Title: Veritas’ Ark
Author: Jo Seysener
Rating: Five stars
“Veritas lives in a lush, utopian world – and hates it. Tucked away in her Greenhouse built by the enigmatic Jase who warns her against anything extreme, she begins to experiment.
Centuries before, the planet rebelled against humanity and destroyed all but a few souls. Now the Earth is revered as a hostile god. Trapped beneath a sky of ice in a land of perfection, Veritas longs to Create, her hands curled in the sacred Earth of her Greenhouse.
Forbidden to Create, Veritas flouts the rules too many times. Imprisoned in the Vault, Veritas’ strongest hope is her best – and only – friend, Jase. The man who built her beautiful Greenhouse – her Ark – twining the vines with his own hands. When Veritas learns of her own magic, she questions the loyalty of the man she trusts most.”
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I know I said I was going to ease up on the fantasy a bit and I wasn’t lying…entirely! But I stumbled across the release of Veritas’ Ark a few days ago and I couldn’t help myself. It’s a novella and such a smooth read that I was finished on the train rides to and from the Christmas market.
Veritas’ Ark is set in a world which may be fantastical but could also be our own, thousands of years into a dystopian future where the Earth dictates who does what. Referred to as She throughout the book, the Earth has trapped what is left of humanity beneath a sky of ice and they struggle to survive.
In order to keep Her happy, Veritas’ group of survivors have set strict laws in place which stop anyone from “creating”. That is, using their magical powers to create things that don’t already exist, in case it angers Her.
But Veritas, an orphan who has only her friend Jase to keep her company, can’t fight the urge to create things. In her greenhouse or Ark that Jase created for her, she creates all sorts of wonders that get her into trouble with the Keepers, their society’s judgement system.
While Veritas is shunned and imprisoned for her talents, she begins to uncover prophecies about her and her powers. With that knowledge, she gains the strength to take control of her own abilities and bring the world into a new era in which they can prosper.
I loved this book. Veritas is so oppressed in the beginning and it hits home for anyone who has had their personality or talents squashed because they weren’t accepted. Veritas appears quite broken by their society in the beginning, even with Jase’s support, and watching her develop into someone almost all-powerful is super satisfying.
Veritas is an amazing character. She is completely crazy at times and in some ways it’s comforting. But also, it makes for some super interesting plot points. I mean, who else could accidentally get flat-out drunk in prison? Her relationship with Jase is tender and blossoms into a wonderful connection.
I give this book a full five stars and The Secret Library Recommended Reads Seal!
Veritas’ Ark just came out a few days ago courtesy of Australian author Jo Seysener and is up for 99c on Amazon right now. Here’s the link if you want to check it out!
Thanks for reading!