Title: Jove’s Legacy
Author: Kim E. Morgan
Genre: Distopia/YA Fiction, Fantasy
Blurb from Goodreads: Marie-Joëlle Peone’s migraines kick-start her psychic abilities into high gear when she teams up with eleven polymaths, one who wants Jo dead. The twelve survive in a hostile wilderness and being hunted by predators. But Jo’s visions grow beyond her control when black angels appear in the Valley of Bones and the dead cry for justice. Reunited with her family, Jo uncovers the brutal truth of her paternity, and finds herself at the mercy of an elusive man known only as Jove. Jove’s Legacy is Book 1 of the Jove Chronicles: Children of Destiny, a supernatural, romance series.
This is, unfortunately, another book where the blurb didn’t match the story, so my expectations, going into this, were wildly off. Still, I’m glad I accepted Kim Morgan’s offer to read and review this story. It’s an unusually thoughtful experience-of-a-read, set in an intriguing world. Here’s a closer look at the novel:
Narration: 4 out of 5. For the longest time, I struggled with the narration of this novel. It is told in first person, present tense, but there are moments where I was left confused as to what was going on–whether the descriptions or narrative passages were real elements or just part of Jo’s migraines, as visions and reality blurred at times. Still, I came to realize that, in many ways, the vague nature of the narration actually supports the story, with its examination of humanity, perception, reality, and what matters in life.
Content: 3 out of 5. The novel contains a somewhat clichéd list of elements for YA dystopia–fancy parties, training exercises, attractive people one isn’t sure one can trust, and ultimately, real danger that cuts through all their ideas of life. Still, the meditative elements, combined with Jo’s Native American heritage help create a unique story all the same.
Characters: 3 out of 5. It was hard for me to connect with any of the characters, which is typical for me with dystopia. Most of the time, I find the young adults in such stories to be spoiled, highly dysfunctional, and self-absorbed, and Jo was no exception.There were flashes of awareness, of realizing how similar she was to her nemesis, of forgiving and interacting, but most of the time, she’s upset at life, her parents, and the young man she’s falling in love with but unsure she can trust.
Artwork: Subjective. Like the blurb, the cover had me expecting a lot more interaction with military and the wilderness when that part didn’t come until over halfway into the story, but it did fit that part of the story, at least, and it can be difficult to find a cover that can convey two very different halves of a single tale.
World-Building: 4 out of 5. I thought the framework of the story was an effective blend of one world corporations and religions, the believable outcome of overpopulation followed by epidemic, and the fact that Jo doesn’t really know her own history makes this story a bit of a puzzle to work out–the question of how they ended up as they are hanging over the chapters, helping urge one forward.
Overall Response: 14 out of 20, or 3.5 overall. Those who enjoy dystopia or who like a reading experience that makes one question the value of dreams, visions, and other metaphysical occurrences will likely enjoy this story, a mix of romance, action, adventure, and character growth as a group of young people discover more about their world, their past, and each other.
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Copyright 2018 Andrea Lundgren
Image used by permission from the author