In the spirit of patriotism, aspiring-author solidarity and in sheer disregard for the Greek and Chinese economic woes I recently bought Lynette Noni’s Akarnae for the princely sum of $1. (Courageous and benevolent though I be, please hold your applause until the end).
Being a young adults (YA) genre it is not my normal reading diet but I was willing to give it a go. To be honest my intentions were a little more selfish than altruistic: first and foremost I wanted to see the quality of the writing that had resulted in a publisher picking up the work. Additionally as someone who wants at some point to try my hand at a YA novel I considered it research.
I was pleasantly surprised by Arkanae and Lynette’s writing style. From the limited perspective of a approaching-middle age man and non-YA reader, I think she has a clear grasp on the key components of a successful YA novel. There are close friendships and disputes, adventures, cool technology and strange things to explore… all while the main character is growing in a sense of self.
The book launches with a bang, proficiently setting the stage and giving the reader a reason to continue.The characters are interesting if a little annoying sometimes. And I mean that as a compliment; they are going through the phase of life where they are the arbiters of reality and reason after all.
A book that is part of a series must be judged by two things: how it is ‘standalone’ and how it integrates into the series. The first book is a fine story which Lynette has every reason to be proud of and there are enough plot hooks which lead me to believe the continuing story holds great promise.There are things that are hinted at but not explained, which leave the door well and truly wide open for more story…
There are a few things I would have done differently – but that’s normal for another author to have an alternate spin… and to be honest there isn’t much I would change. All-in-all it’s a solid YA novel and is a strong foundation for a good trilogy. Great job Lynette!