Title: Vevin Song
Author: Jonathan Neves Mayers
Genre: Fantasy, Science Fiction
Goodreads Rating: 4.18
“Too much thinking is never a good thing.”
If life as we know it came to an abrupt end, what would you be willing to endure to survive? In Vevin Song, humanity is threatened when a physically superior alien species invades the planet. Humans are forced to evacuate to underwater pods in an attempt to save themselves from the more immediate threat on land. Communities take shape and seek to establish a new normal but life in the pods is left wanting. Unsatisfied with her lot, our main character, Marla, wishes for something different. But be careful what you wish for… When Marla suddenly develops features resembling the invaders, her wish comes true as she is thrust into chaos and does what she must to save herself… by returning to the surface.
Starting in chapter 14, the story picks up and continues to move along nicely until the end of the book. The first 13 chapters are not bad by any means… They are setting up the dominoes for the rest of the story by introducing us to Marla’s life in the underwater pod. Once the characters are introduced and the dilemma takes shape, Mayers launches us into an intense and dangerous world filled with powerful enemies, unexpected allies, and crushing betrayals.
In Vevin Song, the invading alien species are known as Vevin and they remind me of the Na’vi of Avatar and the Parshendi of Stormlight Archive. They telepathically communicate in what they call the Song and they can summon blades like the Knights Radiant in Stormlight Archive. We learn more about them when Marla escapes the underwater pod to seek a sort of refuge on the surface where she quickly encounters an unexpected ally, Kimra.
I love an end-of-story battle and Mayers delivers an epic one! The intensity, drama, and fear envelope you as you attempt to read as fast as possible to figure out what happens. Who will survive? Read and find out.
As Marla discovers the full extent of her Vevin abilities, her learning curve is a tad too quick for me. Considering her job in the pod and the timeline of the story, her ability to use the Song and her fighting prowess develop at a fairly rapid pace with little explanation as to how or why.
There are a few moments in the story that are just too convenient. A character found someone a tad too easily. An enemy waits around a bit too long. Without giving away any spoilers, it felt like certain situations or characters didn’t progress as you would expect in order to allow for a particular interaction or moment.
I was thoroughly impressed with Vevin Song – especially when you consider that it is Mayers’s debut novel! The storyline captured my interest, I was attached to the characters, and the creature lore was fascinating. I look forward to reading the sequel.