takes about 150 pages (or 25%) for the book to really pick up. This is not uncommon it fantasy or sci-fi adventures, where the author is trying to establish the world. Some dialogue is clunky, and Jones’s notably wordiness does get in the way of the story.
On the second read through, the world building was much stronger, but I am struggling to tell if it was because it’s my second read-through or because Jones took criticism. I believe some of it is due to changes she made between the beta draft and the final draft.But, I’ll let first time readers make that judgment themselves.
But, if you can get through those first 150 pages, the story really takes off. Wrapped in action, friendship, unique aliens, and unwinding twists and mysteries. Reminiscent of James Cameron’s Avatar, John Scalzi’s Fuzzy Nation, and dystopian novels like The Hunger Games, as well as elements from Star Trek, Star Wars, and Firefly. While some parts of the story are predictable, that doesn’t make it bad! In fact, it means that Jones did a fantastic job weaving in the hints, and in the end, I picked up on them!
So, if you want a fun sci-fi adventure, go check it out! You’ll be on the edge of your seat the whole time, holding your breath as Laine, Kenton, and Bo escape, attack, and save the day on countless occasion! So definitely check out this new book.
I’ve also expressed some of my additional thoughts in the video below.
What’s it about?
Nine years ago, Skytown soldiers brutally murdered Kenton’s family. Now those same men aim to return and destroy Kenton’s hard-won, idyllic life amongst the peaceful shifter people of the Hinnom Forest.
Meanwhile, Laine Riven–dragged from Earth to Thorunn against his will–is stuck navigating an unfamiliar school, his jerk of an uncle, and the rising threat posed by the Outpost Terrorist.
When their paths clash amidst tragedy and betrayal, Kenton realises he and his best friend Bo may have rushed headlong into a situation too impossible to fix.
Time is running out as frix season closes in, and their only shot at victory hinges on outrunning the seasoned bounty hunters, savage creatures, and unpredictably violent weather trying to kill them every step of the way. . .