The Pearl Savage (2011) 2nd Ed. (2014)

By: Tamara Rose Blodgett

Long ago, there was a Big Bad that forced people to live in bio-spheres, sealed off from the outside world. Their air is recycled, everyone’s pale from lack of direct sunlight, and, of course, they’re all terrified of the outside world. That is, until the Savages break into the sphere and steal the Princess away from her abusive mother.

As a whole, this novel was entertaining. Although, I started reading it because it was labeled as a dark paranormal romance. There is nothing paranormal about this series. It’s more dystopic/steampunk/Pocahontas than anything else. That being said, the points of view give interesting insights into the characters, but it does fall back on the dreaded love triangle and damsel in distress tropes. Plus, the best friend is in love with the protagonist and she has no idea.

But this is a really interesting world. I’d give this a fifty-fifty chance. Check it out if you’re on the fence about what to read.

Polaris (2015)

By: Mindee Arnett

Following the events of Avalon, Jeth and his crew of teenaged mercenaries are on the run. There’s been some familial revelations along the way, which are making it difficult aboard the ship. When caught between a rock and a hard place, Jeth turns to the last person he’d thought he’d work with: an ITA soldier. However, he soon learns that everything in space comes with a price.

Guys, when I tell you I devoured these novels, I seriously devoured them. I don’t know if I could speak higher of Avalon and Polaris. The twists and turns are truly unique. The characters are brilliant. The world feels alive! Read these books. For real.

The Savage Principle (2014)

By: Tamara Rose Blodgett

This novella follows the story of the protagonist’s father in the years leading up to his reign as king of the sphere. It deals with the inner workings of sphere-dwellers versus Savages, and the secret of the outside world being safe for humanity.

I didn’t know this was a novella when I started reading it, so I kept expecting the story to shift back to the main storyline. However, I wasn’t disappointed. I liked the strong female characters in this novella, and I liked the backstory. That being said, it wasn’t enough to convince me to keep reading the books (there are seven total). So, this is where I hopped off the train.

Avalon (2014)

By: Mindee Arnett

This YA sci-fi follows Jeth Seagrave in his endless pursuit of buying his parents’ ship back from the mob boss he reluctantly works for. When he and his merry band of teenaged mercenaries stumble upon some heavy tech everyone in the galaxy desperately wants, Jeth runs the risk of losing everything he cherishes, including himself.

This novel was a breath. of. fresh. air. As opposed to the standard, it’s up to a bunch of sixteen-year-olds to save the world, Avalon focuses on this small part of the galaxy, on Jeth’s world. Should he fail, there would be catastrophic results, sure, but the world would keep spinning. I devoured these novels. Everything about this world was well-crafted, and the characters were engaging and believable. They’re clearly teenagers, but they’ve also seen some stuff. It was a great balance. Definitely read this book.