Title: Flying Away
*Series: The Flykeeper Chronicles
Author: Caroline A. Gill
Publisher: St. Helena Press
Pages: Kindle; 228
Release Date: January 12, 2016
Source: Xpresso Book Tours
Content Screening: Nothing of note
HDB Rating: 3 Keys to My Heart
Recommended to: Readers who love vivid Fantasy with well-written characters.
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When Iolani Bearse was five years old, she lost her father to war. When she was nine, her mother died in a freak car accident. When Lani was fourteen, eerie green lights invaded, tearing her from the only home she had left.
Living as a runaway, dragging a horse and her cousin Eleanor across the countryside, Lani must learn to survive. Now Lani is the only person between the horrible, greedy lights and the last bit of family she has left. Her own heart is barely beating, but powerful memories pull her to Malcolm St. John. She fights what she feels, buried deep within her shattered soul.
Malcolm St. John always held his feelings in, especially about Iolani. So when she shows up on his doorstep, desperate and determined, Mal must decide if the wild tales she spins are the fragments of insanity or the last hope for a dying nation. This Lani is different from the child he knew. Something is coming for her, for him, and will not be stopped
If the cousins and Malcolm can’t escape the grasping hunters who hound them, the future of a broken America will be destroyed. Everything Lani has ever loved will burn with them. Somehow, she must find a path through friendship and loyalty to save them all.
Let me begin by saying that this is a much different book than I was expecting. Before diving in to Flying Away, I'd suggest that you ditch all your preconceived ideas and just go into it blind. This story is beautiful, but it's admittedly a bit odd as well. Lani's character feels lost, and the narrative definitely reflects that. If you're like me, you might feel like there's no foothold for you at first. Keep reading. It's well worth it.
Lani was an excellent character, although I really wanted to see farther into her background. Kind, loving, and self-sacrificing, I had no problem following along with her. She was a strong character and that, above all else, was what kept me along for the ride. The one thing about Lani is that she is never really given an age. At times she feels older, then at other times she feels much younger. If I had to guess, I'd say she's probably somewhere around 17 or so. Still, I could never quite pin it down. It works for the story, her agelessness, but it will likely be something that readers notice.
In terms of story, this first book is a bit all over the place. Caroline A. Gill shows her writing prowess, but I really wish she would have chosen one story arc and followed it through. As I mentioned above, it makes it a little difficult to get a foothold in Lani's world, at first. Once the adventure begins, and her cousin Eleanor appears, things start to settle in. By the time I reached the ending, I was ready for more. I only hope that the next book ties up some of the loose ends. Too many things done at once, means a lot of untied story lines.
Still, this book has a magical quality to it that I know a lot of readers will appreciate! The concept of a girl who can talk to flies, who has powers that reflect that, is something I've never seen done before. I was impressed at the unique way that Gill brought this story to life, and I'd be interested to read further.
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FTC Disclosure: I received a copy of this book in exchange for a fair and honest review. I was not monetarily compensated for my opinion.