Happy Tuesday (and apologies for the lack of Monday Minis, the migraine demons got me…). Today, I’ve got a blog tour for you, for Earthlings: The Beginning by Ray Star. Thanks to Midas PR and Chronos Publishing for the review copy and for having me. All opinions are my own.
RELEASE DATE: 12/08/2021
STAR RATING: 3/5 ✶
SUMMARY: Peridot has lived a sheltered life. Raised on a remote island off the coast of England by an over protective mother, Peri has never left the comfort of her home, or met another child before. Until the night of her thirteenth birthday, when a strange boy appears at her window, filthy and malnourished, claiming to have escaped captivity from the mainland.
Her mother insists that the ways of the world are to remain concealed until her sixteenth birthday, but she unveils why they live in hiding, the mainland isn’t safe for their kind – they are born of magick. Not magic from stories and fables, but real magick from the days of old. The power to control earth, air, fire, water and spirit; an Elemental.
Peridot finds herself thrown into a world she wasn’t prepared for, caught amongst an ongoing battle between those trying to save humanity and the tyrants seeking to keep them enslaved. Struggling to command magickal abilities she doesn’t fully understand or know how to control. Her abilities may be the helping hand needed to save humanity from an awful way of life, but at what cost? (from Chronos Publishing)
OPINIONS: There are a lot of interesting things about this story. For example, the opening chapter made me chuckle so hard, and I love myself a grand scale struggle of epic proportions, with ancient magic, healing powers and a cause greater than the individual. Peridot is your average YA heroine – sheltered upbringing, surprisingly powerful and thrown in the middle of a conflict and left to her own devices. The concept of having animals stand up to humans in light of the bad treatment they endured over centuries is unique, but ultimately lacks conviction. There are multiple parts where characters are e.g. scared witless of a chicken (including the opening scene) and the writing failed to convince me of the threat being real.
And that is a general problem with this book. It reads as a draft, and would have needed some heavier editing – and a lot of what I struggled with really does come down to editorial choices. A main issue I had throughout is that the animals speak the same way humans do. And have the same sort of names that humans do. Which means, if you as a reader miss a small context marker at the beginning of a scene, you quite likely will not be able to tell whether there are humans or animals speaking, until you hit something particularly jarring. To me, that just does not make sense. If animals somehow did take over, there is no way they would be using the exact same syntax and naming conventions as the humans, and a clear distinction between animal and human characters would have improved my reading experience a lot.
So, as a whole, this was quite a mixed bag for me. I can see potential in it, but I don’t think the book is at its best in this form. I’m not sure I’d want to pick up the sequels and keep reading the series.
If you want to check out Earthlings for yourself, you can add it to your Goodreads here, and order a copy from Bookshop here (affiliate link). The author is planting a tree for every book sold which is super cool.