DOWNBURST by Katie Robison


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Robison’s debut novel follows a runaway on a fast-paced adventure.

After fleeing her foster home, Kit finds a none-too-warm welcome in the big city. On the surprisingly mean streets of Winnipeg, she’s shanghaied into selling fake identification. In too-quick succession, she runs from the cops, witnesses the murder of her own lookalike, becomes the victim of a kidnapping and gets stranded in the wilderness. She finds her way to a secret training camp, where all the campers can fly, and where no one knows who she is. Assuming the identity of a murdered girl, Kit adjusts to this strange, unfamiliar Native American tribe. The book packs the plot of three novels into one, leaping from one tragic episode to the next. Sometimes the story moves forward at the expense of certain plotlines, even cutting off a promising love triangle only to cram in more explosions. The narrative flows well, although it’s fractured and, at times, soap opera–esque. Robison clearly conveys a complicated storyline, despite the jarring transition from an almost post-apocalyptic, nightmarish cityscape to tribal forests and hidden mountains. The breakneck pace becomes tiring, but it also flatters her brave heroine, creating a character whom readers will cheer on. Kit’s apparent ignorance concerning her past—or perhaps her unwillingness to divulge it to the reader—is irksome. Some features of the novel, like the flowery descriptions or the hard-to-believe plotline, can annoy readers, but the novel presents an intriguing adventure with more than enough twists and turns to hold interest. Much like her character, the debut takes flight, leaving readers eager for the next installment.

A thrilling head-rush of an adventure.

Pub Date: Jan. 24th, 2012
ISBN: 978-0985046514
Page count: 276pp
Publisher: Quil Books, Inc.
Program: Kirkus Indie
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