Disclaimer: Treehugger was provided by the author to Pure Geekery for review purposes.
I’ve said before that I love books. Long books, short books, serious books, and books that cross the border into ridiculous. If it’s written down in a language I can read, I’ll read it. So when we got the chance to review the beginning of a series of adult novels, I jumped at the chance to check out something new.
Treehugger (#1 in Alwang’s Based on a Dream series) follows the story of Star (known on Earth as Chloe), CK, and Leada, teenagers who were chosen at birth to protect the multiverse from evil. The three friends live between both their worlds, having to balance life between being child warriors who have matured beyond their years and being normal teenagers on their respective planets. Star struggles with fitting in on her homeworld of Earth, preferring her time on Jacondor amidst creatures from planets spread out among the multiverse. The Jacondorians gain their power from Ethimarrow, a force-like organism that allows them to have superhuman abilites as well as read eachothers’ minds. Star, CK, and Leada are considered top warriors, but are haunted by memories of a mission gone horribly wrong.
I was excited but cautious when I picked up Treehugger. I love sci-fi and fantasy, but have been lead astray by some pretty terrible young adult books in the past. I have to say, I was pleasantly surprised at the maturity of subject matter tackled by the young protagonists. Alwang allows her characters to tackle difficult subjects such as acceptance, racism, and the value of one’s culture in a way that is meaningful and respectful of her audience. Too often, young adult authors underestimate their reader’s ability to comprehend these tough topics, but Alwang intelligently weaves the tougher material into a story about friends who are family and the value of appreciating your roots.
Alwang directly taps in to the loneliness of the teen years and the importance of surrounding yourself with good people. I would recommend this series not only to young adult readers, but adults who want to get back in touch with their more adventurous selves.
Pick up Treehugger in our Amazon store! Check out Alwang’s website here.