Laura DiSilverio has, in the past, primarily been a cozy mystery author. Incubation marks her debut in a new genre, and it is a very impressive one! This is Book One in an anticipated trilogy (Book Two, Incineration, came out in June of 2016, and Book Three can’t be published soon enough for me).
Incubation centers around the life and adventures of Everly Jax, a young woman who discovers that her future lies in leaving the only life she’s ever known to enter the dangerous outside world. Luckily, she is accompanied by two close friends, and the trio set out to achieve their different (but mostly complementary) goals.
All of the primary characters are very well realized, and come across as genuine and individualized. Even some of the more minor characters are portrayed with enough care and detail that the reader is curious to learn more about their backstories. The interactions between the young people ring true, and the dialog sounds very much the way I imagine the similarly-aged youth in my life would talk if they found themselves in this story.
The plot is action-packed and well paced. Everything that happens makes sense, and occurs in a logical progression. Of note, the main characters do not instantly morph into junior McGuyvers, able to perform incredible feats easily. They undergo some training, and learn some new helpful skills, but they’re not portrayed as being magically able to handle everything that comes their way, and they sometimes (as teens may do) make bad decisions and mistakes. Another noteworthy bit: when the main character (Everly) has to do something she considers bad or wrong, she thinks and worries about it afterwards. I find this adds realism to the plot, as well as likability to the character. After all, how many teens who’ve led a fairly sheltered life would transition easily and without moral dilemma to a new life involving some level of hurting others?
The world of the story is well thought-out and makes sense. A critical element for dystopian fiction is that the brave new world of the story is clear to the reader. DiSilverio does a wonderful job of making sure that the reader understands the environment through which the characters are moving, even as the characters themselves learn more about the realities of their world. The fact that she does so without coming across as overly descriptive or boring adds to the overall enjoyment of this book.
Although it goes without saying, I really, really loved reading Incubation, and congratulate the author on succeeding so very well with her foray into this new genre.
Five out of five delectable wedges of Cherokee Rose (a fabulous creamy cheese made in Georgia, US)