This book was something different to my previous Kay reads, all of which I thoroughly enjoyed and this one confirmed my love of Kay's writing. She is one of those authors who bring out ALL the feels in me. She makes me soar with her characters and makes me shed a tear, she makes me FEEL. Character development is one of her Forte's, as is her impressive world building, and her storytelling...oh all right, all right, she's the full package! Gushing, am I? It's hard not to.
How dreadful to have a power to detect lies, emotions, manipulation, greed, selfishness, it sure makes for very trying conversations.That is exactly what Imara's power does, it's no wonder she detests being around other people. Various colours show up when someone says something and Imara can immediately tell which emotion or cadence they are displaying. Although, these skills are sought after by goverments and Imara lands her dream job, only for everything to go belly up. An extremist group called Taggers, kidnap her sister, amongst others and she can't rely on the authorities to try rescue the hostages, she takes the initiative and plunges right into it. Into some catacombs that is...where there are huge dangers, booby traps and illusions line the path.
Abe is a great strong character, I enjoyed seeing him rise to the occassion, no question asked and what he and Imara have going on is so cute. There's no other word I can use, just sweet and cute. I could feel his warm demeanor as much as Imara. The more I read of him, the more I like him, really like him! He's a tad reckless but desire to help Imara is paramount to him. Speaking of which, Imara trusts no one, how can she, she sees exactly what they are saying. But that ability has skewed her truth, distorted it so much that it's painful. Traversing through these perilous catacombs, evading hazards has unexpected surprises. No, not of the physical kind but of the emotional and perceptive kind. Enlightening really, for all concerned, but also dire consequences.
The progression of the story unfurls a deeper plot and mystery in startling revelations with such ease, they creep up on me and I find myself saying "oh!" and "goodness!" a few times. The authors delivery is sublime, constricting a world so imaginatively, adding action and tension to fully immerse one. Perceptions are the mother of all mess ups and the author highlights this so vividly, what one thinks is not always what is. The underlying issues of betrayal and mistrust are dealt with expertly, I was rooting for the "perceived" baddies to see the light. A really great and unusual read and naturally, I need to read what happens next with Imara after....well, after what happened to her! So onto book2 I go!
In this book set in Egypt, about 100 years in the future, people have recognized that things that may be a little extra good at compared to others, are actually a superpower. Not as exciting as flying or shooting lasers out of your eyes, but things like tasting the weather or temperature around you, "seeing" emotions in others, being able to touch things and know the age and composition. Nearly everyone has some sort of skill and there are academies to help you learn how to hone and polish your skills that usually manifest at puberty. In this world, Imara is a truth seer, one who can see emotions and know if people are lying or telling the truth. A valuable but also isolating skill. In this book she helps in a days-long, scary rescue with some twists that rock her world. I'm interested to see how the characters develop in the future books.