Title: The Never Tilting World
Author: Rin Chupeco
Publisher: Harper Collins
Publication date: 15 October 2019
Genres: Young Adult, Fantasy
*Thank you Harper Collins and Caffeine Book Tours for an e-arc to review and for the opportunity to be on this blog tour. The review is filled with my honest thoughts and have not been influenced by anyone. *
Frozen meets Mad Max in this epic teen fantasy duology bursting with star-crossed romance, immortal heroines, and elemental magic, perfect for fans of Furyborn.
Generations of twin goddesses have long ruled Aeon. But seventeen years ago, one sister’s betrayal defied an ancient prophecy and split their world in two. The planet ceased to spin, and a Great Abyss now divides two realms: one cloaked in perpetual night, the other scorched by an unrelenting sun.
While one sister rules Aranth—a frozen city surrounded by a storm-wracked sea —her twin inhabits the sand-locked Golden City. Each goddess has raised a daughter, and each keeps her own secrets about her sister’s betrayal.
But when shadowy forces begin to call their daughters, Odessa and Haidee, back to the site of the Breaking, the two young goddesses —along with a powerful healer from Aranth, and a mouthy desert scavenger —set out on separate journeys across treacherous wastelands, desperate to heal their broken world. No matter the sacrifice it demands.
The Never Tilting World is a fantasy that is gripping, intense and magical with a focus in family, relationships and how power can be a corruptive force. The family focus is very crucial in understanding the split worlds the characters reside in as well as their journeys. Similar to Rin Chupeco’s other brilliant novels, The Never Tilting World did not disappoint.
Let’s first talk about the world-building. It was complex and left so much to the imagination. Now, you’d think this would be bad, but it worked so well for this story. Minus a few confusing points of course. It worked for me as a reader because this story was very character driven, which I enjoy so much more in novels that I read. The setting is a split setting. Due to the event called the Breaking, the world has stopped spinning. This meant that half of the world was in total darkness with very cold nights, while the other side is full of night and is a vast desert filled with sandstorms. It is the extreme of two very different climates. The story focuses heavily on environmental change and Rin does a great job connecting it to the real world events. It felt almost like a call to action because an extreme like this, although maybe not totally possible, is still something that could happen. The one intriguing part of the world that I wish we knew more of were the ‘gates’. The ‘gates’ are something only seen through people’s eyes and few have the ability to view those gates. The gates also play a very crucial role in the magic system.
Speaking of the magic system, Rin created something so unique and enticing that I wished the magic system existed in the real world. Imagine you are a person who can see gates through a person’s eyes. Those gates contain energy, which if you are one of few can absorb that energy and use it. Sounds cool, right? Well, it was something I’ve never read in a YA fantasy and I was here for all of it! The people that posses this power are called Cateyes.
The story is told in 4 perspective, with each perspective reflecting a main character in the story [Odessa, Haidee, Arjun, and Lan]. Being a fan of multiple POV’s I was excited to dive into this story. The interesting part about this was that Rin created the perspectives all in the first voice. You are getting pieces of the world as each character lives it rather than focusing on one character’s story and using the other perspectives as background knowledge. The story felt cohesive with 4 POVs and added more excitement to a story because you didn’t know at times what to expect next. Each character added to their unique perspective while developing their individuality in the story. The story is also detailing their journey. If you are into the adventure storytelling, this is the book for you. I enjoyed following the characters as they were heading towards their destination and heading towards answers they needed.
Odessa and Haidee are twin goddesses, born into a lineage of goddesses whose responsibility is to bring balance in the world, they have a lot on their shoulders. After the Breaking, they were separated. Odessa is now goddess of the night world and Haidee, Goddess of the day world. To not spoil anything, let’s just say, before the breaking, their roles weren’t as defined to the worlds they live in. You’ll know more once you dive into the story. We also meet Lan and Arjun. Lan a Catseye and loyal soldier to Odessa, is dealing with the struggle of her troubled past. She also develops a relationship with Odessa. Arjun is a nomad bent on revenge of towards the goddesses. Along the way, he goes form hating one of the goddesses Haidee to kind of digging her and figuring out a greater purpose in which he can help. Haidee and Odessa are both strong in their own unique way. But the character development that sold me was Odessa. She went from a character I was feeling meh about to one of the strongest characters in the story.
Overall, The Never Tilting World was a page turning, fantastical read. It battles current events in ways that a person unconsciously becomes more concern about something without realizing. That kind of writing is masterful.
The Never Tilting World comes out today [Happy Release Day!], so go out there and grab a copy or borrow from your local library.
About the Author
Rin Chupeco has written obscure manuals for complicated computer programs, talked people out of their money at event shows, and done many other terrible things. She now writes about ghosts and fantastic worlds but is still sometimes mistaken for a revenant. She is the author of The Girl from the Well, its sequel, The Suffering, and the Bone Witch trilogy.
Despite an unsettling resemblance to Japanese revenants, Rin always maintains her sense of hummus. Born and raised in Manila, Philippines, she keeps four pets: a dog, two birds, and a husband. Dances like the neighbors are watching.
Prize: Signed ARC of The Never Tilting World by Rin Chupeco
Open to Philippine residents only