Stone Seeds by Jo Ely (Review)

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Kindle Price: $1.66

Official Rating: 3/5

Synopsis:

“Antek is an Egg Boy from Batch 47, one of the general’s manmade soldiers. He doesn’t know what the general’s lab technicians have repurposed him for but one thing is certain: Batch 47 is an active experiment. Antek can be ‘cancelled’ any time.

Zorry is a Sinta slave in the general’s New Bavarnica, where it’s a crime to remember the dead and all surviving Sinta must bow and serve the OneFolk. She searches the killing forest every night for the predatory plants which can be ‘turned’.

Jengi is the last surviving member of the war-like Digger tribe, and the leader of Bavarnica’s resistance. But grief has changed Jengi. The Last Digger has led a double life for so long he forgets himself entirely some days. What he’s for. Who to trust.

Between the stolen rains and the encroaching desert, the living fence to catch runaways and rebels and the shopkeeper’s sinister control over the edge farms, it seems that the general and the village shopkeeper have the people by the throat. But then nothing is quite as it appears in Bavarnica.”

My Review:

This is a novel with an entirely new theme. It feels dystopian, but I’m not sure if it is. Regardless, Stone Seeds, just like the title, is incredibly original. The character names, the plot, the titles, all of it was interestingly new to me. So why three stars?

I want to discuss Antek. I liked him and his mechanical but human-like thoughts and actions. The way that he thoughtfully gazes upon his surroundings and is always asking a question in his mind, even if he shouldn’t be. The story starts with him, but doesn’t quite end with him. All that happened in between was focused on different characters, including Zorry, who, in my opinion, was extremely boring. The entire time that I was reading about Zorry or Zettie or Jengi, I found myself wishing I was learning more about Antek.

I think Zorry may be the heroine, actually, I am certain of it, but I am not convinced she is a great one. I don’t understand what qualities may shine in her if she is the leader, but hopefully it will develop in the sequel. Make no mistake, she experienced tragic events, but none of them brought out and heroine qualities in her. Even the ending, which I won’t give away, Zorry tried to come off as fierce, but it felt like the equivalent of a young child telling her parents she is going to run away.  

The plot was excellent, but empty. Excellent because it set the foundation for the next book, gave the reader, in this case myself, a whole book of information on what was going on, and the writing produced vivid imagery. Stone Seeds felt empty at the same time, however, because it lacked real action or turning point of events until the end, and that was barely more than a way to introduce a cliffhanger. Stone Seeds held many situations that I know were supposed to build suspense, but it did not succeed. Events that would normally be anything but dull, were unfortunately still just that.

Would I Recommend Stone Seeds? I would. My answer may be confusing, since I did find the story boring, but let me be clear. Stone Seeds may not have been delivered in the most exciting way possible, but I still recognize that it has an interesting plot and topic. It is more than possible that the sequel, should there be one, will make major improvements.

I received this novella for free via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.

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