Friends, I am so excited to be reviewing The Never Tilting World by Rin Chupeco today! I absolutely adored The Bone Witch, so when I saw that Shealea and Caffeine Book Tours were doing a tour, I knew that I had to participate!
Title: The Never Tilting World
Author: Rin Chupeco
Publisher: Harper Collins
Publication date: 15 October 2019
Genres: Young Adult, Fantasy
Frozen meets Mad Max in this epic teen fantasy duology bursting with star-crossed romance, immortal heroines, and elemental magic, perfect for fans of Furyborn.
Generations of twin goddesses have long ruled Aeon. But seventeen years ago, one sister’s betrayal defied an ancient prophecy and split their world in two. The planet ceased to spin, and a Great Abyss now divides two realms: one cloaked in perpetual night, the other scorched by an unrelenting sun.
While one sister rules Aranth—a frozen city surrounded by a storm-wracked sea —her twin inhabits the sand-locked Golden City. Each goddess has raised a daughter, and each keeps her own secrets about her sister’s betrayal.
But when shadowy forces begin to call their daughters, Odessa and Haidee, back to the site of the Breaking, the two young goddesses —along with a powerful healer from Aranth, and a mouthy desert scavenger —set out on separate journeys across treacherous wastelands, desperate to heal their broken world. No matter the sacrifice it demands.
Oh. My. God. Y’ALL. This book is everything. It’s got magic, it’s got romance, it’s got SAND DOLPHINS (who are super cute and I need some fanart of them stat.)
There are four POVs. They are:
- Odessa – a chaotic lesbian goddess who has a mysterious chronic illness
- Lan – Odessa’s healer and bodyguard who is totally in love with her. She’s also dealing with PTSD
- Haidee – Odessa’s twin sister who is also a goddess as well as a mechanic! She is such a sweetheart and she loves animals
- Arjun – a tough guy with a soft interior who can wield fire and is also an amputee
While I don’t normally like multi-POV novels, I thought that each of the perspectives was essential to the plot, and I’m glad that Chupeco wrote all four. They all give different depths to the world and how environmental disaster affects different classes of people in extremely different ways. I also enjoyed the way that the many POVs allowed both the ice world and the fire world to be explored equally. I thought the split between the world was very clever, as it allowed Chupeco to also explore various apocalyptic scenarios.
I also loved the representation in this book. We have disability rep (hand amputee and ptsd), queer representation (bisexual and sapphic characters) and the representation of people of colour (characters are coded as Asian and Middle Eastern). Obviously I can only talk about the identities that I share, but I thought both the queer and mental health rep were flawless. I really connected with Lan in particular because of these reasons, as her PTSD is linked to the death of her former lover. I thought that the way Lan’s flashbacks were described were very well done, and I adored the fact that there is in-world therapy as well!!
I also felt like, in terms of representation, there were a lot of similarities between Odessa’s illness and chronic pain conditions such as fibromyalgia, which I have! It’s described as really taking the energy out of her, and it doesn’t seem to have a real cause. It makes everyone around her treat her like she’s delicate, even though she’s a goddess with incredible powers!! This definitely reminded me of my own experiences with chronic illness and how difficult it is to strike a balance between resting and healing and doing everything that you want/need to do.
While I can’t say much about the plot without spoiling it, I will say that I thought it was very compelling. Every chapter gave me new questions, some of which have yet to be answered. I did sometimes find the world to be a little bit confusing, but honestly I enjoyed the characters and the scenarios they found themselves in to be interesting enough that I didn’t care. (I also don’t tend to read fantasy books for the world building, so that probably played a part!)
If you couldn’t tell, I was very impressed with this book. I loved the themes of environmental disaster and family, as it allowed the book to look at this world on macro and micro levels, both of which are equally important! I am 100% going to be purchasing this novel, as well as reading the sequel. If you loved any of Rin Chupeco’s other novels, you are going to absolutely adore this one, too.
Rin Chupeco has written obscure manuals for complicated computer programs, talked people out of their money at event shows, and done many other terrible things. She now writes about ghosts and fantastic worlds but is still sometimes mistaken for a revenant. She is the author of The Girl from the Well, its sequel, The Suffering, and the Bone Witch trilogy.
Despite an unsettling resemblance to Japanese revenants, Rin always maintains her sense of hummus. Born and raised in Manila, Philippines, she keeps four pets: a dog, two birds, and a husband. Dances like the neighbors are watching.
Finally, make sure that you follow the rest of the tour (info in the image below), and participate in the Twitter chat! It will be using the #CBTTC, and will be taking place at 9:00 AM Eastern Standard Time (EST) on Saturday October 19th.