by David Lundgren
Raf and his family live high up in the colossal trees of the Aeril Forest where they are preparing to host the famous annual Festival. Raf isn’t too bothered about it. All he wants to do is finish school and go traveling. But having both parents on the village Council isn’t easy and he feels increasingly frustrated at the pressure being heaped on him. His stubbornness is challenged though, when he discovers he has a powerful talent that lets him use music in unexpected and magical ways.
Things quickly fall apart in the Forest when a mysterious disease starts killing the trees - no small problem when they live hundreds of yards above the ground - and rumors spread of a military invasion in the north, as well as of a violent stranger who seems to somehow be the cause of the tree decay.
Faced with the desperate need to find a cure for the Forest and seek out a
teacher to help him harness his new found powers, Raf is swept away on an
unexpected journey far from his home into the heart of the desert, where even greater challenges await him...
I found this book to be very refreshing. Being someone that reads a lot I had been having a hard time finding something worth reading to the end, so it was with extreme caution that I started reading this one. Thank goodness it was a good read.
I think the thing I liked the most was the world building. You're not going to find anything that seems remotely familiar in this book. Not only am I getting dazzled by imagining what it would be like to live in a forest of giant trees I'm getting intrigued by the culture of the people that live in them. You get enough description to be able to picture what everything looks like without getting bogged down.
Raf was an interesting character to follow around, I'm really not used to reading books from a males point of view and I found it nice. No offence to all of us lady's out there, but to be able to read a book YA book without hearing about how hot every boy was so great. Raf himself is how I would imagine a 16 year boy would think as well. His gift was something that was interesting to hear about, though we really never find out exactly what it is. But it was pretty cool to discover everything with him and to watch as he started to embrace it.
Its told from a few different point of views, but this is done very well. There is defiantly a lot of different things going on all over the place, but it never got confusing as to what was going on where because of great point of view shifts. I have to say I love books that are written this way, being able to see everything going on from different directions just makes me happy.
The only thing I didn't like is the fact that we really never find out what Rafs gift is, he may have figured out how to use it but you don't ever really find out how it works. Just when I was starting to think I would get more information on it something happens so that I didn't. It was a little frustrating for me. I can only imagine that everything will be explained more in a second book, but I don't really like when something that seems so important doesn't get explained at all.
Also as a side note, I didn't notice a glossary anywhere, but I really suggest that the author makes something up. There are a lot of words used that you don't know that all tie into the culture of the people in the book. It would have been really helpful to have somewhere to reference when I first came across them instead of having to try and figure them out for myself.
Would I recommend this book? Yes, if you are looking for something completely new this book is one you are going to want to pick up.