by Priya Ardis
Publisher: Vulcan Ink
Release Year: 2020
Genre: Young Adult, Fantasy
Special thanks to NetGalley and Vulcan Ink for providing me with an eARC of this book in exchange for an honest review.
She would hate her third eye less if it actually gave her special powers.
When her secret is threatened, she may be the only one who can save the kingdom.
Sixteen-year-old Kira puts on a show about having empathic abilities, but she miraculously wakes a highborn boy from a coma after a near-fatal accident on mountainous slopes. When his father threatens to expose her “magic” to the queen, she attends the kingdom’s most elite academy as a bodyguard.
Soon, she’s immersed in a strange new life—one of being a simple student trying out for the school’s skyboarding team. Her fake life becomes the life she’s always wanted, but Kira cannot escape who she truly is. Nothing in the court of the Raj is as it seems…
Will she risk her freedom to unmask a killer before the crown falls?
This book wasn’t my cup of tea, but– in saying that– it wasn’t so bad as to prevent me from finishing it.
The book pulled me in primarily with its eye-catching cover and intriguing title. The book follows through with an interesting mystery better executed than most. With world-building that is done well for what is a relatively short book. Futuristic elements of this world aren’t hard to understand because they aren’t too different from technologies we have now, and the aspects of the world completely new to us (like the fictional sport of skyboarding) is presented with an appropriate amount of detail.
On the other hand, the fantastical aspects of this book tend to fall short. With the protagonist’s, Kira Shine, abilities seeming inconsistent at times. Inconsistency doesn’t only happen with this aspect of a single character, but is an issue prevent amongst many of them. For me the only character that seemed continuously consistent was Sarita, Kira’s best friend. Otherwise, it seemed as though characters changed to benefit the plot rather than organically. For readers who enjoy plot-driven stories this may not be a problem, but as a fan of character-driven stories it was definitely a detractor.
I don’t know if I’d recommend this book, at least not to people around my age or even slightly younger. Though written for young adults the book seemed to read a bit younger, more for middle-grade aged kids. I think someone in that age group would enjoy this book more than the older audiences. That being said, if you’re a fan of mysteries with fantastical and futuristic elements, I wouldn’t discourage you from reading this book, even though it’s not my first choice.