Your perception will sharpen once you see through a tiger’s eyes.
More than five hundred years after the apocalypse, the survivors of off-grid genetic experimentation have refined their mixed DNA to the point that humans and their animal counterparts share physical and mental links. Varying species have divided into districts, living in a tenuous peace under the President of Calem.
Ardana and her tiger ingenium Rijan leave their life of exile and abuse in the Outskirts, setting out with their twin brothers to redeem themselves and become citizens of the Center. But shedding their past isn’t as easy as they had hoped. When the system that shunned them becomes embroiled in political conflict and treachery, their unique abilities and experiences from the Outskirts make them invaluable to every faction. The runaways become pawns to friends as well as enemies, and with every step it becomes more difficult to tell which is which.
The plot of this novel was intriguing. I was almost intently caught up with what was happening and the characters were extremely realistic. I didn’t like that Ana seemed to be the weak link but was glad she was able to grow and develop throughout the novel.
The strange, long names of everyone were confusing and difficult to keep track of. I even found myself forgetting who was the tiger and who was the Ana’s twin brother. And it didn’t help that Ana called people in her mind by made-up names; it only made it that much harder to remember what their real names were.
Cashman's writing style is very descriptive and I could easily see what she was describing, yet the majority of her similes were long and unnecessary. Such as: The false bottom was like the lid of a coffin that concealed the life that had died with my father, and If it was closed, it was a wall so thick that my thoughts felt like thousands of tiny balls that bounced off the inside of my skull with no hope of release. The flow of the writing would have been much smoother had these been shortened or eliminated all together. That being said, I could clearly see what Ana looked like, including her cool vine “tattoos”. I could see and love Kliax’ awesome eyes and fun Robert Pattinson-like hair.
There was a wonderful amount of (clean) romance that kept me turning the page and I really liked Kliax. And I loved that Ana had to overcome her abusive past to be able to love Kliax, though I would have liked to know more of how Ana felt when they finally kissed and she actually enjoyed it.
The relationship between Ana, her twin brother and their ingenium tigers was wonderful. I loved that they could read each others' thoughts and feeling because of their relationship to their mother’s ingenium. The very idea of people having a connection that close with an animal or plant was intriguing and very well displayed, though I would have been lost from the beginning had I not read the synopsis of the novel before hand.
The last part of the novel included a whole bunch of twists and turns as the hidden agendas of some of the characters were revealed, but it was done in such a confusing way that I was lost half the time. And the Campaign felt like a copy of scenes from The Hunger Games, which felt out of place from the rest of the story. It would have been much better had this part had not been as detailed.
I’m not a fan of novels concluding with obvious “to be continued” endings but I’m willing to read the next in the Tiger’s Eye series as long as those similes are dealt with and the steady stream of romance continues. ;)