Child of Etherclaw

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A young-adult dystopian thriller in a similar vein to The Hunger Games, The Maze Runner, and Divergent, Matty Roberts’ Child of Etherclaw is set in a well-developed near-future world characterized by technological advancements, peculiar magic, factionalism, and the collapse of civilization as we know it. Against this backdrop, a young engineering student has to rely on her wits and bravery to unravel a family mystery and save those she loves from the nefarious forces hiding within the upper echelons of power.

Sixteen-year-old Fenlee Harper divides her time between her mechatronics studies, scavenging expeditions to the desolate ruins under the city of New Cascadia, and looking after her younger brother, Elliot. Clever and ambitious, she aims to move her family out of the lower tier and higher up the ladder of New Cascadia society, and the only way to do that is to secure a job with Norfayne Labs, the all-powerful science and engineering conglomerate.

Unfortunately, despite her academic and street smarts, Fenlee can’t seem to resist venturing to the undercity in search of parts and materials to use in her engineering projects, which regularly places her in danger from both surveillance drones and mysterious subterranean citizens.

During a near-disastrous expedition that ends up costing Fenlee her new prosthetic leg, she and Elliot encounter a pair of undercity dwellers and learn that the necklace given to Fenlee by her mother before she died is actually made of etherclaw, a powerful substance somehow linked to the Void Pillars crafted by alien beings centuries ago to help save humanity. While the etherclaw necklace allows Fenlee to destroy a deadly Guardian drone and so temporarily saves her and Elliot, it also places her in danger from those who want the power of the necklace for themselves.

Events accelerate rapidly from this point onwards and Fenlee is forced to confront the fact that everything she thought she knew—about both her family and the world in which they live—might not be true. As she seeks answers to the various mysteries that confront her, Child of Etherclaw develops into an exciting and action-packed story featuring complex characters that the reader really comes to care about. Fenlee is a hugely sympathetic lead character with a great deal of strength and determination, and Matty Roberts has ensured that the villainous forces she faces seem truly devious and threatening.

Roberts has also dedicated a great deal of attention to world-building, constructing a detailed history for New Cascadia that includes the devasting events of the Great Collapse, the arrival of the Aeons and the construction of the Void Pillars, and the mythology that has developed around such events and is still used to control the lives of ordinary people. Fenlee’s world features plenty of unusual and advanced technologies too, and the existence of magic/otherworldly forces really enhances the atmosphere of the story. Overall, Child of Etherclaw is a thrilling sci-fi novel that is sure to appeal to young-adult readers.

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Star Count 4/5
Format eBook
Page Count 348 pages
Publisher Twilight Fox LLC
Publish Date 02-Aug-2022
ISBN 9780578395562 Buy this Book
Issue June 2022
Category Young Adult