The Sending by Jandy Salguero
My rating: 4 of 5 stars
The Sending is a YA Dystopian featuring a bit of romance and some sci-fi mixed with magic. Daneel is new to the city, attending school as is required for all citizens of Senitha, though his greatest aspiration in life is to raise a family and run a farm. Mara is a young assassin raised with just one goal in mind, to destroy the one man who threatens what little civilization remains after the great war.
The thing I like most about this story is how Mara and Daneel come together despite their backgrounds. I enjoy stories like this where people have to look past what society tells them they must do and make their own decisions. This wasn't so applicable to Daneel, but it was central to Mara's development. She was raised to be an assassin, brainwashed, but still not so far gone that she isn't open to new information. What makes it interesting is that she feels guilty about letting her conscience intervene.
I also like how easy it is to read this story, though we are kind of dropped right in the action up front. The plot is straightforward, though not everything is explained. I'm not sure about the ending. It's kind of a mix between cliffhanger and fully resolved story. It all depends on how you look at it. There's room for more, but if the assumptions made by the characters are true, then perhaps that's a wrap. Going by the fact this story is labeled Volume 1, I'm assuming that there's more and that things are going to get dicey in Volume 2.
I didn't quite buy into the romance, mostly because it's fueled by something Mara and Daneel cannot explain. The bond between them is incredibly strong, but it isn't based on deeper things like mutual respect, knowing each other, or even liking each other. Love seems to be tossed into the mix, at least from one of them, but I was left wondering how such a thing can really have developed? The deep connection they share could lead to love, but love is more than attraction, particularly under the strain of fighting for survival. The romance isn't really resolved at the end of this book, though it might seem like it is without considering what we are left with.
Overall, I really enjoyed this story. The pacing is good, there's plenty of action, and there are just enough open-ended questions at the end to lead into the next volume without leaving the reader unsatisfied at the end of the first one. I would recommend The Sending to those who like YA Dystopian with a touch of romance, sci-fi, and magic. The story could probably be read as a standalone, but personally I'd like to read more.
I found this book on Amazon during a free promotion.
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