Thursday, January 16, 2014

Nightingale by David Farland

Genre:  YA Urban Fantasy

Description (taken from Goodreads):
Bron Jones was abandoned at birth. Thrown into foster care, he was rejected by one family after another, until he met Olivia, a gifted and devoted high-school teacher who recognized him for what he really was--what her people call a "nightingale."

But Bron isn't ready to learn the truth. There are secrets that have been hidden from mankind for hundreds of thousands of years, secrets that should remain hidden. Some things are too dangerous to know. Bron's secret may be the most dangerous of all.

A couple of truths I need to get out before I go into my review...  I bought this book after hearing about David Farland's son's accident.  It's a great way to help out someone in need if you want a good fantasy to read.  Second, this book is set in Utah.  Oh how I miss the scenery in Utah; that was probably my favorite thing about the book.  Third, this book is meant to be in a series.  And no, the second has not been written.  And things are not going to wrap up at the end.  Boy had I wish I'd known this before I started reading it...

Bron is a boy without a home, without parents.  He goes from one home to another.  Parents who deem him schizophrenic, parents who want free labor, parents who just don't care to raise a kid that's not theirs.  So obviously, Bron has some issues with people bonding, seeing unconditional love, and reciprocating kindness.  When he meets Olivia, his new foster mom, he finds someone willing to devote time, money, and effort to help raise him.  But is it too late for him to bond with parents, too late to live a normal, happy life?

When Olivia first sees Bron, she realizes that he's not human.  You know how we had neanderthals coexisting with humans way back when?  Well, apparently, masaaks (what Olivia and Bro are) also co-existed with us, but they didn't die out.  And their race, for all intents and purposes, is superior to ours.  Their hands have sizraels that when activated look like little suction cups on the fingertips.  They can use these to read people's memories, erase memories, give new memories, take life away, give the essence of life, etc.  Of course these abilities depend on the person, and they're all very different (somewhat).  There's a group of masaaks whose only goal is to perfect their race, rule the world, and live forever.  And of course, destroy the humans (or push the humans to destroy themselves).  And they're bent on finding Bron quickly because he is someone they want and he has something they need.

This book is clever with the world setup.  The masaaks sound amazing.  And you're in a world where it's hard to trust others like you.  Your enemies, just like your friends, have the power to strip your memories.  It makes it difficult to trust people.  And being on the run from a powerful sect just sounds creepy.  However, I had a couple of reservations.  I understand the evil sect was bent on destroying humans and breeding themselves into perfect, evil beings.  But why?  What was the end goal, besides being evil?  I have a hard time accepting evil just because it's evil.  I want a reason why for everything.  And this book didn't give me an explanation.  It was just, run escape run.

And here's my second reservation...  I did not know this was a series.  I was expecting a standalone novel that would give me a story and then wrap everything up well.  Well I got the story.  But nothing wrapped up.  Not everything is explained.  And the ending kind of blows you away and leaves a bigger hole than what you started with.  So now I'm left wondering what on earth happens next.  But...  The second one's not out yet.  Ugh!

Is this book a good urban fantasy read?  Yes.  It's a great opening to a new world.  And it has really good scenery descriptions of Utah too (oh how I miss it).  Just beware that this book is meant as a series, definitely not as a standalone.

1 comment:

  1. This sounds like an interesting book, but it is good to know it is part of a series. Sometimes I wait until more books are out, so I am not left on a cliffhanger. Great review!


Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...