Review: The Journey of the Marked

The Journey of the Marked (The Miyran Heir, Book 1)

                             The Journey of the MarkedAuthor: Rebecca P. McCray

Gold Stars 3-5

Rating: 3.5 out of 5 Stars

Suggested Reading

Genre: YA/Sci-Fi/Fantasy

The Marked have always held a place of honour on the planet Zolie until the reining species, the Miyran, lost control of the throne and any remaining grip they had on peace.  Since the Tyrnotts came into power not only has the planet faced several genocides but a hidden threat from the stars above.  The Marked ones are now hunted like wild animals.  The newest batch of 16 years olds face a harrowing journey to find those who came before them – special warriors who support the old regime and a return to peace… if the possibility still exists.

McCray has envisioned a phenomenal world populated by many intriguing species from faraway planets.  Her vision is brought to life with exquisite detail  in such a way where it feels natural and believable.  It is easy to get lost in the wonder of the technology and the majesty of the species she has created.  This solid anchoring of time and place allows McCray to weave a complex tale that will draw readers in and ache to learn more.

However, her use of multiple points of view right at the beginning of the novel can be distracting and difficult to follow.  Just as we begin to get used to and understand one character, we are launched into another’s mind in another location and another situation – it’s a lot to comprehend all at once.  McCray also chooses to linger on back story and, other than the notion of the Marked, much is explained out well in advance of the main thrust of the plot.  I was disappointed that so many of my questions were answered in the same chapter in which they were brought up.

Finally, while a significant amount of action takes place, the tension and suspense wavers for two reasons.  The first is that most of the exciting stuff happens when we read the POV of the Marked and very little with the adults.  The second is that McCray tends to gloss over the emotional impact of what is happening by telling the tale more so than showing it.  This creates an impersonal distance from the characters that lasts throughout the entire novel.  The plot is captivating enough to make us turn the page but there is an element of heart that is missing for a deeper, more well-rounded, experience.

Without a doubt, this is a fantastic adventure worth reading, it just might not go the distance across the age barrier or time spectrum.

Review by M.J. Moores, OCT. Author. Editor. Freelance Writer.

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