An illiterate garbage man is also the 17-year-old hero who’ll save the Earth from megalomaniac overlords.
In an alternate near future, the kingmakers of the world are in Eden City, where the Words Made Flesh wield the powers of gods and the common people are “wordless,” forbidden to learn to read. Tavin was a foundling, rescued and raised by a trash collector. Though he’s more muscular and attractive than the rest of the city’s rabble, Tavin plays the role of a modern Everyman, rising from below to save the princess and the world. The princess, in this case, is Khaya, the Word of Life, a godlike being who manipulates Tavin into...rescuing her? As Khaya explains in their pell-mell flight from Eden City, the Words aren’t actually in charge. Instead, they’re a manipulated crew of immensely powerful, politically bred, multiethnic teenagers, mere tools for the superrich Godspeakers. Khaya’s uncovered a Godspeaker plot to rule the world through military power, and only Tavin—who, as a foundling, of course has his own secrets to discover—can help her do it. Tavin’s story follows the comfortable, familiar beats of so many narratives from Star Wars to Harry Potter, with just the right amount of pizzazz in the form of cinematic action and naked, sexy fun.
Sure, it’s the start of a trilogy about a foundling who is a destined savior with a prickly love interest from the other side of the tracks—but with a nonetheless intriguing, original science-fantasy setting sure to attract fans. (Science fiction. 14-17)