by Megg Jensen
Publisher: DarkSide Publishing
Release Date: 12/25/2011
Genre: YA Fantasy
SYNOPSIS: Over a thousand years ago, the gods left Eloh’s people and took their magic with them. To win back their favor, her people sacrifice ten female initiates every ten years. No has ever survived. There has never been a Chosen One.
Forced into becoming an initiate, Eloh will try to find a way to beat the odds, stay with her boyfriend, and survive the fires that threaten to consume her. But will her lack of faith in the gods and her disbelief in their magic doom her to a painful death?
The Initiate is a prequel novella that bridges the Cloud Prophet Trilogy and Swarm Trilogy by Megg Jensen. When I requested this novella to review I didn’t realize it was a bridge between series so I was unfamiliar with the world. That being said, it didn’t keep me from understanding the story at all.
In the world Megg Jensen has created two girls between the ages of 14 and 18 from each town are sacrificed every decade to the gods that had abandoned them in hopes of bringing magic back to their world. Though the gods have been gone for over a thousand years there are still many followers who hope that if they believe, worship and pray to these gods enough and offer up their young that one of them will be the Chosen One. Eloh is a commoner who is being offered up to the gods as an initiate. She will be painted up and sacrificed to the uncaring gods along with other girls. Only the Chosen One would survive if the gods make a choice. For as long as girls have been sacrificed to the fire, no one has been chosen.
While a lot of the initiates are willing and hopeful that they are the Chosen One, Eloh does not believe in the gods and thinks everyone around her is insane. She doesn’t believe in magic or anything that she can’t see with her own eyes and she refuses to believe in gods that would allow girls to be sacrificed and barbecued in their names. All Eloh sees is the hundred of girls who have perished over the years. She wants no part of this but doesn’t have a choice.
The Initiate is about fate, faith and the lengths people will go to bring comfort back into their world. When people are poor, starving and find that their world is dying they are willing to do anything to make their lives better; even sacrificing their children. No matter how bad life is, offering up your daughter to the gods just to be turned into a crispy critter is bat shit crazy in my opinion.
It was a very short prequel but an interesting concept. I liked it enough that I would read the two trilogies it bridges. I give The Initiate 3 stars.