Posted in Fantasy/Sci-Fi, Young Adult

Lisa T. Bergren’s Remnants‏

Our coming was foretold by the elders— Those who would change the future, just as the planet teetered on the edge of darkness.
Born on the prophesied day with birthmarks in the form of a crescent moon, they knew us immediately. Swaddled and screaming, we were spirited away by those who hid us, trained us, and kept us safe until our time came.
They poured their lives into us. Some died to save us.
And now we, the Remnants, protected by Knights of the Last Order, have gathered.
Called until we breathe our last … to save the world.
As a lover of YA fantasy/dystopian novels, I have discovered that there are two ways in which a brand new series can start: one in medias res (or in the middle of things) and the other as world-building. I would classify this novel as world-building. It’s essentially a new world with a new way of life, and new groups of people, and much of the novel is Andriana coming into contact with different things and people. That is not to say that this novel was not fascinating (I’m very much looking forward to book two!)! Here’s what I noticed:
What I liked:
The world building was done fabulously. In no way, did I feel like the story stopped to explain things. Instead we got to experience and see things through the mostly sheltered eyes of Andriana. And what a world we encountered. It was both modern with the fantastical elements and medieval in the ways that people thought. It’s a great world to be in and I was extremely disappointed that every page I turned meant that I was closer to the end. I will say that it wasn’t always edge-of-your-seat exciting, but the writing was done so nicely, I still didn’t want to put the book down.
Andriana is great heroine. I never got annoyed with her, and that’s good because we’re in her head the whole novel. I liked the way she thought about things. I liked the way she reacted to things, and I liked the way she dealt with things. I also liked the idea of the romance in this. There’s actually a legit reason why they aren’t supposed to be together and that adds a lovely tension to the novel.
I also like the epic-like feel to the novel. I don’t feel like I’m being short-changed or that the author is rushing. There’s a lot going on it, but I was never lost. Furthermore, I like the whole idea of this special group of people who have amazing gifts.  I’m very excited to see what happens next.
Spiritually, there are a couple of principles here, but the one that stuck out in my mind is the importance of closing the door to darkness. Otherwise it will take a foothold and take you places you never wanted to go.
What I didn’t like:
My biggest critique would be Ronan. I liked Ronan. I just wished Ronan got a chance to speak more. Every time he spoke, it was like time froze for me. But there’s a huge amount of the novel where he is just this silent presence and while I knew Andriana’s history with Ronan, I felt like I didn’t know Ronan. And he seems like a great person to know. Let’s face it, the whole point of having a great hero is so that we readers can fall just a little bit in love with him ourselves. So, here’s to hoping that book two has lots more of Ronan!
Romantic scale: 7.5
Overall, I really enjoyed Remnants. It was such a treat to read and I’m looking forward to the next one!
**I received a copy of this novel from the author. My opinion was not affected in any way.**

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