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Title: Power Divided (#1 The Evolutionaries)
Author: S. Behr
Published: 21st of January 2020 – Behr Ink
Format: Kindle Edition – 433 pages
“My grandmother once told me the road not travelled is the one we all regret as we get closer to the end of our lives. The key, however, is to remember the road that got you where you are today, and if you are proud of that, you will never have any regrets.” – Power Divided
Hello Hello! How are you?
Another week has gone by, I can believe where the time goes, I’ve been jumping from one book to another for a few days and struggling to stay focused on any of the 10+ I’ve had on the go, but this one finally grabbed my attention and didn’t let it go!
I’m so glad I decided to sign up to this blog tour organised by Sandra from Booktamins, as always, it’s a pleasure and I love all of the books featured on these tours! Thank you to Sandra for inviting me to this tour and for providing me with a free copy of the book in exchange for an honest review. All opinions are my own.
Violet is the princess of Neyr, the third of the Nine Realms of Amera. At least, she was until the day came when Violet was to demonstrate her abilities to the people and solidify her place in Ameran Society. The citizens of Amera have extraordinary abilities, from living on the ocean floor to flying in the air. But no one can turn back time.
When the unthinkable happens, tearing her heart and her family in two, Violet flees and is unable to escape a tidal wave of events that brings her face to face with forgotten truths buried for millennia. Only the discovery of a thousand lifetimes may provide the key to her return home.
When old enemies arrive on the shores of Neyr, distrust and prejudice resurface. Secrets begin to explode all around Violet, setting her world on fire, and those she loves fall victim to a terrorists’ plan to eradicate their enemies. But Amera stands in their way, and with no mercy, the enemy is willing to go through the innocent to get what they want.
Violet turns to her best friend Lily, and a few unexpected new friends, who band together to save what they can of her realm, and the rest of Amera. But in the storm that has turned her world upside down, will Violet be able to overcome the nightmare of her past in order to save the future of everyone in Amera, and perhaps the world?
Power Divided by S. Behr is the first book in a YA science fiction/ fantasy series, The Evolutionaries, in which a world over ten thousand years in the future changes irrevocably when Violet takes her tests to become a full citizen of Neyr, in the realm of Amera. In this new world, America as we know it is split into realms in which a new and improved population of people, not quite humans and not quite hybrids live in harmony and peace until they don’t any longer.
As soon as I read this blurb, I wanted to read this book, it was blurbed for fantasy fans, and that is definitely me, so I’m so glad I got a chance to read it!
This book is set in a futurist world, I don’t know when exactly, but it seems somewhere around the year 16,000. In this world, the continents are all the same as they are now, but most have new names, such as America, which has become Amera, within which there are 9 realms ruled by elected monarchs.
I love fantasy series because of the intricacies in the world-building, character-development and politics, and this book definitely didn’t let me down. I loved learning all about this world with the various realms, their people, their cultures, the abilities each people in different realms possess, all the politics surrounding Violet and her family. I especially really enjoyed Violet’s encounter with Hailey, I won’t say too much about this because it will be a spoiler, but I found Hailey and the place where these two meet to be so intriguing, I would never have imagined anything like it and I think that the author not only did a great job with the plot but a great job also with all the intricacies and details of the world, it felt very real and palpable to me and I enjoyed it immensely.
There are a lot of characters in this book and although at times it could be a bit complicated to grasp what was going on because of the amount of people present, I definitely enjoyed getting to know them all and see them come together to try to save their world. This book starts out with a solitary character, our main character Violet, and I can’t really go into detail about many more characters in case I give something away. As the main part of the book is with Violet and Hailey, that’s who I am going to speak about, and if you would like to know more, you should definitely pick this book up!
Violet: She is the main character, the Princess of Neyr and I have to say, very mature for her age. The first thing that struck me about this character was that she had been extremely sheltered her whole life, you will learn why later on in the book, and I could nearly feel anger and pity for her. She is strong-willed and although at the start of the book she seems to give up and to lose hope, she soon regains strength and keeps pushing on, even when she learns some scary truths, she always endeavours to help in any way she can. I really enjoyed her character and thought that she grew so much over the span of the book, I can’t wait to read the next instalment in this series because a lot of things happen at the end of this book and I really need to find out how things pan out in the future for Violet.
