By: Harule Stokes
A murder has been committed in Westwood. Joseph Marshall, a newly graduated NextGen operative is sent to investigate the only suspect - one of the last remaining Fallen. Will he live long enough to solve the murder or die by the hands of one of the most powerful living weapons ever created? During the Great War, the Northern Alliance was losing ground to its southern neighbor, Keynosa. The Keynosians were a people whose entire society was built around the manipulation of plant life. Unable to stem the overwhelming power of the Keynosian’s greatest weapon, the empowered soldier, the North made a desperate gamble, to create their own empowered. Thousands of volunteers offered their lives to the experiment in a process called The Sacrifice. From those thousands who gave themselves for their country, only a few hundred emerged, changed. They became the Fingers of God, the world’s most powerful living weapons. With the war over, these heroes, having fought and killed for their country, could not maintain their grip on reality. The process that created them corroded their minds, and they were given the moniker of Fallen. Their legacy continues on in their children, the NextGen. Now more than 70 years after the war's end, the threat of the Keynosian remains. The progeny of the Fallen are tasked with securing a massive series of concentration camps called the Sectors. Constructed after the Great War, the Sectors hold the surviving Keynosian people and their living weapons, the empowered. With the Fallen lost, what can the Northern Alliance do to contain this threat? Their solution is the Peacemaker collar. A thin ring of metal, it gives a steady dose of a powerful drug that inhibits the potential of the empowered, but also rots the mind of the wearer. In a world where morality is thrown to the wayside for the sake of security and the only path you can take are the one’s provided to you, is there a place where a young man can rise above it all?
I liked Sectors for multiple reasons. There were a few things I didn’t like, but overall the book is solid and was a great read.
Let’s start with the world Stokes has created. I loved the rich detailing he gives. I could almost smell the flowers as he was describing them. I could see the beautiful way their homes are integrated with the nature that surrounds them. I think there could have been a bit more description put into the northern areas. But over all I could picture the land and the people easily.
As for the characters I really enjoyed them. Following Joseph on his path to figure out who he is was very interesting. Not that he doesn’t know WHO he is, but to finding out what type of person he is. Since it is told directly from his point of view, the reader really gets a feel for his emotions, fears, etc., that cause him to make the decisions that he does. Also I loved the female characters. Satpal, her grandmother, and Joseph’s mom, to name a view are strong and independent. Even Jennifer, who grated on my nerves, was strong in her own way. I really got attached to some of the other supporting characters as well. Not to spoil too much, but when Reynold has his rejoining I almost cried!
The story itself is well written as well. There is a huge racism factor between the north and the south that Stokes doesn’t shy away from. He brings it out and shows it exactly for what it is. He also shows how it came about. Along with this there are a lot of really deep soul searching moments as Joseph realizes he isn’t quite the person he thought he was. While there are some great obvious lessons that could be applied outside the novel, it doesn’t feel overbearing or preachy.
I only have two main issues with the book. One is minor. It’s that since the book is told through first person present tense pov there are obvious parts that are Josephs direct thoughts. But they are differentiated in the text in anyway. So it would just throw me once in a while when I was reading. Maybe if they had been put in italics?
The other issue is my main issue. It’s the ending. It’s not really a cliffie. I mean you know what Satpal and Joseph are going to do. But instead of following them to the end of their mission, the book just ends. I can assume that their plan succeeds, but I don’t know that for a fact.
Overall I enjoyed the book. Stokes descriptive writing style really pulled me in. I became enthralled with the land as well as the characters. I could easily recommend this one to both my male and female readers. There’s no graphic sex, but the violence tends to the extreme so I don’t know if I’d recommend it to any younger teens. I’m giving it 4 out of 5 stars. It was a good read, but again I was disappointed with not having a more concrete ending.
*I received an e-copy of this book for review from the author in exchange for a review with my honest opinion. All above opinions are my own*