When a supernatural freak of nature forces her family to separate, seventeen-year-old Charlie Page must turn to her frustrating (yet gorgeous) neighbor, Seth, to help reunite them. Seth whisks Charlie to Ellauria—a magical world filled with the creatures of myths and legends—and tells her of the Fellowship, the group charged with protecting mystical beings from human discovery. (All except Bigfoot: that attention whore is a total lost cause.) But when Charlie learns that she’s under the Fellowship’s protection herself, well, “stressed” is an understatement.
Ellauria should be the safest place for Charlie while the Fellowship works to find her family, but things in the mystical realm aren’t what they seem.
Magic is failing, creatures are dying, and the Fellowship insists Charlie holds the key to saving everyone. With her family still missing and the danger in Ellauria growing, Charlie doesn’t know who she can trust. She’s dealing with a power she never asked for, falling for a guy she can’t have, and being forced to choose between her destiny and her heart. And if she chooses wrong, she could destroy magic forever.
Charlie may be in over her head.
I won this in a giveaway sometime back in 2014. I honestly don’t even remember entering the giveaway, but either way, this showed up and I shelved with a shrug of indifference because I got the vibe that this was going to be some fairly generic YA, of which I’ve read plenty of. Fast forward a year. I’ve been on a reading tear this weekend. I’m pretty much caught up in ARCs and decided it might be nice to read some of the books that’ve been hanging around on my shelves. I was looking for something easy to read so figured now was as good time as any.
That first impression was dead on.
Charlie’s a 17 year-old girl whose life is ruined when she doesn’t get into a summer residency program, because despite being an OMG AMAZING artist, her art apparently would only be good enough to get her into a top visual art program with that program or whatever. But before she can dwell on it too long, a Mothman (no, I’m not making this up) attacks the house and she is whisked away to Ellauria (how do you pronounce that anyway? Why not just Alluria and be done with it?) where she she is the last Muralet. I won’t spoil what a Muralet is (other to say that it is a not-so-good name, really naming is a problem throughout this book) but know she is special and of course her mere existence puts everything else at risk Because.
Oh, and I suppose I should mention that there is a Fellowship (which based on the description makes me think the author doesn’t really know what a fellowship is, because the organization as described does not fit one). There is a bitchy female character who is bitchy because the horrible trope demands it, not because there is any valid reason for her to be that way. In the interest of full disclosure, the MC is also annoyingly stubborn and keeps putting herself into danger, but because she is the main character I suppose we must applaud her for giving the finger to The Man. Or something. The most interesting part of the book is when it’s become clear that the main character’s brother gets brainwashed at some point and I think I’d rather have read that story because it would have been much more interesting. As it stands we barely learn that it’s happened before good triumphs evil and all we are left with is the brother sulking and wishing that both he and his sister were dead. Nice.
This is generic fantasy at its best/worst. You’ve read it all before, and you’ve read much better versions of it. I suppose the best I can say is that it’s generally inoffensive and it’s a fast read.
That’s not saying much, is it?
Ultimately, this book reminds me of advice often given to contestants on cooking shows: if you’re going to make a basic/simple dish, the execution better be flawless. And here, it’s just average at best. You can pick this up on an e-reader for $4. Die-hard fans of the genre, it might be worth a look. The rest of us can better spend our money elsewhere.
Verdict: Skip It