Time for yet another YA novel to be adapted to a movie. Those who loved the Twilight books (great premise, bad execution – said it before) will like this book and will probably like the movie. Unlike the Twilight novels, the writing duo of Kami Garcia and Margaret Stohl do a much better job of rich character building and are not afraid to have their characters look bad or do bad things. Unfortunately, the book is written in the overused device of first person – this time from the point of view of a very horny sixteen-year-old body. But at least it’s not the slow, desperate, voice of Bella and is a funny, optimistic, bright voice of Ethan. It provides a much better platform for the world the authors build.
The fantasy aspect is developed from a great premise – the girl of Ethan’s dreams (literally and figuratively) comes from a family of witches (they prefer the name Casters) and has until her sixteenth birthday where she will be “claimed” by either the dark (evil) or the light (good). On top of that, she craves a normal life and finds herself dealing with the ordinary dark and light of high school. Who hasn’t dealt with that? Her family – a cast of characters each possessing a very unique way of manifesting their powers – are interesting and well developed.
There are a couple of plot lines resulting in some later conflict that is really contrived. The same thing happened in the Twilight books. But overall the novel provides an entertaining story – so entertaining that it goes on for three more books. So, if the movie is remotely successful, plan to see the next three made.
Oh, wait! Plan for the last book to be split into two movies. So plan for four. Isn’t that the way it works?