The Proving by Ken Brosky


It’s been 133 years since the Specters invaded Earth. Like ghosts they haunt the planet, devouring anyone foolish enough to venture outside the last remaining protected cities. For some, venturing out isn’t a choice–it’s a necessary evil to prove yourself to your clan as you come of age.

But when a team of ambitious youth—New Adults—undertake a mission deep in Specter territory, they discover a terrible secret. Everything they’ve learned may be wrong … and Earth is in grave danger.


There are 5 characters this books follows and rotates between them to create an amazing panel of characters. Skye tries to embody everything Spartan but isn’t 100% there. She is tough and was one of my favorite characters throughout the book. She is the most self aware even if it takes some time to get there. Cleo is hilarious. She is sharp-tongued and overconfident at times but she has mostly good intentions. Curiosity rules Cleo’s actions and the will to prove she can indeed hack anything with enough time. Ben is the epitome of a teenage boy. He is awkward at times and can’t help his raging hormones at times. Yet when it comes down to it he is every bit the budding doctor – cool under pressure when it counts. Gabriel is in denial. He has such confidence and natural leadership tendencies that are overruled by a bit of an identity crisis. The Historian, Seamus, is the most difficult to put your thumb on. Of the New Adults, he is the one that is just there to ‘observe.’ However, by the end of the book you’ll get a peek into Seamus and his inner struggles.

All of the New Adults are accompanied by Young Adults (with the exception of Seamus who is technically not truly part of the group). They are either younger brothers or sisters. Because of birthing rules I assume that each New Adult male has a younger sister because each family could only get 2 children and it was standard to have one girl and one boy. You’ll understand when you read. So each older sibling has a younger sibling of the opposite gender. Which makes for an interesting dynamic of equal amount of girls and boys, with the exception of the male historian.


The Specters beyond the shields are a threat during the two ‘Provings’ each citizen partakes in. It seems the clans (Athens, Persian, Spartan) and free citizens are the usual the participates. Here there is already a bit of mystery as why the free citizen is swapped out of a member of parliament’s son (Gabriel). There are a lot of mysteries this story introduces and most of them have enough hints dropped that when the reveal happens you’ve already got a pretty good idea or figured it out.

The action scenes and the way the characters move through the world is very well detailed. You can easily imagine what is happening with very little ease. Not to mention the Specters are terrifying! It is like a ghost story but the aliens are the ghosts.


The characters make this book. They are fascinating and each unique. The author made it easy by creating the division between each character’s upbringing. Their decisions and inner dialogues in a very stressful situations was what kept me engaged.

You can tell the author did his research. He goes into detail about everything from medical advancements and procedures to robotics. It is all across the board and detailed in such a way that a very convincing world is constructed. It was an excellent read from beginning to end.

The plot was interesting and seemed to feel something like an origin story. For me it felt a little predictable at times but the action, and twists and turns of the characters’ choices kept it very interesting! I wasn’t really surprised by anything that happened, it all felt like it was supposed to happen exactly as it did. The predictability of the book didn’t at all take away from my enjoyment of it. Which is hard to do and was expertly executed!


5 Stars

Although the book does cover ‘The Proving’ and that part of it is wrapped up, it leaves the reader with a nice cliffhanger for the overall story arc (unless you’re like me and are 95% sure you know exactly what happened and expect what is coming next or at least have a few theories). Again the characters have depth and believable uniqueness. Their flaws make them feel like real characters.

All I know is the author better get busy writing because I want to read the next one!

Where did I get it?

The author sent me a copy in exchange of an honest review.




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