Author: Sheeza Iqbal
Published: Published December 10th 2014 by Balboa Press
Genre: Fantasy, Sci-Fi, Young Adult
My Rating: 3/5
““I am an Ultimate,” she vowed, the walls of her heart quaking with ferocity and determination. “And I have the power to do the impossible.”
I received this book from the author for an honest review. I want to thank her for trusting me with her work and providing me with her story.
Aaliyah reaches her 19th moonday expecting to become the village healer. But at the ceremony where she is meant to accept her ordinary future, Aaliyah’s grandmother is attacked by creatures she has never seen before, and now they are after her.
Aaliyah is on the run, and soon she discovers why. She is an Ultimate and has the potential to control the four elements, if only her elements would awaken within her. To save the lives of her loved ones, and the lost home of the Sky Realm that has been under siege by the evil Areious, Aaliyah must train hard, discover who she is, and who she wants to become.
The storyline and concept of this book is amazing. I love the idea of Ultimates (controlling all four elements) and Classics (controlling a single element) and the secret world that they inhabited once together. You can sense the epic battle that will eventually unfold in the midst of a power struggle for control.
The characters were also built well. Aaliyah is tasked with the burdens of a whole world she never knew, yet she grasps at the impossible like its all she has ever wanted. I admire her strength and her ability to make decisions based on her alone, and not outside influences. She thinks for herself, but trusts easily. That’s a great character combination that builds relationships you don’t mind investing in, even when you have to face the turmoil, like with Aaliyah and Mika.
I did have some issues with the book that made it difficult to get into, and it took me a really long time to read.
Firstly, I have zero idea the time period/ location of this book. There was little to no description of setting. Aaliyah lives in a village, so my mind automatically doesn’t go to modern times. Not to mention there aren’t any references to electronics or vehicles, other than a wagon. Yet, Aaliyah’s dialect and word choice is often modern. So I was lost in this aspect.
I also found the repetitive use of descriptors like frustrated, angry, or livid a bit tiring. As far as showing the feelings of the characters, the most description we got was “furrowed brows.” Overall, I felt there was just a lack of showing and describing emotions, appearances, and locations.
One thing that I would recommend to the author, if given the opportunity, as a complete personal preference most likely, is to italicize the characters thoughts. I would often be reading a paragraph in the third person and the next sentence would suddenly be first person. It was confusing.
Overall, I did begin to enjoy this book with about 150 pages left. The plot began to twist and the action took hold, and I think that is where the author thrived. I have so many questions left, in the good way, that makes me want to continue the series. I found the ending satisfying and a great balance between tying up loose ends and giving the reader a cliff hanger.
Let me know if you pick it up and if you enjoyed/agreed/disagreed with this review!