Feb 5 2016
The Substitutes by Myisha Haynes, reviewed by Asiaelle.
Destiny is overrated.
There are two things you notice immediately; the art is undeniably beautiful and the characters are diverse – not just your main characters but you regularly see diversity.
We get enough information in the prologue and the first chapter to start asking pointed questions – we’ve been introduced to the cast of characters and the story has been set in motion.
What happens when three roommates accidentally acquire powerful magic weapons destined for someone else? What happens when the aforementioned “someone else’s” fall from grace and public favor in the aftermath? What happens when you’ve suddenly found yourself as the hero to someone else’s story…
Freddie, Emilio and Bianca are “new” to the world of adventuring – we get to see The Knight, The Mage and The Engineer in action in the prologue.
Ensenia Solari, Bliani Province is the lush tropical paradise that is clearly “alien” to Dave who gets transported there through what looks like a portal (could just be magical happenstance), we flash to a year later and we see The Engineer, The Mage and The Knight on an important mission to the Dhatari Temple.
They encounter a Corrupted feeding off the power of the Creators. I have a feeling this is going to be huge for the story later on, so we’ll put a pin in that. Of course they were able to dispel the Corrupted and enter the temple – which is where they encounter who we now know to be Freddie, Emilio and Bianca.
The first chapter takes you to Trinity Park, Earth where you see a welcome home party in progress for Dave with Freddie and Emilio in the cut. The plot thickens! I’m hooked, I need a fix and I’ve got to wait how long? *weeps*
Myisha effortlessly creates a world that blends a tribal feel with technology and magical weapons and entities – I’m really amazed especially by how well the tech seems to fit. It’s realistic enough to scream advanced but not advanced enough to make magic obsolete – there is a really creative balance here and I look forward to seeing how that continues to work in the future.
The Substitutes is recommended for readers 14+ but don’t dismiss this as a YA offering and miss your blessing. This story is well written in a carefully and beautifully crafted world with diverse characters. Check out the entire cast.
The Substitutes updates every other Tuesday. You can start reading it here!