Wednesday, November 16, 2011
REVIEW: Morning Rising by Samantha Boyette
Believe it or not, I still have a hard time convincing myself to enjoy a YA novel.
I have so many horrible memories of YA novels from my school days, the kind of bland, boring stories that you read because you had to, not because you want to. Nancy Drew and the Hardy Boys aside, I pretty much bypassed that whole literary age-group, making the early jump to the likes of Stephen King. As a result, it still takes a leap of faith to convince myself it’s possible to enjoy a YA novel.
Fortunately, books like Morning Rising make that leap a bit easier.
There’s a lot going on here – a fantasy adventure, set in alternate-reality dystopia, with a lesbian romance – but it works remarkably well. Kara captured my imagination right from the start. I loved her single-minded drive, her bold heroism, and her sweetly romantic nature. She not only stands out from her surroundings, she seems to brighten the world around her. Dylan was harder to warm up to as a character, but her relationship with Kara brought her to life, and set her up for a much stronger role in the final arc of the story.
With only a matter of days for Kara to complete her quest, the story is (by necessity) fast-paced. The world-building suffers a bit, since there’s only so much you can see and do in a few days, but Inbetween still comes across as a fully realised world. Even though we don’t get to experience it all, characters like Glint the goblin gave the confidence that it all existed, and was just waiting to be revealed in future stories. Here’s hoping!