Authors: A.F. Henley and Kelly Wyre
Series: Exile 1
Genre: Sci-Fi/Paranormal Fantasy
Rating: Five Petals
On the Authors' Websites:
In the wake of several near-cataclysmic events, humanity created the Cure, a DNA-altering antidote to death by disease and old age. But all cures come with side effects: a small percentage of the population develops a wide range of powers, some of which are lethal to others, and some which are lethal to the wielder.
These people are called the Estranged, hunted and shunned, safe only on the Island of Exile. It is here that Kaeva and Eddie meet—and where they set a prophecy in motion, quite possibly sealing their own demise, and even the end of Exile.
I received this book as an ARC via Netgalley in exchange for an honest review.
Eddie is on the run from the government, who might want to capture him in order to conduct cruel experiments in order to figure out his Estrangement. When Eddie learns about an island called Exile where people like him try to live in peace, he travels there where he meets Kaeva. Kaeva is a high level Estranged and is so dangerous that just his touching someone could kill them. Having Eddie suddenly thrust into his life only makes Kaeva worse, but Eddie is everything Kaeva has ever wanted in a partner. With death hovering around every corner, creating a life together might just be impossible.
The story starts out slow. There's a lot of world building that has to go into the first few chapters. Readers need to understand how the Estranged happen and what Exile is at every level in order for the deeper nuances of this story to make sense. There's a lot of exposition and a ton of detail that at first read makes the story feel slow and a bit heavy. However, not only was that necessary for the rest of the story, I have a feeling that when I reread this story I will find all of that immensely interesting.
At first, my review was going to be only about how wonderful the world building was, but then I got to the end of the book and realized the sheer emotion in the story absolutely deserved more praise. I could feel Eddie's pain and Kaeva's panic as if I were experiencing those emotions myself. They pulled me in to their agony and their hope in equal amounts until I wasn't sure if I should be crying or cheering. This book was truly beautiful and I really have to say thank you to A.F. Henley and Kelly Wyre for writing something so heartfelt and moving.
Everything in this book worked. The world building created levels of nuance that had me wanting to dig more into the Estranged and their creation, but the emotion in the book is what really kept me reading. This is a beautifully written story and I absolutely recommend it.
Maggie reviews paranormal and fantasy novels and novellas. She also interviews authors and hosts giveaways.