Want, by Magus Tor, is a Young Adult dystopian pageturner.
Aurelia Cole is only seventeen when the story starts. She’s just finished school and has been hired by Lunar City Hospital as a med worker. She’s bright, kind, scared, and ambitious. When the shuttle she’s on is attacked, her entire life changes. Nicholas, a Clone she met hours before the attack, rescues Jonathon Hansen, who many think will be the next Earth Empire President. Aurelia is torn between Nicholas and Jonathon. Who can she trust and who should she believe. When the Resistance movement approaches Aurelia she has to make a choice. But on Lunar City the motto is: Trust no one, no one trusts.
This is the first book in the series, which means the author is creating a complex world right from the start. The opening pages include a lot of information not only about the world Aurelia inhabits but about Aurelia as well. This info dumping isn’t tedious, though. The solid writing makes the story compelling from the first page and the world Magus Tor creates is fascinating and terrifying. Aurelia is an interesting character since she’s both intelligent and naïve. All of her life she’s done everything according to a plan, not asking questions. Not because she wasn’t curious, but because she didn’t know enough to know that she had questions. Her inexperience helps move the story along. Once Aurelia leaves her comfort zone she starts to notice things. Unsettling things.
Aurelia starts to question the world around her, but she also accepts things quickly. Nicholas and Jonathan both give her a crash course about how things really operate from their viewpoint. Even though Aurelia has only known both of them for a short amount of time, she decides quickly to trust them. This goes against the motto: Trust no one, no one trusts. Aurelia’s reaction is difficult for the reader to believe since Aurelia is too accepting and too willing to throw everything she’s worked for away as soon as she hears of things from people she just met. She has been indoctrinated all of her life, why is it so easy for her to shed her beliefs? Also, Aurelia is only seventeen, but she acts much older than seventeen and everyone treats her like she’s much older. For instance, the head of the hospital makes Aurelia head of trauma after she’s only been on duty for a day or so. It’s hard to fathom someone so young with so much responsibility.
Setting these niggles aside, it should be noted that the story is enjoyable. The author’s ability to create a complex and believable world in a short amount of time is admirable. Moreover, this is the first book in the Numbered Series, leaving the author plenty of time to develop the characters. He lays a solid foundation for the series that is intriguing and thought-provoking. While the opening pages are a bit slow, the final pages are action-packed. The cliffhanger ending will make many readers want more.