Wednesday, September 18, 2013

Review: Relic (Books of Eva #1) by Heather Terrell

Relic (Books of Eva, #1)Release date: October 29th 2013
Publisher: Soho Teen
Purchase: Amazon

Synopsis via Goodreads:

The truth will test you...

For fans of Game of Thrones and The Hunger Games: high fantasy and dystopia meet in this high-stakes tale of a civilization built on lies and the girl who single-handedly brings it down.

When Eva’s twin brother, Eamon, falls to his death just a few months before he is due to participate in The Testing, no one expects Eva to take his place. She’s a Maiden, slated for embroidery classes, curtseys, and soon a prestigious marriage befitting the daughter of an Aerie ruler. But Eva insists on honoring her brother by becoming a Testor. After all, she wouldn’t be the first Maiden to Test, just the first in 150 years.

Eva knows the Testing is no dance class. Gallant Testors train for their entire lives to search icy wastelands for Relics: artifacts of the corrupt civilization that existed before The Healing drowned the world. Out in the Boundary Lands, Eva must rely on every moment of the lightning-quick training she received from Lukas—her servant, a Boundary native, and her closest friend now that Eamon is gone.

But there are threats in The Testing beyond what Lukas could have prepared her for. And no one could have imagined the danger Eva unleashes when she discovers a Relic that shakes the Aerie to its core.

*Received a paperback ARC from the publisher in exchange for an honest review.

I'm not sure how I feel about this book. It wasn't all the way fantastic, but it wasn't unbearably bad either. Just stuck somewhere in the middle for me.

I noticed a comparison to two very popular series and I have to point out that Relic was nothing like them. It wasn't action packed. With only the factor of a controlled community, Relic is a story driven by a young girl's desire to stay committed to the beliefs set by the "rulers", as well as to take part in an event once sought out by her deceased brother.

Eva is a young maiden that has taken upon herself the quest to become a Testor in honor of her brother. This is often a path approached by men so her decision is met with great concern as well as a 'what the hell?' From then on, through the eyes of Eva, I got to understand what this community was all about, in regards to their laws and how women and men should present themselves. You'd be surprised if not amused when you discover what they consider evil and how the leaders have basically manipulated a popular story we're all familiar with and re-construct it in their own details. As a result, building a society of people obviously oppressed without knowing it and obviously restricted from learning beyond what they're forced to believe. With the death of her brother, Eva starts to question a lot of these laws just as much as she tries to follow them. After her time during the testing and the interesting reward she's granting upon returning to her people, a very close and rather smart person enlightens her on what the truth. 

Not sure what it is, but I found myself getting irritated and often times bored with Eva's character. More particularly, I was annoyed at the way she connected herself with her "relic" and the way in which she made judgments based on her findings, which by far provide no information for her to write such a thing. That aside, I look forward to growth in the upcoming sequel and hope for progress with the outsider, Lukas. 

While the author told a good story with intricate details that I got swept up in at start, it became somewhat of a draggy process after Eva sets forth for the Testing. However, it did pick up once more towards the end, but still left me in a blank space with unanswered questions. Obviously there will be a continuation but I felt like more could have been addressed in the first book and not linger so much on Eva's time during the testing. 

Depending on your mood and interest level where adventure, drama, strange beliefs, and dystopia is concerned, Relic just might be the book for you. 

About the Author
Heather TerrellHeather Terrell is a lawyer with more than ten years' experience as a litigator at two of the country's premier law firms and for Fortune 500 companies. She is a magna cum laude graduate of Boston College with a focus in History and Art History, and a cum laude graduate of the Boston University School of Law. She lives in Pittsburgh with her family.
Heather is the author of The Chrysalis and The Map Thief, which will appear in more than ten countries, as well as Brigid of Kildare.


  1. It sounds interesting and the premise, if not totally unique, sounds catchy enough for me to give it a try.

    Thanks for the review, Shane!

  2. The books that leave me feeling ambivalent are always the hardest to review. I'm glad you liked this overall.
    Nice review, Shane!

  3. The cover looks pretty interesting, and I appreciate you taking the time to share your honest thoughts with us. I wonder what types of strange beliefs these people uphold...

  4. Just judging from the summary this sounds like one I'd have mixed feelings about. I'm not quite sure why it gives me that feeling, but it does. Weird, right? I guess you kind of felt that way about it too. I'm sorry you didn't enjoy it more, but it still sounds like an interesting read.

  5. I debated getting this one, but I'm glad now that I didn't. Thanks for your informative and honest review.


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