Cover Image: Root


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"Root: Spirit Era" by Aurélie Benattar is a gripping science fiction novel that follows seven teenagers from different parts of the world who are chosen to save humanity from an impending doomsday. The elusive genius, Keeper, has created an advanced AI program, Spirit Era, which predicts that the world will end in two years without massive human intervention. The seven chosen ones must work together to find seven keys hidden within virtual reality worlds, each representing one of the seven most likely apocalyptic disasters. The book is well-written and offers a unique take on dystopian themes, blending sci-fi and new age ideas in a way that keeps the reader engaged. While the prose may be a bit disjointed and clichéd at times, this is the author's English language debut and has the potential to improve in further books. Overall, "Root: Spirit Era" is a fascinating start to a series that explores the power of human potential and the importance of working together to overcome challenges.

Thank you so much Aurélie Benattar and NetGalley for providing an eARC in exchange for my honest review.
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I enjoyed this but feel that I will not get the full story for a few books yet. Interesting premise, it is nice to have AI that's not trying to kill us all and take over the world. Complicated to get into ( maybe that is just me) but gets easier and more interesting as it gets deeper into the story. Will look forward to the next installment.
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This was an interesting dystopian read that revolves end of the world predictions. 

As a millennial, I’ve lived through many “this is the day the world ends” scenarios. None of them have had any part come true like happened in this book. As it turns out, while the world is going to end of it continues down its current route, there is a way to stop it. The keys to changing the fate of the world fall into the hands of the chakra’s- which are embodied in a group of teenagers. 

These teens find themselves in a sort of boarding school where they work to not only activate their specific chakras, but to figure out who they are and where they fit in the world. 

Naturally this is book one of a series and it ends on a cliffhanger while also wrapping up the main part of this particular story. It’s really interesting. 

This was originally published in French and was recently released in English and the translation was great.

Thanks to NetGalley for the access to the ebook!
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Unfortunately this just wasn't for me, I DNF around 10% in.

Thank you to the author and to netgalley.
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The concept was interesting, the characters were enjoyable and the overall storytelling was great. I really enjoyed this book and look forward to a sequel.
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I love the premise of this book and was immediately drawn to it from the beautiful cover and synopsis. The characters are vibrant and have a lot of depth, and I appreciated the world building that went into not only the future-Earth, but especially the AI simulation world. The sci-fi elements felt attainable and easy to understand, which I feel is necessary for a book aimed at younger audiences.

What I struggled with throughout this book was feeling slightly confused on multiple levels. The character interactions often felt forced and unnatural, and overall I felt like the book was trying to do too much (in particular I’m thinking of the spirit animals- maybe they will be relevant in later books but it felt like an odd addition here). I also struggled with who the audience for this book is. The writing style and plot make me think children or teens, but the incestuous plot line makes me think adult? I’m still not sure.

Overall, I don’t think I’ll be picking up the rest of this series.
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You've got AI. You've got social commentary. You've got a dystopian story to set it all in place. All of those make for a book that I will very likely enjoy and I did. It had a few issues. It can take some time to get into it. However, once I started it, I had such a grand time.
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This story follows Rae, a woman who had tragedy in her life and no longer speaks, and six other teenagers. They are associated with the chakras and are tasked with saving the world via an artificial intelligence. As others have said it is similar to Hunger Games or the Maze Runner in general.

While I appreciate the ARC, this book was not for me.  There were too much exclamation points and things like that, many named characters which became disjointed but apparently this is the authors first boook translated to English so that might be why.

Thank you NetGalley!
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Thank you to the author, Aurelia Benattar and NetGalley for the ARC of 'Root: Spirit Era'. I was gifted this ARC for my honest opinion. 

'Root: Spirit Era' introduces us to seven teens who are to save the future of the world by finding the seven keys. They have to connect with each other and their Chakras in order to complete their mission. The book jumps around often and there are lots of character names to keep track of. Being that this is the author's first English translated book, I feel that the writing felt slightly disjointed. I found myself re-reading passages constantly, and still not fully grasping what the author was trying to portray. I'm sure this is due mainly because of the translations. The premise of the book has a ton of potential and could possibly be much easier to grasp as the series progresses. Overall, I did like the book, and I am interested in seeing where the seven end up, and how they grow to save the world.
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End of the-world-type thing. A random selection of 7 young individuals across the world, were trained to go into an AI world to find 7 keys. Each can bend a certain chakra and other ability to help themselves survive in the AI world. They all face a challenge that will help them develop as an individual and as a team. 

