I received a review copy of this book for my stop on the blog tour at Donnie Darko Girl.
The Silver Sickle is a novel full of action, romance, and suspense. The story is told in third person with chapters alternating between the three main characters - Farissa, Zel, and Gira. Dyn has always been Farissa's home, and when she was very young, she was chosen to one day be harvested by the Amar, a race of alien goddesses who are revered by the people of Dyn. She appreciates the life she has and lives it to the fullest since she doesn't know when she'll be harvested - it could be any day, and she was chosen years ago.
Farissa is a great heroine, the kind of lead female character you yearn to read about. She's feisty, strong, and truly lives in the moment. Yet I also sensed a cloud of despair hanging over her head from never knowing when she'll be harvested. I can't imagine living like that, never knowing when you'll be taken away to a place no one knows anything about. Soon she learns just how much freedom is taken away from you when you're one of the consecrated.
Zel is completely the kind of guy I fall for. He's scientific and logical, brilliant really, and is more comfortable solving mathematical equations and fixing cogsmen (a race of beings that are part machine, part human) than expressing his emotions. He refuses to give up hope that he can save Farissa. Not only is he intelligent and calm under pressure, he's also brave, risking his life to save the girl he loves from being harvested. And not just the girl he loves but humanity itself.
Gira, the leader of the Amar, is a complex character. On one hand, she is the enemy of Farissa and is a monster who kills without mercy, but she also possesses a great deal of empathy and compassion for her fellow goddesses. She's a mother, too. As complex as her character is, so were my feelings towards her. I did root against her - wanting her plans to fail and for humans to stop being harvested.
The harem was a disturbing place to be. The girls there are in the dark about the Silver Sickle. While it was a mystery for most of the book as to what exactly happens to those taken there, there was never any doubt in my mind it wasn't going to be good. Yet these girls believe it'll be a paradise where they'll have their own male slaves and riches. One girl in particular throws tantrums because she desperately wants to be taken to the Silver Sickle - the sooner, the better. Though I despised her behavior, especially towards Farissa, I also felt bad for her.
The mix of aliens, steampunk, the mystery of the Silver Sickle, and terrific characters made this novel hard for me to put down. I simply didn't want to. The Silver Sickle made me think about society, religion, and politics. I thought about how we as human beings are resistant to change especially when it comes to beliefs we've fervently held on to for a long time. Even if those beliefs are proven to be wrong, we're very resistant to changing how we think. This novel had me looking at the bigger picture. And this is just one of the reasons why The Silver Sickle is a novel I won't forget anytime soon - if ever.