The novel continues the adventures of Evie, a 16-year-old girl caught between two worlds - everyday existence as a high school student and her identity as a gifted "empty one" whose adventures in the paranormal realm are anything but ordinary.
If you enjoyed the first book in this trilogy, Paranormalcy, chances are you'll like this one, as well. Kiersten White's writing stands out for a couple of reasons. Her first-person approach is so effortless it requires virtually no exertion on the part of the reader. Evie's voice is conversational and believable, and it allows the reader to get comfortable inside her head. But not too comfortable. Another thing White has done well is create a character who's complex and not always lovable. You'll root for her throughout, but you won't always agree with her decisions. Sometimes, you'll probably even say to yourself, "What the bleep is she thinking?"
This series is packed with a cast of paranormal creatures that will seem familiar (vampires, faeries, werewolves, selkies, etc.), but the world White has populated them with is unique and creative. Her shapeshifting water-based boyfriend is particularly noteworthy, and a new addition to this book - the aptly named Jack - adds a new dimension that gives the book a fresh feel.
This book is part mystery, and it's solved with a nice twist I didn't see coming. The least interesting part of the book is the day-to-day teenage interactions, but they're necessary to set up the more extraordinary elements of the story and to illustrate the tension between the two worlds in which Evie lives. She's drawn to both of them for different reasons, and the conflict between the desire for peace and the lure of adventure is something most readers can relate to.
Perhaps the best recommendation I can offer is the fact that these books worked so well for a 49-year-old male such as myself thoroughly enjoyed a book centered on the life of a teenage girl. That's testimony to the author's ability to tell a good story. A strong story with well-drawn characters can work regardless of the setting or genre, and that's what this is.
Rating: 5 stars.