Published: April 28, 2013
One can live for several weeks without food but only a few days without water, a fact seventeen year old Niko is only too aware of as she struggles to provide for her two younger brothers in a post apocalyptic landscape where the rain burns like acid, food grows increasingly scarce and any Slither that crosses her path is laid low before it can sink its teeth into her.
Then one night everything she’d ever worked for and loved is consumed by a raging fire, leaving her with one brother missing, the other dead and herself gravely injured.
She’s rescued by the Rose Circle, a rogue group of Slither hunters. They sneak her into Amaryllis City, a decadent metropolis where those able to pay the exorbitant entrance fee live a life of relative ease.
But for Niko, Amaryllis City is not the haven she grew up believing it would be and her unique abilities as a Slither hunter make her a particularly visible target to a city with hopes of experimentation, replication and other nasty bits.
All Niko ever wanted to do was find her baby brother, but that’s proving to be harder than expected.
–MY TWO CENTS–
I thoroughly enjoyed this book, practically devouring the final third of it last night, having become so caught up in Niko and her quest.
Niko is the first book in The Outsider Chronicles from Kayti Nika Raet. Taking place in a dystopia that has suffered an apparent cataclysmic environmental disaster, leaving its inhabitants fearing the acid rain that falls from the skies, dodging heart-eating Slithers and generally fighting to survive, Raet deftly creates a world full of despair and anger, with glimpses of hope interspersed throughout, setting up the reader for what I can only imagine is going to be an interesting ride.
Her main character, Niko, is the kind of girl I love and would like to see more of: badass, hardcore, take-no-prisoners, survival-of-the-fittest types and she is one of the more fit specimens running around the city. Having lost her parents, she is the caretaker for her younger brothers, scouring the outer city for food and that precious commodity, clean water.
Coming home from one such mission results in personal tragedy and the beginning of Niko’s adventure, one that will take her inside the city walls to live in the lap of luxury, drink all the clean water she can ingest, kill Slithers and learn more about what is really going on with her cohorts in the Rose Circle, all while never giving up hope to find her brother. Especially refreshing is Niko’s devotion to her mission–that of saving her brother–and her refusal to be sidetracked by any of the boys she meets along the way. Niko is a rare gem, who I am certain has some vulnerabilities, but it so very good at hiding them.
My only criticism is more of an editing note than anything to do with the storyline, plot development and the like. There are some grammatical and spelling errors here and there, but these are easily worked around and ignored and probably only stand out to me because I am totally Type-A when it comes to such things.
All in all, this is a great story from a talented and very creative writer; you will get sucked into Raet’s world and root for Niko, and her deadly baseball bat, all the while. I’m looking forward to reading the rest of this trilogy and seeing what Miss Raet has in store for us. I am certain she will not disappoint.
Kayti Nika Raet
Originally from Brooklyn, New York, Kayti Nika Raet moved down South when she was 11 where she was bit by the writing bug as well as other less friendly insects. She the author of the YA dystopia, Niko, the upcoming sequel Harm, as well as the short stories Slither and Tape the Devil’s Mouth . She’s also a reviewer for Readers’ Favorite and has her own Youtube Channel Kayti Edition. Her procrastination aids are reading, K-pop, and photography. Kayti lives in Milledgeville, Georgia.