Author: Kaaron Warren
Page Count: 528
Why I read it: e-book from publisher for review
US Publication Date: Jan. 2011 (already out in UK/Australia)
Botanica is an island, but almost all of the island is taken up by the Tree.
Little knowing how they came to be here, small communities live around the coast line. The Tree provides them shelter, kindling, medicine – and a place of legends, for there are ghosts within the trees who snatch children and the dying.
Lillah has come of age and is now ready to leave her community and walk the tree for five years, learning all Botanica has to teach her. Before setting off, Lillah is asked by the dying mother of a young boy to take him with her. In a country where a plague killed half the population, Morace will otherwise be killed in case he has the same disease. But can Lillah keep the boy’s secret, or will she have to resort to breaking the oldest taboo on Botanica?My review:
Let me start off by saying the synopsis above is from the publishers website, but I'm not sure it really gives the entire picture of what the book is about, but since I'm too tired to write my own, that's going to have to do. When I first started reading this, I got pretty excited. The writing was spectacular, and I couldn't wait for Lillah to start exploring the other communities around the island. I thought it would be so interesting to read about the different traditions and habits in each community, and to a point it was, but not in the way that I wanted it to be.
It felt at times like the story skipped around a bit, almost to the point where I went back to see if I had skipped a page or something. It was a pretty fast moving, quick read, especially for it's size. By the time I finished, I wasn't quite as excited about the book as when I began, but I still liked it a lot. It was very imaginative and original, and I think it's only fault is that at some point in the story, things began to get a little tedious, and I found myself waiting for something to happen.
I really liked Lillah, but besides her and Morace, I had a hard time keeping any of the characters straight. I found most of the time when reading a name, I would assume the person was of a certain sex, only to find out I was wrong just about every time. The other characters came and went so often that I stopped trying to keep track of who was who and where they were from.
So, while this book did have some minor flaws, I would highly recommend it, and will be looking for more by this author. If you're looking for something completely different, with highly imaginative world-building, this book is for you. For more information, including a sample chapter, visit the publishers website here.