by MeiLin Miranda
Verdict: Outstanding - I loved almost everything about it.
A floating island's dark past is uncovered in this first contact adventure.
Professor Adewole has a knack for languages, living and dead. An expedition to visit the flying island of Inselmond is planned, and he is invited in the hopes that he will be able to communicate with its inhabitants. No one has ever been to this island before; only now has technology been able to make the journey, so no one is sure what to expect. And science has been unable to explain the island's origins, or how it is able to stay in the sky as it has for centuries.
In the end, Adewole seeks to uncover the island's secrets from its residents, especially their strange oath: "Magic and Metal No More."
I signed up for this story because of the exciting cover. I will admit I did not have high expectations--the author's website indicates the author tends to write romance novels. But I was greatly surprised as to how it turned out!
Adewole is a great protagonist because he is a normal man. He's a bit unsure of his place in society--he's a Jerian who lives in Eisenstadt because he was granted a position at the college, but he's never felt quite at home there. The Dean has taken an instant dislike to him, and his only friend is his roommate, Professor Deviatka, with whom he shares a great love for music.
It's quite a surprise to him, then, when he's specifially recruited into the expedition to Inselmond, but his love of languages becomes an important asset when the expedition meets the natives on the island. From there, his own natural curiosity drives the story.
I don't actually want to say much about the story because I don't want to spoil it. But I will say this: don't let the talking birds turn you away--there is a reason for them. I really enjoyed the story and recommend it to any who like the idea of "magic and metal" and macabre science.
A copy of this book was provided in exchange for a review.