Author: Megg Jensen
First published February 4, 2011
206 pages, Paperback
ISBN: 1230000002505 (ISBN10: 1460905091)
Disregard fate. Determine your own future.
Meet Reychel, a young slave girl who is constantly subjected to deceit, sorcery, and coercion. One night, her closest confidante vanishes, leaving Reychel to confront her birthday – the day her owner sears his emblem onto her shaven scalp – without any assistance.
Trapped within four walls, and with no prospect of deliverance, can Reychel find the strength to trust herself?
About the Author
Megg Jensen is an accomplished epic fantasy author, having achieved USA Today’s bestseller list twice. Her books have been downloaded millions of times and have earned her a dedicated fanbase from all corners of the globe.
Megg currently resides in Chicago with her husband, children, and two lively miniature schnauzers.
In her debut novel, Anathema, Megg Jensen takes readers on a thrilling journey through a dystopian world where magic is forbidden and those who possess it are persecuted. Published in February 2011, the book belongs to the young adult sci-fi/fantasy genre, yet it will satisfy readers of all ages with its complex characters, vivid setting, and gripping plot.
Jensen’s writing style is engaging and evocative, transporting readers to a world that is simultaneously dark and intriguing. The story of Anathema takes place in a land called Othala, where magic has been outlawed for generations.
The main character, Eva-Jean, is a young woman who possesses magical abilities that she has been forced to conceal. Eva-Jean lives in constant fear of being discovered and executed, especially when she meets a group of rebels who are determined to overthrow the ruling government and restore magic to its rightful place in the world.
The stakes are high, and Eva-Jean must decide where her loyalties lie, all while navigating a world that is full of danger and betrayal. Jensen’s world-building is one of the strengths of the novel.
Her descriptions of Othala are vivid and detailed, drawing readers into a richly imagined world that is both fascinating and terrifying. She pays particular attention to the social and political structures that govern Othala, which adds depth and complexity to the plot.
The conflict between those who seek to preserve the status quo and those who want to challenge it is expertly explored, making Anathema a thought-provoking read that will resonate with readers who are interested in societal issues. The characters are another aspect of the book that is expertly crafted.
Eva-Jean is a compelling protagonist; she is strong-willed, resourceful, and compassionate. Her character development is subtle and believable, as she grapples with the consequences of her decisions and grows in maturity and skill.
The supporting cast is also well-drawn, with each character having a unique personality and backstory. Jensen balances action with introspection, allowing readers to connect with the characters on an emotional level.
The plot of Anathema is fast-paced and unpredictable. Jensen keeps readers on the edge of their seats with a series of twists and turns that are both unexpected and satisfying.
While the story does employ some familiar tropes of the genre, such as rebellion and forbidden love, Jensen puts her own spin on them, making them feel fresh and exciting. The pacing of the novel is superb, with tension building steadily throughout the book until the dramatic climax.
There are a few minor flaws in Anathema that detract from its overall impact. Some of the dialogue is a bit clunky, and there are instances where the exposition feels heavy-handed.
Additionally, while the ending of the book is satisfying, it does feel a bit rushed, leaving some loose threads that could have been tied up more neatly. Overall, Anathema is a stunning debut novel that is sure to appeal to fans of young adult sci-fi/fantasy.
It is well-written, engaging, and thought-provoking, with a fully-realized world and memorable characters. Jensen’s storytelling skills are impressive, and it will be exciting to see what she does next.
I highly recommend Anathema to anyone who loves a good dystopian adventure with heart and soul. Rating: 4 out of 5 stars.