Firstborn by Lorie Ann Grover

The Synopsis:

When Tiadone was born, her parents had two choices: leave their daughter outside the community to die in the wilds, or raise her as male and force her to suppress all feminine traits. Now, as the first female living as male in her village, Tiadone must prove her father didn’t make a mistake by letting her live.

As her male initiation approaches, Tiadone knows every eye in the community in on her, and desperately wishes to belong and finally be accepted. But at every step, traditional feminine gifts and traits emerge, and the bird she’s been twined with is seen as a sign of evil.

Worse, as Tiadone completes her rites, she finds she is drawn to her male best friend in ways that are very much in line with the female gender.

Confused and desperate, Tiadone tries to become what she must be while dealing with what she indeed has become: a young woman who may be able to stand up to her despotic rulers and uncover her real purpose in life.

I received this book from the author/publisher for the purpose of this review. All comments and opinions are entirely my own.

Review:

Should she fight to embrace who she truly is, or show that she can be strong and accept who she is forced to become? 

Firstborn has so much potential to become an amazing Dystopian/Fantasy title, yet it seems as if it almost didn’t recognize its own potential. None of the characters are likable, especially our main character: Tiadone. Her personality doesn’t allow for character growth and is incredibly stiff.

The story is written as if it’s her diary, so we are forced to read many of her thoughts, which, unfortunately are very sexual towards her best friend, Ratho. Their romance is simply that, sexual attraction, even though there are no sex scenes present. It’s hard to see how their friendship survived because almost all other aspects of a relationship and friendship are nonexistent. There are no courageous acts taken on behalf of each other, caring moments, or true relationship present; so I actually found myself rooting for Ratho to end up with anyone but her. Because his character deserved better than her.

The story itself, like I said, had so much potential. Dark magic, fantasy creatures, warriors, and mystic birds twined with characters to create a dynamic duo. I mean all are ingredients for a fantastic story right? But, the book just, ended. Almost like a setup for a sequel, yet this book was released in 2014 and there’s not even whisperings of another book to continue their story. So we’re left wondering what happened with no chance of ever finding out, and that’s not a good way to end a story that was lacking in character development.

So overall, I was immensely disappointed in Firstborn and do not recommend it.

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Rayleigh is a Freshman in college with a major in Accounting and long-term goal of being a CPA. She is an avid reader of all genres, and just as much of her time is spent writing as it is reading. She is the Associate Editor and Web Manager for PURSUE Magazine, in addition to posting her monthly articles on their blog. Rayleigh interns for Hartline Literary Agency where she advises authors in the best way to market their books. She is also a Social Media Manager for various businesses.

Her writing pseudonym is Rae Leigh and she is in the process of seeking publication for her Dystopian novella, Program MIRA.