Mysterious lights have flickered above Crownsville for as long as Mia can remember. And as far as she’s concerned, that’s about the only interesting thing to happen in her small town.
That is, until Sol arrives. Mia’s not one to fall for just any guy, but she can’t get Sol—or the brilliant tattoo on his back—out of her mind.
Then Mia’s brother goes missing, and Mia’s convinced that Sol knows more than he’s sharing. But getting closer to Sol means reevaluating everything Mia once believed to be true. Because Sol’s not who Mia thought he was—and neither is she.
My rating: 3 of 5 stars
(Source: I borrowed a copy of this book.)
17-year-old Mia lives with her Uncle Pete, and takes care of her 10-year-old brother Jay. In recent months kids have been being abducted from town, and Mia is worried about Jay, especially when a boy in his class is taken next.
Mia is trying to get her homework done, and thinking about what to wear to the prom, when the worst happens and Jay is taken. She knows she saw lights across the ridge, she knows she saw Jay go into the lights, and she wonders if maybe people are right, and it really is aliens abducting kids.
The problem is that nobody believes her when she tells them what she saw, and the only other witness – Sol; a new boy at school with a huge tattoo of a bird on his back, claims that he saw nothing, even though she knows that he is lying.
Trying desperately to find her brother, Mia sneaks into Sol’s house, looking for clues as to who he is and what he’s hiding. When she finds her necklace that she lost, she grabs it and takes off, just as Sol comes home and catches her.
Sprinting off towards the ridge, Mia sees the lights again, and hears Sol shouting for her to stop. Next thing she knows she’s in a really strange place, and Sol is trying to hide her.
When she discovers that she’s now in a parallel dimension called Brakaland, and that a man calling himself the Suzerain in trying to bring down the barrier between the worlds, all Mia can think about is that Jay must be being kept here somewhere, and that she needs to find him and get him home.
But how can Mia possibly find Jay and rescue him? What else is going on that Mia doesn’t know about? And what does Mia’s absent father have to do with it?
I liked this book initially, but when Mia and Sol went across the barrier to Brakaland it became really heavy going, and at times I really struggled to keep going.
I just felt that the fantasy side of the story totally swamped everything else that was going on. I don’t know, maybe I should just stop reading fantasy books, because I seem to get really confused by the inevitable long chain of politics and repercussions and fates and whatnots, and the story loses its pull for me. I just seemed to get bogged down once Mia and Sol had crossed the barrier, which was a real shame as I was loving it up ‘til then!
Admittedly the story here wasn’t the most confusing I’ve read, but it wasn’t straight-forward either. There was just such a big difference between the start of the book, and when the story moved across to the other reality, that it felt a bit disjointed. I was expecting aliens or something, and instead got a parallel dimension, and that’s where the story went downhill for me. I did love the twist with regards to Sol at the end though; I really didn’t see it coming, although with hind-sight I probably should have.
The one thing I did like about this book was the romance between Mia and Sol, but there wasn’t all that much of that to be honest. The action was much more geared to the fantasy storyline than the romance, which was a little disappointing for me.
Overall; an interesting YA fantasy, with a splash of romance. Recommended for fantasy rather than romance fans.
6.5 out of 10.