Author: Kelly Keaton
Genre: Young Adult
Release Date: 02/22/11
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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.
Plot: 4.5 Stars
Greek mythology seems to be a new trend in Paranormal Young Adult, and this novel was a perfect introduction to this trend. The mythology was weaved into the story very delicately, so as not to overwhelm the reader. And it also blended other paranormal trends into a nice melting pot of creatures in New 2. The setting of the novel, New 2, was a creative and interesting take on rebuilding a weather-ravaged city. It allowed the author to make New Orleans into her own world, while still keeping the aspects of the city that fit the novel (such as Mardi Gras elements). The big twist at the end was fantastic. I won't spoil anything, but the truth about Ari's heritage was something I have never come across in my reader and I loved it.
Pace: 5 Stars
I gobbled this novel up! Once I picked it up, I couldn't put it down. The novel jumps right into the action and never lets up. From the moment Ari steps foot into New 2, the twists and turns bring her all across the new environment. The author kept me on my toes constantly. I never knew what was coming and was always surprised by the turns the novel took. Although Ari's time in New 2 is action-packed, it still happened in a reasonable time frame. There was time between action scenes to get some sleep and recharge, and these details made it that much better.
Characters: 4.5 Stars
Ari was very mature for a young adult main character, and it felt right. Being slightly older than most young adult characters, I found her a bit easier to connect with due to this maturity. I also wasn't bothered by her language, although there was definitely more cursing than most YA. Her foster parents let her go on a trip to figure out what happened to her mother, and trust her. Ari meets a number of quirky kids when she arrives at New 2, and Violet is my favorite. She's quiet, always wears a Mardi Gras mask, and carries around an alligator as a pet. What's not to love? Sebastian was a very interesting character, although I thought him and Ari connected a bit quickly. And the evil character of the novel (I won't say who) was definitely crazy and scary.
Cover: 4 Stars
At first, I wasn't a fan of this cover. It doesn't pop on the internet, and it didn't pop on the ARC. But I saw a finished copy in the store the other day and was very excited to see how much better it was. The blue title pops off the page in its lovely font, the tree branch shine a little more, and the stone gate is a bright metallic that works so well against the darkness of the rest of the cover. The gate itself alludes to a specific location in New 2, which plays a big part in the story. Although it would've been fun to see Ari depicted on the cover with her silver hair and teal eyes, not featuring a cover model sets this novel apart a bit from the rest of the Paranormal Young Adult novels.
Overall: 4.5 Stars
Disclosure: I won an ARC in a giveaway at All Things Urban Fantasy.