Where I got it: Arc from author for review
Rating: 3.5 stars
Cover Rating: 3 stars (I like what it represents, but I doubt I would pick this up off the shelf.)
Genre: Young Adult
Publication Date: January 3, 2011
Publisher: Houghton Mifflin Books for Children
Page Count: 288 p.
The tree plague is slowly spreading. Soon there may be no more trees left, despite what the scientists originally thought. Now people are getting very sick and the doctors can no longer cure them. These two things may be related. Kelsa goes to bury her father's ashes, and meets who she thinks is a boy. The strange boy turns out to be Raven, the Trickster spirit. He enlists Kelsa help to save the world, by saving the magic that flows through it. At first Kelsa thinks he's crazy and that it would be crazy to go along with him. Though maybe, what he's saying is the truth and she can help rescue the world.
This was certainly an interesting story. Honestly, when I think of the term Science Fiction I always picture Dragon in Space. I know that this is not really true, but I can't help but immediately assume that is what I will be reading about. With that taken into consideration, I would barely call this novel sci-fi. It is set in a high-tech future, but nothing seems overly sci-fi-y. Mostly there is just the Native American folklore, and a modern feel to the whole story, despite the new technology. One thing I didn't really like about this novel is how much story there was. I know that sounds a bit silly. This story has too much story, but I tend to like a bit more dialogue in my YA. If Hilari Bell could have worked the stories into the characters speech that would have been a lot better in my tastes. This was a very interesting book, about what can happen when humans don't share beliefs in the magical realm. The humans basically destroyed the Earth, and even though they are trying to be better, that by itself is not enough. Raven was kind of a brute to Kelsa at times, but I guess he was just grouping her with all the other humans and she had to suffer through his general distaste for them. If you like books about magic that are set in the future, and have quite a bit of saving the world in them I would make sure to check this one out. Buy it today!
"Raven had spent too long on the hunt."
"The black asphalt blended perfectly with the black basalt, and the informative signs weren't obvious."