BLURB from Goodreads
The colony of Survin has been hidden for centuries, protecting an ancient religious artifact called the Healing Crystal from men who would steal or destroy it. Kairma, heir to the Crystal, is destined to mate with the handsome Naturi and become the leader of the reclusive colony, but she is too young to realize the peril soon to arrive. At sixteen, Kairma is too young to realize many things ....Kairma would rather go spelunking with her brother and his best friend than study ancient medicine and religious laws, but the discovery of a tomb containing ancient artifacts leads Kairma to question her religion and the true nature of the Crystal. To further complicate Kairma's ascent, a childhood illness has left her resembling a nearby race of men both hated and feared by the people of Survin. Because of this, Kairma's younger sister Kinter, who is in love with Naturi, believes she is the rightful heir.
Disease and infertility have decimated Survin, but bigotry and religious laws forbid the introduction of new members so things heat up when a traveling archeologist stumbles upon the reclusive colony and introduces a powerful new weapon. Forced into a larger world, the Survinees discover they hold an object of unimaginable power, a power other men covet, a power that might save or forever damn the human race.
First of I want to say I love the cover of the book and in a bookstore it would definitely draw me to the book. The book is about a place called Survin and centres on the Healing Family. Isontra is the head healer and Miral and then after her both jobs should pass to her daughter Jettena, but in a break with tradition the job of Miral will pass to Kairma who is Jettena's eldest daughter. The community head is always a woman, and her mate is chosen by a contest of sorts. The one that becomes her mate takes the title of Comad. Kairma almost died and her younger sister Kinter would have taken the title as Miral so Kinter is somewhat jealous of Kairma and Kinter also loved Naturi the male most likely to be kairma's mate and become Comad. Zedec is Kairma's brother and he has a best friend named Collin. Collin secretly falls in love with Kairma. Personally I think Collin would be the better match and mate for Kairma, but I am sure you will all have your own favourites when you read the book.
One of the problems of the community is keeping the Healing Crystal safe, so strangers are not welcome, but then comes a quandry as the population falls people are becoming more closely related to each other, so new blood is really needed in Survin for their population to survive.
Of course like all suggested changes to the old ways Isontra and Kairma come up against opposition, some of wich is quite verbal. Kairma is not totally accepted by the community and some of them are even physically abusive towards her.
I seriously do not want to spoil the book so will not give spoilers. I will say I would definitely recommend this book. I would compare it to Bithmarked and Prized by Caragh O'Brien, or Outside by Shalini Boland, it also has a little Forest Of Hands And Teeth by Carrie Ryan thrown in too. It does have a dystopian feel to it, which I loved. I enjoyed reading about the different characters in the book and how they change as different events happen. I reeeally reeeally want to read book 2 as I think it will be as good if not even better. The description is so well done in the book that you can see the places described and actually imagine what they look like. The book ended with so many questions as to what would happen next! What will happen with Kairma, Naturi and Collin? What will happen in Survin? Will there be more strangers? Will the society of Survin progress more?
Available from Amazon.com, Amazon.co.uk £18.99 paperback £7.15 on Kindle (so a bit expensive but worth the money!!)
Author's Website http://michelepoague.com/