This book was so different than what I usually read and after coming out of a book slump, I have to say, it was really refreshing. Utz’s writing was contrary to anything I’ve ever read before, and as I’m not particularly a sci-fi fan, this was such an interesting read.
Five-hundred years after a world war, humanity has changed drastically. There is a small population of humans still living on Earth, located in a garden named Eden Village.
Sebastian, a seventeen-year-old boy who’s been cutting down trees in Eden Village for six years straight, one-day ventures into the woods surrounding the village. Sebastian has always been curious about the outside world and since he’s never been down that path, he decides to explore. Something urges Sebastian to continue down this new path in the woods, and Sebastian must find what is pulling him deeper and deeper. Sebastian comes across a mysterious sword in the woods, only for a spirit to appear saying that he will save humanity.
The spirit – whom Sebastian names Zuri – and Sebastian, set out on an adventure with a few of their friends from the village to cleanse the world of evil and the corruption from the humans five-hundred years ago. Along the way, Sebastian finds a group of people named the Crimson Lords, who wish to rid the Earth of humanity to make room for a new era that they call Crimson Night.
Magic, love, mystery, and Sebastians’ strong will to cleanse humanity are the only things holding the group together as they travel across Earth to save the human race.
I really loved most of the characters in this story. Sebastian, our main character, was kind of thrust into the role of saving humanity. Personally, I found it a bit weird that he didn’t feel any discomfort with being told magic is a thing and he’s supposed to save the entire universe. He kind of just jumped on board which confused me a little, but he was an overall great character. He definitely grew into an incredible magic user which was super cool to see, and he obviously had a lot of strong feelings towards the other group members traveling with him which was quite nice too.
Zuri is probably my favorite character in the book. She was so knowledgeable and I feel like there’s still quite a bit to uncover about her. She was such a powerful character and she was mostly holding the group together which I thought she was the perfect character for. Along with that, her patience for Sebastian and his questions was really nice because she needed to be that character to comfort and explain everything to him. She was just a complete and genuinely nice, calming character.
Celeste is a character I felt I needed a bit more information on. She was so mysterious and it sometimes kept me wondering if she was hiding something bad. She’s a badass with a sword which I loved seeing since she’s also really shy, but I honestly don’t feel like I can completely trust her.
Sebastian’s grandpa was another one of my favorite characters. He was so funny, and he brought the group such a sense of home. He was constantly talking which was hilarious and he genuinely made me laugh sometimes which was fun in such an intense book. It was sad to see what happened to him (kind of made me want to throw the book across the room), but he was noble to the end which I admire.
Tommy-Dean was another super fun character. I pretty much grouped Sebastian’s grandpa, Radley, and Tommy-Dean together in a group because they were just hanging out together most of the time. The three of them were just a bunch of old dudes hanging out which brought a sense of familiarity and joy to the group which was nice to see. They kind of brought out the best in everyone else and never let them down.
This book takes place on Earth. We start out in a luscious forest with a village inside it named Eden Village. The village isn’t super-advanced, and it overall just seemed quite boring, but I mean, it was a village. I didn’t expect too much from it in the first place, and it seemed like it had been set back quite a while from our technology in today’s day and age.
The other half of the book took place in Texas, but another version of Texas. It was mostly desert land until Zuri was able to plant magical trees that made the land safer for them to be. I mean it was your overall average setting.
The writing in the story was interesting, to say the least. At times I was super interested, and I couldn’t put the book down, at other times I just couldn’t focus on the story. It started out a bit confusing for my liking and I couldn’t quite grasp the concept, however, as the story went on, I definitely got a bit more involved in it and was able to understand fully what was going on.
This was an overall good book. For someone who doesn’t enjoy a ton of sci-fi, I quite liked this book and I’m excited to get into the next two and see how the story continues. I enjoyed meeting all of the characters and I think it was a great introduction to a super intense story.