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Discovering Puracordis

af Roxy Eloise

Serier: The Guidal (1)

MedlemmerAnmeldelserPopularitetGennemsnitlig vurderingOmtaler
17131,256,420 (4.14)8
In a future where the mention of magic is banned, one paranoid man rules the entire country. Adopting children to become his private bodyguards, they are raised together in a strict institute where sixteen-year-old Aurora struggles to follow the rules. Finding herself disciplined often, she doesn't particularly like her endless life of servitude. Soon, she will have to take part in the institute's annual Unity ceremony where she could end up engaged to a complete stranger! Aurora's fears of being different are realised when she discovers something about herself, something which will make most fear her, and her adoptive father will want her killed for. Friends, bullies, and a touch of something magical, Aurora's first year in the grown-ups' quarter is far from ordinary. **************************************** Pitch Wars Winner Incipere Award Finalist **************************************** "I really enjoyed it and would've read for another 100 pages." (Desiree B.) "There were times I almost teared up right along with Aurora. The emotions were very believable." (Julie T.)… (mere)
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Engelsk (12)  Hollandsk (1)  Alle sprog (13)
Viser 1-5 af 13 (næste | vis alle)
This review was written for LibraryThing Early Reviewers.
{First in The Guidal series; future, young adult, YA, magic, LTER}(2021)

I received this as an Early Reviewer book a while ago and decided to read it now but I jumped in without re-reading the blurb (although in hindsight, like the majority of blurbs, it's rather florid and not completely accurate) so I was a bit lost at the beginning.

The year is 2119 and Aurora lives in the Boulderfell institute inside a glass dome in the city of Vencen. We meet her, and then spend over a year with her, when she has just turned sixteen and is moving from the Mustard section (the children's section) to the Navy section where she will become a Young Enforcer until she leaves after another thirteen years. One of the Youngens' duties is to patrol the city just before sunset and ensure that all citizens are off the streets.
Pax and I wandered the streets in a careless daydream. I was so thankful Pax enjoyed soaking up the atmosphere, too. We would often stroll along together in silence. The city, Vencen, was built of mostly glass and steel, each building an architectural masterpiece. I could spend all day admiring the impressive works of art. Once content with the breathtaking, man-made structures, we would find ourselves in the woods encircling the city outskirts. Being immersed in natural beauty was such a rare feast.The sunlight blinked through the myriad of fluttering leaves, making a spectacle of the brilliant-green ferns below. A few moments later, shadows crept in. The sun was setting, so we re-entered the city, seeking the remainder of light. Walking in the middle of a deserted road, Pax began to speak. "I couldn't imagine what it must have been like for Bricks-'n-Mortar Men. They didn't have intelligent, pico-processing roadways."
Narrated in the first person from Aurora's point of view the story starts with a dream/ memory of the time she was captured as a toddler and brought to the institute where she now lives - but she sees it from someone else's perspective. There is a hint that there is hidden magic in this world - Aurora's first class is a history class about witchcraft and 'maleficium' last being known in 1684. Magic is obviously to be abhorred and has been stamped out.

When she moves to the Navies, we find out that first Years have to do a Unity Assessment and then at the beginning of each year the system checks if any pairs 'match'. If anyone does (and it can be during any year, and with someone from any year group) then they are betrothed and do their duties together (and, if they want, they can also book in for classes together) and when they leave the institute they will get married first (but not before then). They are given bedrooms with interconnecting doors - but they are not allowed to sleep together on penalty of being imprisoned for thirty years, which was odd. Of course, Aurora matches.

I thought the overall story had an interesting concept but Aurora doesn't seem to do much during her day - and she inevitably does something (like being injured or punished) which ends up with her being excused from duties so she ends up doing even less. She seems to earn punishments easily, sometimes randomly, and there were sections where I didn't understand her reactions. Seioh (CEO?) Jensen, who heads the Institute, hands her some harsh and unnecessary-seeming punishments and she always dreads being called to his office - but (puzzlingly) at one point when she's very upset and doesn't know where to go or what to do she finds herself going to his office and zoning out for the day on his couch. And he ignores her and just carries on with his work.

She makes friends and enemies in her new section - including some of Seioh Boulderfell's children - and her friend group is good (oddly, she only seems to have known one of them before) but it would have been nice to see more/ stronger interactions with them and maybe a few more details of her day to day life to give the story some substance. We don't find out much about this world (which may or may not be a future version of our Earth) or even about the city or life outside the institute - in fact we only leave the institute with Aurora a couple of times - so the world view is vague and we don't even know how much power Boulderfell holds outside the institute. But this could be intentional at this point in the series.

I liked the story though I felt that the pacing could do with some polishing and tightening up. There were times that the narrative lagged for me, when Aurora seemed a bit childish and places where things were left unexplained or it jumped between events, leaving gaps, which had me feeling a bit lost and disgruntled. I found the endearments certain people used for Aurora ('my little Roar', 'Little Lady') awkwardly patronising. The story is similar to Fourth Wing (young people training in a martial institute, making friends and enemies, but the people in power are keeping secrets as to why things are done the way they are) but without the dragons and the explicitness; despite its loose cohesion I liked this book better.

And then it ends just when magic makes an appearance and it starts to really get interesting! I wish I had the next book to see where this goes.

(March 2024)
3.5 stars ( )
  humouress | Mar 26, 2024 |
Grabbing from the very first page, this is a read to get lost in until the very end.

