From the "Raven Duet" series, volume 1
Age Range: 13 - 16
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At her father’s funeral during a sweltering Utah summer in the not-so-distant future, Kelsa Phillips rages against her mother, the funeral and her father’s dying in a hospice. So when she meets a shape-shifter named Raven, she (rashly) accompanies him on a road trip through Canada to release knots in the magical veins of energy under the earth to save the world from eco-disaster. But this is a different United States from ours: The authorities have put in place a grid system of movement control in which the only people who can move from state to state are those with valid identification cards. The pair joust with each other, neither trusting the other with vital information even as disaster looms. Plot drives this book from the start to the rousing climax and surprise resolution. Humor will engage readers’ interest while the ever-increasing suspense will keep it. The worldbuilding is scant; it’s a pity Bell didn’t incorporate more detail about the future United States to make it more convincing. Enough threads are left dangling at the end to ensure a sequel (Traitor’s Boy, scheduled for spring 2012), so perhaps it will be fleshed out there. (Fantasy. 13-16)

Pub Date: Jan. 1st, 2011
ISBN: 978-0-547-19620-6
Page count: 288pp
Publisher: Houghton Mifflin
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: Dec. 1st, 2010


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