Monday, March 28, 2016

Review: Flying Away by Caroline A. Gill with Giveaway

The Flykeeper Chronicles, Book 1
by Caroline A. Gill
St. Helena Press
YA Paranormal
204 pages

When Iolani Bearse was five years old, she lost her father to war. When she was nine, her mother died in a freak car accident. When Lani was fourteen, eerie green lights invaded, tearing her from the only home she had left.
Living as a runaway, dragging a horse and her cousin Eleanor across the countryside, Lani must learn to survive. Now Lani is the only person between the horrible, greedy lights and the last bit of family she has left. Her own heart is barely beating, but powerful memories pull her to Malcolm St. John. She fights what she feels, buried deep within her shattered soul.
Malcolm St. John always held his feelings in, especially about Iolani. So when she shows up on his doorstep, desperate and determined, Mal must decide if the wild tales she spins are the fragments of insanity or the last hope for a dying nation. This Lani is different from the child he knew. Something is coming for her, for him, and will not be stopped
If the cousins and Malcolm can’t escape the grasping hunters who hound them, the future of a broken America will be destroyed. Everything Lani has ever loved will burn with them. Somehow, she must find a path through friendship and loyalty to save them all.


This is a book full of subtle magic and depth, which slowly sinks its hooks and leads to a fantastic world.

Iolani is a fourteen-year-old girl who has suffered much loss in her life, and within the beginning pages, tragedy hits again. The writing is very descriptive and sinks into the depths of Iolani's mind. When the opening pages have her following her cousin blindly into a forest under very strange circumstances, the read feels as if the world around is fogged and unclear. Mystery and uncertainty flood the first pages, making it difficult to understand exactly what's going on, but the horror of it all is palpable. It's during this time which Iolani's unusual talent to converse with flies becomes clear, although it's something she doesn't understand completely herself.

The writing has a literary feel, and first gains on action toward the second half of the book. The beginning chapters have little dialogue and concentrate on the thoughts and feelings of Iolani as she trudges across the country on horseback with her dazed cousin, trying to steer clear of the evil green light. The character depth is well done but the pacing isn't for action fans.

Still, the plot grabs in a subtle way and draws in. About halfway through, the action speeds up and enters a whole new level as if the story takes a flip. Not only does Iolani's own talent explode into new dimensions, but the secrets behind the green light lead to a large scale conspiracy. Iolani can't trust anyone and finds herself in all sorts of danger. The tension mounts as more layers are added to the plot, creating a much faster pace and more fantastical adventure as the story goes on. The ending rounds most things off, insuring this can be read as a stand alone. However, several things are left unclear, especially the reasoning behind Iolani's as well as her opposition's strange abilities. There's mention of magic, but hints at more scientific explanations as well. And this lack of a basis did make some of it a little hard to accept. 

Summed up, this book adds an interesting twist to stories about people with special talents. It isn't fast paced at first, but takes time to delve into the main character while later mounting the action. I recommend this for YA Paranormal fans who love to get to know their characters and enjoy a dash of romance along with a bit of fantastical conspiracy.

And here she is. . .

Unusual stories attract me, ones in which the reader cannot easily see the ending or most of the journey. Visiting Rome during university studies, I found a simple truth sitting on buses, traveling all over the ancient city: the joy is in the Journey, in the people I meet, not in the destination. So, I write for you. I write for sanity. I write for chocolate and really good pizza.

You can find out more about her. . .



Giselle said...

Great review! This sounds like a well written read and atmospheric, too! Glad you liked it! :)

Unknown said...

Sounds amazing

Mary Preston said...

This sounds wonderful. How many books are planned for?

Unknown said...

Thank you for the review. I really love reading about what you felt as you went through the novel. There are three books total in the series, following Lani and Mal from age 14-18. Book Two releases through xpresso tours in May. So glad you enjoyed Flying Away.

Sandra Watts said...

I liked the excerpt. Sounds interesting.