Two teens fight for their freedom and their lives in Roth’s new intergalactic adventure.
In Roth’s galaxy, a “current flow[s] through every living thing, and show[s] itself in the sky in all different colors,” and the Shotet people occupy the “nation-planet” Thuvhe. Upon passing into adolescence, everyone develops a “currentgift”—sometimes for better, and sometimes for worse. Cyra Noavek, sister of cruel and tyrannical Shotet ruler Ryzek, regularly experiences extreme pain and is able to transfer that pain to others—much to the advantage of Ryzek, who blackmails her into using her currentgift as a method of torture. Akos Kereseth, the Thuvhesit son of an oracle, can stop the flow of currentgifts—making him one of the only people who can touch Cyra without experiencing pain. Both, too, are fated: Cyra to “cross the Divide” between the Shotet and the Thuvhesit, and Akos to “die in the service of the family Noavek.” When Akos and his brother are kidnapped and imprisoned by Ryzek and Cyra, their fates become intimately intertwined. While the book is not without its flaws, fans of the Divergent series—especially its thought-provoking questioning of identity and ethics—will find similarly thoughtful thematic treatment here. The narration is split between the two protagonists. Cyra’s first-person voice is compelling, while the third-person narrative that follows Akos feels flat and distant. Mixed-race Cyra has “medium brown, almost golden” skin, while Akos is fair-skinned.
Brimming with plot twists and highly likely to please Roth’s fans. (Science fiction/fantasy. 14 & up)