FeaturedYoung Adult Fantasy

Verntropa - The Balance


Worth reading 😎

An enjoyable plot and impressive world-building but missed the potential for even higher stakes and smooth integration into the setting.

This book does a great job of ramping up the tension, gradually adding on plot points, and keeping the reader interested. The plot held my attention early on and I was happy with the overall pacing. However, the book starts with a sort of ”prologue” that gives away a lot of information that could have been saved for later. It would have led to even more tension and prevent the spoiling of a few plot twists later on.

This book switches points of view between Olivia, a fifteen-year-old human living on Earth, and Swatch, a low-ranking government official on Verntropa. Olivia was an enjoyable protagonist to follow. She’s curious, motivated, and often asked the same question I did throughout the story. Swatch was more difficult to follow, as he’s an alien and so it was difficult to connect with him early on. There were a large number of secondary characters in this book that I felt could be merged to streamline the storytelling.

The author has put a lot of work into building the world of Verntropa, as made clear by the multiple races she created and intricate details about the rules of this world. However, the readers are thrown knee-deep into the unfamiliar world early on in the story. Almost all the alien races are introduced within one chapter and I found myself having a hard time keeping them straight. I wonder if the world would have been easier to understand if the story had been told only from Olivia’s point of view, rather than switching between her and Swatch.

Verntropa - The Balance is the first book in E.L. Clarke’s Verntropa trilogy and is a great read for SciFi fans. This book has an enjoyable plot and some impressive world-building. The main character Olivia is a fun protagonist that I connected to easily. However, early point of view switches between characters and a prologue hurt the potential for even higher stakes and smoother integration into the setting.

Reviewed by

I have an MFA in Fiction with a focus on Young Adult Fantasy. My blog currently has over 400 subscribers with an average of 308 unique monthly visitors. I have a Twitter following of 4,100, 500 followers on Facebook, and an Instagram page with 700 followers.

The House Guest

About the author

E.L. Clarke is a young adult fantasy science fiction author from Sydney, Australia. Verntropa: Tha Balance is her debut novel. The first volume in the Verntropa trilogy. Available - 31st August 2021. view profile

Published on August 31, 2021

100000 words

Genre: Young Adult Fantasy

Reviewed by