by Sarah Zettel
Callie LeRoux lives in Slow Run, Kansas, helping her mother run their small hotel and trying not to think about the father she's never met. Lately all of her energy is spent battling the constant storms plaguing the Dust Bowl and their effects on her health. Callie is left alone, when her mother goes missing in a dust storm. Her only hope comes from a mysterious man offering a few clues about her destiny and the path she must take to find her parents in "the golden hills of the west" (California). Along the way she meets Jack a young hobo boy who is happy to keep her company—there are dangerous, desperate people at every turn. And there's also an otherworldly threat to Callie. Warring fae factions, attached to the creative communities of American society, are very aware of the role this half-mortal, half-fae teenage girl plays in their fate. (description from Amazon.com)
This book is a little jewel that deserves a lot more recognition than it's gotten. Debut author Sarah Zettel builds a fantastically atmospheric world with a compelling main character. This book is a brilliant blend of magic and realism. The Dust Bowl of the Depression Era practially seeps out of the pages. I found myself reaching for my drink over and over as I was reading, so entrenched in the dust storms my imagination pulled from the descriptions.
I loved, too, Callie's complex character. Not only is this a girl who finds that she is not quite human, but even when passing amongst the humans she was terrified of having her bi-racial background discovered. Everywhere she turned, Callie only found danger, intolerence, and the need for deception. Until she met Jack in a storm that changed her entire world and she found an ally who never seemed to care about her differences.
I am more than ready to leap back into Callie's world, to discover her new abilities, and to see where her search for her parents takes her...I cannot wait for the next book in this trilogy.Full disclosure: eARC received from NetGalley