During the school’s two-week break for Easter, I took full advantage of my time off to read more! First, I finished reading the young-adult science-fiction Destined by Jordan Pinckney and Will Lenzen Jr, the first book in their The Blood Games Trilogy. This was one of the older review copies that was lying neglected on my Kindle, so it was good to finally give it ago, after putting it on my Spring 2021 TBR list to encourage me to pick it up.
In this opening instalment Pinckney and Lenzen Jr transport us to a not-too-distant future, to an Earth that has been united into one collaborative nation, after a calamitous UFO encounter brought all nationalities together and seriously advanced technology. Within the region which was once known as the USA, we are introduced to sixteen-year-old Leana: beloved only daughter, star student, football team captain, and secret, self-proclaimed freak!
For years, Leanna has been plagued with terrifying nightmares of unearthly battles and soldiers with glowing eyes and oozing pink blood. This was bad enough when it just kept her from sleeping at night, but now these nightmarish visions are getting worse and have started creeping into her waking hours. So in a desperate attempt to help her make sense of them, her mother is sending her to the last person on Earth Leana would want to visit… her estranged father.
This introduction section is short and light on the details, especially when it comes to the mysterious space craft that crashed. This makes sense though as it happened before Leanna and her friends were born and the world government has done a great job at hushing up a lot of the detail and with continuing propaganda that is now fed to the young at school. Instead along with Leanna, we don’t start to get some answers until she goes to visit her dad out on his farm.
I really enjoyed this setting because, even with its futuristic farm machinery, this is a familiar and comforting vision. I particularly liked the live-in robot that Leanna’s dad built, who is always fussing over them and cooking mounds of pancakes and crispy bacon, and creamy mashed potato, fried steak and corn on the cob slathered in butter! Which was lucky because the unfolding mystery itself, I found to be a little obvious and convenient.
Then there is Leanna herself… I’ve got to be honest, I found it very hard to like or sympathise with her. Her emotions swing so violently and her actions are often so contradictory that I felt I was going to get whiplash. I think after reading The Memory Tree by John A. Heldt, The Testament of Loki by Joanne M. Harris and now this, I definitely need a fairly lengthy break from books with angsty teenagers in! 😅
All in all I thought Destined by Jordan Pinckney and Will Lenzen Jr. was a relatively easy and fun sci-fi adventure, with an interesting premise – with crafts, technology and fugitives from a distant, war mongering alien planet hidden on Earth – that was perhaps not quite executed as well as it could have been; or maybe I was just not the intended audience. Either way I am not sure I would read the rest of the trilogy. Okay read ⭐
Now I’d love to hear from you in the comments: Have you read this? Or any other young adult science-fiction?