Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Book Review: BaSatai: Outside In, by Suzan Battah

Seventeen year old, Armani Radnelaq a full blooded BaSatai is plagued by a curse in her blood. A curse created from hate and designed to break the divide between two parallel worlds of Earth and H-trae when Armani's blood is spilled in attack and she dies.

Armani has remained hidden on earth with her adopted father Elijah since her birth. She has been raised in the human way and fights her natural instinct to evolve into a BaSatai. The BaSatai in her requires her to evolve and shift, use her powers and strength. Yet Armani is freaked out by the need to shift. She smokes, has a bad attitude, must deal with aggressive bullies and control her natural BaSatai instinct. Her Guardian with BaSatai Warriors are coming for her. She refuses to accept her fate and doesn't believe any BaSatai should die to protect her.

The blood curse maturing in her veins makes her a target for her enemies. Her Guardian Karhl and an elite BasSatai Warrior Rafael are the first to arrive and prepare her for her crossing over. Her attraction to Rafael complicates her purpose to stay on earth even more. They both insist she fall into line and follow their lead but she is not ready to leave earth just yet...

There are many, many things going through my head about this one. The story itself is good. It's interesting, it's full of emotions, and I didn't leave regretting that I read the book. Those are all major pluses.

But there are a few things that bothered me about this book as a whole.

1. Prologues are tricky things.
     In fact, it seems that most of what bothered me about this book lies in the prologue. On the whole, it seems to me that this was the kind of book that didn't actually need a prologue, but it received one anyway. Instead of not affecting the book, it hurt the novel as a whole just a little bit.

2. Know where to start.
     Assuming we keep the prologue, I still think the story should have started on the second paragraph. The first few sentences, while descriptive, were not necessary. Compare first sentences: "Thump...thump-thump-thump." or, ""Why me?” Elijah rocked the peaceful baby resting in his arms; she was wrapped in the softest, purest cloth, finely woven." I vote for sentence number two.

3. Originality and consistency
     Props to Suzan for coming up with "Ba'Satai" as a species name. I love it. It's original, and easy to read so I didn't find myself stumbling over it while I tried to get through the book. That's a bonus. What really irked me, though, was the naming for nearly everything else. "H-trae," "S'teuqoub," and even "Gnusmas Rebmevon" struck me as lazy backwards words that for the most part had nothing to do with what they represented.

4. Lazy with a purpose
     As I kept reading, the logic that H-trae, being parallel to Earth, might have a completely backwards lexicon made sense to me. But this point should be made earlier in the book--or else do away with the prologue.

5. Twilight-syndrome
      Another instance of "Girl sees boy and is instantly turned on" appeared in this book. Granted, the girl and boy in question are not actually human and instant love is natural for their species--but it's always just a little disconcerting.

6. Superpowers done right.
      As Armani matures, she is told she has super-human abilities. What doesn't happen (and I am so grateful for this) is Armani getting the hang of it right away and becoming everybody's savior. What I love about this book is that Armani has to work at using her abilities. She lands face first in the dirt more than once. That seems more realistic to me--like having to make mistakes and crashing your first car before being a perfect driver.

7. Plot Twists done right
      I did not see anything in the last half of the book coming. It was a complete surprise and I ended up not even trying to predict what would happen. Definite bonus.

All in all: My rating, with the prologue, stands at a 3/5 rating.

If you skip the prologue, it's an easy 4/5 stars.

1 comment:

  1. I want to say, thank you so much for your honesty and the review of BaSatai: Outside In.