It’s time for a little YA paranormal!
It’s been a long time since I’ve read YA urban paranormal, mainly because the market was so saturated with the genre since the popularity explosion of Twilight. Like Twilight, debut indie author J.M. Muller’s book is set in the Cascade Mountains and is the story of a high school teen who stumbles upon supernatural creatures living in our midst. However, in Colors of Immortality, the story is that of 16-year-old Daniel Thatcher.
Daniel hasn’t had much luck lately. His girlfriend Sara was recently caught cheating on him in front of everyone from school and Daniel’s pride (it would seem so more than his heart) is hurting pretty badly. He was all set for a rebound weekend in the mountains with his friend Tony, Tony’s hot girlfriend and her hot sister, but a tyre puncture has him running late and so his cousin Eric beats him to the punch and takes his place instead.
Daniel’s understandably pretty pissed, but as it turns out that tyre puncture may have been his saving grace because the next thing he knows Eric’s turned up scared witless and babbling a story of lizard-like women and men with claws while Tony’s gone missing. It takes a while for Daniel to unravel this mystery but one thing is clear enough – there are a group of supernatural beings with strange powers known as the Velores hiding in the Cascades and their leader specifically wants Daniel to join them.
Colors of Immortality reminds me a lot of the Christopher Pike teen horror books I grew up reading in high school (loved those books!) with a heavy dash of Twilight and a sprinkling of Laurell K. Hamilton’s Merry Gentry series (albeit minus the erotica). But it’s also a book all on its own and Muller has woven a world of new beings called the Velores with their own hierarchies and intrigues. It’s a fast-paced, easy read and Muller does a great job of capturing a teenage boy’s voice in Daniel. She’s also included a ton of likeable characters from the smart, sweet Chanticlaim (I definitely want to find out more about this guy!) to Daniel’s Gram who took him in after he ran away from an abusive home, and poor Tony, who, like Daniel, is a guy who’s just never had much luck on his side.
There is a legend at the end of the book which goes into more explanation about what the Velores are and the origin of their leader, Thorn. The ending itself a little rushed and leaves a few questions unanswered, but the book also looks like it could be the start of a series in which more would be revealed about Daniel, the Velores and other characters (including, hopefully, poor Sara who, I think, got a pretty raw deal – Daniel didn’t exactly redeem himself here. I’d also like to see a bit more of Eric – he doesn’t exactly cover himself in glory in this book, but I think that gives him something to work with in terms of character development which could make for an interesting story!)
Side note: I also quite enjoyed the setting of the book which takes place in Oregon in the Cascade Mountains and I hope we get to see more of the location in future books!
For those who are craving some YA paranormal, Colors of Immortality is the book for you. There’s a few rough bits, as might be expected from a debut indie author, but overall Muller has created a fast-paced, fun read that is as easy to like as her characters are. It’ll be interesting to see where she goes from here for the series and I think she could do a great job of making the Velores really come to life and throwing some hard-core obstacles in front of Daniel, his friends and his family.
(Full disclosure – I received a free copy of Colors of Immortality from the author in exchange for an honest review. My opinions in this review are entirely my own.)