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Monday, January 3, 2011

Trickster’s Girl by Hilari Bell




Trickster’s Girl by Hilari Bell
Publisher: Houghton Mifflin Harcourt
Genre: Action/Adventure, Sci-Fi/Fantasy
Heat Level: Sweeet
Length: Full Length (288 pgs)
Rating: 4 Books
Reviewed by Aloe

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.

Have you ever read the old Indian folktales about the animal spirits that ruled the world in the beginning? Many of them had god-like powers and influenced how nature worked here on earth. But did you know they were also shape-shifters?

Kelsa’s father has just died from cancer and she’s grieving and unhappy with her mother’s choice of treatment and the proposed funeral. She and her father loved the outdoors and did a lot of hiking together. Who would go with her now, and would it be as much fun as it used to be?

Rebelling against the funeral her mother has planned, she steals her father’s ashes and doesn’t let Mom know. She attends the funeral, then sneaks out at night to bury her father’s ashes under a big cottonwood tree they both loved.

That’s where she meets this strange, attractive young man who says he needs her in his quest to try to save the world. She tells him no and refuses to listen to him. So he shows her “magic” and changes into a raven! She runs home and tries to forget him. But he won’t go away…

She finally decides to listen to him and convinces her Mom to let her go stay with her aunt for a couple of weeks. She acts as those she is going on the trip, then sneaks off and meets up with Raven to start the quest.

Magic, wickedness and evil abound in this book. It is a rapidly paced novel that includes some Indian folklore and a bio-hazard that is futuristic. Kelsa is a strong, determined character who does what she sets out to do. Raven is other worldly. The forces they meet test them both and keep you glued to reading the book.

There will be at least one more book in this series, perhaps more. It was enjoyable and I look forward to seeing how Ms. Bell untangles this plot over time.

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