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Reviewed by Pikasho Deka for Readers' Favorite
Cut From Stone is the first book of the Crafting Humanity series by Brendan O'Meara. In the not-too-distant future, a cataclysmic event has divided the world into two parts -- the Federation consisting of North and South America, and the Eastern hemisphere aptly named the BlackZone, for no one from the Federation can access it. Seventeen-year-old James Coffey has a happy life with a close-knit group of family and friends. But it turns upside down when the government drafts him into an elite military unit that includes other gifted teenagers. Apparently, countries from the BlackZone have united under one banner and now pose a dire threat to the Federation. After a grueling training period, James and his friends find themselves turned into hardened warriors. But when the war comes to American shores, will they be able to able to save their homeland?
An action-packed rollercoaster filled with patriotic fervor, Cut From Stone will entertain young adult readers who enjoy books along the lines of The Hunger Games and The Maze Runner. Author Brendan O' Meara takes a while to lay the groundwork and set up his characters, but from the midway point onward, it's a blistering sprint to the finish line. The characters have well-defined traits and personalities that distinguish them from one another. But this is primarily a plot-driven story told through the POV of a young teenager who finds himself at the center stage of a war that will have far-reaching consequences for humanity's future. Overall, a stellar start to what promises to be an exciting sci-fi saga.