Thursday, July 18, 2013

Exalted by Tara Elizabeth

   Imagine a world you lived in where there are no emotions.  And everyone around you is like that.  No one smiles.  No one laughs.  The single most thought in your head being that you should be strong and defend The United Republic Of The Saved...

 This is the world of Mena.  Every day is the same.  Always training, always eating the same thing, sitting with the same people at lunch, and the single most dominating conversation piece always being The Republic.  But Mena knows no better.  She grew up in The Republic.  It has been her mindset since she was a small child.  She was an Exalted, a protector of The Republic.
   Long ago an apocalypse had happened, and the world was now a different place.  There had not been many survivors afterward, but those that did banded together.  They built a new colony.  And out of that rose those that were different than the rest.

    They were strong, fast, and fearless.  They were gods.

So it was that the Exalted, as they were called, were defenders of this new colony.  There were mere Citizens who needed the protection, as well as the Ambassadors. The Ambassadors were the ones in charge.  The strange thing was that the Citizens and the Ambassadors had emotions.  Mena starts to notice how their faces change, how they have tears that fall sometimes.  This is not a world she knows anything of, but she pays close attention.  Meanwhile, everyone is getting ready for the Trials.  The Exalted go through tests of strength and agility and are paired up to be United forever based upon their scores of these trials.  There is no falling in love.  It is purely to breed to have more like them.  The only problem is that although Mena doesn't feel love, she does not want to be paired with just anyone.  Her first choice would be her friend Ethan.
   Before the Trials begin, she meets an outsider by the name of Ryker.  He tells her that the purple pill they take every day, called the Pump, is causing her to have no emotions.  So she gets off of the Pump to see if he is right.  She wants to be stronger for the Trials.  She wants to be number one.  Sickness overtakes her for days.  Then she starts experiencing things like she never did.  And unfortunately that involves feelings for both Ethan and for Ryker, which confuses Mena because she has never been in love and doesn't really understand it.  And now that Mena knows what it feels like being off the Pump, things are changing for her, and she has decisions to make that she has never had in the past.  Choices.  A brand new concept..

   This book sucked me in!  It is a whole new concept to me reading, a novel about such a cult-like group of people.  They all have no idea what is really going on, and even though you don't see very much of that in this book, you get the feeling there is some really weird mess going on behind closed doors.  The Exalted are basically being controlled by the Pump and the Ambassadors.  Children go to live in dorms at the age of 5 and start taking the Pump.  Afterwards, all they want to do is be the best fighter and protect their Republic.  It is brainwashing 101.  This has gone on so long that no one blinks an eye when all of this stuff happens.  If someone dies in the Trials, which sometimes happens, they are deemed as having been weak and their name is no longer spoken.
   I, myself, cannot imagine a world without laughing, smiling, and love.  Even not having grief or anger would run a person mad if they knew it existed and knew what it felt like, but couldn't have it.  Perhaps that is why none of them care about these emotions.  They grew up just like this.  And everyone around them was the same way.  Crazy!  But a total cliff hanger at the end!  Can't wait for the next book! (which should be coming out pretty soon)


*image via Tara Elizabeth
*quote via Tara Elizabeth

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