Honestly, it took me awhile to get around to reading this book. I’d had it on my TBR forever and it sounded wonderful on paper, like everything I was looking for in a dystopian series. But I just could not bring myself to pick it up. I was afraid that I wouldn’t like it just because I was so burned out on the genre. So I avoided it for awhile, not wanting to go into it with a negative mind set, especially considering I was reviewing it. Turns out it was ridiculous of me to feel this way because I devoured this book in two sittings. I loved it SO MUCH. I ended up starting it around midnight, just intending to read a chapter or two and next thing I knew it was six a.m. Luckily for me it was a Sunday and I could sleep in, then finish it when I woke up.
The story is set in the distant future where society as we know it no longer exists and the world now revolves around genetics. The Genetic Engineering Guild dictates your entire life by your genetics; where you live, who you marry, whether you can have children and how many. The colonies live by a strict set of rules. Anyone who steps outside of those rules and doesn’t live in the colonies are known as vagabonds and rebels.
We first meet Niko after she’s been dumped. Her best friend/mentor/lover Xavi has ditched her for some random chick with a nice pair of legs. Niko’s heartbroken and now traveling alone for the first time since she fled the society she grew up in. Although, she doesn’t get to be alone for long as she soon bumps into new guy fresh out of the colonies and reluctantly ends up teaching him the ways of the Tracks. We weave back and forth through the past and the present learning about Niko’s life before she came became a Vagabond, the tragedy that forced her to flee, how she met and was left by Xavi, and the present where she’s learning so much about herself and the world.
This book is smart and heartbreaking. It’s so much more than just another dystopian novel. It’s more of a coming of age novel. And it’s riddled with twists and turns. Some of the twists are a little predictable but then others just blow you away. I just kind of sat there staring at the end of the book because I was shocked by a revelation at the end. I cannot wait for book two. I am so excited to see where Brewer takes the series. I will be eagerly waiting.