The Human by Janine K. Spendlove
My rating: 4 of 5 stars
The Human is about a 17 year old named Story, who has lost her family and has been spending some time driving away her friends. While spelunking with her remaining friend she goes through a portal and comes out into a world where the once immortal race of elves is slowly dying away and as a human she holds the key to ending their curse.
The story aside, the book is about a lonely and somewhat socio-phobic young adult thrust into a fantastic setting. And while physically competent as a young adult (she is a spelunker, and good with a knife and bow), the people she meets in this new world are wise to the ways of the world, cunning and remorseless. And her wits are not helpful and her people skills are not much better in this setting. So The Human is her learning how to deal with others instead of being the outcast teenager she was. She learns (mostly by mistakes) about reading people, of considering the motivations of others, of having trust betrayed, and trust rewarded. She has relationships that are purely manipulative, some that are genuine care, some that are sacrificial, and even one that is without any agenda. And as she goes from an isolated teenager into a young adult with a range of relationships, her view of the world and her place in it grows.
There is a romance in the book with the female protagonist. But I appreciate the fact that she had a chance to become competent as a person (both in skills and how she related towards others) and other aspects of her growth were more important than the relationship for most of the book. And that this growth is what made her attractive to the other person in the end.
This was an engrossing story. I liked following the main character's growth as a person, and how it fits in with the overall story. I'm looking forward to the other books in this series.
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