{REVIEW} LINK by Summer Wier

LINK, Book 1 of The Shadow of Light series by Summer Wier

(Click the book cover to see on Goodreads)
Genre: Young Adult, Science Fiction
Title: LINK
Author: Summer Wier
Length: 318 pages
Publication: September 29th 2015 by REUTS Publications

Note: Patchwork Press sent me this e-book via Netgalley for free in exchange for my honest review.

Synopsissmall
For seventeen-year-old Kira, there’s no better way to celebrate a birthday than being surrounded by friends and huddled beside a campfire deep in the woods. And with a birthday in the peak of summer, that includes late night swims under the stars.

Or at least, it used to.

Kira’s relaxing contemplation of the universe is interrupted when a piece of it falls, colliding with her and starting a chain of events that could unexpectedly lead to the one thing in her life that’s missing—her father.

Tossed into a pieced-together world of carnivals and gypsies, an old-fashioned farmhouse, and the alluring presence of a boy from another planet, Kira discovers she’s been transported to the center of a black hole, and there’s more to the story than science can explain. She’s now linked by starlight to the world inside the darkness. And her star is dying.

If she doesn’t return home before the star’s light disappears and her link breaks, she’ll be trapped forever. But she’s not the only one ensnared, and with time running out, she’ll have to find a way to save a part of her past and a part of her future, or risk losing everything she loves…

pov
‘LINK’ is written in first person past with limited point of view. The narrator is seventeen-year-old Kira. Despite her age, she offers insight in the world and events she partakes in with a mature, down-to-earth point of view, which really drives home the realism of the novel, specifically the science fiction elements.

thoughts
Pacing: It’s not often a book has a good balance for pace, but this book hit’s the nail on the head. It moves neither too fast, nor too slow. Additionally, information is revealed at interspersed points like breadcrumbs for the reader, which tide them over until the next breadcrumb.

World: The world is fantastically built with just enough descriptive detail for the reader to imagine the scenery, but not enough to overwhelm and bore the reader. Additionally, the concept behind the pieced-together world is quite imaginative. It really enhances the uniqueness and vibrancy of the world in which this novel takes place and the fundamentals of how that world works.

Writing: The writing style has an elegant quality about it. While written from the POV of a teenager, the narration doesn’t have a childish quality about it, but rather has a sophisticated, realistic, down-to-earth tone. Thus, the writing style maintains an educated, enlightened, and agreeable voice.

Character: While young in years, seventeen-year-old Kira lacks the naive nature of many young protagonists. Rather, she uses rationale to explain the events happening to her. Thus, she’s able to seek the advice of people more informed than herself to help her discover what she doesn’t understand.  This same rationale is used effectively when weighing her options throughout the book.

Non-Spoilered Plot: A trip to the lake is brusquely interrupted when Kira is struck by starlight. While she’s unharmed physically, her consciousness is transported via the starlight to a world far away from her own, and her’s isn’t the only one. People from other universes have been transported to this location world. However, unlike Kira, their physical bodies have been transported as well. If Kira doesn’t find a way to send her consciousness back home before her starlight dies out completely, she’ll be stuck in this new world, too.

***{SPOILER ALERT}***

Plot: The main plot of this novel can be classified as ‘The Voyage and Return’ plot in that Kira travels between her planet, Thear, and the self-sustaining planet, Aslund. Yet, in that time, she doesn’t physically change anything on either planet. The only thing that changes is her understanding of the universes and her desire to protect it from what’s coming.

That being said, Kira actually bounces back and forth between planets quite a bit. All she needs to do on Thear is fall asleep. And she quickly learns that jumping into the lake she brought with her from Thaer will transport her back to her planet. In that sense, it’s surprising Kira would let herself fall asleep so often. After all, she decides quickly that she doesn’t want to remain on Aslund because her entire life is on Thaer. Yet, she keeps falling asleep while on Thaer. So, there is a constant back and forth between Thaer and Aslund, which becomes quite repetitive.

While repetitive, the reasoning behind the back and forth is understandable. At first, she doesn’t realize the connection. Then, she falls asleep on accident and finally she realizes that her long-lost father may be on Aslund and her only way to find him, to save him, is to go back. Unfortunately, having never met his child, he doesn’t recognize her. Even if he did, he jumps into the core of Aslund and vanishes to God only knows where. And with her time running so short, Kira doesn’t manage to make it back to Thaer before her star dies.

Yet, she was in her star when it died. Thus, she’s granted the ability to transport between worlds quite like her father did when he jumped into the core. This ability offers a happy ending for Kira. Normally, this miracle happy ending would be annoying. Yet, in this case, the reasoning behind the happy ending was executed in a way to justify it. What’s more is she isn’t the only one capable of transporting between worlds, meaning that, while she is the one spoken of in a prophecy, she’s not the only one capable of transport. She’s not overly one-of-a-kind. Special in a way, but not completely. There’s still an average quality about Kira.

Additionally, her desire to stop the darkness from taking over the universes is not solely driven by her need to save Evan. It comes from the need to save the only planet her family, her friends, and her life are capable of living on. Her reasons for wanting to save the universe aren’t selfish or even revolve around one person, but multiple people and their interactions with each other and their environment. The connections are truly what make this book good. With that in mind, I leave my rating of this book, ‘LINK’, at five stars.

5tars

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