K.J. Colt’s premier novel in the Healers of Meligna is a solid start with a few hiccups along the way.
You have to give the protagonist Adenine credit – if I were thirteen and had to deal with the series of tradgedies that she faces at the beginning of the novel, I think I would have lost my mind. Add on to it that I’m blind (or at least treated that way – more on this in a bit) and I have full justification for curling up in to a ball and crying. Adenine, however does not do so and, instead, manages to find ways to adapt as life throws curve ball after curve ball at her. I won’t spoil too many here as the curve balls make for the majority of the fun of the story, but make sure you’re thinking and being as suspicious as our protagonist.
The world setting is, unfortunately, somewhat generic. We have a town that doesn’t especially stand out in terms of fantasy literature. We’re in a nation recovering from a war and a death plague, but there isn’t a lot of detail given to those events to make them stand out from other such starters. If there is any weakness to this story, it is that the setting feels generic for a good 1/2 the book. We start to see some unique details begin to emerge, but the story finishes (I won’t say ends as there are a pair of sequels) just as we begin to get in to the uniqueness of the world.
Fortunately the characters make up for it. Adenine herself is a round and fully developed 13 year old and entirely believable in that role. Similarly, her broken mother, her Doctor, and her friend/Dr’s assistant, are all given opportunities to develop and be explained. Each of them has a unique personality and, more than that, are given opportunities to screw up/make significant mistakes that Adenine is able to pick up on that first alert the reader/Adenine that something funny is going on. These hints all cascade around you and when the puzzle finally breaks your brain goes AH! and wants to re-scan it to see if it was really set up that far back. You’re even more satisfied when it turns out that “Yes, yes it was.”
The characters are the selling point here, and the major tool that the author uses to engage the reader. There are some graphic scenes and some parts that are a bit scary (13+ please, at the minimum) but, on the whole, this is an enjoyable piece of fiction/literature that you should enjoy especially at the ‘free’ price it is currently listed.
NOTE: This story is also available in a pair of bundles linked at the end of this review.
Characters – 5/5
Total Rating: 3.95/5