Author: Susan Goldsmith
Series: Abithica #1
Cover Art: N/A
Reviewed by: Julia
Sex scenes, mention of rape and orgies.
Good – A fun read with minor flaws. Maybe read an excerpt before buying.
What if you knew you were about to be torn from your body and replaced by an imposter in a seamless switch forever separating you and the one you love? Would you do whatever it took to stay? Even if YOU happened to be the imposter?
Abithica must borrow all that she is from others: names, lives, even bodies. When she switches into the troubled life of Sydney Turner, she breaks the rule that has sustained her, the one thing in her control—never get attached. Lane Riley has no idea he’s fallen for Abithica, wearing Sydney Turner’s body and that a future with her is impossible. Desperate to stay with him, Abithica uncovers the mystery of what she is, only to learn she’s a pawn in a battle over souls, and that she’s probably one of the “bad guys.” What will happen if she refuses to leave Sydney’s body?
While it was the premise that caught my eye, ABITHICA held my attention with it’s contradictions. Despite having a light, playful tone, the concepts and situations driving this book are both complex and dark. The main character’s completely disorienting and frightening reality is leavened with silly banter, shoe philosophy, and a few Sleeping Beauty “dance with the animals” moments, and together, these elements worked for me.
While I did have a few issues with the opening chapter silliness (the main character has a tantrum about mackerel and finds herself face down in a serving of mash potatoes), Goldsmith deftly threads this slapstick with hints of the very frightening existence her main character faces. Without a name or a history, or any explanation for why she is pulled from body to body, now-Sydney is exhausted and emotionally numb from leaving so many people that she had begun to love and care for behind.
It was this darker thread that kept me going through the book, adding a fascinating twist to some of the weaker parts of the book. Even the villains, a cult of depraved individuals, weren’t allowed to blend into a faceless, murdering horde. Beneath the romance and the action, ABITHICA makes the subtler point that when you get inside someone’s head there is always something redeemable to be found.
It was this hopeful and complex message that left me smiling at the close of the book. Despite some minor first-book bumps, Goldsmith has blended the mysteries and action in ABITHICA well enough that I hope for a second installment.