Red Death (Book #1) by Jeff Altabef
Expected Publication: November 28th 2016 by Evolved Publishing
Rating: 4 out of 5 Stars
Format: eArc provided by author
What happens when everything you believed turns out to be a lie?
Every child of Eden fears the Red Death. All those afflicted with the plague die young, their souls stripped away as punishment for ancient sins long forgotten. For centuries, Guardians have protected Eden from the Red Death by killing outsiders who stray too close.
Seventeen-year-old Aaliss is a highly-trained Guardian, but when her rather odd thirteen-year-old brother, Wilky, discovers a cure to the plague, her world turns upside down. Branded as traitors by the corrupt High Priest, Aaliss and Wilky are forced to seek refuge in the last place Aaliss thought she’d ever go—beyond the boundaries of Eden and into the land of the Soulless. Here they must navigate a medieval world filled with witches, magic, and warrior kingdoms run by Elders only a few years older than her.
Aaliss yearns to return home, but when her heart tugs her deeper into the world of the Soulless, she questions everything she once believed. Has her soul been taken? Will she and Wilky fall victim to the Red Death, or might they die sooner in the center of a battle that threatens to tear apart the Soulless world? Or… might Aaliss finally find, against all odds, what her heart has yearned for all along?
You have a responsibility. What you do with it is up to you, but you cannot pretend it doesn’t exist. If you fail to take it seriously, it will take you , and you will lose all ability to choose your way.
I didn’t really know what I was getting into when I agreed to read this book. Honestly, it sat in my Kindle books for a few months, before I remembered I had to read it before next week. Man, once I started reading it it was so hard to put down until I finished!
This dystopian novel is full of twists and turns that was well written and I was easily sucked into it. Red Death is told in multiple points of view, which at first I found a bit difficult because I didn’t know how they would all fit in with each other. After the first couple of POV’s, the author quickly started drawing connections to some of them and by the end you knew how everyone was essential to the story.
The plot moved not very quickly, but quick enough for me. Aaliss and her brother Wilky run away from Eden before they are killed and search for the ingredients for the cure. This was definitely a heroes journey, just maybe not in so many steps as in Joseph Campbells Monomyth. For the entirety of the book Aaliss thought she would find the cure and go back to Eden to claim her innocence, but by the end she has to make a choice.
Aaliss is a very strong and independent main character, and she has a strong moral code for a guardian of Eden. Her sole purpose is to keep Wilky safe from the Soulless and to find the cure for him to take so he won’t die from the Red Death, which before Wilky there was no cure and once you contracted it you die. I think out of all of the characters, Aaliss had the most character development. In the beginning it was just her and Wilky, and by the end she started accepting more people into her little group. Which spoke volumes after being taught that the Soulless were not people at all but servants of the Dark One.
Wilky is probably the most interesting character out of the bunch, and the novel seems to quietly revolve around him and his special powers. He can sometimes get visions of the future that are not set in stone, and so he basically sets everything in motion to get everyone prepared for what is to come. He is wanted by the Dark One for some reason, and hopefully in the second book we will get more insight into why.
Overall, this book has a bit of everything for everyone. This had adventure, witches, religious zealots (who may or may not be following a false prophet), blackmail, and a tiny bit of romance. I am ready for book 2 to come out so that I can see what happens to Aaliss and Wilky in the upcoming battle!
This eArc was provided by the author in exchange for an honest review