Earthbound by Aprilynne PikeTo be published by Razorbill
on July 30, 2013
Summary from Goodreads: Tavia Michaels is the sole survivor of the plane crash that killed her parents. When she starts to see strange visions of a boy she’s never spoken with in real life, she begins to suspect that there’s much about her past that she isn’t being told. Tavia will soon discover that she’s an Earthbound—someone with the ability to create matter out of nothing—and that she alone holds the key to stopping the Reduciata, an evil society that manipulates global events for its own shadowy purposes. Tavia will ultimately have to make a choice: to come into her powers and save the world from the evil Reduciata or to choose free will and a love of her own.My take: Earthbound had pros and cons for me. On the plus side, it was engaging and easy to read. Tavia, who has just lost her parents in a plane crash, was a character I immediately felt empathy towards. I especially loved the dynamic between Tavia and Benson, the cute, slightly nerdy librarian she befriends after moving in with her aunt and uncle. They had a nice friends-with-chemistry vibe that I enjoyed.
When Tavia starts having visions of a mysterious boy from the past, I was intrigued. She and Benson begin to investigate, realize she's in danger, and are soon on the run. I have limited patience for "on the run" plots, but this one actually kept my interest … to a point. There was a lot of "mysterious this" and "mysterious that" and being chased. After about 250 pages, the reader is clued in to what's going on. But because the book is almost over, the explanation for all the supernatural stuff is pretty basic, mostly limited to what's in the blurb: there are some good guys and some bad guys and that they've been locked in combat for centuries, and the bad guys "manipulate global events for shadowy purposes". These "shadowy purposes" remained both vague and hyperbolic, like a movie trailer voiceover. At one point, a character actually tells Tavia, "You are humankind's last hope." Then there's the love triangle. It wasn't a huge issue for me in this installment, but those readers who have had it up to here with love triangles may disagree. And I'm guess things will get more triangle-y in future books...
So while I wasn't wildly in love with Earthbound, I'll remain cautiously optimistic. I'll try to read the second book in the hopes that it will offer a more than a hand wave-y explanation of Tavia's powers and the two factions and what it all means. I'm also hopeful that the love triangle won't become a problem. I'm offering up my copy for Freebie Friday tomorrow. Be sure to stop by!