The Sundered

The Sundered - Ruthanne Reid I wasn't sure what to expect when I decided to join the tour for this book. Before I read the synopsis, I had visions of a horror strewn blood bath. That was before I looked up the meaning of sundered. (sunder--to separate; part; divide; sever) As I began reading, the name made sense. The Sundered Ones in the story are separate from the humans in physical appearance and in power. And as the author stated in her guest post, Harry doesn't really know what their powers human really does. And not knowing what you're truly dealing with is dangerous.It would be difficult to go into too much detail about the story because that would give far too much away so I'm going to focus on what I did like. I enjoyed the easy, laid back flow of the characters and their dialogue. There was no stiffness that I have found in other SciFi books I've read. Harry is a riot with his internal monologue. I love when he calls the professor at the Academy a douche (in his head). That's not the only funny thing he says or thinks. Harry is just a riot. His interaction with the Sundered One he claims, Aakesh, is priceless.Which brings me to the claiming of the Sundered Ones. It seems the humans can "claim" them. To me, it almost seems like slavery. It was never more evident than when Harry is reciting a rhyme they learned to keep track of the tiers of Sundered Ones. It goes like this:Fifth-tier's strong and lifts big blocks, not too bright but strong as ox.Fourth-tier's fine with clever fingers, painting, sculptures, make good singers.Third-tier's quiet, good for play, safe for children every day.Second-tier's wild, feral, free, eats everyone, but works for me.Claim the rest with little work, but they die soon, so best not shirk.Aakesh's reaction to this is to say to Harry, "You do not see how degrading it is?" It's obvious that the Sundered Ones do have negative feelings about their place in society, if you can call it that. There really isn't much society in this book because the world has become so surrounded by the black water. Land is few and far between and the cites are brown and dirty. The dystopian elements kept reminding me of that Kevin Costner movie that everyone hated, "Waterworld" (I actually liked it). But it is excellent world building. I could really see in my mind's eye what the author was describing. The black water reminded me of that bog area in Lord of the Rings, I can't remember if it was in The Two Towers or The Return of the King. You know the one with all the dead people in it and it tries to drag Frodo down into it. Creepy. I am really impressed that this is Reid's first novel. She really knows how to tell a story. I recommend The Sundered to anyone who enjoys the speculative fiction genre.