Valerie Noble's The Energy Crusades explores a relevant theme in today's society: the value of energy sources and how they impact our lives. In Noble's book, energy is the only currency and visitors from another planet come to Earth with ideas about how to save it, but the question is whether those visitors have Earth's best interests in mind or if they have a bigger agenda.
The book focuses on Kaia, a young girl considered one of the best students, who trains for her own Energy Crusade, one in which she is reunited with childhood friend Ajax. Along the way, though, she learns more about what the Crusades are really about, along with exploring questions about her own past and whether the people she thought had her best interests in mind can be trusted.
Noble's greatest strength is her world building. She certainly had a lot of ideas in mind for how this future world would take shape and how the role of energy sources in society could have a greater impact over time. She takes her time to introduce new elements into the story and does a good job of pacing them throughout the book. And Noble's love of tennis is evident throughout the story!
I did find some of the shifts in viewpoint to be a bit jarring at times. I find the novel works best when told through the eyes of Kaia. Some of the characters whose viewpoint Noble chooses to use are ones I didn't find myself relating to as well.
But those weaknesses are more than made up with Noble's strengths in building a world, her knowledge about energy resources coming through in her writing, and making Kaia a complex and relatable character.
The Energy Crusades is the first book in a planned series. Noble has already released the second book, The City in the Mountains.
You can learn more about The Energy Crusades at Noble's website or order the book through Amazon.