Dark Rising: The Dark Matter Chronicles: 1

Dark Rising (The Dark Matter Chronicles, #1) - M.X. Kremzen Very impressive for an indie self-publish. The best part is the very rich and intricate world that the author has built, with very detailed and unique descriptions of alien cultures and technology. It almost makes me wish that more context was provided in the beginning, as the main protagonist seems to be thrown into this world right off the bat; we barely even get a chance to really know Alexander before we are reeling right alongside with him at the revelation that he is one of the Arcana.

Speaking of which, the lore behind the Arcana is also very interesting. They're an old order tasked with recording and observing civilizations in the universe, collecting and preserving artifacts for study. In a way, they're like nature filmmakers in that they're not supposed to interfere with the course of history and the natural order, an important tenet which gives rise to the novel's main conflict. Somewhat related to this, I find I enjoyed the large sections of the book dedicated to revealing the story and past of the main villain, which reveals his motivations and gives you more insight into his character. Because of this, in many ways I felt more connection to the bad guy than I did the main protagonist.

No doubt I've mentioned this before, but YA isn't my usual genre, so maybe those more familiar with it will appreciate or perceive this book much differently. However, I did find it refreshing to be reading about a male protagonist, in a sci-fi setting that had nothing to do with paranormal fantasy creatures or a dystopia. Could use a bit of polish, but like I said the world building is fantastic. Looking forward to future installments of this series, and getting to know the characters better.