Title: Chronicle: Before the Books of Eva
Author: Heather Terrell
Year Published: 2013
Synopsis: This is our second—and last—chance.Thanks to the Gods, and thanks to the Testing.
Each year, the finest Gallants in New North embark on the Testing, a harrowing rite of passage through the frozen wastelands to recover Relics, artifacts from the evil time before the Healing. About these Relics the Testors construct their Chronicles, illustrating mankind’s depravity, his Vanity, his love of Tech, his sins too numerous to count. All true Chronicles are collected and made part of the Lex’s Holy Truths, year by year.
The Chronicle. Nothing is more vital to the resolve of the inhabitants of the New North, the last inhabitants of an Earth flooded by the Healing. But not all Chronicles are deemed True. And not all Testors are Gallants. One year there was a Maiden, Madeline, the first but not the last. Braving the perils of the Testing, she discovered a Relic that, if Chronicled, would be the New North’s downfall...
Review: I think this story has a really exciting premise. The description opens up so many questions - what caused the Healing to be necessary? What did the Healing entail? Why did this particular rite of passage come to be, and why is it so important that the Testors write these Chronicles? It makes me really excited for this series, because I already want to know so much!
Unfortunately, I think this story bites off a little more than it can chew. A lot of these questions are left unanswered and I felt like there was not enough set up or back story to make this work. I wanted to know why Madeline is important, other than being the first Maiden to participate in the Testing, and why exactly her Relic would be the New North's downfall. It's just not explained well enough, and the whole time I felt like there was a huge piece missing.
I did enjoy the writing style though, and I thought that including parts of other Chronicles, the Lex, and parts of Madeline's diary were really a nice touch. It wasn't always the easiest thing to read, but I still liked it and am interested to read more of Terrell's works.Especially if Relic is written in a similar style.
I almost feel like I should have waited to read this story until after Relic. There's just not enough information or set up or knowledge of the world and people for it to make any real sense. I guess it's supposed to be a teaser of what's to come, and it did make me want to read more of the series, but I don't know. I just didn't enjoy this story as much as I was hoping to. A 2/5.