Generations of twin goddesses have long ruled Aeon. But seventeen years ago, one sister’s betrayal defied an ancient prophecy and split their world in two. The planet ceased to spin, and a Great Abyss now divides two realms: one cloaked in perpetual night, the other scorched by an unrelenting sun. While one sister rules Aranth—a frozen city surrounded by a storm-wracked sea —her twin inhabits the sand-locked Golden City. Each goddess has raised a daughter, and each keeps her own secrets about her sister’s betrayal. But when shadowy forces begin to call their daughters, Odessa and Haidee, back to the site of the Breaking, the two young goddesses —along with a powerful healer from Aranth, and a mouthy desert scavenger —set out on separate journeys across treacherous wastelands, desperate to heal their broken world. No matter the sacrifice it demands.
This book sounded really, really interesting and I was looking forward to reading it. But for some reason, it took me awhile to actually getting around to reading it. It sounds fascinating. One world that is split in two, one cloaked in never ending darkness, one burning in never ending sunlight. Goddesses, sisters, and so much more. I really do not know why I waited so long to read this! Trigger warnings: PTSD, grief
I am so glad I finally read it. It really is incredible. The world, the characters, the magic, and the darkness are all so amazing. I loved it so much.
First off, I’ve read a lot of books recently that felt like they could (and a lot of the time should) have been adult and they were aged down to YA. In this one, it felt like it could have been adult. I see where the story could have been gritter and really lean into it’s darker moments. But it stays firmly in YA. It truly feels YA and I just really appreciated that a lot. It didn’t try to be anything other than it was, I liked seeing a YA book like this, be a YA book.
Alright, where do I even start. I guess I’ll start with the world. As in it was amazing. I don’t think I’ve ever seen a world quite like this one. One half is cold, dark, wet, and filled with monsters. The other half is hot, sandy, dry, and melting under the sun. They offset each other wonderfully. They’re both deadly in their own ways. They are both struggling to survive. And the way climate discussions were weaved in were brilliant. They are both terrifying, in a way that pulls you in and won’t let you go. The monsters, the tsunamis, the sand storms, the unrelenting sun, were all just so, so cool. Plus, there are rock dolphins that live in a sand sea.
The characters were absolutely incredible. Whenever there are more than two POVs, I get a bit nervous because that is a lot of mindsets, emotions, and individual wants to balance. This one had four. And I loved all of them so much. They all have their own unique voice and they’re all so different. And I love all of them so much. Arjun is grumpy, but he truly has a heart of gold. Haidee is adorable and so sweet. Odessa is determined and loves romance novels. Lan is struggling, but she’s fierce. They were all brilliant.
There were a ton of side characters with Lan and Odessa, and I had a hard time keeping track of them. Some of the ones that had bigger roles, I ended up really liking, but I never quite got a grasp at how many people were travelling with them.
The relationships were another thing to behold. They were all packed full of so many tropes that it was just seriously amazing. This book is SO gay. It has a f/f relationship that is so sweet, and I absolutely loved them together. And then there’s the other relationship that kind of just made me explode from how cute it was. They were both so sweet with each other and they’re so different, but they work together so well. And there was talk of consent, which I will always love so much.
The platonic relationships were also amazing! The friendships and Lan even gets a fantasy version of therapy (she struggles with PTSD and mental health in general, which I really liked to see)! Plus, even the relationships that were sour or went sour were done really well. Yes, betrayal and jerk characters that are awful, but written really well.
I also wasn’t really expecting it, but I loved the sister camaraderie that showed up in this book. It was surprising and done in a subtle way, but it had a huge impact. On the plot, and on me. It was quite, but in a loud way. I know that doesn’t make any sense, but it was just done really well.
Yes, this book was just really, really good. It’s filled with monsters and storms and darkness and a world that needs help. It has amazing characters that I love a lot. I can’t wait for the sequel because I feel like SO MUCH is going to happen. There’s going to be a lot of confrontation and secrets being figured out. And hopefully more amazing friendships and relationships and sisters.
Thank you for reading!