"But the author's imagination remains rich, with the denizens of Sadie's mystical forest far from the fantasy cliches' of elves and dragons"– Kirkus Reviews
This second book in the teen paranormal Legacy of Sadie Mae Stevens series introduces a new and dangerous foe for the crimson-tressed title character.
In the first installment (The Gordite Witch, 2012), Sadie Mae, a South Carolina teen with “pecan-brown skin and fiery red hair that for the life of her will not dye,” discovered her mother’s death when she was a child was actually the result of an interdimensional fight with a zombie sorceress known as the Gordite Witch. Christine Stevens wasn’t human but a Daughter of the Seas from the underwater planet Dylan. Like her mother, Sadie Mae possesses supercharged blood that allows her to produce toxic vapor from her hands and eyes that will crystallize into chains to bind the enemies of the Dylanians—the Tetradyne Rulers and their servants, the Pigwallers—and protect humans as well. She also has access to a magical forest all her own, where she’s mentored by a violet-eyed mountain named Lendra and trained by a human/frog hybrid called Norris. After avenging her mother’s death, Sadie Mae ignores a summons from Lendra about the imminent threat of Torene the Tornado in favor of hanging out with her part-Dylanian friends Jalind, Printa, and Harrah and foster parents Suzanna and Dr. Heathcliff Brimm. When Torene appears in Sadie Mae’s forest and kidnaps Norris, the heroine realizes she’s neglected her duties and put her family and friends in danger. As if that’s not enough, there’s a cute new boy named Lander Vandersal in school, and he won’t stop staring at Sadie. Miller (Promises Unbroken, 2015, etc.) delivers sentences that are often lacking in rhythm—“At best she hoped his hype would not end up turning into a weak distraction.” But the author’s imagination remains rich, with the denizens of Sadie Mae’s mystical forest far from the fantasy clichés of elves and dragons (they include graceful “baby dinosaur-sized” green creatures that look like turtles and turn out to be Siamese twins). Sadie Mae is a relatable protagonist who messes up mightily and must deal with the consequences of her actions. Ultimately, she’ll have to make an ethical decision that will challenge everything she’s learned.
A fun, inventive superhero tale with a brave teenage girl at its heart.
A YA fantasy mystery featuring angelic beings forced to face the beautiful and horrible extremes of human existence.
Mirabelle is a being of the Death Angel Class, who extracts spirits from human bodies when they die. Together with her siblings, Miette, Rain, and Adisa, she dwells on the planet Sid Moradon under the watchful eyes of her father, Bakari, and her mother, Celinda. Then the family is commanded by Supreme Orator Brysend to go through a wormhole and assume new, unexplained duties on Earth as humans. Specifically, Mirabelle will have to deal with new pressures and new dangers: baser creatures called djinn, formed from the fallen spirits of angelic apprentices, are even more of a threat here than they ever were on Sid Moradon. Not only are they organized, they may also have a traitor helping them. As a result, Mirabelle must find new allies, such as a shape-shifter named Chevey. Together, they must solve the mystery behind Mirabelle’s family’s assignment on Earth. This mystery, however, isn’t the strongest element of the narrative, as it suffers from predictability. The worldbuilding, however, is the real attraction here. Miller’s angelic beings are unique and evocative, as are the endearing and unique beings called beacons, which accompany them. Beacons are similar to familiars, and they’re ordinarily responsible for pointing the Death Angels to souls that need to be Taken. The depictions of the various angelics are similarly engaging: the Death Angels’ wings, for example, are wondrously described; the Seraphim move on feet and wings of flame; and others even have three faces. The angelics’ manner of speaking sometimes feels stilted, though, although this could be chalked up to their refined, spiritual natures.
An inventive and often inspired start to a new fantasy series.