Farley Hope was seventeen when her mother disappeared. In the last six months not much has changed, except that her eighteenth birthday came and went and still no sign of Moira. Her life is just as complicated as it always was: since her father died in a car crash before she was even born, she’s officially parentless, and to top it all off she’s still suffering from the hallucinations. Mind-splitting, vivid hallucinations- the kind prone to induce night terrors and leave you whimpering under your covers like a baby.
The last thing on her mind is boys. Farley is on break from St. Judes’ when she meets Daniel. It’s not some casual run in at a party, or even a blind date with friends, though. Daniel is the guy stalking her in his 1970′s Dodge Charger; the guy standing at her window in the LA lunch hour traffic, determined on dragging her out of her truck.
The moment Farley lays eyes on Daniel, everything changes. However, regrettably for Farley, her life isn’t set to change for the better. She is drawn into a world that will shake apart everything she thought she ever knew. There are truths out there that she must learn: who her father really was, and what it means to have his blood flowing through her veins; that a person’s soul is their only real currency, and there are people who would do anything to take hers; that loving someone can hurt so much more than hating them; but, most importantly, when your future is predestined, there is little you can do to change it.
Farley Hope is prophesied. Her coming has been awaited for hundreds of years. She is destined to end the tyranny of the Soul Reavers.
To do so she must die.
(from the author's website)
When I first started reading this book, I wasn't quite sure what to expect. For one thing, it just jumps right into the action without any build-up, so I started out just as confused as Farley about what the heck was going on. And you know what? It worked. Because I had to figure out what was going on, just like Farley. It wasn't long before I was totally sucked into the story. And what a story it is!
I read a lot of books with paranormal elements, adult and young adult alike, and I am constantly on the lookout for something different - you can only read so many books about vampires and fairies without feeling like it's all been done before. Well, this book is definitely different in so many ways and that is a very good thing. First, the plot. All I can say is 'Wow!' The world created by the author is at once stark and full of hope and this duality sort of runs through it to the end. And to the very end, you're kept wondering, 'Is she really going to die? Is there no other way to fulfill the prophesy?' Well, I won't give away the ending, but I will say it was spectacular - an incredible resolution to the problem. Does that mean Farley forfeits her life to save everyone else? Well, you're just going to have to read it for yourself to find out. But don't worry, it's well worth the read! And the whole theme of the prophesy? Unique, edgy, seat-of-your-pants suspenseful.
Then there are the characters. I haven't been this wowed by a cast of characters in a single story in a long time. Usually, there are a few I like, then a bunch I couldn't care less about. Not so here. I really liked all of the characters - well, except for the villains, but I'm not supposed to like them, right? Farley is a pretty amazing character. She strikes all the right chords here and is a well-balanced character who is dealing with the loss of her mother (who simply vanished one day) when her life is turned upside-down by strange beings bent on killing her - and the gorgeous stranger who saves her. Enter Daniel. Everything you could want in a hero, he's handsome, moody, serious - and will lay down his life to save you without hesitation. His story is pretty amazing as well and just adds so much depth to the overall story and how it affects Farley. They are good foils for each other and you can't help but root for them. You want them to get that happily ever after and you grieve alongside them when it appears that they won't.
Then we have Agatha and Aldan, Tess and Oliver, and a cast of others that just add so much to the story. I absolutely adored Agatha. I thought she was a wonderful secondary character and played well with all the others, whatever the situation called for. I loved how protective she was of Farley, and how nurturing. She supplied the mothering influence that Farley so sorely missed when her own mother went missing. Tess is a wonderful friend for Farley. Even when she's got a bone to pick with Farley, Tess is still there for her - supportive, loving and comforting. We should all have friends like that.
I could probably go on, but I won't - because that will cut into the time that you should be reading this book! I, for one, am looking forward to the next book in this series.