Full disclosure – I was provided a copy of this book by the author; however, I have voluntarily chosen to write a review. All opinions are my own.
This is how the world ends
Season of Zoetica is the long awaited fifth and final chapter in the Scavenger Girl series by author Jennifer Arntson. While more than a year has passed between the release of Season of Zoetica and her predecessor Season of Toridia, it has only been a matter of weeks in Una’s world. As Una awakens to her new reality as an exalted member of the Council, sequestered in the Resistance camp with her family all is not well. Her mind is burdened by the young captives of the Woodsmen; her children purchased with her own flesh and blood. After her pleas with Nik and the rest of the Council fall on deaf ears Una resolves to rescue her children herself. But the process will not be easy. For every step Una takes toward her goal, there seems to be several revelations and obstacles that rock her world and set her back. And the further down this road she gets, she wonders if anything will change once the evildoers of the world are eradicated.
It is hard to believe that I first read Season of Atchem as a prerelease offering from the author a little over three years ago, but in Una’s world barely a year has passed. In that year, Una has gone through more trial, heartbreak, and triumph than many people would see in several lifetimes. In fact, I would say that Zoetica tops the scale as the most violent entry in the series to date. As her abilities as a Seer begin to sharpen and evolve, Una is able to see things even her mentor Nik cannot, and it scares her because with this enhanced ability comes a knowledge that she may have been used as a pawn in a much bigger scheme. But Una is not only using her powers as a Seer to fight for what is hers; Zoetica also sees Una harness not only the wolf spirit that has lain all but dormant in her since Talium, but also the essence of a fellow bearer of the mark of Kash. Zoetica also sees the addition of the Resistance’s secret weapon, as well as the mysterious Prophet. It never ceases to amaze me how Arntson, a relative rookie as an author, has weaved even the tiniest detail or comment seemingly said in passing into the bigger canvas of the series. The ending had me shocked, shook, a little bit confused, and maybe a tad angry, but still eager to reread the entire five book saga over to see if I can discover any clues that I may have missed the first time around.
With Zoetica complete, I do not feel like this series is over. While I know the author has indicated this would be the last, I am secretly hoping for more. After immersing myself in Ashlund and her people for the last three years, I feel as if there is now something lacking in my reading schedule. If not a full-blown novel (or several more), there definitely is potential for ongoing shorts, or novellas to revisit this amazing story without bogging the author down with this being their only work. Needless to say, after having read the Scavenger Girl series, I am definitely a fan, and I will be there to read whatever Jennifer Arntson releases into the world next.