I received this book for free from Blogging For Books, in exchange for a honest review.
The cover on the left is the hardcover; the one on the right is the paperback version, for those who are keeping track. Radically different covers, so make sure you’re picking up the right book, if you choose to read this book.
Revolution is brewing in a world where global power and agendas collide, and danger is around every corner. Two radically different women are heading in different directions and different journeys, but their fates will collide in the most unexpected of ways. Meena has a near miss with a snake in her bed (not a metaphor for a cheating man, by the way– it’s an actual snake) and has the snakebites on her chest to prove it. Her goal is to make it to The Trail, a bridge that houses runaways and nomads. She gets outs under cover of night and heads toward Ethiopa, her homeland. Mariama, a young girl, leaves her home and takes cover with a caravan of gypsies fleeing toward the Sahara. She forms a strong and lasting attachment to a woman who becomes her protector, as they head toward Addis Abba. The lands are far different than she remembers, and therein lies part of the struggle. The two girls head off into different directions, but both are heading toward a conclusion that ties their alternate realities together in a number of destined, shocking ways that neither they nor the reader expects. This book is written with an astounding amount of creativity, and the worlds that Meena and Mariama inhabit are nothing like what they, nor the reader, could ever begin to completely comprehend. I had a hard time getting my head around them, and that’s part of the problem with my not quite connecting with the book.
Both female leads are strong, emotional, and determined, in their separate ways, but I just stopped having interest halfway through the book. When the final ties are revealed, it does indeed take your breath away, but something was off here. Again, likely it was my inability to completely connect with either of the leads. I felt like there was some long-range goal in mind for both, and to some extent, those goals are realized, but something was missing for me. It felt like there was no end in sight here. I just didn’t really care for the book overall. I do have two coworkers who want to read it, so likely will pass onto them. The surroundings of the book and the females are both written with alacrity, and I think Byrne does a splendid job with setting, but I just stopped really digging it halfway through, so I can’t give it more than I have.