Award-winning indie author E.E. Giorgi takes a stab at the YA market with her latest dystopian series The Mayake Chronicles and the first book Akaela sets the stage for a pretty epic adventure.
Far into the future, catastrophic events leave what remains of mankind struggling for survival. The technology once taken for granted now keeps them alive, powered and enhanced by implants and advanced technology it is the only way to survive. However the technology is becoming scarce and Akaela and her people, a group of cyborgs called The Mayake make do with what they can, scavenging and recycling technology wherever they can, often from their enemies the Gaijian, a race with superior power and technology who live behind a huge fortified wall.
When a peace mission led by Akaela’s father fails to return, she and her brother attempt to discover the truth about his disappearance and uncover a conspiracy that will change the lives of the Mayake people forever.
The author does an impressive job of building a believable world with a distinctive cyberpunk/steampunk feel to it. As each Mayake is born with different defects, the technological enhancements given to them take many shapes and forms, largely dependent on the technology available at the time so each have very different attributes. Akaela has wings built into her shoulders that allow her to glide while her brother Athel has advanced eye implants and the others in the group also have their own unique attributes.
As Akaela and Athel begin to unravel the mystery of their father’s disappearance they become much more more interesting and endearing characters and begin to be more than standard YA fare rebellious teenagers, even though they are treated as so by the strict laws of the Mayake people. Both characters share chapters in first person, which is an interesting approach, though at times it can affect the narrative slightly. The plot moves swiftly from the breathtaking opening scene and rarely falters and some surprising twists and turns will keep readers firmly on their teenage toes.
A highly enjoyable start to an entertaining and intelligent series which thankfully does its best to avoid the standard tropes and many pitfalls of writing in what is fast becoming a hugely saturated market.