I love how small phrases were used from other books/films. I saw a few that caught my eye "Shock, Barrel, and Lock" ugh there was another one... 

But it is no different from Hunger Games and Maze Runner... just different elements of ability.
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✨AI simulations

This is such an interesting concept! I love books like this that address the issues of the world and have a countdown and a selection of talented people to try to save the world. The testing simulation was very interesting and all the complicated society woven in there. I can totally see that as a possible outcome to our current social trajectory. This is the first in a series. Excited to see what happens next!

Thank  you to the author and netgalley for the e-ARC for my honest and voluntary review.
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Book Summary:

We've seen several tales about AI bringing about the end of civilization as we know it. But what if there was an AI intent to do the opposite – to protect humanity at all costs? AI program Spirit Era has calculated that the world will end in two years, assuming humanity doesn't do something to prevent it.

So a team must be formed with the intent of saving humanity. It will be comprised of seven teenagers to represent the seven chakras or keys. Seven people are standing between humanity and the potential end of everything.

My Review:

I love that Aurelie Benattar decided to twist up the AI stereotype in Root. Yes, there are several other tropes to replace that stereotype, but it balances out. What tropes am I talking about? Well, mainly teenagers saving the world, but that was probably pretty obvious, huh?

There are seven main characters in Root, though only one primary perspective (Rae). The singular perspective makes it easier to keep everything in order, especially as secondary characters get introduced. Overall, I appreciated the complex cast of characters involved in this adventure.

I have to say that I enjoyed Root more than I expected (or feared). I almost wish that it had been around when I was a bit younger because teenage me would have gobbled this book up and begged for more.

Science Fiction/Dystopian Blend
Saving the World
Multiple Characters
Environmentalism Focus

Trigger Warnings:
Famine (mentioned)
Global Disaster
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The plot of this book caught my attention, and made me very excited to read it. I have been loving dystopian novels recently, and this sounded amazing.

The main character, Rae, is very interesting. Reading about the death of her father and her life after was emotional. Her background story was very well written, and I think her character would be relatable to readers. 

I really enjoyed the messages from the AI creater and the journal entries through the book. It really helped to break apart the book keep my attention. 

I just overall really enjoyed the plot and whole idea of this book! The technology is really cool, and the author really thought through everything. Some of the characters were strange at first, but they grew on me as I read and had good development throughout the book. 

I would recommend this to anyone who enjoys dystopian novels or YA fantasy!
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Rating: 4.5/5
I received an eARC for my honest opinion.

This book is great for people who want to dip their toes into the YA sci-fi world. I really enjoyed the action, the blend of technology and spirituality, a small amount of romance, finding oneself and family.

I thought the blending of technology and spirituality was done really well, it is obvious that this author did their research on both of those topics to make this book blend so well. The plot of this is different from other Sci-Fi that I have read, I found this one easier to connect with. I don’t know if it was from all the attention to details in the book at the beginning or if it's just the way this author has with her words and brings the story to life.

I thought the characters in this book were easy to connect with and I found myself relating to a few of them more but that’s pretty normal.  I love that we have 7 different characters, from different parts of the world  brought together to find a way to help our earth keep living on. It all started when the Keeper created an advanced AI program that predicts when the world will end and its only 2 years aways without human intervention. The 7 different young adults/teens were chosen to help with this mission and as a reader you will be sucked into a computer version of the world and must figure out what the 7 keys are, and how to save our planet. The book does start off a little slow but that is because you will be getting to learn about the characters and all the information about their mission they have picked for, after that it's all fast paced and you won’t want to put the book down.

I thought having the 7 characters connected to the 7 different Chakra was a great idea. They all have to learn more about themselves and why they have that Chakra instead of the others and how to use theirs to their advantage. The characters all have great character development throughout and at the end of this book, and I can’t wait to see what some of the characters are still hiding and if they will ever come clean to the others.

Overall, this first book of a series is great and if you love YA Sci-Fi or you want to try to see if you would like it I would recommend this book.

