Title: Fourth World (Iamos Trilogy Book One)
Author: Lyssa Chiavari
Synopsis: IAMOS, S.C.D. 8378
Nadin’s planet is dying. As its atmosphere drains away, her people are forced to live huddled in domed cities for protection. With only enough resources to support the population for one more year, time is running out. Nadin thinks she’s found a way to save Iamos, but it will mean defying the planet’s rulers, the geroi—and betraying the geroi could cost her everything.
When a strange boy from another world appears out of nowhere outside the citidome’s glass walls, Nadin knows for sure that her plan will work. But to build the device that can save her people, Nadin must first find the legendary city of Elytherios. And to do that, she’ll need the help of the mysterious alien boy named Isaak.
MARS, 2073 C.E.
All Isaak wanted was to get through his senior year at the Academy in one piece. Everything would have been fine if he hadn’t found that ancient coin among his missing father’s possessions. The coin seems to have a strange connection not only to Isaak’s family, but to Mars’ ancient past.
But how is that possible, on a planet that was supposed to be dead until just forty years ago?
Now Isaak’s got agents of the Earth’s government on his tail and a deranged factory worker stalking his every move. Everyone is desperate to get their hands on something called the Key. And the only way to escape is to unlock an even bigger secret, one that could change his life—and the fate of Mars—forever.
Rating: 4 and a half stars
Review: I was given this e-ARC on Netgalley in exchange for an honest review.
My thoughts when I requested it
My initial thoughts upon beginning:
Me around the middle:
Me at the end:
Basically this whole book made me feel a whole rollercoaster of emotions from beginning to end, and I’m going to try and put those feelings into words; the operative word being ‘try.’
The book follows the story of two different teens from two different time eras – Isaak and Nadin. Nadin lives in a society where everyone lives in biodomes and are controlled by something called The System. Isaak lives in more of a modern society where humans are living on Mars in communities, with schools and everything. After Isaak discovers a weird coin in his lost dad’s possessions, that’s the start of a time hopping experience worthy of Dr Who.
One thing I really loved about this book was that the two main characters are LGBTQIA+ – Isaak identifies as demisexual (he actually straight-out says it) and Nadin is possibly asexual. That’s something that I really want to see develop more in future books. I just love how these very underappreciated sexualities are written in – they don’t define the characters, and I also just love that they were even written into the story at all. I don’t know of any other books that include demi- or asexual characters (if you know of any, recommend some to me!).
The plot was a little strung out – there were certain parts I felt could have been shortened or just cut out completely – but in general it was a book that kept me interested the whole way through. It dealt with genuine teenage issues like first crushes, and friendship, combined with more serious issues like colonialism and time travel. Dear God, time travel on its own is enough to give you a headache.
I’m not usually a sci-fi person, but recently I’ve been dipping my toes into that genre a little bit, and this has definitely inspired me to read others in the genre. I give it four and a half stars, because it’s amazing, but not five-star worthy. It didn’t make me go crazy over the characters, so four and a half stars it is.
‘Fourth World’ was published on Dec 29, so go get a copy of it now – it’s a freaking huge deal.