I received this book via Netgalley. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of this review.The Raging Ones by Krista & Becca Ritchie
Series: The Raging Ones #1
Published by Wednesday Books on 2018-08-14
Length: 352 pages
Reviewing eARC from Netgalley
Reading Challenges: #NGEW2019, Beat the Backlist 2019
In a freezing world, where everyone knows the day they will die, three teens break all odds.
Franny Bluecastle, a tough city teen, dreams of dying in opulence, to see wealth she’s never known. Like the entire world, she believes it’s impossible to dodge a deathday.
Until the day she does.
Court Icecastle knows wealth. He also knows pain. Spending five years in Vorkter Prison, a fortress of ice and suffering, he dreams of life beyond the people that haunt him and the world that imprisoned him.
Mykal Kickfall fights for those he loves. The rugged Hinterlander shares a frustrating yet unbreakable connection with Court—which only grows more lawless and chaotic as their senses and emotions connect with Franny.
With the threat of people learning they’ve dodged their deathdays, they must flee their planet to survive. But to do so, all three will have to hide their shared bond as they vie for a highly sought after spot in the newest mission to space. Against thousands of people far smarter, who’ll live longer, and never fear death the way that they do.
Where to begin?! The Raging Ones by Krista & Becca Ritchie is the first in a sci-fi/fantasy duology that left my heart racing. On a frozen world where everyone knows the day they will die, three people dodge their deaths and become inextricably linked. They feel each others emotions, they taste what the other is tasting, smell what the other smells. To save one another, they apply for a chance to win a seat aboard the Stardust (think NASA meets CIA) mission. Full of twists and turns that will leave the reader guessing The Raging Ones has found a place on my favorites list.
Meet Franny, Court, & Mykal
The book begins with Franny’s deathday. She is a Fast-Tracker (meaning someone that will die between the ages of 13-29). Fast-Trackers, or FTs for short, live every day like it is their last day. They party, drink, smoke. They are this world’s workers. FTs are waiters, concierge, taxi drivers. They are the working class. Franny embodies what an FT is. When we meet Franny, she uses the last of her money for pills that will give her a peaceful high on her deathday. Except death doesn’t come for Franny. She wakes up, freezing, someone is stealing her clothing off her, and it is the day after she was supposed to die. Everything Franny knows, her faith and need to rejoin her mother, is now in question. Then two boys save her.
Court is my favorite character in the book, even if he can be prickly at times. His past is a mystery. His last name however brands him as someone who spent time at Vorkter (prison). Every convict receives the last name and is stripped of their own. Court also took a new first name, severing all ties to his past. His reasons are shrouded. He doesn’t let Franny or Mykal in on his secrets. These secrets eat him alive. He can’t sleep, barely eats, and even his posture is tight and rigid. Despite all these things, or maybe because of them, I love him. Beneath the ice surrounding him, he is fragile. Something Franny and Mykal recognize as they feel his emotions, even if they don’t always understand the motives behind them. Court is driven and laser-focused on finding a way off the planet because he fears what will happen to them if the government knows they dodged their deathdays.
Mykal is a brute, but kind. He brings levity to the group and keeps them grounded. Raised in Grenpale (basically as I read I pictured this as an extremely rurally area), he doesn’t quite fit in the city. He was a Babe (someone that was supposed to die before 12 years of age), but that didn’t stop him from learning to hunt and fend for himself. When he didn’t die, he left his village and lived alone on the ice fields, until a bleeding, near-death Court found him. They’ve been together two years when they feel Franny and bring her into the fold. He doesn’t question what doesn’t have answers which makes him a breath of fresh air. I love his POV chapters. He isn’t complicated to understand. What you see is what you get with Mykal.
Deathdays, Empaths, and Stardust
The Raging Ones is divided into two parts. The first part deals with the empathic connection among Franny, Mykal, and Court. It explores the whys and hows allowing the reader to adjust to their strange situation. When I first started reading, I was kinda dreading this dynamic thinking the authors had set up a love triangle. But it isn’t that at all! Their love for one another runs deeper than that. They care for each other in a way that none of them have felt except from family. The second part deals with their attempts to win a seat on Stardust. This is where the action is. The first part is a slow building, introducing the reader to the world and characters. The second part is fast-paced action as they deal with other contenders, classes, and what the Stardust mission really is.
Overall I really enjoyed The Raging Ones. I love the mix of characters, their dynamic with one another and how it affected them. I love the world-building and can’t wait for more! And that ending 😭 I need more ASAP! I need to know what’s going to happen and what to expect from here. I feel like the authors ripped the rug out from under me after I’d just got a grip on what was going on. Now I’m lost again and need answers! If you enjoy fast-paced science fiction with a mixture of fantasy and touch of dystopia, I highly recommend you grab a copy.