BaSatai: Outside In #1 by Suzan Battah
Seventeen year old, Armani Radnelaq a full blooded BaSatai is plagued by a curse in her blood. A curse created from hate and designed to break the divide between two parallel worlds of Earth and H-trae when Armani's blood is spilled in attack and she dies.
S'teuqoubs have been traveling back and forth across the divide for centuries without trouble. The BaSatai and Guardians monitoring activity and enforcing rules to ensure peace and harmony but if the divide splits and opens, a much greater number of supernatural S’teuqoubs will filter into earth destroying equilibrium which the BaSatai and Guardians will be unable to control. Humanity and the BaSatai will suffer and perish. The parallel divide must remain secure at all costs.
Armani has remained hidden on earth with her adopted father Elijah since her birth. She has been raised in the human way and fights her natural instinct to evolve into a BaSatai. The BaSatai in her requires her to evolve and shift, use her powers and strength. Yet Armani is freaked out by the need to shift. She smokes, has a bad attitude, must deal with aggressive bullies and control her natural BaSatai instinct. Her Guardian with BaSatai Warriors are coming for her. She refuses to accept her fate and doesn't believe any BaSatai should die to protect her.
The blood curse maturing in her veins makes her a target for her enemies. Her Guardian Karhl and an elite BasSatai Warrior Rafael are the first to arrive and prepare her for her crossing over. Her attraction to Rafael complicates her purpose to stay on earth even more. They both insist she fall into line and follow their lead but she is not ready to leave earth just yet...
Ok, so this book was pretty awesome. I am not quite sure what I was expecting when I started it, but it was a very fast and intriguing read. I loved the main character, she is feisty and smart.
Most of the characters names looked a little weird at first and there is probably no way I could pronounce them aloud without sounding silly, but I got the hang of them very fast, it ended up adding something visually more interesting to the story that appealed to me.
I enjoyed being introduced to Armani and Karhl they were my favorite characters out of the bunch. My favorite scenes were the ones that she shifts in, I thought that the writing was amazing and visually descriptive. I enjoy stories in which the MC doesn't have it so easy. The development of becoming stronger able to face their fears, or their destiny, and come out stronger because of it.
There are some great twists, and I liked how the romantic aspects were handled. The subject of romance in books is the one I'm most cynical about, but this was perfect for me, no cheesy mushy love, but more straight forward and more like real-life.
There is language, fighting and sexual tension. As the story progresses more and more characters are introduced, but not overwhelming and the world building and storyline really holds up through the whole book. There is a little something missing from some of the development of the main character in accepting who she is and some out of the dialogue and flow of conversations, but otherwise I was very entertained and enjoyed this story.
I give it 4 stars