Date Completed: 12/15/2015
L.C. Mawson tackles the struggles of teenagers everywhere with this incredibly down to earth first part in a series of fantasy books. The prologue was incredibly well-written and refreshing; I reveled in the fact that there was only one male character in the whole prologue: Death! She also approached characters of color without specifically calling out their race during their introduction, which made me really happy. One of the characters was autistic as well, which is wonderful because there aren’t enough autistic characters being written about in a strong and positive light.
Freya, a teenage girl in foster care, moves into a new home with a foster couple, Margaret and Ryan. She’s nervous about the move, as every foster child tends to be, and anxious about leaving behind her best friend and roommate, Alice. However, the prologue foreshadows greater changes to come in Freya’s life, as we slowly learn more about how magic interacts with her world. Although Mawson’s foreshadowing is explicit, it’s effective and I find myself looking forward to what she portends.
I’m sure every teenager has wondered whether it’s appropriate to take a best friendship to a romantic level, and Mawson writes about these moments in Freya’s life skillfully. Freya feels exactly how I felt when I was asking myself the same questions. Mawson writes naturally, and I’m reconnected with how I felt during my early teenage years (which were really not so far away). She keeps the relationships at friendship as well, and the value of friendships without relationships for teenagers is often overlooked. The author lets you know that it’s okay to be confused and it’s okay to just be friends. I am amazed at the ease with which Mawson portrays each character holding true to their personal values throughout the story. Freya is truly a believable and well-developed character, and I am always grateful to find such characters in the pages of a young adult series, particularly when themes of magic and overlapping worlds are in the forefront of pop-culture. Additionally, the story is fast-paced and easy to read.
L.C. Mawson was born in the U.K. She’s an author, a blogger, and a critic of how autism is portrayed in the media, which holds personal value for her as she is a person on the autism spectrum. I can’t wait to hear more from this author! You go girl, write that inclusive YA fiction.
I received a copy of this book from the author for an honest review.