So, I was asked to review this book. It was interesting reading with a critical eye, which I typically only do if a book sucks, in which case I feed it to the tentacled monster under my bed. This book did not suck, thankfully, and my critical eye was actually shut most of the time because it sucked me in. Anyways, here’s the review.
The first installment of L. Anna Lenz’s Opree Legacy kicks off with a prologue that will leave you gasping. Characters, small children, die mercilessly the second you start to care about them. The world in what is looking to be an epic sci-fi series is mythical, desolate, hopeless, and intriguing at the same time. Throughout this novel, I felt dread for the characters for the environments they inhabited, but at the same time, I kinda wanted to check these places out.
And the characters. Damn. That’s where Lenz is strongest, crafting characters we instantly feel something for, whether it’s compassion or spite or a mixture. And there are A LOT of characters in here. Sometimes it gets confusing with how fast the story progresses, but that’s not a huge complaint, because the breakneck speed at which Lenz launches her first title in a series as well as her debut novel is part of what makes the pages almost fly away from turning them so quickly.
There are several occasions this feels like a first novel. Not like that’s a bad thing, it is what it is. But it still seems Lenz is trying to discover her voice, the way the delivery goes from describing scenes in one chapter to just exposition dumping in the next. One scene, a flashback setting up a mother-daughter relationship, I felt would have been much stronger if the scene was simply described instead of the characters’ thoughts and feelings being spelled out for us. At the same time, this is a first installment in a sci-fi series already chock full of myth and legend and species and worlds completely unique to this story. For its sheer unique quality alone, this is a series worth reading. I can’t wait for the next one. Despite some flaws, I’m hooked, and I believe the series will only get better from here.