We're awaiting word on the Woven cover reveal; there's a few details left to iron out (that's a fabric pun ...). Until then, let me tell you about this cool novel that I had the privilege of reading early ...
Sixteen-year-old Macy is not your average teenager—she’s a member of the Chosen, an elite group of gifted and magically talented children responsible for protecting humans from the monsters of the Hidden race. But when the Shard of the Ninth Chosen arrives at her Watcher’s door with the deadly Shadow Wraiths in hot pursuit, her world is shaken. The Ninth is to lead the Final Battle against the evil forces of the Dark. And when that Ninth turns out to be Tolen Parks, a clueless seventeen-year-old who has no idea that he’s anything other than a freak, she figures the world is a gonner. The two of them are swept down a dangerous path that tests everything that Macy is ... and brings out everything that Tolen can be. Amidst monsters and Radia Warriors, the pair must discover who they really are and face the heart of darkness in order to find victory ... and their destinies.
* * * (From Barnes&Noble)
Author K.A. Parkinson was kind enough to offer me an early read of this novel before publishing it. And I have to say, the story surprised me. It reminded me of David Farland's Nightingale in a few ways (I bet the setting in southern Utah had something to do with it). And I thought for sure I was reading urban fantasy until the magic system and other worldly forces came into play - not that I have anything against urban fantasy, mind you ... Back to the review at hand!
What caught my attention early on was how immersive K.A.'s writing is, brooding and atmospheric from the gate. The deserts of Nevada and Utah came to life in my mind, especially when the town of Green River was portrayed, realistically I might add (I've been there). The battles are nothing short of explosive and the characters find their footing along the journey in a way that makes me believe in their difficult plight, and their reluctance to be what prophecy dictates.
The character Macy knocked this story out of the park for me. She has the right amount of kick-butt attitude, while trying to find herself and her role as a protector - allied with Tolen - without ever going over the Trinity Syndrome cliff. I also thought the way she recovers from using magic was clever, if not tasty. Tolen's a pretty cool guy too, if not misunderstood. I don't read about characters with two eye colors all that often, so it was fun to see that dynamic at work. And talk about a creepy, stalkish antagonist. I shiver thinking of him.
I had very few issues with the overall execution of the story, and as I understand it, much of those areas were being touched on before I sent my feedback. That said, I'd have to read this again to see how much better this has gotten. The Shadow Prison, the first book in The Ninth Chosen series, is a highly entertaining read that deftly deals with finding one's place in a world that's out of their control, and the ever present battle of the light and darkness that surrounds us all.
About The Author:
K.A. Parkinson was raised in a small suburb where she spent most of her time hiding under her bed with a book, a bag of cookies, and a flashlight. She currently resides in Utah with her husband and two children.
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What would you do if someone said you were charged to save the world? Would you flee or would you accept the call to action?
I'm David, and I have this strange hankering for a lollipop ...