THE NEVER TILTING WORLD by Rin Chupeco is a great fantasy that focuses on climate change and how people can come together to save the world. I was gifted this ARC from Epic Reads as I freelance write for them.
Spoilers will start after the short summary during the extended review:
Generations of twin goddesses have long ruled Aeon. But seventeen years ago, one sister’s betrayal defied an ancient prophecy and split their world in two. The planet ceased to spin, and a Great Abyss now divides two realms: one cloaked in perpetual night, the other scorched by an unrelenting sun.
While one sister rules Aranth—a frozen city surrounded by a storm-wracked sea —her twin inhabits the sand-locked Golden City. Each goddess has raised a daughter, and each keeps her own secrets about her sister’s betrayal.
But when shadowy forces begin to call their daughters, Odessa and Haidee, back to the site of the Breaking, the two young goddesses —along with a powerful healer from Aranth, and a mouthy desert scavenger —set out on separate journeys across treacherous wastelands, desperate to heal their broken world. No matter the sacrifice it demands.
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Why I was interested: When I was offered some ARCs for writing for Epic Reads, this was one of my top picks. I love fantasy that takes place in space or on another planet. When I received it and read that it discusses the balance between nature and humans and for appreciation for the planet, I was intrigued as it is a topic constantly read about in the media.
Judge a book by it’s cover: I really do love this cover. It really makes the world of Aeon shine and intriguing, showcasing both the Golden City and Aranth.
What to expect: Each chapter is written from the POV of one of four characters. At first it seems like a lot but it shows it moves the story along well. The cast is diverse and a lot happens but the conclusion is pretty satisfying. This book does discuss a people’s relationship with nature and how to fix a world broken by previous generations.
Why you should pick this book up: If you are a fan of Chupeco’s previous work, you’ll enjoy this one as well. The magic system is fun and varied even if you have to learn as you read but by the end it makes total sense.
ATTENTION: IF YOU HAVE YET TO READ THE NEVER TILTING WORLD do not continue reading. The following contains spoilers for the book.
Global climate change is a current topic if ever and it being addresses in YA fantasy should not come as a surprise. Young people in our world like Greta Thunberg, Isra Hirsi, and Autumn Peltier to name a few are leading our discussions on the topic. It’s important to a variety of people, especially those who have yet to really live in this world such as the younger millennials, myself included, Gen Z, and more. Creating an impact is what is necessary in order for us to reach our middle-aged selves. Books can help start that discussion as well.
Chupeco’s WORLD is a thoughtful discussion on the subject. In this fantasy world, our twin goddesses, Haidee and Odessa, are determined to fix the world their mothers broke near 20 years ago. Their magic ritual was not completed as it was supposed to and thus the world stopped spinning, crops failed to grow, climates drastically changes, and people and animals died.
As these two girls set out on their ways to face the center of their world, one girl begins to go through the ritual, but loses herself along the way: she becomes emotionless and mean. We can understand why their mothers failed to go through with it as they must sacrifice a loved one.
The two sisters learn how to triumph on their own by bridging the gap together on their own terms and the world continues to spin. But the overarching goddess, their ancestor, is furious that the ritual is not completed and we will learn more in book 2 what is expected of them.
The rituals Odessa goes through is to sacrifice personal emotions for the good of the land — for the most part. It is only when we see that her magic can produce fertile land that will only be prosperous once that we wonder if the world does not want to live in harmony with humans but rather protect itself. And how can we blame it? Even in our own world people take constantly from the land without contemplating how we can nourish and nurture it. Book 2 will truly have to tackle these concepts more and I am fascinated to see how Chupeco will continue with her fabulous worldbuilding.
What did you think of Rin Cupeco’s THE NEVER TILTING WORLD? I’d love to hear your comments below!
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