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There And Back Again (Eventually)

In the first book in her new Remnants series, Season of Wonder, Lisa T. Bergren takes readers on an epic quest full of mysticism and badasses.

There And Back Again (Eventually)

BOOK REPORT for Season of Wonder (Remnants #1) by Lisa T. Bergren

Cover Story: J.J. Abrams Big Face
BFF Charm: Yay
Swoonworthy Scale: 7
Talky Talk: Post-Apocalyptic Regression
Factor: Faith
Bonus Factors: Mad Max, Badasses
Anti-Bonus Factor: No. 1
Relationship Status: Community Members

Cover Story: J.J. Abrams Big Face

When it comes to YA covers, there’s no face too big. And when it comes to special effects, there’s no such thing as too much lens flare.

On a personal note: I am really bothered when covers highlight the series title over the actual title of the book. This cover is a shining example of this weirdness.

The Deal:

Andriana and Ronan were born on the seventh day during the seventy-seventh Harvest after the Great War. Andriana is a Remnant, gifted by the Maker with a High Gift, and Ronan, her Knight, is her sworn protector. They’re both Ailiths, prophesied with being part of a team who will bring the world back into the light.

Together with their fellow Ailiths, Andriana and Ronan must go on a quest to find the leader their people so desperately need. But the quest won’t be easy, and there will be many dangerous adversaries along the way.

BFF Charm: Yay

Andriana is a tough, resilient girl. Thanks to humanity being a giant bag of dicks nearly a century prior, she grew up with very little, in a broken world. She did, however, have a loving family and a dedicated best friend—and a massive, omnipotent being-preordained future hanging above her head. A lesser person would have given in to the crappy life, or become hardened by the physicality of the Ailith training she received. Andriana came through it all with a good head on her shoulders and a commendable capacity for empathy.

Swoonworthy Scale: 7

Andriana and Ronan are NOT ALLOWED to fall in love. They are NOT ALLOWED to have feelings for each other beyond a brother-sister sort of dedication. They are NOT ALLOWED to think of each other over the good of the team.

But sometimes, you just can’t fight fate.

Talky Talk: Post-Apocalyptic Regression

In Season of Wonder, Lisa T. Bergren has created a world that doesn’t seem familiar, until the characters discuss “olden times” items that we’re quite familiar with, such as magazines and canned food. (Typewriters, even without ink, fetch a high price with traders.) It’s an interesting place, full of themes, places and people that seem old and new at the same time. However, as great of a job of world building Bergren did, in the course of 567 pages, I would have expected much more action and quest progression than we got.

Andriana and Ronan’s speech is a bit formal, and there’s a lack of contractions that adds to this feel. A couple of the other characters use slang that we’d hear from our friends, which is a bit jarring; one in particular feels really out of place. But I can give Bergren the benefit of the doubt. Depending on where you lived when the world went to hell, your speech patterns would be different than that of people hundreds of miles away, too.

Factor: Faith

This is neither a bonus nor anti-bonus factor, but I felt the need to make everyone aware. This book is heavy with religion, but it’s more the faith side of things than organized religion. I am not a religious person by nature, but I understand and appreciate the idea of and the power of faith. Nothing in this book came off as preachy to me, and the faith is mixed with a heavy dose of mysticism. It’s an interesting combination that makes for a great story.

Bonus Factor: Mad Max

The world in which Andriana and Ronan live is a hard one. Technology doesn’t really exist any longer, and many of the things we take for granted—electricity, running water, the ability to read and write—are rare luxuries. On the outskirts of society, people live in villages, or in tent communities. Traders rule the deserts, and a group called the Drifters ravage the spaces, and people, in between.

Bonus Factor: Badasses

Both Andriana and Ronan have been training since age 12 to prepare for their eventual epic quest. They learned how to use swords and daggers, fight hand-to-hand and honed their senses to the extreme. And although she’s somewhat slight, Andriana finds herself thinking at a few points in the story about how she could take someone out with nothing but her physical abilities in a myriad of ways. I would not mess with either of them for anything.

Anti-Bonus Factor: No. 1

Season of Wonder is yet another start to a trilogy. I’m so sorry I keep doing this to you guys.

Casting Call:

Chloe Bennet as Andriana

Michael Hudson as Ronan

Relationship Status: Community

If I was around post Great War, I’d definitely want to be a part of your team of misfit kids, Book. I don’t know that I’d want to be tasked with saving the world all on my own, but I’d happily assist when and where I could. I’m pretty sure things are going to get hairy in your next installments, and you’re going to need all the help you can get.

FTC Full Disclosure: I received a free review copy from Blink. I received neither a private dance performance from Tom Hiddleston nor money for this review. Season of Wonder is available now.

Mandy Curtis's photo About the Author: Mandy is a small town girl living in a nerdy world, or—if you want to get literal—an editor/writer living in Austin, TX. In addition to yearning for YA books—the more dystopian or fantastical, the better—she can also be found swooning over superheroes, dreaming of The Doctor and grinning at GIFs.
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