Entertaining and fascinating read

5stars

XODUS (The Astralis Series Book 1) – by K. J. McPike – Review

single_review

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Calling it a YA book would be an understatement; it is so much more than that. I noticed three unique things about this book. First, the characters' thoughts - mostly fears, doubts , insecurities, anxieties etc., - are highlighted with the use of italics, which is helpful

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Calling it a YA book would be an understatement; it is so much more than that. I noticed three unique things about this book. First, the characters’ thoughts – mostly fears, doubts , insecurities, anxieties etc., – are highlighted with the use of italics, which is helpful:

“She’s coming, they insisted. She wouldn’t break tradition.”

Secondly, the one-worded chapter heads are quite unique: a quick look at them makes you wonder whether the book is going to be a corny romance or not. It is not corny, but the table of contents might give the wrong impression to some readers.

Third: the pronunciation guide – should be included in most, if not all paranormal romances, but seldom found.

Within the first few pages, the novel grabs hold of you by introducing tension in the atmosphere – and this tension can be felt throughout the entire book:

““Who’s there?” I wheezed, looking blindly toward the voice.

A bright light flooded my eyes, and I instinctively raised my arm to shield them. Blurry outlines shifted into view. Though I couldn’t see the details of the room, I could tell I wasn’t in my hallway anymore. A fresh wave of panic surged through me. Where was I?”

As well as this one:

“All five of them started talking at once, and it was impossible to tell who was saying what.

A gunshot went off.”

The plot has plenty of surprise elements in store for you to keep you glued to the book; for instance:

“The gun fired. The noise ripped the air out of my lungs. Screams surrounded me, but I couldn’t find my own. It’s over. I’m dead. I waited for the pain as images rushed behind my eyes. I saw my family, my friends, the time Mom and Dad took my siblings and me to New York, the moment Kai first kissed me. Everything moved behind my eyes as quickly as the pictures I’d seen when I traveled to the past with Dixon. But this time I could make sense of every one.

“No!” Kai’s shout shocked me out of my daze. I looked down at my body, expecting to see the injury.”

The lead characters are developed well – you cannot help but connect with them both. Who would not want to have the amazing powers of Kai:

“I can project to anyone I see, even if I only look at a picture.” He kicked out his legs and tucked them to the side. “That’s why I could appear right in front of you when you were running across the beach, screaming like a banshee. All I have to do is think of someone, and I end up right next to them.”

It is not easy to trust a man like Kai who boasts of his astral powers while at the same time cannot get to his own sister without Lali’s help: ” “If you can’t even find your own sister, how are you going to find my mom?”” Her doubt and suspicion about Kai is well delineated. Of course neither Lali nor Kai are perfect, flawless characters but in the end (which made me a little sad) you cannot help but sympathize with them both.

Although the story is based on the age old themes of love, trust, family and forgiveness, the book never gets overly preachy.

Even though the main focus of the book is astral protection, I felt that parts of the book hinted at Voodoo-like rituals (“You need their intention behind releasing the energy inside that stone. You need their blood.”). Beyond the context of the book, I wonder if the two are related. Interestingly I had read somewhere that you can take the help of a voodoo priest to help you with astral projection.

Anyways, it was a very entertaining read. 5 stars!

Conclusion Rating
5 stars

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