This book is definitely unique in good ways and bad ways. I think it might be too unique but it still stands as an interesting read.
The story takes place in a dystopian society where the government is corrupt enough to make simple violations punishable by death. The group of characters want to visit a mountain inhabited by monks who have the power to discover a person’s true self. They can see all of their wishes and desires by entering a trance. This aspect is something that will either draw you in or turn you off as it does bring in a slightly unexpected religious tone to it.
Once people begin finding out about these monks it’s only natural that they want to visit them and have their problems or emotions examined but there’s a problem. The government doesn’t want any regular people up those mountains anymore and it becomes illegal for anyone to attempt to visit the monks. The protagonist disagrees with this ruling and takes the life-threatening journey up the Crimson Hills.
That alone sounds like a lot to wrap your head around because it is. But don’t stop reading yet, this book is interesting and outrageously unique. I liked the blending of multiple genres present; dystopian, thriller, horror, even a bit of spirituality is brought in here. It comes together pretty well but I felt like some of the risks taken by the characters and the overall concept of getting to the monks was a little overplayed. I just don’t understand why anyone would want to risk their lives just to find out simple things from mindreading monks but hey, we wouldn’t have a story if it weren’t for those desires.
I also felt like the story was slightly too long. The beginning was definitely slow but the latter end made up for it. The action and the thrill was there and the characterization was believable. If you’re looking for the kind of story that makes you think then this is for you. If you want something completely original and unique then this book should hold your attention page after page. I would recommend Crimson Hills to adult readers with an interest in dystopian societies and well-developed characters.
*I received a free copy of this book in exchange for an honest review*