Genre: YA Science Fiction (kind of)
Page Count: 288
Publication Date: Jan. 3, 2011
Why I read it: netgalley review copy
I don't really like this cover. I think it's pretty boring, and I think so much more could have been done with the cover illustrating the story.
About the author:
Hilari Bell's website is here. She was a librarian who achieved her dream of becoming a writer.
This book takes place in the future--I think about 2098. Kelsa's father has just died of cancer, and she is devastated because they were very close. The night she buries her father, a mysterious boy appears. He is the Native American trickster, Raven. He keeps trying to get her to believe in magic, and when he starts doing a bunch of magic stuff, including shapeshifting, she finally starts to believe. He tells her the world is dying, and she is the one who needs to save it. So they set off on an adventure from Utah to Alaska, stopping at points along the way to do some healing. Also, the author got tired of writing this book, and gave it the biggest non-ending ending I've ever read.
Kelsa was okay. I didn't hate her, but she was just kind of there for me. Same with Raven. They just weren't terribly exciting, and there was a big emotional disconnect throughout the whole story.
This is Earth in the future. There has been some biological terrorism against trees in South America, which is spreading. Also, there is a lot more security, there are border patrols from state to state instead of country to country. Cars run on electricity instead of gasoline. Nothing terribly imaginative or different.
"I like the churches God made better," he'd told Kelsa one autumn afternoon, gesturing to the towering peaks around them, the sweep of meadow and sky.
Read this if you're in the mood for: a story set in the future, with kind of a dystopian feel. If you're a big environmentalist, you might like this because it talks a lot about how humans are ruining the earth.
Continue or part ways? I read The Goblin Wood by Hilari Bell and really, really liked it. The writing in this one actually wasn't terrible, I just felt like it was a little sloppy. I will give Bell another try in the future, but I'm not sure if I'd read the next Raven book, which isn't due out until 2012 anyway.