Saturday, December 3, 2011
by Hilari Bell
The Raven Duet, book two
Publication Date: March 20, 2012
When Jason catches the small bag that a girl throws to him at the Canadian/Alaskan border during a gun fight, all he can think is that the bag must contain drugs. But if the small, brown powder is some sort of illegal substance, it's certainly nothing he's ever seen before.
Jase is half right. He's never seen this stuff before, but it's not drugs. The bag contains magical dust, a substance so powerful, it can heal the earth.
So powerful, certain creatures think nothing of killing him to get it. (description from back jacket)
I have to admit that I have not read the first book in The Raven Duet, Trickster's Girl, but now having read its counterpart, eventually I want to go back and eventually get to it. I haven't actually read anything by Hilari Bell before, but I liked her writing style.
First of all, this book was surprisingly short. In the new days of most YA books coming in easily at 300 pages, this one is only just over 200. And yet, it packed a lot of punch. The characters were interesting, the world was intriguing, and the danger was scintillating.
This book is set in Alaska in the 2080's. The world has become very technologically advanced and dependent, yet because of the native Alaskan tribes, Jase's world is a mixture of the old beliefs and magics, and the new. His family is in turmoil, precisely due to this dichotomy.
The world is also suffering. Humans have literally poisoned the planet (the environmental message is strongly present in this duet) and it's up to the mysterious Raven to get humans to help heal the earth. The spirit worlds lie alongside ours and certain people, like Jase, can actual travel them.
This book will not appeal to everyone, but if you are intrigued by the idea of spirit travels, magic, and environmental issues (almost like Fern Gully!), you might want to check this book, and its predecessor, out!
Full disclosure: ARC received to review for SLJ