I admit I’m drawn to books that feature a sibling relationship. I’ve said in the past that I’d be hard pressed not to like a book with a strong sibling bond. So for me, that part kept my interest where it otherwise might have waned.
As the blurb states, this is basically about the twins coming into their destinies. Not quite a full-fledged coming of age, but you get that sense, nonetheless.
First off, the world was nicely touched upon. For this being centered in one small town where mixed races are outcast, the world was developed nicely. There were a few paragraphs that bordered on info dumping, but they were short enough not to bother me. There’s mention of religions and cultures, and though we only got a small taste, I’m sure more is to come in the other books as the characters travel. This one was short, so I’m happy Aarons didn’t try to shove more down my throat than what was relevant to the story.
There’s some magic that I think could prove quite fun to read about in future books. Again, since this is a very short beginning, the characters weren’t given tons of opportunity to use magic. But what we’re shown has a nice range, hinting that so much more is available for the characters to use. It ranged from slowing time to manipulating plants to communicating with animals.
The story is focused mainly on Kanias, a Seraph that happens upon the outcast village, and of the twins, Raine and Rennick, both of whom are chosen. Trope it is, but I didn’t mind. As I’ve mentioned, this book is short, so character development was ... how should I say ... abrupt? One minute the twins are run of the mill, the next Raine is powerful and seemingly adjusting well to her new role. Sure there’s some struggles, but it all felt rushed. Rennick processed things much more realistically. That being said, I did enjoy the twins and their relationship. I’m hoping it’s explored more in future books, perhaps showing me their closeness with situations rather than stating it. Which brings me to how much I loved the beginning. It might have started out slow, but the first action scene was done brilliantly, in my opinion. It showed me the concern Rennick had for his sister embedded in some great pacing and a tense scene. If not for that, I wouldn’t have enjoyed the story as much as I did. Without it, I wouldn’t have grasped the closeness Rennick and Raine shared.
Kanias, however, felt very stationary throughout the story. Granted, it’s short, he’s older and more adjusted to his role, and obviously the twins are our main protagonist. That said, I still wish he would have been fleshed out a bit more.
Speaking of pacing, this reads quickly. There were some slow spots, but nothing so boring that I didn’t plow through them. I have to mention, as I do every time I encounter it, there are some errors in this book. I’ve said in the past that I don’t have the best eye for proofreading errors, so if I saw some, there’s probably more. There were a few awkward paragraphs that switched to present tense, forgoing the past tense of the rest of the novel. Obviously those sections stuck out. Also, I felt the writing was strong in the first half of the book, however, later on it seemed to move faster, giving less sensory input and an abundance of duplicated words. It wasn’t enough to turn me off from the story, but I missed the feel of the first part of the book.
So overall, it was a great way to pass some time. Because of the twins, I’ll definitely pick up the second book. I’ve read that it’s better than the first, so it’s got my curiosity. If you like fantasy and don’t mind the “chosen one” trope, I’d recommend giving this a whirl.