The story (while clearly announced as Part 1 of a series) reads almost like a long introduction to a full-scale novel. There are a few conflicts for our heroine to overcome, but in the end the reader is left with more questions than answers.
Does Amelia seriously think her martial arts skills are so powerful that she'll be able to break her father out of a federal institution? There are a few hints that something supernatural might be going on, like the fact that Amelia thinks her father can easily dispatch four trained soldiers at the same time. Plus there is a recurring hint that both Amelia and her father seem to have a severe aversion to light, so… new breed of vampire? Ok, so they probably aren’t vampires (good, I’m tired of vampires anyway) but these floating questions don’t leave the reader with enough understanding to know exactly where we are going with this story.
The story is a bit reminiscent of Hunger Games at times. Young girl forced to fight (in a gladiatorial arena, no less) in a screwed up future, but I have a feeling that it will grow out of that as the story develops.
I suppose all of these problems stem perhaps not from the brevity of the work, but the slow development of the plot. As I said earlier, it seems like this was more of an introductory story, the sole purpose of which was to setup the characters and setting. Part 2 is due out this month, information gleaned from the ebook itself. It might be nice to see these two books packaged together someday to create a seamless experience that has a little more information, and hence a little more closure for the reader.
Can I recommend this read? I certainly feel it’s too early to shun it. As I said, the writing is good, but I feel we have to read Part 2 to have any idea where this story is going in terms of our heroine’s capabilities--or those of the enemy for that matter. If you are easily frustrated by unanswered questions, I'd say wait for the second book and read them back-to-back.