The first book on my Debut Author Challenge list for 2011 is Kiersten White, so here is my review:
Author: Kiersten White
Genre: Paranormal fantasy, YA
Summary (from Goodreads): Evie’s always thought of herself as a normal teenager, even though she works for the International Paranormal Containment Agency, her ex-boyfriend is a faerie, she’s falling for a shape-shifter, and she’s the only person who can see through paranormals’ glamours.
But Evie’s about to realize that she may very well be at the centre of a dark faerie prophecy promising destruction to all paranormal creatures. So much for normal.
Review: As soon as I picked it up, I couldn’t help but skip my way through Paranormalcy. In fact it hardly felt like I was reading, more like the story was unfolding in front of me as I turned the pages.
Throughout Paranormalcy, Evie struggles to come to terms with who she is – a teenager; an employee of International Paranormal Containment Agency (IPCA); a girl with a special gift to see through the glamour of paranormals. She desperately wants to live a normal teenage life, but working for the IPCA, which is also her home and family doesn’t make it easy. When she meets Lend in unusual circumstances, he challenges her to think more deeply about her life and that of the paranormals she is helping catch.
Whilst Becky at TheBookette saw comparisons to Guantanamo bay, I saw similarities to X-men (maybe that says something about me?): people, or more accurately paranormals, with special powers existing in society but hiding from its prejudices reminded me of the setting in X-men. Paranormalcy manages to sensitively touch on issues around personal freedom and discrimination without bringing down the pace and flow of the story.
The story remains light-hearted, probably due to Evie’s character and relationship to Lend. I was relieved that Evie maintained a realistic balance between fear, wilfulness and flirting (I can’t stand female characters that are headstrong and ‘bad-ass’ without any depth of character). Her narrative voice was sassy, vulnerable and funny, making her likeable and easy to relate to.
Lend I liked from the word go. His character background is really interesting, and you can’t help but want to find out more about him.
Paranormalcy gives an interesting twist on the supernatural theme; with its likeable characters and constant pace it keeps you engaged in the story and wanting to read more.