Published in 2010
By Sarwat Chadda
" The car rocked gently. A pair of bare white feet landed softly on the hood, and a dark coat fanned out, covering the windshield. A silver of light caught the bright terrible edge of a broadsword; a familiar one with a hacking blade. Then the windshield shattered." (p.186)
Billi is an unwilling member of the Knights Templar, a group dedicated to hunting down evil supernaturals. Though she yearns to lead a 'normal' life, her father, the leader of the group, gives her no choice but to balance school with physical and academic training for the group.
When Billi meets Mike, she finds herself drawn to him. He seems to understand her need for independence, unlike her old friend Kay, who dreams of the day when his psychic powers will be valued as highly as those of a knight.
Yet, Mike is not the average bad boy that he first portrays himself to be. Then Billi and Kay inadvertently release an ancient evil signal into the world. Added to that, children are dying mysteriously, the Angel of Death is intent on capturing a treasure the Knights protect, and Billi learns of a prophecy that alters everything she has ever known about her father.
Unlike most YA novels, the supernaturals in this novel are all evil and the entire setting of the novel is very dark. This at first spooked me out, but as Georgia often points out, that's only because I'm a wimp.
Having had to put that aside, I really began to enjoy the novel. The author is very adept at making Billi seem real although her life is so different from what we all know. Her emotions flow off the pages naturally, and we understand the reasons behind her choices.
The reader also witnesses the growth in Billi's maturity. By the end of the novel, she is a champion we can all admire. What I also liked about this novel was that the story was adventure packed and plot driven. There was not a major focus on a love story and none of the characters fell in 'lust' at first sight.
Another aspect of the novel that I really enjoyed, was that the author brought in a lot of various cultural and religious variety, which is extremely rare in this genre.
I do recommend this novel and I am trying to get my hands on the second one. However, I would note that I do not think this is appropriate material for anyone below high school level. Maybe I'm just old fashioned, but I think it is too gory and dark for young readers.
♥ ♥ ♥ = really liked it
Tuesday, November 16, 2010