Publishing Date: July 30, 2013
Rating: 4.5/5 stars
Publishers’ Description: Corn is king in the Heartland, and Cael McAvoy has had enough of it. It’s the only crop the Empyrean government allows the people of the Heartland to grow—and the genetically modified strain is so aggressive that it takes everything the Heartlanders have just to control it.
As captain of the Big Sky Scavengers, Cael and his crew sail their rickety ship over the corn day after day, scavenging for valuables. But Cael’s tired of surviving life on the ground while the Empyrean elite drift by above in their extravagant sky flotillas. He’s sick of the mayor’s son besting Cael’s crew in the scavenging game. And he’s worried about losing Gwennie—his first mate and the love of his life—forever when their government-chosen spouses are revealed. But most of all, Cael is angry—angry that their lot in life will never get better and that his father doesn’t seem upset about any of it.
Review: This novel is the first in the Heartland Trilogy series. This was a fantastic read. The characters and story-line were woven into a passionate saga with just the right amount of believability. It is not too far of a leap into current events if you follow the genetic modification of foods developed by agri-businesses.
Some reviewers thought that the beginning was too slow, or that Cael treats women poorly. The author weaves the story-line and characters into a fascinating whole, and not excessively so, in my opinion. It is just the right amount of coverage to do the entire novel justice. As to Cael’s treatment of Wanda; he let’s her down, sure, but that’s life. He did not love her and was being honest about it. Arranged marriages within a lottery system do not love make. The cover art really evokes the images developed during the read. A good perspective on the subject rendered.
I really look forward to the next in the Heartland series where the novel next takes place in the sky. I think I would read anything Mr. Wendig writes as his prose is fantastic.