Today, I am so excited to be a part of Morgan‘s blog tour for her latest book, Acktorek Book 1: The Void! I had the privilege of reading an ARC copy. I’ve only read a handful of books in the science fiction realm, but this one quickly became a favourite and I’m greatly anticipating future stories in this series!
Now, without further ado, onto my first post in the tour!
About the Book
Which would you choose—save your sister or save the world?
Emma Edsel’s first priority has always been protecting her blind sister Carla. So when Carla begins to develop science-defying abilities that threaten her life, Emma will stop at nothing to save her. With nowhere else to turn, she seeks help from Mitchell, the new boy at school who seems to know much more about it than he will admit.
After his last mission went horribly awry, Mitchell Banks is relieved to have a simple task: seal a small, accidental portal between Earth and other worlds in the multiverse. He didn’t count on his growing feelings for Emma—and the dangerous levels of dimension energy contaminating Carla.
Carla knows the voice in her head is evil. Manipulative. Feeding her with a strange energy she can control. She doesn’t know that she is the key to a coming global catastrophe and Mitchell’s boss will use any means possible to prevent it…including blackmailing him into murdering her.
Enter to win a signed copy of Acktorek: The Void! Giveaway open to U.S. residents only.
Giveaway has ended.
I’ve sorted this review into sections to manage the incoherent fangirling I wanted to do, so onto the first category I want to talk about!
Oooh, these characters! I loved all of them! They were all so precious and I loved their interactions and how they were all like a bunch of siblings instead of just friends. I love friends that can fight and argue and see the others at their worst and still love them and be there for them, true friends don’t hightail it when things get rough, they stick together and see each other to the other side making their relationship that much stronger.
Emma is a very angry and closed off person, yet I was still able to relate to her. She has definitive reasons for being this way, she’s not just angry at the world for the sake of being angry at the world. She has been hurt and forced to grow up sooner than she should have and it’s turned her bitter. The only person she doesn’t shut out is her little sister, Carla, whom Emma has practically raised her whole life. In the beginning Emma seemed a bit too mean, especially toward Grace, her self-appointed best friend, but after some of Grace’s misguided antics that she thought were for Emma’s good did Emma’s actions seem more based off of previous actions on Grace’s part. Convoluted, I know, but the point is Emma is hurting and this is the only way she knows how to deal with it. After all she’s been through, she’s afraid of trusting people only for them to let her down, so she bears the weight of all her problems alone, her sole focus on being there for Carla and keeping her safe.
Mitchell is… where do I start with how great this guy is? He is kind and understanding of Emma, giving her space and respecting her boundaries far more so than Grace. (Grace is not by any means a bad character or friend, I’ll explain in her section.) He has issues of his own too, things from his past that he regrets but he’s trying to overcome them and leave that regret at Jesus’ feet. I love his faith, it’s such a big part of him you can’t talk about him without bringing it up. Following what he knows to be right isn’t always the easiest for him, which makes him seem that much more real and relatable, yet he still does what he knows to be right no matter the consequences to himself. He’s also very sweet and gets extra points for how he treats Carla like a little sister and he’s just so precious. I also love how patient he is with Emma, letting her take all the time she needs to trust him and accept he doesn’t have an ulterior motive and won’t abandon her the moment she lets her guard down.
And then there’s Carla. I don’t know how to say just how much I love her. She is so sweet and kind and pure, and her faith in God is so pure and it just is. She’s also blind, but it’s just a part of her, not her entire being, and it in no way holds her back or makes her less of a person. She loves music and speculative fiction, she and I share a love for Haddix books ;), and most of all Jesus Christ. Her faith is her very center and she inspired me to be better. There’s so much about her that I admire and she is precious and my favourite character. I just love her so much.
Finally, there’s Grace and her boyfriend Brian. Grace, as I already stated, is Emma’s self-appointed best friend and she attempts to help Emma move out of her angry shell by trying to set her up with a guy. Let’s just say that Grace’s heart is in the right place and all she wants is to help Emma, but she doesn’t go about it in a way that actually helps Emma and doesn’t just annoy her even more. She also makes lots of various Fandom references which I LOVED! (I think I caught an Infinity War reference. :D) And Brian, he’s the steady, dependable guy who can keep Grace reined in and off Emma’s case when she gets out of hand. Now that he and Grace are dating, Emma’s accepted him into her group and he becomes like a big brother to her, though she wouldn’t say it like that. Brian is a really, really great guy.
