Sunday, October 24, 2010

Trickster's Girl

Author: Hilari Bell
Publisher: Houghton Mifflin Harcourt
Release Date: January 3, 2011
Genre: YA Paranormal

Kelsa lives in 2098, but her life isn't much better ours today. Although the cars and technology are more advanced, and security is tighter even between states, the rate of deaths from cancer is on the rise with no cure in sight, and a terrorist-released bacteria is killing the trees all over. But on the night that Kelsa's dad is buried after he died from cancer, a boy appears - a boy who claims that magic is responsible for keeping the world going and that humans damaged this magic - and that Kelsa is the one who can help him put things right. Kelsa joins Raven on a trip across borders to revive the magic and stop the destruction, but their trip isn't all light - some of Raven's people don't want the humans saved and chase Kelsa and Raven, trying to kill them. Trying to stay one step ahead, Kelsa and Raven push on, strengthening the magic as they go.

The imagery in this book is what struck me most - so it wasn't so surprising to read on Amazon that the author made the trip that Kelsa and Raven take herself! The changes in weather and the landscapes are so beautifully described that I felt like I myself was on the trip with Kelsa. The details of camping and supplies are also really real, so aside from the plot, the book felt like a travel book at many points! That's not to say there was no plot - on the contrary, the plot is just as detailed as the nature, and just as real-sounding.

The dynamics between Kelsa and Raven are really authentic. Although Raven is supposed to be a god of some sort, he acts like any know-it-all teenage boy, and Kelsa responds as a self-assured teenage girl would. Their bickering sounds so real, and the way they stand up for each other and look out for each other even after fighting is also true to life. Kelsa and Raven are both really likable for themselves, and I got attached to Kelsa - too bad it looks like she won't be featuring much in the next book!

I would have liked to see more of Kelsa dealing with her grief for her father and her strained relationship with her mother. Those points are mentioned, but they're sort of glossed over until the end. The rest of the story, though, is told in a way that pulls you along and leaves you breathless, leading up to the fast pace of the final scenes and the end of the book.

I was very intrigued by the end of the book, and I'm looking forward to Traitor's Son!

Thanks to Houghton Mifflin Harcourt and to NetGalley for providing me with a digital copy of Trickster's Girl for review.

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