Title: Evading The Dark
Series: The Cross Chronicles #1
Author: E.M. Rinaldi
Published: April 2016
Genres: Urban Fantasy, Young Adult
Blurb: High school sucks. It doesn’t matter who you ask; jock, cheerleader, computer nerd, or band geek, they will all say the same thing: It’s a nightmare. But Casey is still wondering how she got the short end of the stick. Just a Sophomore at the prestigious Luthos Academy for Magical Beings, Casey already knows more about heartache and fear than any almost-sixteen-year-old should. Orphaned and left to be raised by the Academy, she spends her days training to become a Guardian, but that dream is looking dimmer with every day that passes. Unlike the wand-waving heroines in all her favourite books, Witches in her world don’t cast spells, they are born wielding the power of nature: water, fire, earth, or air; powers Casey never developed. She’ll be lucky if they even allow her to take her final exams.
Will relying on her hard earned training be enough for her to make it out alive?
First of all, high five for that blurb! Finally, a blurb that gives enough information about the tone of the book, but not too much that we already know everything that is going on. I've found good blurbs to be really scarce lately. The blurb immediately attracted me to the book, Magical school, check; ancient prophecy check; unfathomable evil, check!
Casey, is our main protagonist and the book is in first person. We all know how much I love kick ass girls, and Casey can totally take on any physical challenge even without any magical powers. She is extremely loyal to the few friends she has and her guardian. However, she has her flaws just like any good character should... ugh don't you hate those perfect characters! Casey is over dramatic which is often quite amusing, but also wants to make you shake her and tell her to pull it together. She is very grim and untrusting and has no problem in telling some lies. She has good reasons for all of these of course, but it makes her far from your perfect little angel.
Some of this book takes place in a creepy forest... oh how I love creepy forests, I seriously have a thing for them! The scenes that took place there were satisfyingly chilling and kept me reading way past my bed time. Please can't more books include creepy forests, pretty please??? What I'm trying to say is that there is a definite creepy factor to this book that is very mysterious and makes you hear strange noises in your very domesticated garden. The mystery keeps growing, and even when we find out parts of the puzzle things just seem to get more obscure... layers upon layers. That's good, because I really dislike a one dimensional plot. You land up not knowing who to trust, and finally you're as paranoid as Casey with who to rely on.
The supporting characters were very likable. Cedric is Casey's best friend. He always supports her no matter what, and it helps that he is rather gorgeous even if he isn't a blonde! ;) He did begin to annoy me, when he tried to quash Casey's independence and I wanted to slap him a few times, but I could understand his fear for his best friend. Casey is also lucky enough to get a new roommate, Falon, during the book. Now I loved loved loved Falon! She is a short petite fae with a very dry sense of humour. She is adorable, but very strong willed. I admired her fierce loyalty and her ability to do the dirty work when necessary. I wish there had been some more background information on her, so I could really understand what made her the person she is.
Eli is Casey's guardian. He is also the training master at the school. I loved how dedicated he was to trying to raise Casey the best way he knew how. He is a very deep character with so many secrets, he also needs a good shake!
The school is for magical students, witches, shifters and fae. I liked the History of how the school was founded and the relationship between the different magical beings. I just wanted more!!! I would have liked a deeper understanding of the rules of the magic and what powers were possible, and what their limits were. I'm most likely impatient, since this is of course the first book in the series! ;) The "Unfathomable" evil is really interesting, because you never quite know what it is. Is it really what is being told, or is it something else. Trust me, the creepy forest definitely makes you question everything that was told.
And oh my soul, was there a cliff hanger of note! I finished the book, went up in the document, read it again, looked for more, but the document was finished! No! I need to know what happens next! Aaaah! :) All in all, this is a really nice and entertaining read that will have you staying away from forests. If you like a kick ass heroine with hang ups and an interesting back story as well as layered characters, then you have to pick this book up!
Again, thank you so much to E.M. Rinaldi for giving me this opportunity to read and review her book. Please continue writing, we need more of this story! :)
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