THE SENDING (Senitha’s Light -Book One)
By: Jandy Salguero
Vivid descriptions, relatable characters and an interesting plot make this book a terrific read.
I received a free copy of this book in exchange for a fair and honest review.
I absolutely love it when an author grabs my attention within the first few pages of a book and Jandy Salguero has done exactly that.
At the beginning of the novel a multitude of information is conveyed quickly while not causing the reader to feel overwhelmed.
We are introduced to Daneel and his friends from The University of Senitha.
The first chapter contains terrific foreshadowing and story building. For example:
“Daneel tried to shrug off his uneasiness. The city, his surroundings as a whole were probably what felt off after the seclusion of farm life. And Daneel was grounded in the farm, in the ebb and flow of a life dependent on season and soil, on sweat and blood, on faith that if enough of it soaked into the earth his family fought to master, they could help the people of Senitha survive another year.”
Senitha is a walled city in what was once the state of California. The citizens of Senitha work together for the survival of all. It is a peaceful city and “Even the city’s militia went unarmed these days, as Senitha was mostly self-policed.”
When out after curfew the group of friends spot uniformed men carrying rifles and Paul and Fey are both shot to death in front of their eyes.
The rest of the group escapes back to the University.
Meanwhile, we meet Mara. Mara has grown up in a mountain compound where she has spent her life being trained to find and kill a specific target. she has been taught that her target is someone who is evil and must be destroyed before he destroys what is left of civilization.
She is sent to Senitha through a form of mystical travel known as “Sending”.
Mara’s mission is to assassinate a specific person and she is not supposed to allow anyone or anything to keep her from that goal. She has spent most of her life training for this one mission.
The problem occurs when both Daneel and Mara meet and feel that they are bonded to each other somehow. Neither one of them understands how or why they are connected, but there is no denying that the bond is real.
Will Mara blindly follow orders and kill Daneel? Is Daneel truly evil? Or is something much more complicated going on?
As they get to know each other, they both realize that something special and unique is happening and that they are at the center of it.
What I Liked:
From the very beginning we see that Mara struggles with her upbringing. She had been rescued and taken to a mountain compound at the age of six.
At the compound she is taught to blindly follow the commands of the Council and is told to forget that she ever had a family. While the other compound residents seem to be able to do exactly that, Mara has questions and a mind of her own.
She remembers (although only vaguely) her mother, and she remembers being loved. At the Compound she is ordered to form no attachments, but does so anyway and she is smart enough to keep those friendships hidden.
Even though she agrees to go on the Sending and to assassinate her target, she wonders why he must die. She is not supposed to think or question, she is just supposed to obey.
The characters in this story come across as compelling and real. Their personalities are shaped by their upbringing and circumstances. For example:
Daneel comes across as earnest and sincere in his desire to help others. He is obviously an inherently good person and readers will be cheering for his survival.
Both Daneel and Mara share a common trait. They both struggle with putting faith in their elders.
This is something that all youth must struggle with. They must learn when to follow the orders and/or advice of their elders and when to rely on their own instincts.
Although the story reaches a satisfying conclusion, the stage has been set for more books in the series.
I give this book 4.5 out of 5 stars and look forward to reading the rest of the series.
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