In the year 2098 America isn't so different from the USA of today. But, in a post-9/11 security-obssessed world, "secured" doesn't just refer to borders between countries, it also refer to borders between states. Teenagers still think they know everything, but there is no cure for cancer, as Kelsa knows first-hand from watching her father die.
The night Kelsa buries her father, a boy appears. He claims magic is responsible for the health of Earth, but human damage disrupts its flow. The planet is dying.
Kelsa has the power to reverse the damage, but first she must accept that magic exists and see beyond her own pain in order to heal the planet.
Although I’m not usually a fan of books that touch on environmental issues—they often seem too preachy—mankind’s influence on the earth was handled with tact and through magic, rather than by outright sermons. I liked the overall plot—girl meets mysterious boy, has to save the world through magic—and I felt that Hilari Bell definitely didn’t make it easy for Kelsa; there were constant roadblocks that prevented her from achieving her goal! I also really liked the incorporation of folklore and mythology and how Raven really didn’t act human most of the time, as I think those elements added another dimension to the book.
That said, I don’t feel like I really connected with any of the characters, and although there was a tantalizing hint of romance here and there, that vein wasn’t really explored in detail. For other readers, that might not be a problem, but for little old hopeless-romantic me, it was a aggravating. The ending was also too inconclusive for my taste, and although I’ve searched I can’t find any evidence of a sequel, which I’m quite upset about—I think it had potential to become a strong series. I did really like the cover, because it's simple and as I've said before, I'm a sucker for purple tones.
On the whole it’s a fair book, and a quick read at only 281 pages. If you’re into mythology or environmental issues, it’s probably worth a purchase.