3 out of 4 stars
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Lightscape, a young adult fantasy novel by Emily K. Karlewicz, is the first of a trilogy. It is the author's debut novel. It is a very fascinating book that I had trouble putting down.
Selkie, an eighteen-year-old girl who lived most of her life as an orphan, has now entered the adult world and is trying to survive, day to day, as she navigates life. She mostly feels alone, except for her roommate and friend, Tabitha. However, her life is about to change drastically when she meets Aidan, a mysterious stranger who she encounters briefly in the park. After that, it becomes difficult to track down Aidan. Selkie feels a strange connection to him, though, and she is confused by the fact that he has "friends" that don't seem to want Aidan to have any contact with Selkie. Strange things start to happen to Selkie, and she soon realizes that there may be more to Aidan than she realizes, and more surprisingly, secrets about her own self that she never could have imagined.
Some young adult fantasy novels don't necessarily catch my attention very much, but this one was different. Especially for a debut novel, this book creates extreme promise for the author. Only the first book has been released, but I can see this trilogy going in a great direction. The character developments of both Selkie and Aidan were created very well. I was impressed with the plot, and I felt like the fantasy aspect was unique and did not just follow other fantasy storylines that I have seen. It has the supernatural elements and romance themes that may be seen in many young adult books, but this book had its own quality that made it different.
The only thing that could be improved, as the trilogy continues, is better proofreading. I did catch several grammar mistakes and misspelled words. Many may not notice them, because I feel like the flow of the book was done so well that the storyline draws you in, and those details may fade into the background. If I had been just casually reading, without grammar checking in mind, I may not have been as quick to notice, but there was definitely a need for proofreading in some areas.
Grammar mistakes aside, this was a wonderful debut novel by this author. Being only the first book, the kinks may be worked out by the second book. Definitely don't let that deter you from checking this book out, as I feel like this author deserves recognition and has great promise! I don't know the date yet, but I am very excited about the release of the next book. The first book was written several years ago, but I think the author took a break and is now working toward releasing the next installment.
I have struggled over what rating to give this book. As far as the storyline itself, I would give it a full four stars. Because of the grammar mistakes, though, I feel like I can't give it a perfect score. If rating by half-stars, I would definitely say three-and-a-half. However, based on the rating scale, I will rate it 3 out of 4 stars. If you like fantasy books, though, please consider checking out this story. I feel like you will be pleasantly surprised at this author's ability to draw in the reader and create an engaging plot. I am thoroughly excited to continue this trilogy!
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