Dez for Prez!
What a unique YA story that crosses many genres, including steampunk, fantasy, dystopian, and romance.
It's the year 2040, and Destiny (Dez) Harkley is a sixteen year-old descendent of an ancient Egyptian shape-shifters -- the Kythan. She's quite a likable character with just the right mix of spunk and vulnerability. As a competing race of shape-shifters (the Narcos--great name) encroach upon her world, she has to decide to stay with the old or go with the new (or maybe she can have both?) Her cool blue-eyed friend Jace represents the familiar Kythan, and red-eyed hothead Reese represents the Narcos.
This was my first steampunk novel and I found the gas lanterns, corsets, and steam-powered vehicles to be an interesting world. It seems reasonable to me that aspects of the past re-emerge in the future--just look at Dexter topsiders coming back into fashion!
I like Dez's best friends being a set of triplets: Lana (her best friend), Jace (the afore-mentioned blue-eyed cutie-pie), and Nick. Nick sometimes seems superfluous though and I wondered why he was in the story.
It's a wow moment when Trisha Wolfe provides a clue about Dez's secret past:Staring back at me from the mirror was one glowing, violet eye -- the color I tried so desperately to conceal.
Holy cow! Perfect set up.
Jace thinks Reese is bad news and tries to protect Dez from this interloper. But Reese has an allure of all his own. He even meditates!"I honestly didn't take you for the meditating type." My lips twitched into a small smile. "Narcos are supposed to be all hot tempered, not yoga masters."
"Stereotype. We ARE pretty hot, though." Reese grinned. "Now focus. Close your eyes. Hear the river and clear your thoughts."
Do you like love triangles? If done well, they can add to the story, and I think Trisha Wolfe did a masterful job of making me fall for both heroes. Jace is a childhood friend but Reese has a deep understanding of Dez due to their hidden histories. I enjoyed how my feelings changed for each throughout the story.Furrowing my eyebrows, I gnawed the inside of my lip and wondered why everything with guys was so complicated.
This is a well-written and engaging story. Excellent job, Trish!