Thursday, October 23, 2008

“Moonstone” by Marilee Brothers

FROM THE BOOKCOVER:
The girl voted least likely to save the world may have to do just that.

A sickly mom. A crappy travel trailer. High school bullies and snarky drama queens. Bad-guys with charming smiles. Allie has problems. And then there's that whole thing about fulfilling a magical prophecy and saving the world from evil.

Welcome to the funny, sad, sometimes-scary world of fifteen-year-old Allie Emerson, who's struggling to keep her act together (not to mention her mom's) in the small-town world of Peacock Flats, Washington. A zap from an electrical fence sets off Allie's weird psychic powers. The next thing she knows she's being visited by a hippy-dippy guardian angel, and then her mysterious neighbor, the town "witch," gives her an incredible moonstone pendant that has powers only a "Star Seeker" is meant to command. "Who, me?" is Allie's first reaction. But as sinister events begin to unfold, Allie realizes she's got a destiny far bigger than she ever imagined

If she can just survive everyday life, in the meantime.
Moonstone is the first book in a satisfying new YA urban fantasy series ‘Unbidden Magic’. We are introduced to Allie, a teenager with a dysfunctional single mother and living in near-poverty. Allie is a smart, self-reliant young girl who despite these home life handicaps is not resentful, but has a practical glass-half-full-attitude. Even when her gifts are awakened and discovers she has a destiny, Allie works hard not to let it overwhelm her.

Moonstone delivers an impressive and emotional rollercoaster reading experience. What had previously been a relatively quiet life for Allie is thrown into total disarray. Her mentor is attacked and hospitalized in critical condition, Child Services looms threateningly, and she locates her father who has been absent from her life. As if these events are not enough of a curveball, Allie as the prophesied Star Seeker becomes a target of the evil Trimarks who want her moonstone pendant for the supposed telepathic powers it confers on the wearer.

Allie befriends and enlists the aid of an unlikely ally, Junior Martinez the school badboy and former gangbanger. Brothers does a wonderful job of not portraying ethnic and teenage stereotypes in the usual way, but cuts to the heart of their character, breathing real life into them. Junior reminded me of a kinder gentler version of Weevil from Veronica Mars. The two develop a strong bond and it is easy to see that Junior will play an important role in future stories.

Moonstone offers plenty of tension-filled and dramatic moments including a near escape from the Trimarks when they invade Juniors’ home while Allie is alone. One of the most vivid scenes occurs when Allies’ mother is kidnapped and Allie is taken hostage as well. Truly riveting and suspenseful.

Moonstone is a very well-crafted, well-paced story. Allie is not the usual kick-ass heroine but a normal teenage girl struggling with unusual powers and thrust into exceptional circumstances. Readers of all ages should enjoy this fresh and bewitching tale. Moonstone nicely establishes a solid back story and cast of characters to launch the next volume in the series. Recommended.


Author and Book Showcase
Marillee Brothers
Official Marilee Brothers Website

Book1 of the Unbidden Magic series

Read an Excerpt.

Belle Bridge Books
Published: August 2008
ISBN #: 978-0-9802453-4-9


Watch the book trailer.



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