If you like Marko Kloos’ military dystopian series, you will like Ken Brosky’s The Proving. The specters which resemble dinosaurs, both the flying and the earth-bound kind, haunt the survivors of the Earth. The specters seek out and destroy the survivors who have fought a war against the specters. The survivors live beneath a shield which keeps the specters at bay during the daytime. At night, the specters come out. It is a continual fight for survival. The specters live in a fiery ring that encircles the Earth. The shield is between the survivors and the ring.
As usual with dystopians, society has advanced. Most of humankind’s ways have been replaced by the world resembling that in Star Trek and Star Wars. There is a world outside the shield but life is precarious. It is not a place you would want to be found after dark.
There are four clans, each with their own specializations. There are also free-born citizens. Finally there is a governing body and a collective memory in the form of Historians.
The Proving revolves around what is known as a proving in which a group of New Adults show that they are ready to assume the responsibilities of being a productive member of society. Think of the proving as like an initiation or boot camp. The New Adults, along with some Young Adults, and a Historian are group into a coterie and sent out.
From what I was able to gather most provings are rather routine matters. Threats to life and limb are minimized and the tasks the New Adults are sent out to perform some tasks and if they successfully perform (everything is recorded for later review and for history), the New Adults transition into a life either in service of a clan, the government, or for themselves. I was never clear what happens to unsuccessful coteries.
This coterie’s proving proves to be the unusual. They encounter specters, risk their lives, and find that not all is as they have been taught. At the end, society breaks down in the face of an all-out specter war.
Ken Brosky has a good series started. The writing was a bit awkward at times, and at times the story is hard to follow. As to the characters, there were a few that stood out, though not always for the good. Cleo grated on my nerves. She reminded me of the 80’s California girls. Ben, the med student was a fascinating character. Gabriel needs to grow up. He was a bit too whiny for me. Wei, Gabriel’s sister, called Little Bug, was absolutely adorable. Skye, the Spartan, I could take or leave. The female character in Kloos’ novels was better drawn. Seamus, the Historian, reminded me of a absent-minded professor that could really grow in future novels into an interesting character. The graphics are excellent. More please!
I look forward to seeing how the series plays out.
*Copy provided by author in exchange for an honest review.