As part of the ‘Write for Life’ launch tour for To Save a Life by R. M. Peterson and Sustainer’s Smile by Erika Matthews, I requested an ARC of Sustainer’s Smile to review here on my blog. There’s a cool giveaway going on for the launch tour, and you can check out the whole roster of participants here! And now, without further ado, I’ll get into my mini review of Sustainer’s Smile.
A helpless newborn . . . that’s exactly how twenty-four-year-old Liliora Ellith feels in her efforts to speak up on behalf of the youngest members of Taerna’s pleasure-driven society. Her tender heart for the defenseless and deep aversion to conflict throw Lili’s soul into turmoil when tragedy opens her eyes to the quiet yet heartrending war on Taerna’s babies—both born and unborn. Adon Olam’s word coupled with a secret in her own past fuel her determination, but the challenges ahead of her threaten to send her spiraling into hopeless depression. At the very end of herself, can her own utter insufficiency be anything less than the catalyst for complete disaster?
Matthews’ heart for the unborn shines through in this novella, and it’s for that reason that I wish I could give Sustainer’s Smile a more enthusiastic review. However, I failed to connect with the characters, and that left me feeling ambivalent about the book. I did enjoy the songs and poems found throughout Sustainer’s Smile (I believe reading Tolkien has given me a greater appreciation for poetry). Trig was a lovely character, definitely my favorite. And the message of Sustainer’s Smile is an important one, no doubt about it. I simply would have appreciated a more engaging, emotionally gripping story as the vehicle for that message.
I received a free copy of this book from the author in exchange for my honest review.