“The Founder’s Curse (New Zigon #1)” by Danelle O’Donnell
Genre: Middle Grade/Young Adult Fiction, Fantasy, Science Fiction
Source: The author in exchange for an honest review
Summary from Goodreads:
Have you ever done something without thinking, and have it change your life forever? That’s what happened to 14-year-old John Brown on his eighth grade field trip. By sliding his steel-toed work boot out a mere six inches, he triggers a series of events that turn his world upside down.
He meets Diana, who is no ordinary girl. Centuries ago she lived in an isolated pocket of space called New Zigon. She has the ability to manipulate the world around her with the help of an amulet she hides under her skin.
Can she return to her race and save her homeland from extinction? Can he find the time and strength to help her while hiding the truth from his austere parents? They must use every resource they have available to them to uncover centuries-old secrets as lives hang in the balance.
Travel with John and Diana and a diverse cast of characters through an adventure of discovery, loss, and rebirth as friendships are forged and old debts are revisited in this tale where “mind over matter” has a whole new meaning.
This was an interesting blend of fantasy and science fiction. The author put good thought into the world building. Lots of things were answered. There weren’t any major info-dump sessions. The knowledge was sprinkled throughout the story which made it easy to digest. It was difficult at times to keep everything straight and remember it all though. The mythos was a bit too New Age-y for my taste but the story was still enjoyable.
John and Diana were likeable characters. They seemed normal and down to Earth. My biggest annoyance with them was the bit of special snowflake syndrome they both had. Diana was a very gifted girl back in her day so she had lots of power. John apparently is descended from the founders so he seemed to quickly acquire all these new powers without working too hard for them. I would have liked to see more struggle with their powers. I particularity appreciated the friendship between the two. It was a good solid friendship. I didn’t sense any romantic interest right now but there could be something down the line in the series.
The plotting was pretty well done. The story moved along pretty quickly. I didn’t feel rushed between place to place. I also didn’t get bored by being in one place too long. I was surprised at how the story kept going! I didn’t realize how big of a book it was because I read it on my Kindle. The length wasn’t a bad thing though. We got to really know the characters and the world.
The bottom line? Great pick for kids and adults alike.