Updated: Nov 18, 2020
Publisher/date: Dreamscape Media, LLC (November 26, 2019)
Genre: YA Dystopian Magical Fantasy
Series: Federal Histories, Book 1
"To him, there was nothing dangerous about her."
Stephanie Morgana is a senior in high school. Her only wish is to pass the final tests with high enough scores to get a scholarship to go to one of the prep schools. You see, in this dystopian future, education has become so expensive that only the very rich can afford it. But without a degree, her highest hope for a job will be cleaning toilets for her parent's cleaning service.
But there's a little snafu with her test. An AI is employed to administer it by a testing agent that has had it up to here with the rich little dickheads who could care less how their scores look. They have the money, they don't need a good score. And they ACT like it.
The AI recognizes Stephanie's potential, and when he finds out that the system is inherently rigged and that she has no hope of actually getting a scholarship, "Bert" decides to take things into his own hands...or circuits. In fact, he goes exceptionally off his rocker about it and it felt a little AIDEN-ey, like oh snap, shit's about to get real with this AI. Alas, it didn't.
So it turns out, Stephanie is the only known human who can wield Meligornian magic, an alien energy from the planet of humanity's allies in the Dreth Pirate War. But another war is being waged on earth, the war for the poor to survive. And with Stephanie's newly discovered powers, she plans to do something about it.
My dear darling readers, I'd like to take a quote from my lovely friend Ali (@coffeeandbookswithali over on Bookstagram) and tell you how very exceptionally average this book was. Oh it has all the makings of greatness, a confident, intelligent heroin who wants to do good but is oppressed by the dystopian world she's been born into, combined with aliens and magic? This is a cross-genre dream.
But it drug. And drug. And drug some more. For 185,000 words I waited for a plot to form. A goal to be revealed. But this read like the intro to a series instead of it's own book. A really fucking long intro.
Now don't get me wrong. Stephanie is awesome. Just the right amount of cockiness to be likeable, enough teenage rashness to be believable, but not too much to be annoying. But I'm sitting here going...
The writing was also not terrific. Not bad, but not great. Again, average. In addition to the dragging and lack of distinct plotline, there was an inherent immaturity to the writing. Like it was a teenager writing a book. I've seen this before and I have high hopes that the writer will improve. Because again, all the makings of something great. Just not quite there. It needed some major editing.
I'm losing my patience recently with poorly edited books. Is anyone else becoming disillusioned to the wonder that was independent publishing?
Anyway, 2.5 stars, square in the middle. I want to know what happens next, but not enough to be dragged through another book that is too long by half.