I want to thank Aurelie Benattar and NetGalley for the opportunity to review this book.
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I really wanted to like this book more. The plot is super cool and the worldbuilding is so well done! The concept is so creative and timely, and I can't remember any other dystopian novel I have read that took place so close to current day (aside from ones written 100 years ago that thought we'd be on Mars by now). I love the international nature of the book too, and the choice to bring in the 7 protagonists from different parts of the world rather than the standard Americans. That being said, the characters themselves were just not what I had hoped for. For the most part they were just stereotypes; the dumb one, the bubbly one, the slutty/mean one, the mysterious dark and brooding one, and the main character, Rae, who is not like other girls. This book slots in perfectly with Divergent and other dystopian novels from the early 2010s.
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Root is a young adult sci-fi book about seven teenagers being brought together by a mysterious “keeper” in an attempt to save the world. An AI has predicted the end of the world is coming in two years time, and these seven kids need to find seven keys in order to save the world. Our main character is Rae, a young orphan girl who doesn’t speak and reminds everyone of a fragile bird. The other six children are all interesting – they are fully developed characters with their own backstory and motivation. 

The story really depends on suspension of disbelief – but this doesn’t make it less interesting. While I’ve never been interested in VR, AIs, or chakras, it was explained just enough that I could still keep up. With that being said, the characters often did or thought things which seemed unrealistic and that did pull me out of the story quite a bit. 

I also really enjoyed the VR world (or whatever that world was) and all the characters there. I hope the next book has a world like that, because it was by far my favourite part of the story. And I liked the overall message, which I won’t spoil here. 

Overall, I think I would have enjoyed this book more if I was younger and a bit more into sci-fi, but it was still an enjoyable read.
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3.5/5 stars! So I was really intrigued by the concept of chakra-based conceptualization and since the Root chakra is the first chakra, it felt like a fitting title for the story. I was also impressed by Rae's character. I wasn't sure how a mute character would work when so much of story-telling relies on dialogue. The author handled it well, and I didn't feel the story suffered from it. This worked as a good YA dystopian story, although there were some areas where the writing lost power and was hard to follow. Overall, a good first book in this series and I'm looking forward to seeing what's next.

I received an advance review copy for free through NetGalley, and I am leaving this review voluntarily
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7 Teenagers — 7 Chakras — 7 keys to save humanity

The year is 2035 and the world is facing its own end as predicted by the AI, Spirit Era, in two years time without major changes. This books follows Rae, a fifteen year old who has chosen silence, along with six other teenagers as they work together to find the seven keys. Each has been hidden in one of seven virtual reality Mantras designed to mimic the most likely disasters the world is facing. Can they succeed in finding the first key, or will all hope for humanity be lost?

This novel would be an excellent introduction to the SciFi genre for YA readers. I really enjoyed the level of research and detail that went into this story from the various martial arts techniques; information surrounding each of the chakras with their associated element and color; as well as the technological information provided. The characters truly embody their associated Chakra even if they don’t fully understand what that means at the beginning of the story. I also enjoyed the consistent blend of technology and spirituality.

The only complaint I have for this novel is that it’s fairly slow to start due to all the information and world building that takes place. However, once past that point, I couldn’t put this book down.

While I think this story would be great for YA SciFi fans, there is mature content including violence and death.

Overall Rating: 4.5⭐️
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Root is a very interesting concept that I felt was well written given the its complexity. At times, it did feel as though I was reading an educational book rather than a YA novel, but I did enjoy all that I learned. 

It took me a while to get through this book and I was not fully invested in the characters by the end of the story. I will say that I am looking forward to watching this story grow, however, due to its really unique concept.
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Root: Spirit Era by Aurélie Benattar
It’s 2035 and an AI has predicted that the world will end in 2 years. The only hope is if 7 teenagers, that the AI has chosen, enter a simulation world to retrieve 7 keys to saving the world from ruin. We follow Rae, one of the seven chosen ones, on this journey.
What I liked:
-I love a good dystopian. One that is not the same old “chosen girl has to be brave and be a leader of a rebellion” trope. This story felt original and was really interesting because I was genuinely intrigued what would come next.
-I liked the chosen seven and the diversity in personalities they had. In this book we got some good backstories for like four of them but I’m hoping to hear more from ALL of them in the upcoming books.
-I liked where this part of the story ended but am also slightly frustrated because I went into this book naively thinking it was a standalone. Then halfway through I realized, to my disappointment, that there would be much more to the story. Not disappointed in a bad way,but in that I was really excited to see how it ended and now I have to wait. 
-There are baby goats. I mean, c’mon. 
4⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ I really enjoyed this book and I am looking forward to when the next is available.
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