I find it ironic that while trying to deal with my own past of emotional abuse and trauma, I manage to pick up this book Sowing by Angie Grigaliunas. Maybe I’m just a glutton for punishment. Either way, I’m excited to give you the details because this book is dark and fascinating.
“They can take your house, your daughter, whatever they want.
For Ariliah, life under the militarized Hulcondans is one of order and safety. Despite the soldiers’ ruthless policies, she trusts their judgment. They alone provide protection from the enemies lurking beyond the city wall.
For her older sister, Rabreah, every glance from a Hulcondan is a threat. Though even a whisper against them is treason worthy of death, Rabreah is determined to end their tyranny. Joining an underground resistance is her only hope – until she realizes she doesn’t know the people she’s aligned herself with at all. Unsure who to trust but unable to back out, she must work alongside the attractive yet infuriating rebel leader who reminds her far too much of the soldiers she hates.
But with subversive posters appearing throughout the city and people dying on the blade of an unknown assailant, the sisters’ world begins to crumble.
And as the line between friend and enemy blurs, both girls must face the truth: everything is about to change.”
What can I say about this book? I enjoyed it. I felt for Ariliah on a painfully real level. I’ve experienced very similar circumstances so I understand her timidity and hidden strength, oh so very well. Her forgiving nature, her inner shaming, her confusion, all of the things. Grigaliunas did a fantastic job portraying her and allowing her to grow throughout the story.
I also felt like Rabreah was portrayed well. Quite a few people mention in the reviews for this book, that she doesn’t grow much and shows a lot of anger. I’m going to deviate from the crowd and say, I liked that about her.
*Spoilers* It just makes sense. Her mother is extremely physically and psychologically abusive. The only authority figure she thought she could trust completely blindsides her and betrays her. She’s been freaking sexually assaulted and publicly humiliated. Not to mention, she’s also considered the city whore and has no prospects of being redeemed from this status. Yeah, I’d be pretty pissed off too and it would take A LOT to make me change my emotional state. Her being angry all the time makes perfect sense to me. *Spoilers*
Also, the side characters are fascinating and full of depth. Especially Masrekah. I’m really curious how his character will develop in the ensuing books. I also really enjoyed the friendship between Edaliah and Rabreah.
I’m going to be deliberately vague here because I don’t want any spoilers, so I’m going to apologize in advance. When Ariliah snaps. I wanted to cheer. When Ember gets tested. Man, that whole scene, especially after the fact. I was ticked off too. The baby boy and what happens to him. All of these scenes are rough, but they’re powerful.
My Personal Review
I give this book a 7.5/10 stars. Grigaliunas did a good job dealing with dark elements in a tasteful way. Granted, this book isn’t for everyone. It delves into abuse, child marriage, oppression, murder, rape, etc. But I liked the complexities of the world and how the characters interacted with what life threw at them.
I also really enjoyed the language that she used in this story. As a book reviewer and writer, reading her work was very telling of how much effort she put into making her words shine and punch.
Because this is a series, the ending felt more abrupt. I was expecting more of a greater climax, but it sort of ended in a small “uh oh” that didn’t quite do it for me. Also, as much as I enjoyed the characters, I didn’t experience a huge sense of loss from any of them. Pain? Yes. Heartache, frustration? Absolutely. But heart wrenching, tear jerking, loss? Not so much from our two heroines.
I’m going to go off on a tangent for just a sec. Two books that had me in tears. The first Hunger Games and Crown of Midnight. Why? Both stories had tragic character deaths that rip the main heroines to pieces. As a reader, I cared about those losses. I was devastated by their deaths and I cried right along with the protagonists and rooted for them to take things up a notch. Because things just got personal.
Now, I’m not saying that Grigaliunas needs to kill off her characters, but I think the story would have benefited from some kind of tremendous loss for our heroines. There were hints of this in Ariliah’s arc, but not quite enough to really grip me.
Other than that, I was very entertained and I’m excited to read the next book in the series!
About the Author
This is taken directly from Amazon on her page:
“Angie Grigaliunas (grig-ah-LOO-nahs) is a part-time normal person and full-time author of fantasy/dystopian young adult books. And also some romance. (“She admits it! Murderer!”) She loves Jesus, the woods, and the stars, and has always wanted to be a superhero with a secret identity.
She has completed four books: one about elves that needs a massive revision before it ever sees the light of day, one that is part of her current story but also needs a massive revision to fit a new storyline, and the actual first and second books (Sowing and Quelling) in her dystopian fantasy series (The Purification Era). When she’s not writing, she’s usually Facebooking – ack! – or thinking about story stuff. Or exercising. Or eating ice cream, because life is short and ice cream is delicious. Despite several of her writing friends claiming she’s Canadian, she is not; she lives in Ohio with her dear husband, their goofy dog, and their crazy cats.” You can also find her on Twitter.
Author : Angie Grigaliunas
Series : Sowing (The Purification Era Book 1)
Published By : Self Published
Year Published : August 9, 2016
Genre / Tags : Dystopian, Fantasy, Young Adult
Formats : Paperback, Kindle
# of Pages : (Paperback) 396
Thanks for taking the time to check out this post! Have you read Sowing? What were your thoughts on the book? I’d love to hear it in the comments!
Have an amazing day!