‘I walk toward the sea. The endless surface of the water extends to the horizon, whichever way I look.
Our world is small. We are on our own, and we only have ourselves to depend on. We rely on the Force deep within us, as taught to us by our forefathers.
If I were to walk westward from here, I would come across a barrier - the Wall. Behind it, there are Fools. At least, that’s what everyone says.
I have never seen one.’
Leia lives on the Island, a world in which children leave their parents to take care of themselves when they are ten years old. Across this Island runs a wall that no one has ever crossed. The Fools living behind it are not amenable to reason - they believe in illusions. That’s what The Book says, the only thing left to the Eastern Islanders by their ancestors. But when a strange man washes ashore and Leia meets a Fool face to face, her life will never be the same. Is what she and her friends believe about the Island really true?
Or is everyone in their world, in fact, a Fool?
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Luc and Leia? Hmmmm
- Mark E. Cooper
Inventive dystopian world!
I definitely loved the main character, Leia. She's interesting and the author wasn't afraid of letting her make mistakes and feel uncomfortable things. She is a clear thinker and a strong person and I had fun listening to her tell her own story. The "faith crisis" element to the story is something I wasn't expecting from the book, and enjoyed. I'm excited for that to continue through the series!
Coco Bell had a calming, inviting storytelling voice that threaded emotion in at just the right places. I felt she understood Leia, and got in touch with the other characters too. She doesn't change voices completely for different characters, but she made it clear when others are talking through slight tone and rhythm alterations. Sometimes with dystopian YA series the narrators go a bit dark with the narration, but Bell kept Leia's tone positive and even while maintaining the seriousness of events taking place.
I found the world building in this book to be super tantalizing. The slow release of information about the island and the religion and the past forces you to keep reading so you can find out more, like a good mystery novel would. I kept guessing at what the end would reveal, but when I finished the book it was still a huge surprise. I would also say, don't be turned off or weirded out when you find out what "the book" really is - by the end is makes SO MUCH SENSE and is just another brilliant part of the world building. If you love dystopian but don't want something that's a ripoff of Divergent or Hunger Games, READ THIS BOOK. It's so unique and the main character is clever. So... yeah I'm off to get Book 2 now!
- Bree Mae