Hailey: Hailey is an AI, and I can’t really say much more in case I give you a spoiler, but, even though I wasn’t a fan of this character at the start, I think just like Violet, she grew on me and I found her to be a great addition to the book and the other characters. She is very matter-of-fact, as you would expect from an AI, has no sense of sarcasm, which makes her interactions with Violet and others oftentimes funny, but I think that as the book goes on, she becomes more than a “computer” as one of the characters describes her. She might now have any feelings, but I think she cares about Violet in her own way and tries to do the best she can to protect her and help her through her struggles. I really enjoyed their relationship and I’m really intrigued how much of a presence she will have in the next book in the series.
This is a book that has so much going on, so many themes and topics, that it’s probably impossible to talk about them all sensibly without sounding like I’m just talking nonsense, but I will try.
The thing I instantly liked about this book is how it starts right in the middle of action and drama and heated emotions, you can feel how tense the atmosphere is. You don’t get time to understand what is happening before you are thrust into this new science fiction/ fantasy world, and I loved how this book started! You would think that this would result in an info-dump type of structure to the plot, but I honestly don’t think there was one, in any case, the way that everything was explained, the characters presented and the world described, it didn’t feel too much, it was so interesting that I actually wanted more. Some things were lacking from the plot, and at the end, I felt like still some of these elements had been left unanswered, but I’m optimistic that we will get these answers in the next book.
The world-building was done in a way that felt more like the reader just seeing this world through the characters’ eyes. I don’t know how to explain this, but it didn’t feel like an info-dump, or making it up as you go along, it really felt very palpable and I was completely immersed in the beauty of this world. I could picture everything vividly and I think this definitely helped my enjoyed of this book. Also, the politics and subtleties in this first book were really intriguing to me, as Violet has been sheltered her whole life, both herself and the reader learn and wade their way through these elements as the book progresses.
MY THOUGHTS AND RATING
Overall, I really loved this book! It was everything I look for in a fantasy series and I’m so surprised that I’d never heard of it before because I was really pleasantly surprised by everything this book gave me. The characters were believable, I felt like I knew them and I was rooting for them the whole way. It was interesting how Violet was getting to know them and didn’t know if she could trust them, and I was feeling the same way, I didn’t know if they were trustworthy or if they would end up betraying her.
The world-building, history, culture, special abilities of the people, politics, technology and plot were very well detailed and executed, I was really captivated by it all and I really enjoyed learning everything about it, it was such a unique and magical world that I couldn’t help but love it. I was turning the pages as fast as I could read them because I just wanted to know what would happen next.
I gave this book 4.5 stars, and I really enjoyed it. I will admit to noticing a few instances of “I let out a breath I didn’t know I was holding” – a line that is starting to grate on me, especially in fantasy, but other than that, I really loved it and had a great time reading it, I can’t wait to read the next instalment in this series!
Thank you so much to Sandra and the author for letting me take part in this tour and for sending me a copy of the book.
That’s all for now, I hope you enjoyed this review. See you soon, stay safe,
ABOUT THE AUTHOR – S. BEHR
” I love a good story, in all artforms. I have been a professional photographer for nearly 20 years and I had to learn to tell a story with a click of a button and capture the layers of emotion in a single image. Little did I know it was boot camp for writing.
Being an author was a childhood dream and as I got older it seemed to be a dream that grew further out of reach with each passing year. But with encouragement from a lot of friends, new and old, my husband being my biggest cheerleader, The Evolutionaries series has begun with Power Divided.
To keep me company during my writing bubbles are my husband and our fur babies. They love whatever I write, even if they can’t read it but they don’t always love the music I write to. We all have to make sacrifices! And I am still pinching myself ever since I found out, that, recently I became a Featured Author. Power Divided will be in the Feb 15th Issue of Kirkus Magazine.” – S. Behr
If you would like to purchase this book, you can find it here: Amazon US