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Reviewed by Ruffina Oserio for Readers' Favorite
Mojave Rift by J.W. Gilbert is the first book in the ArcPoint series, a tightly written novel that blends fantasy with science fiction to create an engrossing read. Arcon belongs to a forsaken tribe hidden deep in the Acacia forest. His tribe keeps to themselves and doesn’t want to venture beyond the treacherous rift that has offered them protection. No outsiders visit their tribe, thanks to Ranger Dan who guards access to the tribe. Arcon loves his people, but his gaze is directed outside the tribe. Since he secretly contacted Elaina, he’s harbored an irresistible longing to see her, and he is ready to defy any laws and face any obstacle to see her again. But can he survive the place called Mojave?
If there is one thing that gives this novel its strength and depth, it is the handling of character. I also enjoyed the way the setting is written—the reader is left feeling as though the Rift is another character in the novel because it constitutes a powerful element that drives the conflict, the one thing that stands between the protagonist and his happiness. I love to see motivation well written into characters and J.W. Gilbert gives the protagonist one. Apart from Arcon’s strong curiosity, there is a link he has established with the outside world, a link he will do anything to strengthen. The story has many layers when it comes to meaning and interpretation and the adventure of the protagonist signals the break from monotony to innovative thinking. Mojave Rift is fast-paced, deftly plotted and skillfully written.