Title: The Beginning (Book 1 of the Lupus Constellation series)
Format received: Pdf, 289 pages
Date of publication: 5th October 2017
Genres: Fantasy, Young Adult, Thriller-Suspense
I received Mia Tavor’s e-copy in exchange for an honest review.
WHAT IS THE BOOK ABOUT?
After moving to a northern Canadian town, fifteen-year-old Alex Leran is forced to accept that her new family–along with the school which she has to attend–value above all passivity and silent endorsement to inhumane practices driven by obsolete ideas that infuriate Alex and fuel her fervent rebellion against various agents of power. Her excruciating journey from complete ignorance to painful understanding is marked by the realisation that she belongs to a unique race blessed by the stars. Alex holds great power within her (be it supernatural or not) and while everyone attempts to restrain it, she comprises the only agent whose strong reaction against injustice seems to sensitise only few of the people she has just encountered. The time is soon to come; when the chips are down only the strong will survive. Alex is in great peril if she is to simply act against the system using her own voice. But, why not using the stars and their constellations?
WHAT DID I LIKE ABOUT THE BOOK?
It has turned out to be extremely rare for a YA fantasy series to surprise me; often, I think that I have become much of an adult to be taken aback by this genre. Nevertheless, Tavor’s first installment of the Lupus Constellation series is bound to amaze the readers due to its alluring yet dark fictional world. Tavor has written a contemporary YA novel worthy of international recognition–the shelves of every fantasy reader are incomplete if they do not include The Beginning.
Even if the English novel comprises a translation from its original by the author herself, I was astonished by the impeccable language used throughout the book. The author used the most appropriate diction in conveying the protagonist’s feelings and in describing people and surroundings. The flow of the story is smooth and just as fast as needed; the dialogues are natural and not forced and the world is so engaging and seductive for readers across genres. You need not be a fantasy reader if you are to enjoy this novel. All you need is a soft spot for suspense and there you are: you are going to think of the story and its characters for a long time after you finished reading it.
But the most important of all is the alluring ambiance that the author has successfully generated, a feeling that you will definitely miss once you complete the novel. Alex grows on you and so does the world in which she is forced to dwell; her good-for-nothing teachers and classmates, her violent aunt and passive uncle, her mysterious cousin and seductive Jake–you will miraculously get accustomed to them and their surroundings, you will reach a point where you will wish for another fifty pages so as to satiate your thirst for more.
I feel extremely lucky that the author sent me an e-copy of her novel. Reading breathtaking self-published books like The Beginning make me much more committed to my voluntary work as a book blogger and a beta reader. Tavor’s novel promises an intense journey which, despite disturbing at times, it is addictive and mesmerizing all at once. Her fiction deserves to be featured prominently next to bestselling series of similar genres as Divergent by Veronica Roth or The Mortal Instruments by Cassandra Claire. Fantasy lurks until the very last page–though not central, the author cleverly conceals and preserves its unique nature in order to focus on Alex and her coming-of-age journey.
That old-school feeling of reading dark YA when all your peers study for the upcoming Physics exam or stay out at night drinking and having fun, that inexplicable attraction of reading until dawn to figure out what comes next, that childish identification with a female teenager who struggles to overthrow any authority, these are promised by Mia Tavor’s exquisite new novel.
WHAT DID I NOT LIKE?
Little if naught distracted me while reading the novel. For the sake of categorisation, I would have preferred it if there were more chapters–I believe that nine are extremely few for such a novel. Also, since several interactions took place through chatting I think that a different format regarding the font and the indexes would prove much more efficient.
Rate: 4.5/5 (Goodreads rate: 5/5)
“The Beginning” comprises the first book of the Lupus Constellation series, a fantasy epic promising thrilling moments and intense plot twists. The author conceives a cruel and dark yet appealing and addictive world where everything comes at a high price. Mia Tavor weaves Alex’s tale with virtuosity; the novel maintains something of the old-school allure of dark YA. Delaying vital questions as the reason why Alex has to undergo such fierce changes and the true nature of her power, Tavor accentuates Alex and her feats thus delivering a paranormal atmospheric tale worthy of international praise and recognition.