Title: Emergence (Song of Sophangence #1)
Author: E.I. McAllistair
Genre: Urban fantasy/futuristic fantasy
Rating: DNF – did not finish
**Disclaimer: I received a free copy of this book in exchange for an honest review**
“In a world where the strength of a person’s elemental attunement often equates to status and fame, Anaar Vorpahl has done everything he possibly can to hide his strength. Inherently private and secretive, he has now enrolled in the most elite institution of higher learning in the world, Sophangence. A combat focused college for the cultivation of American citizens with amazing potential, Sophangence offers its students an experience with luxuries most have never been able to dream of. These exceptional young adults often become major players in the furtive human arms race between the countries of the world as they navigate relationships under the Affinity System that openly oppresses more than half the population on the planet. Centuries ahead in terms of technology and ideology, Sophangence stands as an almost wholly independent entity on American soil. Anaar is thrown headfirst into the next six years of his life at Sophangence, where he will meet other exceptional youth like himself, and learn what it means to be a student at the most premier academy in the world.”
Who’s driving this thing?
A student of a supernatural school called Sophangence, Anaar Vorpahl, who is believed by the staff to have special powers unlike any previously encountered. From a poor background, Anaar believes that making his way through the school’s programme will mean a new life for him and his mother.
Anaar is quite an obedient character. If a government branch shows up at his door and tells him he has no choice but to complete a mission for them, he does it, minimal questions asked. Unfortunately, I couldn’t really connect with Anaar because of the lack of depth. His thoughts are quite superficial and mostly in relation to what is going on that very moment: no past or future considerations.
What’s this all about?
From what I could gather in the first five or so chapters, people have powers that are categorised early in life and the strength and usefulness of those powers determine whether they will be rich or poor. Sophangence trains the most exceptional of these students. A war between America and Russia is almost inevitable and Sophangence exists to train the most gifted to fight in this war.
Why the DNF?
The cover was so beautiful, I was so looking forward to this book but it fell short in several areas.
The first chapter depicts Anaar being basically kidnapped by the government to undertake a mission he is told little to nothing about, just that he has to do it and it doesn’t matter if he says no. But in chapter two, Anaar is arriving at Sophangence for the first time with no indication that there was a time shift.
The two biggest problems while trying to read this book was the lack of appropriate paragraphing and dialogue being almost solely used for the purpose of exposition. If you’ve read the blurb above, you will have an idea about how all the text is structured. The characters are constantly explaining their world to each other or Anaar is thinking things he already knows to himself, in gigantic blocks of text. It didn’t make for a smooth read.
Despite all the exposition, a lot of terminology is thrown around that is difficult to understand without any context, usually in reference to the powers people possess and how they are measured. While there was so much exposition, I still walked away from each chapter feeling as though not nearly enough had been explained.
Every other character complains about “kids today” and how they don’t appreciate anything. Fair enough if that’s the way a character is but it seems like every character over 50 in this book has some sort of issue with “the youth of today” and without any clear motivation.
Unfortunately, all of these issues, plus the mention of an involuntary anal probe which thankfully never happened, made me put the book down shortly after beginning chapter five.
Where can I get it?
If you’d like to check out Emergence yourself, it’s of course available on Amazon and according to Goodreads, also on Kobo, Book Depository, AbeBooks, Alibris, Indigo and Audible, although I didn’t see any options for Audible on the Amazon page.
Thanks for reading!