Minerva by Edith Pawlicki

“Minerva found it hard to sedate them as they knew her goal and were actively resisting, but she drew deep on her willpower and applied exhaustion with a heavy hand. Minerva found it increasingly difficult to hold herself apart from her Empathy.”

-Minerva by Edith Pawlicki

I want to preface this review by saying Edith Pawlicki was kind enough to send me a signed copy of her book a very long time ago. I am grateful that she has been so kind and patient with me for taking so long to read it! As a mood reader, I choose books based on what I am feeling, but I am glad I picked this up when I did because it was exactly what I needed. 

Minerva lives in a different version of Canada than the one we’ve grown to know. Living in a city built out of repurposed shipping containers, Minerva is an Empath. This gives her the ability to read other’s emotions as well as their thoughts or memories if its something they’re thinking about or sharing with her. 

Everyone assumes Minerva is going to graduate and take the path of a therapist or counselor, using her empathy the way society assumes she should. But that’s not what Minerva wants for herself. She wants to join the Guard, just as her dad did. And she knows she can make a difference there. Despite the grueling physical challenges, that some think a Vital would be better suited for, Minerva begins to carve out a name for herself and prove that she can contribute to the Guard. 

But as Minerva attends the academy, life throws many things her way. She finds out a secret about her past, she is confronted with strife, and she is gifted friendship and comradeship. 

Minerva is a really wonderful book. The world building is incredible. This book feels like winter, and even though this a dystopian setting, all doesn’t feel lost. Minerva lives within the walls of the city with everyone else, protected from the Lerks on the outside. Their city has managed to prosper in many ways, even if there are struggles too. 

I really loved the dynamic between all of the characters, and each character developed in interesting ways. Minerva struggles with her relationship with her mother, while her relationship with her father is and has always been a good one. She comes against some other difficult individuals in the academy- like Isolde, a trainer who calls her weak and doesn’t seem to like her, Octavian who is using his empathy in a way that’s hurting others, and Kalyan, who lost his empathy leaving Minerva unable to get a read on him no matter how hard she tries. 

I loved everything about this book! It had a good balance of humor, drama, mystery, romance and suspense. Edith Pawlicki does a really wonderful job pulling all the threads of the story to a close, and it gave me some Sharon Shinn vibes at times. I definitely think if you like authors like her, you’d love this book.

Edith has a few other books out, part of her The Immortal Beings series. I am excited to try those next! I also wanted to add that Edith is on instagram @edithpawlicki and she shares some amazing resources for new and emerging writers. She is just an incredibly kind and wonderful person to chat with, and I hope more people read her books. 

2 thoughts on “Minerva by Edith Pawlicki

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  1. You’re too sweet, and Sharon Shinn is one of my favorite authors, so thank you so much!! I’ve really appreciated chatting with you too – actually, the first volume of Komi Can’t Communicate arrived last night! So far it’s the same as the anime, but I am looking forward to finding extra details!


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