Rebellium (The Aether Chronicles)
by AJ Wolfe
Genre: Young Adult / Fantasy
Print Length: 414 pages
Reviewed by Alexandria Ducksworth
Something about Rebellium is pure magic.
In this story about an orphan who uses her powers to overthrow a corrupt government, readers are going to experience surges of excitement. Wolfe has constructed a wonderful fantasy and a memorable journey with Rebellium. There’s non-stop action, adventure, and lore within these pages.
Araedia is a land divided into four sectors. Sector One is where the wealthiest people live. They are well-fed and well-clothed. President Vayne Averie lives in Sector One and rules the whole of Araedia with an iron fist. He is on a mission to find the Aether, the legendary figure who can control all elements: fire, earth, air, and water. Young Araedian citizens are forced to test to see if they have any Elemental powers. Those who do have them are sent to work under the president.
Our protagonist, Natalia Rhys, lives in Sector Four, the poorest sector. She and her brother Vale stay in an orphanage until the president’s soldiers raid the area, forcing the siblings to escape. Natalia is left to fend for herself until she befriends Damien, Aurum, and twins Ren and Lavelle. Together, they fight to survive and endure the mandatory Elemental testing.
Meanwhile, a rebellion steadily arises across the land. Roman is the leader of the rebellion, and he is tired of the president’s cruelty. He has no problem knocking down everything his tyrant father has created, especially the Elemental tests. Roman meets Natalia and helps her develop her Elemental power, but it turns out Natalia might be the mythical Aether. If the president finds out, it’s game over for her and Roman’s rebellion army. No matter what, she will use her strength to end his rule once and for all.
People who are part of The Hunger Games and Avatar: The Last Airbender fandomswill get a kick out of Rebellium. You have elemental powers and massive rebellion tropes all in one.
I appreciate Natalia’s growth throughout the book too. She was once a scared little girl who becomes a strong, confident Elemental. Of all the people in Araedia, she becomes one of the key players in bringing the president down. The supporting characters are compelling, too; her friends feel like our friends. During battle, we’re so engrossed and hopeful that they all make it out alive.
President Vayne Averie is pure evil. He barely has a heart. No wonder Roman didn’t want to have any association with him. The most intriguing aspect about him is his secrets. What is his obsession with the Aether? What is he going to do when he finally finds them? The lingering questions will keep readers hooked.
AJ Wolfe’s action scenes read like a fast-paced movie. Young adult readers will have no problem visualizing the vivid scenes clearly in their minds and imagining a world in which they could have elemental powers too.
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