Clean-living Brianna feels like she’s “having a chemical high” when she sees a mysterious stranger through the window, this after falling downstairs and possibly breaking her neck. But there are mysteries here, gorgeous creatures among the beautifully described scenery, and an interesting blend of myth and imagination in the plot. Grasping the truth behind earth’s relationship to Ethos might require “a deep understanding of quantum physics, fourth dimensional tesseract polytopes and a handle on space-time continuum” but luckily the reader can get by with just following the story, as long the concept of miles being part of earth’s metric system doesn’t confuse them too much.
The writing blends some pleasingly evocative descriptions with long passages of internal dialog and deep analysis of unfulfilled desire. The mix of myth, magic and technology is sometimes uncomfortable, but Ethos and its creatures and dangers are beautifully portrayed in the second half of this novel, well worthy of the gorgeous cover picture. Purity twines itself deeply into Kalen’s and his world’s mystique and keeps the story well-grounded morally. Meanwhile a fascinating take on good and evil, death and immortality, invites comparison and contrast with Biblical creation and the Fall. Earth’s mythology makes a nice foundation for the author’s skillful world-building, and Ethos is a truly fascinating place, imagined and described in great detail, from flora and fauna to the rules of magical power and the mysteries of prophecy.
With the futures of earth and Ethos in question, Bree and Kalen balance love and duty throughout a fascinating adventure. The novel’s a fairly slow read, and sets the stage for volume two in its exciting conclusion. As long as occasional typos and repetitions don’t bother you, it’s good clean well-imagined fun and an enjoyable YA adventure.
Disclosure: I got the ebook on a deal and promised the author an honest review.