In the first book in a series E.E. Knight follows the life of David Valentine who wants to make a difference in a world that has fallen into chaos.
The year is 2065 and a lot has changed from our time. David Valentine did not know what the world was like before the Kurian order. He only knew what his father and mother told him. But they are no longer able to share what they experienced as they have been killed by the New Order that has made its way to Earth. Valentine has always know since that day he has wanted to make a difference and has done everything in his power to prepare for when the Wolves (a group of freedom fighters) comes looking for recruits to sign up. But there is more to Wolves than just fighting together again the Reapers, they are special and only a few are chosen to fight the battles that only the Wolves can fight and their mission is to win back Earth.
This book ventures into a mixture of science fiction/fantasy/dystopia/horror genres, however, this book did not start off with a good impression for me. I had a hard time really understanding what was going on in the prologue of the novel. If you can make it past the prologue to first few chapters it explain what has occurred though I did find myself getting a bit lost in the explanation. I actually wish that Knight would not have had the prologue and just started the book with the first chapter as I found the prologue confusing.
I struggled through reading this book. I was interested in Valentine's journey however, I felt that the book was very slow. The book does jump through the years in a way that I have not read before; each chapter essentially is a different episode in Valentine's life. There is a short blurb before each chapter that explains the important aspects of what has happened to the world and Valentine in the time shifts. I think this is what mainly hindered the story for this is supposed to be about Valentine journey but it was fragmented with each chapter. I think that Knight might have felt forced to do this as he tries to achieve too many things in this novel and maybe this is caused by mixing too many genres together, that it became too convoluted (at least it was for me).
Knight does a good job of world building (minus the first chapter) the changes in the landscape, people, world were really well done. You can feel the pain, hurt and fear of the people who are trying to make a living in the free land, but they are constantly on guard for the next attack. The Reapers and other creatures in the novel are very creepy and have some interesting powers, I wish there was more interaction with the Reapers to make it more of horror feel, which is what I think Knight was going for. I also liked Valentine as a character but felt like I missed out with his character with the fragmentation of his life as I was not really able to fully see how he developed into the person that he is.
The main flaw for this book for me is that I could not connect to the story as much as I would have liked. I do not read too many just sci-fi/fantasy based novels, therefore, I think that someone who typically reads this type of book may enjoy it as it has the journey aspect of the main character that many fantasy have. I would read another book by Knight as I think he excels in the right places of world building and scary creature, but I do not think that I would read one that is in genre, maybe one where Knight does not try to do too much. This book was just not for me.