Sometimes I wonder if I read the same book as those who left glowing reviews or high-star ratings. This is one of those instances. For me, this one was a lot of plodding with little payoff. No tension to speak of, which is very much a result of the author telling, not showing. A shame, because the premise of this world building is intriguing, but the execution never quite makes it shine like it could, and not enough to get me to shell out the money for book two.