Seventeen year old, Armani Radnelaq a full blooded BaSatai is plagued by a curse in her blood. A curse created from hate and designed to break the divide between two parallel worlds of Earth and H-trae when Armani's blood is spilled in attack and she dies.My Thoughts: While there were definitely things I enjoyed about this book - the worldbuilding was fun and interesting and very different from anything I've read recently - I had a really tough time connecting to the characters. Namely, I had a tough time with Armani's attitude toward both her curse and the people who were coming to help her. I get that she wanted to be a normal girl but she flat out admits in the beginning of the first chapter that she can smell the curse in her blood and then she turns around and denies it left and right. When her BaSatai compatriots show up to teach her about herself and her heritage she continually rebuffs them and refuses to listen to anything they had to say. Admittedly, they don't give her a whole lot of answers but you'd think with something as important as this they'd make her listen to what they could tell her instead of letting her carry on with her very juvenile temper tantrum. I'll also say that things become clearer (as far as Armani's attitude) toward the end but it was a long road to get there.
S'teuqoubs have been travelling back and forth across the divide for centuries without trouble. The BaSatai and Guardians monitoring activity and enforcing rules to ensure peace and harmony but if the divide splits and opens, a much greater number of supernatural S’teuqoubs will filter into earth destroying equilibrium which the BaSatai and Guardians will be unable to control. Humanity and the BaSatai will suffer and perish. The parallel divide must remain secure at all costs.
Armani has remained hidden on earth with her adopted father Elijah since her birth. She has been raised in the human way and fights her natural instinct to evolve into a BaSatai. The BaSatai in her requires her to evolve and shift, use her powers and strength. Yet Armani is freaked out by the need to shift. She smokes, has a bad attitude, must deal with aggressive bullies and control her natural BaSatai instinct. Her Guardian with BaSatai Warriors are coming for her. She refuses to accept her fate and doesn't believe any BaSatai should die to protect her.
The blood curse maturing in her veins makes her a target for her enemies. Her Guardian Karhl and an elite BasSatai Warrior Rafael are the first to arrive and prepare her for her crossing over. Her attraction to Rafael complicates her purpose to stay on earth even more. They both insist she fall into line and follow their lead but she is not ready to leave earth just yet...
Yes, in case you were wondering, I'm very torn about this book. I was intrigued by the idea but I never connected to Armani emotionally. I didn't understand her reasoning behind continually blocking her fellow BaSatai's attempts to train her and it left me feeling frustrated.
In the end, this book just wasn't for me. I don't know if it was unfortunate timing (I've read several other YA books recently and I do have a tendency to hit genre burn-out when I saturate myself in one genre) or simply that I couldn't see Armani's side of the story enough to understand why she was fighting so hard against people who want to make her stronger and more able to face the things that are coming to hurt her. As I said, the end of the book does help to clear up several issues that I had with Armani, but the bulk of the book left me frustrated with her unwillingness to accept help.
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BaSatai was provided by the author in exchange for an honest review.