Welcome to Reviewing the Indie Author, where we look at books by self-published and independent-press authors.
Identity is the sequel and conclusion to the book Illusion that was written last year. Classified as sci-fi, this novel follows not only the first character Daith but her friend Torrak, who is on the hunt to rescue her.
It starts shortly after the end of Illusion as we follow Daith. Her powers are manifesting, however her control over them is gone now. Grief blinds Daith to what is around her, and the manipulative Commander Xiven is getting what he wants from her. She has chosen her side, but is it the right choice?
Meanwhile, Torrak wakes up from his coma, severely burned. He knows that something is wrong and remembers little. We follow along with Torrak as he picks up the pieces of his memory and sets out to find Daith with his friend Kalil. What starts as two becomes four, and then multiplies. Will this rag-tag group of thieves and assassins be enough to stop what is coming?
In the first book, we only got a glimpse of Daith’s previous life, the one she can’t remember; the one that was removed. Illusion followed Daith as she rediscovered herself. Nothing was known outside the confines of the ship. Torrak’s character brings another layer to the universe that they live in and provides you details into what Xiven’s Aleet Army is all about.
Christa nails it once again in this novel; the pacing was spot on. It was hard to put down. The build up to the end will still have you guessing. The layers and deception are slowly uncurled. The strings start to unravel, you start to see, but then they are pulled tight again. Who is right? Who is the enemy? What is Xiven’s endgame?
The characters, no matter how minor they are in the story, are developed beautifully without feeling cumbersome. Little details sprinkled here and there bring them to life. The dialogue flows and is never synthetic or forced. One of the stand-out lines was from Commander Xiven himself: “I’m sorry, Daith. But justice means that everyone must be punished. And soon everyone will be.”
Looking closer at this novel, it also brings to light a question. Should we be paying for the mistakes of our parents? Daith was kidnapped, memory wiped, and manipulated into this situation due to her past. She does not know this, though. She doesn’t know anything about her past. Should we, as children, be forced to right our parents wrongs? Should we be blamed for past mistakes? Are we burdened or driven to follow in their footsteps?
The mistakes that are made by people’s choices, the gritty reality, and the unforgiving way Christa plays with the characters is refreshing, heartbreaking, and unexpected. She breaks out of the box of the sci-fi/fantasy genre to a wonderful and original story that can—and will—be read again and again.
You can purchase Identity as well as the first book in the series, Illusion; the Kindle version is available through Amazon, and the hardcopy is available through Buzz & Roar Publishing. Christa is currently writing a new novel about Ness Opute, whom you are introduced to in this novel. The expected release for that is 2017.
Christa also has a blog you can follow christayelichkoth.com.
You can read my review of Illusion here.