4 out of 4 stars
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The name Zeva means "land of protectors." That's what Zevians are. They live in another dimension and are tasked with the protection of Earth at all costs. Tristan is a young Zevian that has longed to go to Earth his whole life; but, unless they are at war, only Elder Zevians are allowed to go to Earth. That hasn't stopped Tristan and his friend Kyra from searching for the portal. Just when they are about to stumble on the portal, something unexpected happens. Tristan's father, who is an Elder, volunteers for a year on Earth. Since Tristan's mother died a long time ago, he will actually be allowed to go with his father!
Things on Earth are a bit more complicated than he imagined, though. He meets a girl named Ember, and they are immediately drawn to one another. But, it's against Zevian law to fall in love with a human. Not only that, but war is coming to Earth. Now he must be prepared to fight while keeping his interest in Ember secret. Else, it might be death for them both...
Zeva is the first book in a young adult science fiction trilogy by Tesha Finley. The book combines two of my favorite genres, and I found it to be a captivating and enjoyable read. It introduced me to a new world that was fascinating; and with the promise of more action in the future, I'm ready to read the next book!
The book was written in the third person perspective following Tristan. As a character, I thought he was intriguing. Not only is he from another dimension, but he stands apart from his people as he was trained differently than they are. His father taught him to fight without anger, instead embracing a blissful heart. This was part of what made Tristan such a fascinating character. So much is expected of him because of this, and yet he is still a teenage boy. His friendship with Kyra, and then this magnetic attraction to Ember bring another dynamic to play in the book.
As for pacing, this first book has a primary purpose of getting the reader acquainted with the characters and new world. That's not to say it's boring as the details of this new people are fascinating along with the descriptions of their surroundings and the way that they live. However, it's only near the end that we truly start getting to the meat of the story. So, I'd have to describe the pace of this book as steady.
My favorite part of the book is something that's called the Muddock. This is a battle between young Zevians based on their fighting abilities. As they are protectors of Earth, training is something that all Zevians do from a young age. This battle takes place every year to determine the best fighter amongst them. These scenes were action-packed and fascinating to read about while not being overly graphic.
Zeva was a fun read and worthy of a 4 out of 4 stars. I would recommend this for readers aged 12 to 18 and adults who enjoy a light read. There is an element of romance involved, but with the lack of graphic sexual or violent scenes, it's entirely appropriate for a younger audience. I will warn you, though, this book will leave you wanting more, and with the cliffhanger ending, some won't be overly enthusiastic about starting this (at least until all the books are out.) Still, I for one will be trolling Amazon for the next book in the series.
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