A Perfect Heresy


SCIENCE FICTION: Koi is an outsider, separated from the Citizens by a wall created to keep those who were perfect in, and the others out. Tired of being oppressed, the outsiders rebelled. Now the Great War has ended and the voice is dead, the once prosperous city has fallen, leaving behind fear and desperation. Koi has lost all but one of Xir family, Xir sibling Sky who was abducted by city soldiers. Xe is determined to find Xem. Jax is an ex-soldier, condemned as a heretic for defying the will of the voice. But Koi is sick, and running out of time to find Sky. Jax is the key into the city. Can two people who were taught to hate each other find a way to work together?

Moving and engaging, Courtney Maguire masterfully takes you straight into an apocalyptic setting akin to Mad Max. This is an alternate world of gender-neutral persons, yet with a social structure that is relatable to the reader. For someone who is not familiar with Xe/ Xem pronouns, this could take a moment to adjust to the sentence structure, but once one does, just sit back and enjoy the ride. The effortless world-building by Ms. Maguire makes this a wondrous joy to read. The journey taken by Koi and Jax will pull at your heartstrings as they navigate each hurdle thrown in their way to reach both their desired destinations. The story moves seamlessly and keeps the reader on their toes by cleverly revealing only what is essential till the very end.

Rika Chandra