Reading level: Young Adult
Size: 312 pages
Publisher: Cedar Fort, Inc.
Release Date: February 7, 2012
Stand Alone or Series: 1st book in a new series?
Source: eGalley from NetGalley.com
Rating: 1.5/5 stars
I got an eGalley of this book to review through NetGalley(dot)com. It was describe as a YA fantasy read and I was excited to read it. Unfortunately it really isn’t what it was marketed as; this is more of a teen paranormal read. There were a number of things I disliked both about the writing and the story. I read about 40% of the book and then gave up.
Llona Reese is an Aura who can manipulate light. Normally her life calling would be to help people and use her light to make people’s lives better. Her mother was killed by the Vyken and after that Llona is determined to play it safe and stay alive. She is determined to stay out of the limelight in school and determined to be insignificant so that she can hide what she is.
There was a lot I disliked about this book. It is marketed as a fantasy but ends up being a pretty typical YA paranormal fare; there is a lot of high school drama in the book and of course hot guys that Llona is drawn to despite her best efforts. That right there is enough for me to kind of not like that story but there were also a number of technical writing errors in the story.
Technical errors can be forgiven somewhat since I read this as an advanced reading copy (ARC). I have to say though, outside of self-published novels, I don’t think I have ever read an ARC with so many mistakes. After multiple spelling errors and reading about a lady’s high heals (they were supposed to be shoes) I started getting irritated. I mean seriously if you are going to market this book to the masses, the least you can do is make sure spelling and punctuation doesn’t have too many errors.
I tried to look beyond that but the dialogue between characters was awkward and didn’t sound at all natural. Then there were staging errors…let me explain. Llona’s best friend would be in up in the bleachers and Llona would be talking to this boy while she was standing on the other side of the gym. Then all of the sudden there is someone else talking with Llona and the boy; who is the mystery person? where did they come from? Ends up it was Llona’s best friend, who magically drifted all the way across the gym to join the conversation without the reader even knowing it. Things like this happen a number of times; its like the author isn’t exactly sure where her characters are located in the settings. It was confusing and hard to read.
So, were the characters engaging? Not really, Llona is your typical whiny girl who is different and has powers but is trying not to stand out. In an effort to not stand out she starts using her powers to make people feel better; which will totally not make you stand out. The boys (I can’t even remember their names) are super hot and one of them is really nice to Llona and gives her a lot of attention that she is leery of, yet enjoys immensely.
The plot, well I am not sure where it was going. Obviously Llona’s life was in danger from some bad people and these bad people were getting closer to discovering Llona. I am not sure if this ends up tying in with a broader story (I hope it does) but it didn’t in the first 40% of the book.
The only cool thing about this book was that Llona’s power follow the cycles of the moon; so at some points she is super powerful and at others she really drags. Think Every Other Day by Jennifer Lynn Barnes (which I definitely recommend over this story) but a longer time cycle.
Overall I cannot recommend this book. There are so many great YA paranormal books out there. There are so many technically poor aspects to this book outside of the lackluster story. I would like to repeat that I read an advanced reading copy of thsi book, so the final book may have undergone a massive overall and be great. But what I read wasn’t great, it was sloppy, confusing, and not all that engaging. Check out Every Other Day by Jennifer Lynn Barnes or Nightshade by Andrea Cremer or any other of the millions of great YA paranormal series out there.