First; a little background.  I met Shay on Twitter.  She found me through my tweets about my book, Sue’s Fingerprint.  She read my profile and discovered another scientist-turned-author.

I put her book, The Chosen, into my to-read queue and finally got around to reading it.

The Chosen is an Earth-and-other-planet-based science fiction story.  It’s a story of youth pre-destined to save the galaxy.  The story lines on each of the planets progress independently until they converge as planned by the Guardians.  The five Chosen on each of four planets are selected by their Guardian to be special students.  They know they are special on their home world, but they have no idea about their greater purpose.  Only the Guardians know.

Most of the book follows the journeys and development of the Chosen on their planets.  We learn about their strengths and weaknesses, and we see them interact with their teachers and each other.  This view of each planet and each student sets up the story for the conclusion when they come together for their greater purpose.

The story moved at a good pace; slow enough to learn the characters, but fast enough to stay interesting.  At times, however, the names and individual identities of the characters were confusing.  The author is juggling 24 main characters, along with the supporting cast on Gentra and the other four planets, so it was hard to remember the names of the characters and their traits in the early parts of the book.  Some were more memorable than others.  By the end of the book, I had a more clear picture.

As I approached the end of the book, I kept waiting for ultimate goal for which The Chosen were pre-destined.  As the pages went by, I thought there might be a quick Ender-type ending where the Chosen reached their goal without really knowing they had until it was over.  But that’s not how it ended.  The book was clearly written as part one of at least two in the series.  The Chosen ended like a to-be-continued cliffhanger.  I didn’t get any resolution to the converging stories which I had expected.  I wish this first book would have ended with some more defined milestone that could stand on it’s own; such as “training is complete, now prepare for your journey together”.  Instead, it felt like the book simply ended, like a tv program that ends during a commercial break.

The imagery and character descriptions in The Chosen were very well written.  I could easily picture the scenery and action described in the book.  Shay’s imagination is very vivid and she can paint a wonderful picture.

If you like fiction and fantasy, this is a good book, and a good series for you.

On my scientific (geeky) rating scale of 0-100 degrees Celcius (0 being frozen, 100 being red-hot boiling), The Chosen is 70 degrees C