Terrific YA, urban fantasy, paranormal romance with a dynamic heroine
Reading Level: Young Adult
Release Date: September 17, 2012
Publisher: CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform
Source: Copy from Author
Reviewed By: Kate McMurry
Ellie Aubrey looks like a teenager, but she and her brother Griffin have been around since the Civil War. Though her paranormal race, the Svatura, live preternaturally long lives, Ellie’s family and most of the Svatura on earth have been exterminated by their mortal enemies, the Vyusher. The Svatura need each other to thrive, but when more than two of them are in a particular place, they draw the Vyusher upon them. For that reason, Ellie and Griffin have been living lonely, isolated lives since they were actually in their teens. Then Ellie realizes she has a chance to unite with other Svatura. At great personal risk and over Griffin’s strong objections, she moves to Estes Park, Colorado, and enrolls in the local high school in order to find and connect with them.
There are a lot of young-adult novels these days which are labeled “paranormal romance,” but as a long-time fan of “traditional” romance (one love interest), I was delighted that the romance plot in this book is undiluted by a romantic triangle. I was also very happy that the heroine is strong (vs weak), dynamic and resourceful (vs passive), and that she and her love interest are equals (vs grossly unequal in personal power).
This urban fantasy has everything that good urban fantasy needs to have–whether for adults or teens: a sacrificial, powerful Warrior protagonist who gets into trouble because of personal integrity (rather than immaturity, narcissism or downright stupidity), a loyal cadre of friends (AKA a family of affiliation) who look out for each other, strong villains who provide plenty of conflict for the protagonist, and excellent fantasy world-building.
The romance plot in this story also has everything a good romance requires–whether for adults or teens: sympathetic romance protagonists who are clearly “made for each other” and are equals with the potential to make a viable mated partnership, a strong conflict keeping them apart that stretches the length of the book, and a well-communicated sense that their lives would be blighted forever if they were unable to be together.
The writing in general in this book is excellent, and I particularly enjoyed the fact that the author employed close-third with multiple points of view (POV) rather than the first-person POV used the vast majority of the time in YA fiction. While first-person has its advantages, in urban fantasy that is not an offshoot of the mystery genre (such as the Dresden Files and Mercy Thompson series), close-third, multiple POV gives an added depth and breadth that can’t be offered by first person. It is also a long-standing tradition in the adult romance genre to offer the male POV as well as the heroine’s, and I am always grateful to YA authors who are willing to draw on that tradition to enrich their romance plots.
For those desiring to read the Kindle version of this book, it is well designed and well edited.
All in all, I found this book a pleasure to read, and I highly recommend it. I am very much looking forward to future books in this series.
I rate this book as follows:
Fantasy World-Building: 5
Romantic Plot: 5
Action-Adventure Plot: 5
Disclosure: The author contacted me to review her book because I am a top reviewer on Amazon. I rarely accept such requests because I don’t have a lot of time, but in this particular case I am very glad I did.