Author: Brent Hartinger
Publication Date: February 1, 2011
Genre: YA Paranormal
Copy provided by: Teen Book Scene
Summary (via Goodreads):
Living with his grandparents on a tiny island off the Washington State coast, Zach feels cut off from the world. Especially when he's forbidden to chat with his online friends. But then his little brother, Gilbert, is kidnapped. To find him, Zach discovers how to astral project. Soon, his spirit is soaring through the strange and boundless astral realm—a shadow place.
While searching for his brother, Zach meets a boy named Emory, another astral traveler who's intriguing (and cute). As they track the kidnappers from the astral realm, their bond grows—but each moment could be Gilbert's last. Even worse, there's a menacing, centuries-old creature in their midst that devours souls and possesses physical bodies. And it's hungry for Zach.
Why I read this: I love the paranormal novels Flux has been putting out lately, so I jumped on this one when I heard about it.
Plot: For how short this book is, I felt like there was a pretty good plot line that involved almost a dual plotline. The main story is that Zach is looking for his brother Gilbert by using astral projection, a new talent he has found with the help of some interesting incense. In the astral realm he finds another boy who he connects with instantly, but also a creepy octopus like substance that seems to want to harm him. He must find a way to help his brother while fending off this evil thing after his soul.
Characters: I have to say I wish there was a bit more character development on the part of the two main characters. I feel like I only glimpsed into the two boys that found each other on this astral realm. I didn't feel completely connected to either of them so I felt this distance to who they were and couldn't quite connect the way I like to when reading a novel. I did appreciate Zach's love for his brother and how it brought him to risk his soul to save him.
Relatability: I think it's an interesting read for anyone who likes a twist of paranormal in an otherwise realistic fiction plot. The main character is also gay, which also may interest readers.
Cover Commentary: Not a favorite of mine.
Rating: 4/5 Roses
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