May 04, 2018

The Continent (The Continent #1) by Keira Drake #TheContinent #NetGalley

About the Book:

For her sixteenth birthday, Vaela Sun receives the most coveted gift in all the Spire—a trip to the Continent. It seems an unlikely destination for a holiday: a cold, desolate land where two nations remain perpetually locked in combat. Most citizens lucky enough to tour the Continent do so to observe the spectacle and violence of battle, a thing long vanished in the peaceful realm of the Spire. For Vaela, the war holds little interest. As a smart and talented apprentice cartographer and a descendent of the Continent herself, she sees the journey as a dream come true: a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to improve upon the maps she’s drawn of this vast, frozen land.

But Vaela’s dream all too quickly turns to nightmare as the journey brings her face-to-face with the brutal reality of a war she’s only read about. Observing from the safety of a heli-plane, Vaela is forever changed by the sight of the bloody battle being waged far beneath her. And when a tragic accident leaves her stranded on the Continent, Vaela finds herself much closer to danger than she’d ever imagined—and with an entirely new perspective as to what war truly means. Starving, alone, and lost in the middle of a war zone, Vaela must try to find a way home—but first, she must survive.

Reviewed By: Jessica P. 
Publisher: Harlequin Teen 
Recommended Age: Young Adult 
Genre: Fantasy 
How I Acquired this book: Purchased, Publisher 
Overall rating: ★★★★★
Goodreads | Amazon
About the Author:
Keira Drake is a full-time author and enjoys writing poetry and music in addition to novels. She is an avid gamer with a soft spot for titles that feature epic and astounding storytelling. When not writing or gaming, Keira is likely reading, napping, golfing, drawing or spending time with her sweet, sassy daughter. She lives in Utah and loves it, but is a native Californian and will remind you of that fact at every opportunity.

Noteworthy experiences while reading this book: Man, this book I went out and grabbed a copy it took me a few days to find one but I did get one! And it was so worth it. I went into this book knowing that the author had the chance to go back and change things.  And I have to say she did a wonderful job. This book was so full of cultural appreciation that you could see the love she poured into the pages.  I do not remember much of the ARC I read for the first time this was supposed to release so this will be a full review of this edition only.  I will say one thing though after reading my review below. I did notice that she changed the name of the opposing force. 

Check out author's other books? YES 
Recommend this book? YES YES YES YES YES

Notes and Opinions: Ok, so this one starts out with our MC, Vaela celebrating her birthday and getting a ticket to the Continent. I loved the descriptions that the author gave us in this one it made the world come alive and sucked you into the story.  After we get to the Continent we get even more wonderful depictions of that world. I felt like I was there in the middle of it seeing everything that our MC does and I can tell you it was wonderful.  The Xoe were terrifying and the Aven'ei were wonderful in their own right.  I did find Vaela ignorant to start with she has lived a sheltered life in the Spire and does not really know the world.  She is blind to the real world around her.  However, this works out well for this book.  We are like Vaela in the respect that we do not know the world that she is thrown into. We do not know the Xoe or the Aven'ei. And through her eyes, we learn all we can about this new world of the Continent. I also want to note that although Vaela has lead a sheltered life for the past 16 years she doesn't shy away from hard work when presented to her.  She does what she has to survive no matter what it is.  She was a very strong female character in her own right and one that I fell in love with during my time of reading this book. During the time of this book, she learns to fight and do things that she even states about what her parents would think about it.  I really loved her character and the fact that she went with the flow with what she was presented. She reminds me of my daughter in this way. (My oldest was diagnosed with diabetes back in Jan. and has taken it much better than I would ever have.) 

Venturing into this book was a slow simmer to a full out adventure. I loved all the characters and the steps it took each one to get where they needed to be.  I loved how the climax took us to new heights and how each character both big and small were not immune to death. So many authors protect their main characters and side characters that is almost like they are immortal and Drake didn't do that.  In such, it made this world and situation more real.  

This is one of the best fantasy's that I have read this year and I can not wait for The Divide next year.  The only issue I had with this is below because of spoilers. So highlight it to see it. 

*spoiler*When Vaela goes back to the Spire and is told no that they will not help the Aven'ei. Vaela spends 2 weeks at home. She has this massive fortune to call her own. I just don't understand why she wouldn't have spent some of that money getting things for the Aven'ei. Like fabric, containers for food, or something else they might need. Off the top of my head, I would think medicine or books that could be useful and the like. I can't help but think of season three of Outlander when Claire goes back to find Jamie. She takes medicine with her. I just think that with all of the advancements in the Spire and Vaela having a good head on her shoulders she would have taken more care to not go back empty handed.*spoiler*

Go Into This One Knowing:  Adventure, Romance, All the Feels, War 

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I like your review. Very detailed and so simple. This is one book I've been tempted to read.

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