Dead and Buryd is an imaginative YA sci fi with interesting characters and deep world building. The plot moves smoothly and there is plenty of action and mystery to keep readers intriguing. But a far too obvious “Mary Sue” type of heroine (all the men fall in love with her and her actions never have mortal consequences when they should) does let the story down and reveal the book’s indie roots. That said, I did immediately purchase the sequel after I finished reading. Of note, this feels much more like a YA/New Adult dystopian than a sci fi.
Story: In a long ago past, a meteor threatened Os-Veruh; half the population left on colonizing starships and the rest waited for their deaths. But while the meteor barely missed the planet, it did destroy the environment; the survivors continued on in low technology tribes. Until the day one group of colonists returned – the Adveni – and promptly conquered and enslaved Os-Veruh. Ten years later, Georgianna is a medic treating prisoners, her people, in the Adveni slave/prison camp. At the same time, she has become involved with the local rebels and will soon become embroiled in betrayals, conspiracy, and great danger.
Georgianna is a character that is easy to get into but also ultimately frustrating in her passivity. She is defined by the men around her and that passivity is in contrast with her constantly being frustrated that no one takes her seriously. Her work in the prison is defined by love interest #1: mysterious Adveni guard Edtroka. Current life defined by casual lover and love interest #2: rebel Keiran. And the machinations of the politics of the plot defined by love interest #3: former lover Lec. Add in a string of side characters who convince her to do foolhardy things that should have got her killed or enslaved, and you get the idea that we’ve seen this type of trope before. I think the obsession everyone has over Georgianna is rather inexplicable. I wish she had been passionate about something – either her medical work, her people, or even any of her boyfriends.
For me, it was the world building that kept me going. The plot isn’t simple despite being fairly simplistic and quite a lot was done to define the world. I may not think all of that world building was logical or realistic, but I’d rather have that over ill-defined lazy writing. There are several layers and I was never bored despite copious amounts of clunky (but fortunately brief) info dumps. A professional editor will do wonders to hone this writer’s skills to smooth the pace and promote consistency. This is far better than most self published work.
Although this read like your standard dystopian, I appreciated that our heroine wasn’t a dewey eyed virginal unique snowflake. Of course, I think I will be like many readers and say that it was the intriguing character, prison guard, Edtoka that made me want to read book two. Reviewed from an egalley provided by the author.