When Iolani Bearse was five years old, she lost her father to war. When she was nine, her mother died in a freak car accident. When Lani was fourteen, eerie green lights invaded, tearing her from the only home she had left.
Living as a runaway, dragging a horse and her cousin Eleanor across the countryside, Lani must learn to survive. Now Lani is the only person between the horrible, greedy lights and the last bit of family she has left. Her own heart is barely beating, but powerful memories pull her to Malcolm St. John. She fights what she feels, buried deep within her shattered soul.
Malcolm St. John always held his feelings in, especially about Iolani. So when she shows up on his doorstep, desperate and determined, Mal must decide if the wild tales she spins are the fragments of insanity or the last hope for a dying nation. This Lani is different from the child he knew. Something is coming for her, for him, and will not be stopped
If the cousins and Malcolm can’t escape the grasping hunters who hound them, the future of a broken America will be destroyed. Everything Lani has ever loved will burn with them. Somehow, she must find a path through friendship and loyalty to save them all.
***I received this eARC as a gift in exchange for an honest review via the author
- Iolani (Lani) has a powerful, haunting voice. She’s introspective and honest, completely in tune with herself. Lani is never afraid to admit what she’s feeling or that she’s scared. It’s incredibly brave and empowering that she can be that real with herself. Lani is impulsive, she throws herself into situations and takes big risks for those she loves. Her relationship with the flies is playful and child-like. Lani feels youthful and just starting to grow up. She doesn’t know how to cope with adult situations and is a bit immature, but her wide-eyed innocence really works for her.
- Descriptions are vivid and beautifully written. Some sections are profound, emotional, and deep. They make you think and question reality. Lani’s emotions are magnified, they explore her loss and the intriguing relationship she has with her cousin.
- The mystery pulls you in. The thing with the flies, the green lights, those creepy people popping in and out of houses and leaving behind human husks. It’s seriously terrifying. There are so many moments that build up the mystery and will have you questioning what these things are, just how far their influence is, what can be done to stop them, and where they came from.
- The premise is genius.
- Some sections dragged for an extremely long time. Scenes that should have been short and suspenseful to up the anxiety, for some reason, extended well beyond normal time frames, which is pretty disturbing in a drowning situation. Other scenes that needed a little more time were cut off.
- Iolani’s fascination with Malcolm is bizarre and kind of random. That in this time of chaos that she clings to this relationship that seems built up so big in her head. That singular focus on finding him and transposing him as her knight it’s all super strange and doesn’t exactly fit.
- There’s so much going on, including flashbacks, that it feels jam-packed with a whole bunch of information that’s all over the place. Flipping from one thing to the next, throwing in fantasy, tragedy, the real-time threats, and memories it’s chaos. Sometimes it blends seamlessly, others, these chunks of story are unnecessary and feel a little like filler.
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