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Reviewed by Christian Sia for Readers' Favorite
Zeva by Tesha Finley promises excitement for fans of young adult fantasy. For a debut novel, Zeva is a huge achievement and heralds an interesting series. Tristan is a young man who grew up in Zeva, an alternate universe that exists to protect Earth. He is nearing adulthood and looking forward to the ceremony that will welcome him into Zevian adulthood. But something bothers him — he's always wanted to have some contact with Earth, not content on waiting for the right time. And the opportunity comes when his father is stationed on Earth. He meets Ember, a smart and beautiful girl who makes him wonder if his place is really in Zeva or on Earth. While he feels irresistibly drawn to her, he knows it would be anathema to pursue the attraction. He has to choose between his ordained path and Ember. But either way, he will be making a very serious sacrifice. Does he have the wisdom and the strength to follow his heart? And will he be able to protect Ember when things go terribly wrong?
Zeva is a great story with a strong plot, enriched by a familiar theme — a young man falling for a girl he is forbidden to have. Tristan is a character facing a dilemma and this is at the heart of the conflict that moves the plot forward. He is torn between his connection to Ember and his vocation as a Zevian. The setting is a world like ours, a world that follows a strict order, created to serve ours. It is an exciting place and the author imagines it with features and elements that sound familiar to readers. There is an eeriness that permeates Tristan's world, making it feel like a dream world without losing the realism that is injected into the story. The story has psychological and emotional depth, written in a style that is atmospheric; it's fast-paced and engaging thanks to the strong plot points. Tesha Finley makes me want to read the next book in the series.