The Soul and the Seed (The Kyrennei #1)

The Soul and the Seed (The Kyrennei #1)
by Arie Farnam

Rating: 4.5/5

Premise:

When you were in high school, were you one of the popular girls? Always hanging with your clique discussing superfluous things and giggling and making fun of those you deemed inferior? Or did you not belong in any groups and mostly kept to yourself? Maybe drawn to a person or two but never beyond that? What if there was a scientific reason for that?

It’s just a normal day for 16 year old Aranka, who’s never been one of the popular gals or belonged to any cliques. She and several of her classmates are subjected to some medical tests at school and, well, that’s when things start getting weird.

Positives:

– The book has a premise I am sure a lot of people out there can relate to, old and young, so it has a wide range of an audience.

– The fact that the action does not take place in the future but in the present day has great value to me; somehow it’s much easier to imagine a fantasy book in another time and place, so this is a true challenge.

– Throughout the book, the author presents the life of Aranka in a way which can’t help but make you relate to her. Every action has just the right pace and emotion. It is just fast enough to keep you turning the pages. The way the reasons to why those things are happening to Aranka and her friends are presented is so beautiful, like little pieces of a puzzle; they are informative to a degree, but leave you begging for more. The Soul and The Seed is filled with new, believable concepts, and once all the pieces fit together, you can truly imagine our current world being explained that way, as well as past history. So much stuff you know is justified so well under such a different light that you can’t help but get carried away with the ‘what if’s.

– The first third or so is thrilling, exciting, disgusting, sad… It shows the best and the worst in people. As the book progresses, you almost watch Aranka grow up and grow strong despite being so fragile and struggling the whole time. The combination of strength and weakness makes this a very real character. And the depth of this character makes you care about her and what she goes through and what comes next.

– You get a great idea of who the other characters are and what moves them; again, you relate to them in one aspect or the other. Each has their own voice and personality.

– The Pronunciation Guide at the end was a pleasant surprise and shows the author’s dedication in creating and developing a whole new language.

Negatives:

– The book’s beauty and strength of character lies in its progression, and this is where I think the synopsis fails. It practically ignores the first third or so of the book, which is so important, influencing the reader to possibly not experience this progression in such an enjoyable manner.

– I think that by adding different voices to the narrative besides Aranka’s, the author managed to give a whole new dimension to the book. I would however have changed the chapter division. I would have only changed chapters when the voice changed, leaving the current chapters as subchapters. Having the same name title chapter after chapter wasn’t very appealing to me.

– The ending was pretty disappointing to me; I would have preferred a bit more closure to the book, even though there is a sequel.

Conclusion

The Soul and the Seed was one of my fastest reads for good reason. It is the very definition of a page turner. If not for real life interference, I would have read it in its entirety at once. I did enjoy the first half or so of the book more than the rest. Discovering Aranka’s struggle and inheritance was a thrill. As soon as she and Jace started arguing about strategy and they went out to look for other Kyrennei for some reason I lost a bit of interest, but not by much.

The book does not fit a particular genre but is, amongst other things, the perfect merge between a contemporary reality and fantasy, with a bit of historical fiction in the mix and a hint of dystopia.

It is beautifully written, the narrative flows extremely well, both the characters and the concepts are very believable and I cannot wait to read the sequel.

Read from October 12 to 14, 2014
GR Review

I would like to thank the author for providing a free copy of this book in exchange for my honest review.

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