Bea is a seer, she has visions of the future and was like all seers taken away from her parents after her birth when her gift was obvious by the violet color of her eyes. She grew up in „The institution“, where young seers are trained and educated. She is very talented and when her visions become darker, even hint towards an upcoming war and she starts dreaming of a stranger, she begins to worry about the future of her world. And lately their training became more and more focused on training their fighting skills using even live ammunition...
The idea of a school for seers sold to me right away, I loved the idea of them guarding the destiny of the people outside the institution, but I would have loved to learn more about their life and the way they grow up.
The world building was great, but I felt like the information was always given to the reader a bit too late. I felt myself wondering and feeling a bit lost a little too often. I also felt like while the world within the institution is very vivid and interesting, the world outside in the city stays nebulous and vague. I especially enjoyed the fresh ideas and the way dystopian and paranormal elements were mixed. The idea seemed very unique to me.
There are two love stories in this (Really? Again??) love triangle, one felt shallow at best, Echo as a love interest never sold to me, the attraction, fascination and trust of Bea towards him is just stated, I never felt it develop or saw the origin. Bea's feelings for Gabe are described nicely... but when she thought of him or was with him, she never seemed to see him as a strong partner, but as someone she has to protect.
Bea felt like a judgmental and not very likeable character to me. She constantly thinks of her friends and classmates as inferior, sometimes pities or envies them for their naivety. Most characters were very shallow and one-dimensional, which was a bit sad.
I was also shocked about the readiness with which the seers let themselves be turned into killers and even let each other die.
Maybe it is just me, but I like to know where I am in a story. Is it earth or a fantasy world. Is it the future? If so what happened to change the world as we know it? In this story this information comes very late. I felt like hanging in the air until then. For a long time I felt thrown into the middle of a story without knowing anything to pinpoint where I am.
So while I was very excited when I started reading the novel, I grew more and more disappointed towards the end. There still is a lot to enjoy about this imaginative story however but I felt like it could have been better developed. I will however surely read the other parts in this trilogy.
(I received a free digital copy of this book via NetGalley.)