Firestone: (Lore of Tellus, Book One)
Alicorn Books (2021)
Reviewed by Tammy Ruggles for Reader Views (12/2021)
Talk about a YA steampunk lover’s dream! What happens when the old way meets the new way? Tellus is a world where the old and the new clash on a daily basis, and main character, Hugh Geber, is the alchemist at the heart of the story.
At the University of Science and Progression, Hugh feels obligated to follow in his family’s footsteps, but Chancellor Smithson throws a wrench into his plans by handing Hugh a challenging deadline and a strange package. Hugh now has to attempt to salvage his family name and his position, but it is a near-impossible task. His life is thrust into a whirlwind, which sets the stage for an amazing journey of suspense, conflict, drama, and steampunk.
Purle sets up this drama with intriguing, well-developed characters that you want to follow throughout the story. In fact, you get so immersed in their lives that you care about every single thing that happens to them. Add the mystery of the package, and the old-versus-new mentality, and you have a compelling story on your hands. Hugh is fighting for more than his job. He’s battling for something bigger—his family name, his integrity, and tradition, but time is the enemy. How can he keep one world in the old, and one in the new? It comes down to pure survival.
This author has created a world in which you can easily become absorbed. Each scene opens up new possibilities, exploration, and descriptions which pique the senses and imagination. I love the author’s use of vivid imagery and creative engineering. The unexpected events add spice to the story, and you really don’t know what lies around the corner. The alchemy aspect is intriguing, of course, and the characters are easy to like—especially Hugh, as a heavy burden rests on his shoulders. I love the contrast of the old and the new, and there are parts of the book that will stay with you even after you’ve finished the tale.
There is a sweet quirkiness to some of the story that I enjoy, which adds a lot of personality to a book that’s already overflowing with it, and so much more. “Firestone” could very well be the next “must-read” YA steampunk/fantasy series.