Black Bead: Book One of the Black Bead Chronicles by JD Lakey is a book I’ve been meaning to read for months now. I received it from JD in exchange for an honest review. I have been in a reading slump due to my schedule being crazy for the past couple of months. But, I’ve finally had the chance to read this book and I really enjoyed it.
Synopsis: On a savage, outlying planet an enclave of psionically-trained humans have built a utopian, matriarchal society that lives in harmony with all life. Leaving behind the polluted and corrupt world in which they lived, they colonized a new home far from the eyes of the galactic empire. Shielded from the rest of the galaxy by the dangerous beasts that inhabit their lush, forested world, the village lives a simple life under their Home Dome. But their goal was more than just to live in peace – they wanted to create the perfect human who could bring peace to the galaxy. Rather than merely cloning themselves, they began to manipulate genes in order to create a race of mutants with enhanced telepathic powers. Under the direction of the ruling coven, each child of the Windfall Dome is tested at a young age to asses their abilities – a test which is can plot the course for the rest of their lives.
Unfortunately, Cheobawn – the daughter of the ruling First Mother to the dome – is marked with the Black Bead on her Choosing Day, a symbol of bad luck and shame. It seems the child the village had placed so much hope in would not be the future ruler they had hoped for. Yet there is something powerful about her that the elders don’t understand. Finally of age, Cheobawn is chosen to join a pack to act as the psychic Ear on a foraging mission outside the dome. She knows this is her chance to prove herself. But something sinister stalks them and each member of the pack must draw on their unique strengths and a lifetime of training if they want to survive to see another day. In her visionary new series, The Black Bead Chronicles, author J.D. Lakey invites you to journey along with Cheobawn, Megan, Tam, Connor, and Alain as they use their wits and their Luck to unravel the mysteries of the deceptively bucolic life beneath the dome in this coming of age metaphysical science fiction adventure.
This book was totally different from what I expected. I don’t know why but I did not expect the plot to be centered around young children. That being said I was very pleasantly surprised by the plotline and characters in this book. I loved that this book followed a group of young kids who were balancing being a kid with the responsibilities of living in a hunter/gatherer society. They were still children and had the personalities of young children. However, they also added interest with their abilities and the responsibilities that were thrust upon them.
I truly loved the relationships that were formed in the pack. They were charing and adorable. These kids used their friendships as a way to overcome the obstacles they faced. I originally was intrigued by events and the society in this world. However, it was really the pack’s relationships with one another that got me hooked.
I was very intrigued by the psi powers in this novel. I really want to learn more about these abilities and how they fit into the society of Home Dome. The action in this book was so fast paced and easy to picture that I finished this book in no time. Seriously, I finished it in a little over an hour. Now I can’t wait to get my hands on the rest of the books in this series. JD says this may be a 6 book series and I just can’t wait.
Overall, I gave this book a 3.5/5 stars. It is an excellent start to a new sci-fi series. Make sure you check out this book if you’re looking for something a little different. I would definitely recommend this to any fans of books like Under the Never Sky or The Darkest Minds.
Are you a fan of sci-fi? What’s your favorite sci-fi novel?