Thursday, October 6, 2016

Book Review: Black Tiger by Sara Baysinger

Black Tiger by Sara Baysinger
Publication Date: October 6, 2016
Genres: YA - Sci-Fi - Dystopian
Find it On: Goodreads / Amazon


When the fire goes out, supposedly dead, the embers still remain, tiny specks of deadwood and ash that have the capacity to start a fire large enough to burn down an entire city.

Ember Carter is a sixteen-year-old farmer’s daughter who wants nothing more than to stay close to her family in the Community Garden when Career Day approaches. Unfortunately, all farming careers are given to boys, and besides, as of the past two years, all students have been drafted to the Line of Defenders to fight in a war no one seems to know about. When she meets Forest, the mysterious stranger who seems to know a bit too much about city life and the way the government is run, she’s even less eager to leave the safe haven of the Garden.

On Career Day, the future couldn’t look brighter when Ember is the only student assigned the career of a Farmer. But all hopes come to end when she attacks a Defender to save her best friend. Suspected a rebel and sentenced to death, she’s transferred to Frankfort Prison where she will carry out her sentence.

But Frankfort is full of surprises and snotty Patricians. While in prison, Ember learns a dark secret about Forest that makes her question what little she knew about him. And then there’s Rain,the carelessly handsome boy who enjoys instigating her just a bit too much. If THAT’S not enough, the world learns something about Ember even she doesn’t know. A secret that brings her character into question, enlightens her on her mother’s true identity, and ultimately, gives her the power to affect the rise or fall of Ky.

With the handsome Forest tugging at her heart, and the rogue Rain whispering treasons into her ear, can Ember make the right decision that will redeem the corrupt government of Ky?


About the Author:

Sara Baysinger grew up in the heart of the Andes Mountains in Ecuador where she spent her time exploring uncharted lands and reading all things magical. She now lives among the endless cornfields of Indiana with her husband and two children.

My Review:

I received an ARC of this book from the author in exchange for an honest review.

Thank you for sharing, Sara. This is one heck of a book!

Ember is a common farmer in a post-plague America. When her career-assignment day comes, all she wants is to become a farmer so she can stay with her father and brother. Instead, she has her best friend taken from her and her entire life turned upside down.

Black Tiger is one of those rare gems among the dystopian genre that I find myself loving. Most books are about a revolutionary girl who wants to change the world, but Baysinger took a page from series like The Hunger Games and Chaos Walking where the main character just wants to survive and go home. Does she want to kiss that cute guy who helped her? Of course. But does she want to stay with him forever at the cost of never seeing her family? Of course not! Ember is probably what any of us would be in her scenario: a confused and distressed teenager who is just trying to play everyone's games and get by.

Besides Ember herself, I found all the characters in the novel fantastic because they somehow always subvert what you'd expect from them. Forest, the beautiful blue-eyed love interest, is honest yet in the pocket of the government and unwilling to truly shake anything up. Meanwhile, Rain, the bad-boy, is maybe a little too far off the deep end, and definitely doesn't have Ember's best interests at heart either.

Don't get me wrong, there is plenty of juicy love triangle goodness, but this is one of those dystopians that is about the main character and her figuring everything out while the world crumbles around her. I am 110% team Rain, but something tells me I'm also going to be team Ember-just-gets-to-be-happy-and-safe no matter how everything else plays out. 

I'm so hung up on the characters because that's what endeared me so much to Black Tiger, but the plot is one heck of a ride, too. Baysinger strings you along with twist after twist without ever losing you in the detail. Perfectly paced and always intriguing!

This one gets 4/5 stars for now, but I have high hopes for the sequel! 

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