And now for the antagonists. There was more than one antagonist which I loved, but the main antagonist, the one trying to take over Earth, was so creepy and gave me chills and I hate them. The antagonists were all wonderfully developed, though I was left wondering a bit at the exact motives of one of them but that was a very minor thing in the epicness that is this book.
Oh. My. Goodness. THIS PLOT! I was on the edge of my seat the whole time I was reading it and could hardly put it down. There was never a dull moment and even the parts that give our group a break in-between all the action still kept me enthralled. The POV (Point-of-view) swaps between Emma, Mitchell, and Carla and they were all distinct and you always knew who’s head you were in. I never sped through anyone’s POV because I wanted to get to another character’s, they were all SO good! This story is in present tense and it worked so well. Everything was well thought out, and the world building was amazing. I am so intrigued by Acktorek and I canNOT wait for book 2. Everything came together so well for the ending, it may not have been the exact ending I wanted, but it was the ending this story needed.
Several of the characters have a strong faith that sees them through the story. I loved the parts where Carla recites scripture in her times of fear and distress. Every time anything spiritual was brought up, it felt so natural and so true to the characters, it was part of them and not just slapped on so the story could be labeled Christian. Their faith was authentic and realistic, they had doubts, they had fears, yet they still trusted God. Emma acknowledges God’s existence, she does not deny that He is real, she just doesn’t believe He cares for her because of all she’s had to deal with so she shuts Him out. I’m just going to say that I loved a certain part later in the story with Emma and Mitchell and leave it at that.
One thing I’m unsure of is how those from the other worlds know about Jesus and what He did on the cross. This isn’t a big issue, I’m just curious how that came about, so it’s more of a question I hope gets answered in later books. Like did someone travel between the worlds and after getting saved on Earth went back to their home world and spread the Gospel, or something like that?
Emma and Carla’s mom has a severe mental issue where she goes into a full freak-out meltdown if something out of the ordinary happens. Someone is shot in the ankle by a laser gun and then briefly tortured for information, nothing overly graphic just very painful. A group of soldiers attack another group briefly with laser guns. Heck is used a few times, as in “What the heck…” sort of circumstances. (I know that’s not a curse word, but I know some people who don’t even want to read those kinds of words.) All in all, a very clean and family-friendly read.
About the Author
Morgan Elizabeth Huneke fell in love with sci-fi and fantasy at age seven when she first read A Wrinkle in Time and The Chronicles of Narnia. In the time since, she’s spent an inordinate amount of time exploring new realms and bygone eras through countless books, movies, and TV shows. She also spends a great deal of time talking to her imaginary friends and writing down their stories in books such as the Time Captives fantasy trilogy and Twisted Dreams, a sci-fi/fantasy Sleeping Beauty novella. On the occasion she remembers she lives in Georgia in the 21st century, she can be found working at the local library, playing and teaching violin and piano, singing along to Disney and Broadway soundtracks, making casseroles while blaring Casting Crowns, sewing her own clothes, turning pirouettes in the kitchen, and volunteering for political campaigns.
Be sure to check out the other awesome posts in this tour! Thanks for stopping by and I’ll see you tomorrow!
Monday, October 26
- Tour Announcement at Morgan Elizabeth Huneke
- Book Review at Living Outside the Lines (You are here.)
- Author Interview at Isamonkey Reviews
Tuesday, October 27
- Book Spotlight at Jaye L. Knight
- Author Interview at Living Outside the Lines
- Interview with Emma at Morgan Elizabeth Huneke
Wednesday, October 28
Thursday, October 29
Friday, October 30
I recieved a free ebook copy of this book in exchange for an honest review. All thoughts and opinions are my own.
What are your thoughts on this book? Which character sounds the most intriguing? And have you entered the giveaway?