Vessel is a book that seems so predictable at first that you seem to have all the cards about the story laid down. You know who the bad guy is. You know how the romance will phase out. You can guess what the big mystery is. You can predict how the characters are going to act throughout the book. Aaand, you will probably be correct about that. Until the shit hits the fan, that is. Vessel has everything one would want out of a fantasy YA book - a tough female protagonist, a sarcastic cocky hero, a well developed world, side characters whose personalities do not resemble a lamp and a journey across the vast unknown lands in a quest that seems impossible. And it does this quite beautifully. So what sets this book apart from the rest of its brethren?The Writing. Sarah Beth Durst is a miracle worker with words. Her description of things, be it Liyana's dance to summon the goddess, or the details in the simple things in the world around them - it was done wonderfully and smoothly. The dialogues were witty and engaging, the characters themselves well defined and interesting. But the best part of the writing were the plottwists and how the fact that we had just been thrown a shocker of an info would not be clear to us until in hindsight. It all had been woven so beautifully to the narration that it did not seem sudden or surprising at all until you would find yourself in the middle of the night turning toward the ceiling and chanting 'Fuck. Fuck. Fuck.' like its some sort of a prayer to reclaim your sanity.Liyana was one of the best female protagonists I have ever read about. She was beautiful and fierce and had a decidedly practical streak that made her a survivor at its best and a ruthless opportunist at its worst. And I loved her for it. Her feelings for Korbyn, her loyalty to her goddess Bayla, her dedication to the mission and her strength to accomplish it was apparent in every word of the book. It shaped her character and her decisions. She was not afraid to take chances and could handle anything that was thrown at her. She was bloody amazing. And Korbyn, the trickster god. The lying raven. The god nobody trusts, save Liyana. Who is leading the vessels on the way to find their lost gods and yet is more lost than all of them. He hides behind his facade, his sarcasm and his snark but is afraid of failing all the same. His love for Bayla and later his feelings for Liyana show us another more honest side of him that we do not see very often, and is more precious because of that. The secondary characters, Pia, Fennik, Raan as well as the gods had their own space and were wonderful. The Emperor especially was another character I loved - though not as much as Korbyn - his motives and his dedication to his Empire seen in his every step. The plot was mindblowing. I actually dislike books that are too predictable, which Vessel is not. Yup, ya heard me. To a point it follows the stereotype and then at some point in the it breaks off from the expectedness. And boy does it ever break off.. I. Totally. Loved. This. Book. Totally unexpected. Totally amazing. Perfect. I can find no flaws - yet. 5 StarsProbably the best book I've read in 2013 so far. And trust me, I've read many.