Monday, January 05, 2015

Novel's Heart and Humor An Uncommon Surprise

(Image from Barnes & Noble)

The pure blue light emanating from Bruno Nazaire's hand ensures that he will always lead a life of privilege and prosperity.  Once he passes his high school exams, the 16-year-old will be well on his way to becoming a prestigious fire surgeon like his father.  With good looks, fierce rugby skills, and loads of natural charm, Bruno has it made.  Until a young boy tricks him into giving it all away.  

As Bruno's blue life force fades into a more common color, he finds himself on the outside of the world he's always known.  Almost overnight, his fate has changed completely.  No longer welcome in the elite part of the city, he stumbles through the grittier sections of Télesphore looking for the child who stole his future.  Bent on revenge, Bruno's not prepared for the truth behind the kid's actions or the reality of the lives he—and others whose palms glow with lesser colors—live.  As much as Bruno longs to return to his charmed life, he's beginning to question the fairness of his society's strict caste system.  Especially when he falls for a beautiful girl whose color is so inferior to his that it's dangerous for them to be seen in each other's company, let alone imagine a future together.  

With the king's soldiers hot on his trail, Bruno must decide who he really is and what he really wants.  For the first time in his life, his fate lies in his own hands.  Will he choose to return to the glory he once knew or risk everything to help the very people he's always thought were beneath his notice?  Fence-sitting is not an option.  Either choice may lead to his death.  How far will Bruno go to save himself and the people he loves?

I agreed to read An Uncommon Blue, a debut novel by R.C. Hancock, because the premise sounded intriguing.  I kept reading it because the story grabbed my attention and refused to let go.  While the fast-paced, action-packed plot will pull in even reluctant readers, it's the humor and heart of the novel that really captured me.  Although I was pleasantly surprised by the quality of the book's writing, I do have to admit to finding Hancock's world-building a bit shoddy.  The rules of his magical land often seemed contradictory and confusing.  Interesting, yes, just not always logical.  I enjoyed the intensity of An Uncommon Blue, but I think a little bit slower start would have gone a long way toward creating a more convincing setting as well as stronger, more impacting relationships between the characters.  All in all, though, I quite enjoyed this one.  The twist at the end didn't surprise me too much, but I'm still anxious to see where it will lead.  An Uncommon Blue is the first installment in a planned series—I, for one, am looking forward to Book Two.    

(Readalikes:  Hm, I can't really think of anything.  Can you?)

Grade:


If this were a movie, it would be rated:


for violence and mild sexual innuendo

To the FTC, with love:  I received a finished copy of An Uncommon Blue from R.C. Hancock via the generous folks at Cedar Fort.  Thank you!


1 comment:

  1. Well, it sounds good. The rushed, unbelievable world wishes me, though. At least the writing is good.

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