Reminding a tad bit of Divergent (in so far that there is a military school, where kids are raised to enforce their government's rules...but the basis for the society and these schools is very different than other dystopian reads), this dystopian read mixes a high-tech world with the hint of magic on the side. I did get lost in the pages right away and ended up reading it in one sitting. Aurora is a bit rough along the edges and snippy but grows and matures as the tale goes on. The characters around her carry as much depth as she does and ensure a nice weave of secrets and doubt along with friendship and romance. There's a lot going on, which builds a great basis for the rest of the series still to come.

There is a bit of a love triangle, which wasn't quite my thing, but it does promise all sorts of unexpected twists for the rest of the series. I, honestly, can say that I don't know where it's headed.

There are action scenes, secrets, heart-filled moments, and romance. Dystopian fans who want a mix of tech and magic will enjoy this one. ( )
  tdrecker | Jun 18, 2023 |
This review was written for LibraryThing Early Reviewers.
Disclaimer: I received this book for free in return for an honest review.

Sixteen-year-old Aurora has spent her whole life training to become an enforcer at the Boulderfell Institute. A place for orphans and children whose parents "can't" take care of them. Aurora is desperate to avoid matching at Unity. A ceremony where students are matched and betrothed to their "perfect" partner. She tries to make herself as un-matchable as possible but that fails when she is matched with Pax. As she falls more and more for Pax, she discovers something about herself that could change everything...

This book sucked me right in. I really enjoyed it and cannot wait to read the next book. It does end on a bit of a cliffhanger so if that isn't your thing this book might not be for you. My only real critique is that I felt like I took a while to understand the world this story takes place in. I wish the author had included a prologue or an introduction describe the world clearer rather than jumping right into the main plot. ( )
  RebeccaLMello | Jan 3, 2023 |
This review was written for LibraryThing Early Reviewers.
I received this book for free in exchange for an honest review. This book tells the story of Aurora, a young girl who is training to become an Enforcer. It deals with a dystopian society that fears the magic-wielding Puracordis. The beginning of this book was kind of confusing for me. There was a lot of information given and it felt like the reader was supposed to know everything about this society already. As the book went on, I grew to really enjoy the characters and their flaws. The feelings and emotions that Aurora goes through really brought the story to life. It was a quick read and the ending made me really want to read book two. ( )
  kennedyb15 | Jul 12, 2022 |
This review was written for LibraryThing Early Reviewers.
“My eyes were open, yet I could not see. I struggled to rationalise with the war raging in my mind. The one person I wanted to hold me right now was the same person who had done this to me.”
All that sixteen year old Aurora Aviary knows about her past is that her parents are dead. That and a strange recurring dream about a young boy called Tayo. The military institute that adopted her, and all the other children with dead or imprisoned parents, however, does not allow her to ask questions and find out more about the first three years of her life.
The story follows Aurora’s transition to the adult quarters of the institute and her journey of becoming a Young Enforcer. Her willingness to become a part of the abusive system that resulted in her current situation makes me wonder about her childhood and how exactly the young children are brainwashed into wanting to inflict all the pain that they have experienced. Aurora, however, does not seem to have been as drawn into this system of oppression and abuse as many of her peers and is constantly being punished for her rebellious nature and smart mouth.
While certain events are rather predictable (such as her Unity matching), the overall plot is refreshingly original and kept me guessing through the twists and turns. You can never be sure who you can trust and who you shouldn’t.
The characters are well-developed and memorable. They are all complex and well thought out, with distinct personalities and failings. You definitely feel like you are in the institute with Aurora and suffer along with her as she tries to find her place in the next stage of her life; one that is very different to her relatively (and yet simultaneously not at all) cared for childhood.
Unfortunately, some aspects of their interactions feel forced. Aurora, for example, had no desire to be matched and scoffs at the idea of betrothal at the start of the book. The romance subplot, however, develops very quickly and these previous views disappear almost immediately. While I understand the greater plot reasons for this, I wish that her walls had fallen down at a more realistic pace as this would have allowed for a stronger connection with the other characters. The institute feels very cult like. These kinds of aspects of dystopian fiction have always fascinated me. The world building is well thought out and I could definitely see this kind of structure existing in the future. In fact, I am sure similar (albeit less technological) regimes have existed in the past, with dictators creating a learned and unquestioning following in order to protect themselves and their power. Quite literally in this case as he is raising a protective army from his nation’s orphans.
I am sure that this book would appeal to all who enjoy YA dystopian fiction. While the storyline and contents were completely different, the overall style and tone reminded me a lot of the Hunger Games Trilogy so give this a read if you enjoyed those books. It definitely does not read like a debut. This book ended on a massive cliff-hanger and I, for one, am incredibly excited for book two!
Disclaimer: I received a free copy of this book through LibraryThing in exchange for an honest review. The opinions expressed are, however, entirely my own and were not influenced by receiving a free copy. ( )
  TheAceOfPages | Apr 24, 2022 |
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In a future where the mention of magic is banned, one paranoid man rules the entire country. Adopting children to become his private bodyguards, they are raised together in a strict institute where sixteen-year-old Aurora struggles to follow the rules. Finding herself disciplined often, she doesn't particularly like her endless life of servitude. Soon, she will have to take part in the institute's annual Unity ceremony where she could end up engaged to a complete stranger! Aurora's fears of being different are realised when she discovers something about herself, something which will make most fear her, and her adoptive father will want her killed for. Friends, bullies, and a touch of something magical, Aurora's first year in the grown-ups' quarter is far from ordinary. **************************************** Pitch Wars Winner Incipere Award Finalist **************************************** "I really enjoyed it and would've read for another 100 pages." (Desiree B.) "There were times I almost teared up right along with Aurora. The emotions were very believable." (Julie T.)

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