Review: Torn by Mary Brock Jones

cover96293-mediumTwo ecological engineers must change their world to save it.

Fee comes from the mountains of her world. She grew up with trees, rushing streams and rain. The grasslands beyond the foothills are Caleb’s home. Dry, windblown, a place of endless light and untouchable horizons. Both are ecological engineers for the Survey, the government organisation charged with protecting the planetary ecosystems on their world, Arcadia. Thrust into joint leadership of an important project, all they seem to have in common are the love both have for their home regions and the lies they must tell their profit-geared families.

Arcadia was engineered long ago to be an earth-like home for humans, but their ongoing changes have now pushed Arcadia to its limits. A proliferation of dangerously clashing, extreme ecosystems. Unless something is done, soon, the planet is going to hit back. Storms, floods, drought. Don’t bother taking your pick, says the planet, you’re going to get the lot.

Only the men and women of the Survey hear the call, working in secret for years to heal Arcadia’s wounds. Now the Survey has a plan to save their world. Fee and Caleb must make lakes where dusty grasses rule; meadows where dense forest stands, all without their corporate families finding out until it’s too late to stop them.

A plan that will cut out their hearts and change forever the lands they love. But why Fee and Caleb, and what does the Survey truly plan for them?

This was one of the most intricate and layered sci-fi romances I’ve read in a long time. Fee and Caleb were very much the heart of what drove this story, but the world building and political setup was genuinely interesting all on its own, really drawing me into every element of the story. It created for a really genuine feeling basis for the main character’s relationship, something a lot of stories could really use more of.

I do feel like this great story would have been better server by a stronger cover. This one looks a little dated, and I don’t think it will stand out as well as it could on our shelves. Still, I am now obsessed with this series and can’t wait to read more.



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