Saturday, 7 April 2012

Book Review: BaSatai: Inside Out - Suzan Battah

Synopsis - Seventeen year old, Armani Radnelaq a full blooded BaSatai is plagued by a curse in her blood.  A curse created from hate and designed to break the divide between two parallel worlds Earth and H-trae when Armani's blood is spilled in attack and she dies.

S'teuqoubs have been travelling back and forth across the divide for centuries without trouble.  The BaSatai and Guardians monitoring activity and enforcing rules to ensure peace and harmony but if the divide splits open, a much greater number of supernatural S'teuqoubs will filter into earth destroying equilibrium which the BaSatai and the Guardians will be unable to control.  Humanity and the BaSatai will suffer and perish.  The parallel divide must remain secure at all costs.

Armani has remained hidden on earth with her adopted father Elijah since her birth.  She has been raised in a human way and fights her natural instinct to evolve into a BaSatai.  The BaSatai in her requires her to evolve and shift, use her powers and strength.  Yet Armani is freaked out by the need to shift.  She smokes, has a bad attitude, must deal with aggressive bullies and control her natural BaSatai instinct.  Her Guardian with BaSatai Warriors are coming for her.  She refuses to accept her fate and doesn't believe any BaSatai should die to protect her.

The blood curse maturing in her veins makes her a target for her enemies.  Her Guardian Karhl and an elite BaSatai Warrior Rafael are the first to arrive and prepare her for her crossing over.  Her attraction to Rafael complicates her purpose to stay on earth even more.  They both insist she fall into line and follow their lead but she is not ready to leave earth just yet...

Review - I won this book as an ARC.  I liked this story very much.  A great YA read.  It tackles those teenage issues of bullying, going against the rules, wanting independence, the need to fit in and fear.  I mention fear, for teenagers who grow at quite a rate, it's scary enough but imagine if you are different.  And Armani is different - from a different world, is taller than her peers and does not look like her adopted family.  Added into this mix is romance, again the confusing feelings, the fear that your chosen one likes someone else.  I like the 'connection', those intense feelings and bonding, two bodies becoming one but without the sex.

We have to wait for Book Two to find out if Armani and Rafael do eventually re-connect.  A good twist at the end.  Great characterisation and storytelling with plenty going on to keep the reader interested.  I shall be looking out for #2.  4*

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