I'm not normally a reader of Young Adult fiction, even science fiction. I often find it to be shallow, written with the voice of a ten-year-old and lacking any real story or characters that interest me. However, when Pippa Jay released Gethyon, I knew I had to at least give it a try. I have read other works by Pippa Jay, including Keir. Gethyon is in the same universe and follows within the same storyline of Keir, though Keir was written for an adult audience. I must admit that I could be considered a fan of Pippa Jay's stories and writing style, so I was curious to see how that might translate into a Young Adult book.
I know there is a bit of a grey area these days between children's books, young adult books and the latest new adult genre craze. I am not quite sure myself where the lines are technically drawn, what is considered age appropriate and what rules are applied to a young adult book. Without getting into semantics, I will propose that Gethyon is appropriate for ages 13 and up, much like a pg-13 movie. It includes violence, a self-defense murder and an attempted sexual assault (which is brushed over and not at all detailed). It also includes a vocabulary that might have younger readers reaching for the dictionary more than a few times. The style may also give younger readers a hard time.
The book is beautifully written. It does not lack the descriptive style and flow that I have come to appreciate in Pippa Jay's writing, which is a loss I feared given that this is intended as a young adult book. While I am uncertain as to how much of a road block this may pose to the intended audience, for me it was awesome. I loved every single page, paragraph and sentence of this book. The pace is fast, full of action and there were never any points of lag, which is sure to keep younger reader's attention. Even the slower scenes were ripe with a palpable tension and emotion that underlined every word and followed each character.
There are many great characters in this book, although the bad guys seemed a bit lax in the redeeming qualities department. This is often a crux of young adult books - a lack of complexity, reasoning or grey area for the villains. This is probably the only real gripe I have about the book. The bad guys are just bad, plain and simple. Dephon was an evil jerk, Neoris was a bastardous jerk and Jinx is well... Jinx.
Enough about the badies, though. Let's talk about Gethyon Rees. Gethyon is a complicated character, often walking the fine line between darkness and light. He is a kid struggling with abandonment issues and a dark power welling up within him that he has no idea how to control. On the other hand, he is sweet, caring and attempts to do the right thing, even when it means doing something wrong to protect those he cares about. Often a victim of circumstance, he finds himself in trouble with the authorities and outsiders hunting him for a bounty, while internally he is struggling to keep the growing power within him under control.
Will he let the power control him and draw him into the tempting realm of vengeance and domination, or will he control the power and use it to protect those he cherishes and reach his dreams of traveling the stars?
I'm not telling - so go read the book.