So, I didn't really have an idea of what to expect from Relic
by Heather Terrell, but I knew it wasn't going to be A Game of Thrones
and/or The Hunger Games
(nothing ever is). However, I was pleased with what I got. Relic
is an imaginative mixture of post-apocalyptic quasi-dystopia with an epic quest aimed at a young adult audience. Sadly, there is no magic or fantasy. (Dear Game of Thrones
Comparer, Here there not be dragons. Or incest.)
First off, I want to know why EVERYTHING
has to be AGoT
, etc. There are perfectly good books that stand well on their own. Relic
was absolutely NOTHING
like either book it is compared to except it has characters and words. And that's okay! It's a good book. However, Relic
is NOT A Game of Thrones
or The Hunger Games
. It is Relic
, and I demand that the comparisons stop.
Okay then, to the book!
In the New North, the icy last human habitation on the planet, people have reverted to living in a medieval manner - women are demure cattle and left to their sewing or other womanly pastimes suitable for those unlucky enough to be born with vaginas, and men are everything else because they are men and penises are the best. (Yep, this vibe was there.) There is also a social hierarchy because gender discrimination is never enough. (Be honest - who doesn't love a good caste system?) My favorites were the bottom of the caste - the Boundary natives - who quietly abode the people of Aerie for Very Good Reasons. They are good, kind people, and I plan on running away with one of them if the New North thing ever comes about.
Eva is a Maiden (i.e. she doesn't have a penis and must do Woman Things) and daughter of the Chief Archon, as well as the main character of the novel. She has stepped out of the role expected of the women of Aerie (gasp!
) by choosing to go through the Testing. This is not a testing like in recent YA novels or The Hunger Games
- it is a quest young men (and Eva) must undertake in order to become an Archon. Eva does this as a way to stay connected with her twin brother Eamon, as this was always his dream. Because their holy book, the Lex
, does not specifically prohibit the penisless gender from undertaking the challenge, she's the first Maiden to do so in 150 years.
The world-building and story itself was pretty good. The world has flooded because humanity was too obsessed with its evil false god, Apple, and used false remedies like Tylenol and other silliness. The people of the New North were those who were saved to live a more righteous life. The Archon-wannabes were extreme archaeologists for a month trying to find the best relic and tell the best story be chosen for the coveted job. It was interesting to read. I could say more about the New Northerners ideas about our world, but I don't want to spoil it. I just wish there had been some more character development.
I enjoyed Relic
because it was not The Hunger Games
or A Game of Thrones
and a fascinating book on its own merit. If you're interested in reading about a girl who decides to become more than the vagina, take on an epic quest, and question what her society is based on, I highly recommend the book. However, if you're looking for The Hunger Games
or A Game of Thrones
, you should just go read them again. Relic
and pretty damn good.3.5/5 StarsTo satisfy FTC guidelines, I am disclosing that I received an advance copy of the book briefly for reviewing purposes through Around the World ARC Tours in exchange for an honest review. The book was likely provided to the tour by the publisher or author, which has in no way affected the outcome of my review. All opinions expressed are rambling, honest, and completely my own.