Books · lgbtqia content · part of series · sci-fi / fantasy · self-discovery · young adult

REVIEW: Founder’s Mercy (Neskan Chronicles #1) by Owen Lach

Some secrets are worth dying for.

The Bolvar Union provides everything a good citizen needs, only asking one thing in return: total devotion to the State. Teenage best friends Adan Testa and Bo Shen have other ideas. They plan an unlikely heist to earn their way over the wall, escaping Bolvar before serving their mandatory five years in the Bolvar Union Defense Force. But Adan doesn’t know he possesses a secret talent that no one has seen in the five centuries since the First Explorers colonized Neska. And when the Union discovers Adan’s hidden gift, they’ll do anything and everything they can to discover his secret. Even if it kills him.

Fans of Alex London’s Proxy or M.R. Carey’s Ramparts Trilogy won’t want to miss this engaging and inclusive sci-fi dystopian thriller.

🛸 futuristic sci fi, different world

🏳️‍🌈 queer characters. Use of pronouns seamlessly woven in.

📚 YA, ends on a cliffhanger. Part of series

I have mixed feelings about this book! I’m intrigued by the story and where it is going. I’m not sure I would have picked it up though, had I realized there would be so little progression in this part of the series. So, beware, this ends on a cliff-hanger because there’s very little about the main character’s situations that’s revealed by the end.

Adan and Bo are best friends. They’re planning to escape the city and the oppression they’ve been living under. Their escape plan goes wrong, and they find themselves faced with potential execution until they are whisked about to enter their mandatory military service early.

Things get convoluted when Adan manages to activate an ancient artifact and he’s suddenly the most interesting person around. There are rebels who are interested too and Adan gets swept up in a conflict between two powerful forces.

There’s a lot of subterfuge in this story. Adan feels as though he can’t trust anyone as he escapes with the “rebels”. But they seem to keep falling into one trap after another.

The story didn’t progress very much from the opening pages. What was there, was good but I struggled to make. connection with any of the characters. If you don’t like cliff-hangers, this is a series you may want to read until all the books have been published.

I did like the newfangled “tech” that Adan was able to activate. (A bit reminiscent of To Sleep In a Sea of Stars by Christopher Paolini). Sadly, Adan’s knowledge of the tech didn’t progress much in this section of the series.

Things You May Want To Know: Please be aware, I’m by no means an expert on what may or may not have the potential to disturb people. I simply list things that I think a reader might want to be aware of. In this book: (SPOILERS) violence, death, bullying (within military context), drinking.

links

Goodreads || Author || Publisher

I received an ARC of Founder’s Mercy  by Owen Lach from Jetspace studio via NetGalley in exchange for an unbiased review.

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