By Speculating on SpecFic

This is a well executed science fiction novel with a riveting plot and many underlying themes that provoke thought long after the last page is turned. The world building is amazing - from the descriptions of the landscapes and arachnid based fauna (eep!), to the holograms which render the environment ‘Earth-like’, Sandler brings her world to life brilliantly. The reader is forced to learn the foreign terminology as they read - there are no overly contrived information dumps to slow down the action of the story. The caste system employed on Loka is the most unique element of the book - based on the status of ones ancestors when they first arrived on colony ships. Skin colour, in general, separates the statuses, and this allows the book to subtly explore racism.

The romance in Tankborn is refreshing to read as the female leads do not become incapacitated by their strong feelings towards the men they are interested in. Both Kayla and Mishalla are strong, like-able characters who fall in love with humans. Kayla’s romance is more riveting than Mishalla’s due to the element of danger introduced by her feelings for a trueborn, Devak. Their courtship is slow and sweet, and due to its forbidden nature, thrilling all at once. The difficulties Kayla and Devak face in understanding what separates a GEN from a human fascinated me.

A wonderful novel which immediately became one of my favourite YA novels published this year. I would recommend it to any reader who enjoys young adult fiction or science fiction.