*I was given this free review copy audiobook at my request and have voluntarily left this review.
The story starts fast with battle at sea with Nile Greysik part of the crew. There is mention of a decade war and that the ship carries a code book of the enemy which could help end the war. However, things fall apart and Nile's ship, Faithful, and crew takes the brunt of it.
Kaitlin is a new voice for me to listen to. She starts off strong with there being a battle at sea. She picks up on the quick thoughts and actions voicing it all so we are in that chaotic moment. She also voices different characters with adjusting her voice and tone so each sound to match the characters age and personality. Yes! She had my attention from the get go. Solid start! Kaitlin felt to be Nile in this book, which is a great feeling for the listener. The story comes to life and the narrator is part of it.
This book is Young Adult, but it reads stronger than that. I love how Nile speaks of many aspects and dynamics in honest and forward way, as she's dealt and talked about it openly her life so far. The relationship of men and woman on a ship and what happens to people that are Gifted. She doesn't shy from many topics, making them matter of fact feeling.
The Gifted. This is a special magic that comes out in some people in the world. It's based on elements and controlling them. But, there is great consequences that comes from having this ability. Heavy drawback on the body for being Gifted. I like the price for the ability, though no one has a choice to be gifted or not.
It felt that Nile's drive is true, and there are added reasons for that drive that affect her as well. Of course she runs for one reason, but her true desire was stated before that and is what becomes her main goal. I really like how these topics are written to overlap and the world and events drive her to do what she may not have done, or doing sooner than would have.
Alex has created an enticing story with Nile and her world. The way the story is told, there is much that can happen on the ship with the crew present. Nile's views of how things are handled in the world are firm, and there is much happening in the world to fight against. This is a huge story in it's own. It's also a stepping stone for Nile to get to where she wants to be, but has to do her time. Great blend of ultimate goal with immediate obstacles.
This is a storyline and characters I'd love to follow the story along when the books come out in audiobook in the future.