is Rachel McClellan’s debut and a young adult science fiction novel set in present day. The focus is on an orphan named Llona, who is facing the typical teenage struggle: how to be normal while figuring out who she is and who she wants to be.
Llona is different from other girls. She is pretty (and can be sweet when she chooses), but goes out of her way to avoid building relationships with other people. This is because Llona is an Aura, a being of Light that consists only of females and passes from mother to daughter. While she is able to manipulate light and other awesome perks, she also has an entire race, the Vykens, who will kill her if they ever find her. To Llona, this means she must choose between living a normal life with friends or facing a gruesome from those who would see her dead.
This novel is a very inventive and imaginative read. The mythology is bright and the two races, the Auras and the Vykens, do not fall under the classification of any current paranormal beings hanging out in popular literature. They are a new interpretation of the forces of good and evil. There are also two other groups (one paranormal) introduced, one of which is represented by a fantastic supporting character who can potentially play a big part in future books. The abilities of these races are fascinating, but the Vykens do show a few characteristics typical of vampires.
I was completely surprised by this novel. When I downloaded it from NetGalley, I thought that I would be reading a science fiction novel set in an alternate universe, focusing on the struggle between Auras and Vykens. I found instead is Llona as she tried to find the balance between survival and living her life. Much of the book explores her relationships with her friends, as well as her remaining family. The one problem that I had with this was how quickly and easily the characters solved their problems. However, as fast-paced as the novel was, something had to be sacrificed. If it was not for the eventual battle between Good and Evil, I could almost call it contemporary. (And the semi-horror parts, but I will not ruin that surprise.)
Overall, I found the book to be a lovely debut for McClellan. Other than the minor issues with character development, the book is a good read. I look forward to reading more of her work, and this series, in the future.To satisfy FTC guidelines, I am disclosing that I received the book for free through NetGalley. It in no way affected the outcome of my review.