The Lost Thorn by Joshua P. Aguayo

The Lost Thorn

3 Stars

Publisher: Full Runa Transmedia Studio

Date of publication: December 4th, 2015

Genre: Cyberpunk, science fiction, dystopia

Where you can find The Lost Thorn: Amazon | Barnes and Noble

Goodreads synopsis:

The Lost Thorn is a science fiction novel, with a strong and unstable female protagonist, that fuses the ideas of cyberpunk with dashes of urban fantasy. It’s a heart-pounding adventure told from the perspective of a highly chaotic girl who has lost everything she held dear, leaving her with nothing but a powerful drug to cope with the inescapable pain.

Cyberpunk meets psychological thriller. The Lost Thorn deals not only with mega-corporate thugs and gang politics, but it also follows Samantha’s spiral and constant clash with the demons of addiction and madness.

The novel is a grim and depressing social critique that often becomes a foil for the protagonist, whose voice we hear guiding us through her story. She is spunky, easygoing, careless, and terrible at making puns. This is an adventure of contrasts from beginning to end, one that will leave you hanging and asking for more!

My review:

Cyberpunk is a genre that I haven’t read. So when I was approached to review The Lost Thorn, I decided to accept it. I am undecided on how I feel about this book. I thought that I had a good storyline with interesting characters. But, the plot was all over the place. I got lost several times while reading the book. The characters weren’t as fleshed out as I would have liked for them to be.

The Lost Thorn is about Samantha. Sam is an addict. She wasn’t always an addict. But after the execution of her father and her identical twin sister being held hostage by ClearSight, snorting Obsidian is her way of coping with her pain. Sam is barely getting through life when the head of the gang that she was affiliated with asks her to take a look at something they have. Something that only Sam can open. See, Sam is a mage. Mages had been outlawed for the past 20 years. Sam was in hiding. But she needs to reawaken her powers. Because someone needs her to break someone out of a prison for mages. They also need her to destroy it. Can Sam shake her addiction long enough to do what her mysterious employer wants? Or will she succumb to it?

I liked Samantha. She was such a wise guy. Always had a quick comeback for people or a bad pun if the situation called for it. Her grief over losing her father and sister came off the pages. Up until the end of the book, I felt that there could have been more “oomph” to her character. If what was revealed at the end of the book was stated at the beginning, everything would have made much more sense to me.

I couldn’t read Kiki. Up until the middle of the book, I didn’t know how she felt about Sam. Her flirting with Sam annoyed me because there was no other sign that Kiki felt anything for her. She flirted, it seemed to me, to get information out of Sam. She also knew a lot more than she let on. She had known about things that surprised Sam. I also didn’t understand why she had to go along for the rescue mission.

The secondary characters were interesting but I wish that they were more fleshed out. I wish that more was said about the mysterious Hummingbird and why that person wanted Sam to take down ClearSight’s mage prison. It was very frustrating not to know that.

As I mentioned above, the plotline was all over the place in this book. There were times where I had to backtrack to earlier chapters to understood what was being referenced in what I was reading. Or I was left going “what the heck“. Usually, because I couldn’t figure out what was going on in the book. I do not get confused while reading books. So, yes, this factored hugely in my rating.

I had a few questions about certain things mentioned in the book. What happened to Earth to make it the hellhole that the author made it out to be? Was it war? There were some vague references in the book but nothing was truly answered. I also wanted to know why mages were being hunted and kept in prisons. Why did the ruler of that city hate them so much that he ordered them to be executed? I also had some questions with Obsidian and its origins. Not going to get into it here but I was kinda confused about how it was created. The Last Thorn should have answered those questions by the end of the book. But it didn’t. I can only hope that there is going to be a book 2 and that book will answer my questions. And, like with the previous paragraph, this factored in with my review also.

The end of The Last Thorn confused me. What Sam “confessed” to should have been made clear at the beginning of the book. It did explain a lot about her personality. I got no sense of closure from the ending. The storylines were not ended and were left hanging. Which makes me wonder if there is going to be a book 2.

I gave The Last Thorn a 3-star rating. I thought the characters were interesting but felt that the secondary characters could have been a bit more fleshed out. The plotline was fast-moving but I kept having to backtrack and that added time to my reading. There were also times where I got lost because I had no idea what was going on. The end of The Last Thorn was confusing and storylines were not resolved.

I would give The Last Thorn an Adult rating. There is no sex. There is violence. There is language. I would recommend that no one under the age of 21 read this book.

I am on the fence if I would reread The Last Thorn. I am also on the fence if I would recommend this book to family and friends.

I would like to thank the author for allowing me to read and review The Last Thorn.

All opinions stated in this review of The Last Thorn are mine

**I voluntarily reviewed a complimentary copy of this book**

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