In Terrell’s first novel, high school student Andrea Jillian Fox’s mysterious parentage and shadowy destiny threatens two worlds.
Smart, capable teen Jill (only rarely called “Andrea”) finds herself caught between two realms: Mundane Earth and the magical world of Dreh’na. On Earth, her disreputable friends Castor and Spencer Brownsborough constantly talk her into pranks and mischief. Quiet, secretive best friend Johnny Rocket seems more and more unusual every day. As Jill’s seemingly ordinary life continues, people begin to disappear in her community; she’s stalked by an ominous man in a brown duster and black scarf; and she must deal with nightmares and sleepwalking. After she’s ordered to take sleeping pills, Jill’s life spirals down into chaos and she learns that nothing of her background is true. With her loyal friends the Brownsborough brothers and the increasingly strange Johnny, she discovers Dreh’na and the terrible beginnings of a war between immortal powers unknown to those on Earth. She is told of her true heritage, half human and half Shade; i.e., “You could say that she is a new breed of human…a subspecies, carrying the genetic traits of both modern humans and the Endless.” She bonds with the disembodied life force of her beloved Johnny Rocket and stands “at the center of a storm” that threatens to engulf both of her worlds. She is called The End and is told that now she is on the Path to the End in a tale that culminates in a disastrous, fiery climax in Phoenix, Arizona. The prose is workaday, and the style hovers between YA and adult fantasy fiction. The human characters are solid and believable, with the entertaining Brownsborough brothers as edgier stand-ins for the better-known Weasley twins. The fantastical characters fare less well and stock stentorian dialogue sounds forced. The already quick pace accelerates during a furious action scene in the final quarter of the novel.
Moderately entertaining, high-stakes fantasy; first in a planned series.