There was a time when I thought the slush pile reader at a publishing house was the best job anyone could ever have. After all you get to read all those books for FREE! And if the book was bad, you just tossed it aside. Fact is, I would have read the slush pile for free.
Since receiving my Kindle last spring, I have been haunting the cheap books on Amazon. Really for the price of an order of french fries you can get a book. But I've learned how hard it is to just toss a book. Unlike that cup of coffee you just dump because it didn't taste right, you really want to give the author a fair chance, so you read more than just a few pages. And the real reason I wanted to read the slush pile? So I could be the one who found the gem the publishers missed. With the kindle and the low cost of reading self published works, we all now have the chance to find those special books. But unlike that coffee, buying a book is more than just money, it is an investment of time.
Lots of books are read before something is posted because I want you, dear reader, to trust what is placed here. So when I say my money and time was well spent with this book, you can be assured I don't say it lightly.
By C. A. Kuntz
Published by C. A. Kuntz
From Barnes and Noble:
Cat Colvin is pretty much your typical run-of-the-mill teenager growing up in the small port town of Astoria. Sure, she is taller than average, has a mane of fiery red hair that is impossible to tame, is left handed, and has one eye that is sky blue and one that is amber, but that is where the differences end . . . unless you include the “minor” detail of her slow metamorphosis into the Childe.
We all know how difficult high school can be, and for Cat Colvin it is no different. Except for the fact she has the daunting task of trying to hide her budding Childe traits as they begin to reveal themselves at the most inopportune times.
This first book in this coming of age fantasy series follows Cat's life through the twists and turns toward finding out what and who she really is. Come and take the plunge with Cat into a world filled with biting humor, darkness, and yes, a few life lessons as well.
About the book:
Cat Colvin has finally talked her parents into letting her attend a government run school instead of a private one. Her parents are worried but probably not for the reason Cat thinks they are worried. They are hiding a secret, a terribly dangerous secret of who Cat really is and who she is not.
Cat has some close childhood friends, Amanda, Elle, Matt, and Julie, a friend that moved with her from private school to public school. They are all moving into high school for the first time, worried about how they will do in this new environment, knowing they are once again at the bottom of the heap. And there are complications along the way. One of the most popular girls in the school has taken a shine to Cat big brother, Taylor, star of the football team. To further her agenda, she cozies up to Cat. making Cat's life more than uncomfortable. In fact, putting Cat's life in danger. Ryan, another football player, is attracted to Cat on the very first day of school, much to the chagrin of his friends and Cat's parents. And Cat doesn't know just how to handle the whole thing because she is attracted to Ryan but above all doesn't want to make waves in this new environment.
But the most uncomfortable complications is the changes Cat is going through personally, from one of her eyes changing colors to thinking she is hearing the thoughts of others. She doesn't want to tell her parents, especially her worrywart mother but things keep getting worse. Is it her bizarre illness that has her seeing things or are there really shadowy figures attempting to contact her? And are they trying to reach out to her or trying to kill her?
Ever since I started this book I called it the Childe Cycle. It is NOT and shouldn't be confused with the series of book by Gorden R. Dickson, a series which I loved as a young reader. This book is also part of a series and looks quite promising.
The prolog was interesting, though I wish I knew what the argument was about that sent Lisbeth storming off. It seems to have nothing and everything to do with Cat and others in the story. Hang in there though, because it starts coming together just as you have forgotten what you read. Of special note, remember the name of Lisbeth's brother.
I really enjoyed spending time with Cat and her friends, each unique but with enough similarities that one can see why they would be friends. All the characters in the books seemed full of life to me, even the bad guys, at least in the school, and each had motivations that could be understood, except for maybe Mr. Crawley but haven't we all had teachers that seemed mean spirited for no reason? Motivations are interesting, especially so for the main character, because like so many teenagers, Cat makes some weird choices. In fact much of her internal struggle is what all of us went through in the early years of high school.
The movement of the book was perfect for me, with plenty of background and character building spiced with action. I wanted to stay in the book and learn more. The plot, while not entirely clear (there are many characters who I think will play big parts in the rest of the series), was interesting, delicate at times and full out at other times. What role does Miss Amaya really play? Does Mr. Crawley have a secret? What did Cat's mom say or do to make Mr. Crawley back down so much? All interestingly delicate parts of the plot.
There is one thing I really, really had trouble with and it bothered me all through the book. It is what I would call a continuity error although it is more a factual error. Cat and her friends are entering high school but they are entering a FOUR year high school, meaning these young people are entering the ninth grade. But they are all turning sixteen. In the US you don't turn sixteen in the ninth grade unless you have been held back. Unfortunately, this error bugged me, much like in the Movie Cats and Dogs, when the lead character suddenly loses her coffee cup. It is not enough to ruin the story but it is enough to make you lose your connection briefly. Unfortunately for this story, too much hinges on Cat turning sixteen and what year she is attending in school, so the error is throughout the book. (Note to author, you can change this easily by saying three more years of school instead of four in those few places it is mentioned.)
I truly enjoyed this book and I would recommend it to anyone who likes paranormal YA with character building.