by Alyson Noel
Strange things are happening to Daire Santos. Crows mock her, glowing people stalk her, time stops without warning, and a beautiful boy with unearthly blue eyes haunts all her dreams. Fearing for her daughter's sanity, Daire's mother sends her to live with the grandmother she's never met: a woman who recognizes the visions for what they are -- the call to her destiny as a Soul Seeker, one who can navigate the worlds between the living and dead.
There on the dusty plains of Enchantment, New Mexico, Daire sets out to harness her mystical powers. But it's when she meets Dace, the boy from her dreams, that her whole world is shaken to its core. And Daire is forced to discover if Dace is the one guy she's meant to be with . . . or if he's allied with the enemy she's destined to destroy.
*** MAY CONTAIN SPOILERS ***
I originally bought this book as a Christmas present for a friend, and really had no interest in it for myself at the time. Later, I noticed the second book had come out. My friend mentioned that she'd really liked both books and was anxious for the third. Then I saw that third book when it came out and I don't know why, but I suddenly found myself wanting to read the series. Usually my friend and I have very different opinions on books and movies, so I was leery, but I decided to give it a shot.
Wow. What a pleasant surprise this book was! I had soooo been thinking this was going to be cheesy fluff teen drama. It wasn't! There was no love triangle, no horrible dialogue, no melodramatics. Such a breath of fresh air for a YA paranormal book. Although there is a love interest it is not a sappy, love at first sight thing. In fact, she doesn't even 'get the guy' until the end of the book. Also, this book keeps a quick pace and stays on course, not a lot of extra baggage to distract and weigh the story down. I loved that.
The book delves into some Native American culture and traditions, an area that doesn't usually interest me too much. The 'magic' people in this story are shaman. I haven't seen that in any of the YA books I've come across. There are demons in here but you won't find a werewolf, vampire, or angel in this neighborhood. There are Animal Spirit Guides, and Vision Quests, healing herbs, and the occasional vortex.
There were only two small beefs I had with this book. One was the way Dace, the dreamy hot guy, kept popping up in dreams AND later in reality. I was getting frustrated wondering if he was real or not, wondering what was going on, and it never really was explained. I know now that he is indeed real but I'm still not clear on the dreams, like how she knew him before she met him, and whether they really were just dreams or if it was some sort of connection to him already. (Or maybe I'm just over-thinking it.) The other small beef was that the whole thing with the glowing people and time stopping seemed to go away just a bit too quick and clean. I understand that once she was with her grandmother and taking the herbs and learning what was going, things were more under control but then they just seemed to go away, never to be mentioned again.
Overall, I really enjoyed this book. It was a refreshing change from the usual YA paranormal romance stuff I've been reading. I'm really looking forward to diving into the next book. And while I was not at all familiar with this author before, I now know she has a bunch of other books and I'm strongly considering getting her Immortals series. So, if you're bored with the usual sappy teen romance, I highly recommend you give this book a try!