REVIEW: Son of Sedonia by Ben Chaney

Rating: 4 out of 5 stars, Genre: Science Fiction/ Dystopian Fiction, Pages: 284, Reading Level: Easy

Book Description from Barnes & Noble:

“In 2080AD Sedonia City has passed its peak, having burned through a thousand years of Helium-3 miracle fuel in less than a hundred. 40 million people swarm together inside the half-mile high Border Wall. As the citizens dwell in their promised Future, every distraction is fed by their Neurals: Social media that can be seen, heard, and touched through the signals of the human brain. But the 20 million people of the Rasalla Slums outside the Border were cut from the Future like an infected limb, falling from recession, into depression, and collapse thirty years before.

Brothers Matteo and Jogun grew up in the scrap, ashes, and dirt of the Rasalla Slums. With their parents long gone and Matteo sick, Jogun had to step up and grab a gun for the T99 gang. Matteo is weak, but he’s smart…too smart for his own good. He’s asking questions about the past, and stuck on a future among the Sedonia highrises where hunger, sickness, and alienation don’t exist. But Jogun believes dreams don’t count for much in the war to survive… and that some answers should stay buried. Matteo, totally dependent on the food, meds, and loving protection Jogun brings, has no choice but to obey. Neither of them see the Change just over the horizon.

Jogun’s capture by the EXOs, the Sedonia paramilitary cops that police the slums, is the spark that lights the fuse. The day is coming when there will be no more fuel to keep the Future running. With Jogun and countless others enslaved to scrape for every last cubic meter, it is Matteo’s turn to step up, trust in himself, and unlock a long-buried secret that reaches past the tallest skyscraper…into the stars.”

Son of Sedonia takes place in a futuristic, dystopian society where the elite live in a city with all the comforts technology provides and everyone else struggles in the slums outside the walled city. However, unrest is close at hand…

Okay, so that is quite the vague summary, but for very good reason. The book starts out with a bang. I mean I was shocked. From the beginning of the book I was hooked. Therefore I can’t even really set up the scene for you because that would even be a huge spoiler. Bottom line, this is a really good story and I am actually surprised it wasn’t picked up by a major publisher. Maybe author’s choice? Anyway, in my opinion, the story was well thought out and I cared about what happened to the characters.

I can’t resist making one random comment though. I don’t know if the author was inspired or influenced by other books or movies, but there is one scene that brought me back to the 1980 movie Flash Gordon. After you read Son of Sedonia, maybe you can comment and tell me what you think.

There are five parts of the book and I admit I did not find part three to be as exciting as the others. Again, I don’t want to go into details and ruin it for you, because I absolutely recommend this book, but I guess I was hoping for a little more detail. When you get to part three, if you feel the same way, don’t worry because part four picks right back up. And the ending… LOVED IT! I did not see it coming and I absolutely love when that happens!

I thought the writing and character development was great. While the reader will immediately recognize an obvious, and not traditional, characteristic in Chaney’s writing, do not doubt for a second that it is indeed intentional. And it works. In addition, there are a few small jumps back and forth in time, and two major jumps forward. Sometimes I find this distracting, but again, in this case it works. I think you’ll be surprised at how well the two big jumps in time work. So when deciding how to rate the book, I made it simple. Five parts, five possible stars. Each part that I really enjoyed received a star- that comes out to 4 out of 5 stars and a pretty strong recommendation.

P.S. The cover is awesome. It’s even better in actual print!

Reviewed by Christina

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