While I enjoyed living in the world of the Expanse for a little while, I can’t say as I fully enjoyed this book. Auralia drove me crazy. She didn’t do anything. She didn’t fight back; she didn’t stand up to anyone, even when it all went wrong. She simply discovered and collected colors. For a title protagonist, she was an extremely passive character. I just couldn’t summon any loyalty for her or even care about her all that much. The ale boy, on the other hand, I’m extremely curious to learn more about. But that would require reading the next three books in the series, and I don’t think I’m up for that. I can tell that there is a lot more to discover in the world that Jeffrey Overstreet has created, but Auralia’s Colors didn’t hook me enough to keep me reading.
I’m not a huge fan of dystopia, but I found The Other Side of the Island better than most. A lot of it takes place when Honor is still young, before the rebellious, independent (drama-filled) teenage years that many dystopias seem to encompass. Goodman did a fabulous job of informing her readers about the world subtly. She truly embodies the old adage, “Show, don’t tell.” My one complaint about the book is that the ending felt rushed. The action had moved so slowly for so many pages, and then suddenly it all comes to a head and is over in fifty pages. It also seems (to me at least) to be left open enough for a sequel, but as far as I could tell, there isn’t one. Despite the loose ends, this is a well-written story with a very compelling main character. If you like dystopias, you should definitely give this one a try!