Author: Kelly Keaton
Publication: Simon Pulse (February 22, 2011)
Description: Ari can’t help feeling lost and alone. With teal eyes and freakish silver hair that can’t be changed or destroyed, Ari has always stood out. And after growing up in foster care, she longs for some understanding of where she came from and who she is.
Her search for answers uncovers just one message from her long dead mother: Run. Ari can sense that someone, or something, is getting closer than they should. But it’s impossible to protect herself when she doesn’t know what she’s running from or why she is being pursued.
She knows only one thing: she must return to her birthplace of New 2, the lush rebuilt city of New Orleans. Upon arriving, she discovers that New 2 is very...different. Here, Ari is seemingly normal. But every creature she encounters, no matter how deadly or horrifying, is afraid of her.
Ari won’t stop until she knows why. But some truths are too haunting, too terrifying, to ever be revealed.
My Thoughts: This was a great introduction to urban fantasy for young adults. Ari was a product of the foster care system whose latest foster parents are bail bondsmen who have taught her self-defense and survival skills. She is smart, mature and brave. She is now searching for the mother who placed her into foster care when she was four and then disappeared.
She finds the place where her mother spent her last days and receives a box of things she left behind. Those things and the attack she experiences leave her with more questions than answers. She travels to New 2 to see if there are answers there. New 2 is controlled by nine families known as the Novem. Three of the families are witches; three are vampires; and three are shape shifters. They provide a haven for other paranormals in what was formerly New Orleans. Ari learns a lot about herself but still has many questions. She discovers that she is cursed and that she has an ancient enemy.
In New 2 she makes friends and even finds a boyfriend who all help her learn more about herself. Sebastien is an interesting character in his own rite and I wish that we had learned more about him. The story is filled with interesting characters and interesting events.
I liked the world building in this story. I thought the characters were well-developed and engaging. I particularly liked Ari's voice. She is tough on the outside but eager for love and acceptance on the inside. She has a touching vulnerability. This is a very nice debut and I will be looking forward to sequels to find out more about the setting and the characters. This one should be on the reading list for young adults who like strong characters.
Family.*Quote is taken from the eARC and may not be final.
That word was so alien, so unreal, that I wasn't even sure I'd heard him right. Family. Hope stirred in the center of my chest, light and airy and ready to break into a Disney song complete with adorable bluebirds and singing squirrels.
No. It's too soon for that. One thing at a time.