How far would you go to be free—to make your own choices without being subjected to punishment for doing what you felt was right? Could you kill for it?
After being abandoned by her father as a child, Aster spent ten years of her life as a servant for the leader’s House in the broken city of New Bethel. She’d known, even as a child, that the cities of her world were corrupt places with human monsters—assassins—running rampant between their high walls.
Thinking everything will remain the same as it always has there, Aster is startled to discover that one day . . . the cycle breaks. As a young new leader takes a strange and—at times—horrifying interest in her, will she be capable of discovering the reasons behind his actions and orders?
In a world where nothing is as it seems and all things are never anywhere near as simple as they appear at first glance, will she be capable of making the distinction between what is real and what is not? Will she find anyone at all she can trust? More importantly . . . Does she have the strength to do what is necessary to survive in a world filled with evil?
Reave is a young adult fantasy that brings up some pretty interesting questions. It is written by indie author, C. Miller, and depicts the life of a servant (more like a slave), Aster.
To begin, as a reader, you won’t know much about this world from beginning to end. And you may not like that it is a slow paced book. However, the writing is well done and kept me going. The character, Aster, is a strong girl who only becomes a woman nearing the end of the book.
It is slow paced because ultimately, Aster is a servant/slave to this large building. She can’t go past the household walls and is only permitted to speak to those higher to her if they speak to her first. She also has to use titles to anyone higher class. You are experiencing this world through her. So, what she knows equals what you know. Unfortunately, that isn’t much. What I would say about this book is that it’s more about the growth of Aster than the fantasy world Miller sets the story in.
Aster is snarky and quite a bit cynical. She does open her mouth and can be quite rude. But, the beatings never stop her from saying what she’s thinking. I love that about her. Hands down, this is the Aster you see in the beginning. The Aster that grows is a person who chooses her words carefully. She also sees the world in a different way. And, the innocence I saw in the beginning is there, but not too bad. She grows.
I love characters who grow.
The relationship between her and the Reaper also grows. It makes sense the way it happens. There isn’t instant love. It takes time and I love the realism in that.
Questions are brought up in the book that gave me an idea on what it’s purpose is. It is to bring up your own thoughts and allows a person, Aster and the reader, the idea of personal change and growth. I haven’t seen those questions asked in young adult books. Not in the way they are asked or how blunt they are. It was a burst of fresh air.
Yes, the pace was lacking, but I’ve seen reviews of the second book and the way the first book ends gives readers an idea that action is about to happen. Like I said before, this book is about the personal growth before the awesomeness that I’m sure follows in the second book. That said, the sequel is something I’m looking forward to.