In Lee’s debut sci-fi novel, a young woman looks for safety in a post-apocalyptic world while she bridges the gap between—and fulfills the prophecies of—two races.
Lee places the reader in a world rife with strife and violence; misunderstanding and humanity’s belief in its superiority have decimated the populations of humans and an alien race known as the Tuulans. Only a chosen few humans were cryogenically frozen to face the unknown future and, aided by the Tuulans, these surviving humans were met with a world fraught with fear and violence. Humanity has grouped into towns and made the Tuulans a nearly extinct race. Living in the midst of this chaos is Mara, the daughter of two of the original chosen humans. Unbeknownst to her, Mara is the hope for both the rationality of humanity and the survival of the Tuulans. When a violent encounter forces her to leave everything she has known or to be killed, Mara sets out on a journey of survival and discovery. While categorized as science fiction, Lee’s work is heavily influenced by a variety of genres; Mara faces a possible romance in the form of the Tuulan Nathan, and she works to solve the mysteries of humanity’s past while trying to unlock the key to the Tuulans’ future. The overarching result is a world rich in compelling, albeit sometimes scattered, plot lines. Readers may be disappointed by the early reveal of the reasons behind the apocalypse. However, watching Mara deal with the aftermath of conflicts between humans and Tuulans brings issues of race and gender to the forefront of the narrative and keeps the pages turning. Readers looking for an emotionally and physically strong heroine will enjoy Mara, who believably manages to carve a life for herself despite the world around her.
A fascinating, if sometimes unfocused, science fiction narrative profiling a strong heroine and racial tensions.