6 Dec 2022



"With the world divided, James and his friends are selected to become warriors. Their lives inextricably woven into humanity's uncertain future."

The world is fresh from humanity splitting in half – the BlankZone in the East and the Federation in the West. As an inevitable attack from the BlankZone looms, the Federation makes swift, mysterious, and unexpected moves to prepare.

James, a 17-year-old living in the Federation, is drafted by the military. He learns he has been selected to join a group of skilled teens who will be transformed into elite human weapons. Follow James and his friends as they mature from teenagers to lethal warriors. Together, they will face life altering events as they navigate a new existence dedicated to protecting their friends, families, and humanity at all costs. ... Synopsis

James held his throbbing head, thinking he might be sick. ... First Sentence, Chapter 1: Part 1

His brain was elsewhere these days. Even talks with his parents were different and their conversations ended up stunted, leaving both parties feeling even more estranged. His team was what mattered to him. His family understood, right? ... Memorable Moment, Page 204

Proof that books marketed at a Young Adult {YA} audience can be just as compelling, Cut From Stone  exceeded my expectations.

Great world building ✔ Set in a dystopian world in which teenagers such as main protagonist, seventeen year old James and co are enlisted into a futuristic army charged with becoming elite soldiers in a world in which the planet is divided in two, The Federation of the Americas and The BlankZone.

I must confess to finding this aspect of the book a bit unnerving as whilst it was set in a 'futuristic', high-tech world I felt it within the realms of possibility that this could well happen .... and not too far into our future. 

Action packed ✔ Concentrating mainly on the training and first assignment of this elite group of young soldiers as it becomes apparent that the government's fears are justified and the the Federation falls under attack by whatever is on The Blankzone; full of adventure, I actually found myself holding my breath at the twists and turns, both physical and emotional, that the plot took - and yet  ... 

Superb characters ✔ All credit to the author that , rare for this genre, they kept the narrative sooo character driven that you cannot help but invest in them big time.

Struggling not only with the physical and mental hardship imposed by their transformation from a group of typical teenagers to an elite fighting force but also with the ever widening gap between themselves and their former friends and, yes, even, family; James finding himself increasingly unable to relate to the 'outside world', his rare phone calls home strained and, more often than not, cut short. With a story that pretty much unfolds in his head, I loved the journey that James and his fellow cadets find themselves on

Ends on a cliffhanger ... a big one 😔

'James, even with all the uncertainty, was prepared for what lay ahead' {pg 322}. 

For myself {and I'm sure many others I'm sure} I'm only hoping that whatever it is we aren't left waiting too long to find out.

About Brendan O'Meara* ... Raised in White Plains, New York, Brendan O’Meara formed a love of stories and books from a young age. He has spent his free time over the last decade crafting his debut novel, Cut From Stone, book one in the Crafting Humanity series.

It began in Philadelphia where he attended college daydreaming about a dystopian reality. With a vivid imagination (as described by his middle school teachers) and a passion for adventure, Brendan’s novels will transport you to a different life and capture you from cover to cover.

Brendan lives in Washington, DC with his daughter, wife, and two dogs. You will find him on the weekends drinking a beer watching the Packers and Notre Dame football games. He is an avid reader with a specific interest in sci-fi, anything dystopian, fantasy, history, and all levels of fiction.

Find his website here.

{Author bio and photograph courtesy of GoodReads}


Kelly said...

This one clearly ticked all the right boxes for you! Well.... except for that cliff-hanger part. Hopefully you won't have to wait too long for a sequel.

Literary Feline said...

You had me up until cliffhanger. I hate cliffhangers unless I have the next book ready to read. This really does sound tempting. I'm adding it to my wish list.

nightwingsraven said...

This sounds like a truly compelling
story. Not to speak of the memorable
characters. I will definitely keep it
in mind. And thank you for your
excellent review.