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Reviewed by Arya Fomonyuy for Readers' Favorite
Nikki McCormack’s Dissident is the first book in the Forbidden Things series, an epic fantasy that is well written and structured. Indigo is a gifted young woman with an extraordinary ascard power, but society only allows her to use a limited amount of her power to heal others. From the very beginning of the story, the reader understands quickly that Indigo doesn’t feel fulfilled and her relationship with her fiancé isn’t what she’d hoped for. But then a mysterious stranger contacts her from his prison, requiring her help. Intrigued by the resolve in his voice, she decides to help him get his freedom so he can fight for justice for his own people. After his release, Indigo can’t help but think occasionally about the stranger. Their paths cross again unexpectedly and this time she isn’t just going to help him—she is going to decide about her destiny.
Dissident is a great story and I found Nikki McCormack’s characters to be well-developed and rock-solid. The idea of ascard power is interesting and I enjoyed how it becomes part of the conflict that drives the strong plot. Indigo is the kind of character that readers will enjoy and her break from the limitations society imposes on her is a symbolic message that will sit well with many readers. The author has succeeded in weaving together the elements of a great romance into a daring work of fantasy, while creating a setting that feels real to readers, and characters they’ll remember even after putting the book back on the shelf.