Book Review:  The Paradise Tree, by R.A. Denny

Image belongs to the author.

Title:   The Paradise Tree
Author R.A. Denny
Genre:   YA, fantasy, historical
Rating:  4 out of 5

Welcome to Paradise. Daniel’s alchemy has hurtled them 112 years into the future where a mysterious tree-shaped structure rises into the Moroccan sky. Generations have passed, but a culture grounded in ancient Yoruba traditions has sprung up.

 Peri must choose between trusting the friendly strangers she meets and following Ayoub, the terrorist-turned-pirate, into the unknown. She fights to keep her family together, but her faith is shaken. Nothing is as it seems.

 Caught between two warring factions, the YUS with brain chips and the Natural Resistance Force, Peri must search within herself to discover what truly makes life worth living. How much is she willing to sacrifice for paradise?

The Paradise Tree is the third book in the Pirates and Puritans series. This wraps up Daniel and Peri’s story, after everything they’ve gone through to be together and safe, but it also gives the other characters the endings they deserve.

I liked Daniel and Mya a lot. Both their personalities are strong and distinct, and their intelligences show through, even when I wasn’t quite sure what was true. Peri was kind of their opposite:  she comes across as very passive and just lets life happen to her, even against her better instincts, until the very end, when she finally starts to be her own person.

Ayoub isn’t a likable character to me. He flip-flops too much for me to truly believe him:  one second he’s missing his time as a corsair, the next he wants an AK-47. Then he’s lusting after Salima—who just lost her husband—then he’s remembering his Native American wife and noticing a woman’s breasts. He proclaims he’ll never marry again—then thinks of Salima’s children as his own. I just wasn’t a fan.

I thought the future culture was fascinating, and a bit scary, but it was totally believable, with the things happening in the world today. I liked that there were two such distinct cultures clashing for control (or for free will), and I enjoyed watching how it all played out.

R.A Denny has a law degree from Duke University but chooses to do just what she loves:  write. The Paradise Tree is her newest novel, the third in the Pirates and Puritans series.

(Galley courtesy of the author in exchange for an honest review.)

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