I think that The Soterion Mission is a book that teens and pre-teens will gobble up. Ross has created a vivid and imaginative world that I know people will find believable and realistic.
A hundred or so years in the future, no one over the age of nineteen survives. Caused by a worldwide epidemic, by the time someone reaches the age of nineteen, they rapidly age in the space of a few weeks. This means that all knowledge before 2019 has disappeared and life has turned back to what it would have been like in medieval times.
When Roxanne turns up at Della Tallis, the home of a group of tribal people, Cyrus, Navid and Taja’s lives are thrust into danger, for they are about to embark on a journey that could help the fate of millions of people. They are looking for their peoples past, and the cure.
The Soterion Mission was told in a much unbiased viewpoint. Getting both the Constants- those tribes who follow the values of the people before them- and the Zeds- the brutal tribes who revel in other people’s pain- perspectives across really added something to the story line, and made it a lot easier to follow.
There were a lot of very humorous parts in The Soterion Mission, including a hilarious use of the IKEA catalogue. Mixed with the many sober moments, this created a nice contrast. The ability to swap between the two was something that greatly impressed me, as this is very hard to do.
The one thing that let me down with this book was the characterisation. Although I grew to like the characters, I didn’t become invested enough in them and felt that because of this their subsequent deaths had no impact on me. Yes, I liked Cyrus, Roxanne and the rest of them, but did I really care what happened to them? Not as much as I would have liked.
The opening chapter will instantly grip the reader and really sets the scene for the rest of the book. The Soterion Mission is an action-packed and convincing novel, and I’m looking forward to seeing where the sequel takes us.