Saturday, July 26, 2014

*Gizmos Book Reviews* Between by Megan Whitmer

**I received this book from Netgalley / Spencer Hill Press in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.**


When a supernatural freak of nature forces her family to separate, seventeen-year-old Charlie Page must turn to her frustrating (yet gorgeous) neighbor, Seth, to help reunite them. Seth whisks Charlie to Ellauria—a magical world filled with the creatures of myths and legends—and tells her of the Fellowship, the group charged with protecting mystical beings from human discovery. (All except Bigfoot: that attention whore is a total lost cause.) But when Charlie learns that she's under the Fellowship's protection herself, well, "stressed" is an understatement.

Ellauria should be the safest place for Charlie while the Fellowship works to find her family, but things in the mystical realm aren’t what they seem.

Magic is failing, creatures are dying, and the Fellowship insists Charlie holds the key to saving everyone. With her family still missing and the danger in Ellauria growing, Charlie doesn't know who she can trust. She's dealing with a power she never asked for, falling for a guy she can't have, and being forced to choose between her destiny and her heart. And if she chooses wrong, she could destroy magic forever.

Charlie may be in over her head.

*My Thoughts*

Between is Megan Whitmer's debut novel and the first in a yet to be named trilogy. Between's opening chapters come at you like a massive tidal wave. The best thing you can hope for is that you don't get swept away by the plethora of mystical characters that are introduced, or the world that Whitmer has created.  

The story features Seventeen year old Charlotte "Charlie" Page who has absolutely no clue that she is something special or that magical beings actually exist. Charlie is a talented artist who loves to draw. She loves her brother Sam, and her mother Adele, and has wondered why her neighbor Seth can understand when something is wrong.

After an attack on their home by a creature known as the Mothman, Charlie sees things through different eyes as she watches her mother fight off the Mothman, and is spirited away by Seth through the Between, and into a land called Ellauria. I'll touch briefly on the Between by saying that its the center of all magic, and thus important to events that happen in this story, as well as Charlie.

Ellauria is a place filled with mystical and legendary beings like fairies, pixies, centaurs, unicorns, mermaids, dragons, gorgons and a whole multitude of others that you've probably heard about before. This mixture of mystical being is what makes Between stick out from others. Megan's ability to actually blend various mystical and legendary characters together to bring her story to life is what impressed me the most about this story.

Ellauria is governed by the Fellowship whose job it is to keep mortals from seeing things like the Lock Ness monster, or Big Foot. If mortals get too close to the truth, the problem disappears. As Charlie gets a first hand look at the new world she's supposed to belong to, she slowly learns the whole truth about Seth (her protector), her mother, and her brother, along with those she can and can't trust.

Obviously, there are more memorable characters than not. I'll mention Alexander, Clara, Lulu, and Kieran as the ones who stick out the most for me. I personally have questions about the trustworthiness of several of the characters, especially after Charlie's fight with the story's villain, and how they acted after it was all said and done. Hopefully, all will be revealed in the future.

There is a bit of romance in Between, but it is not rushed, or thrust into your face, or twisted into an 3-way triangle. Seth, as Charlie's protector and neighbor for years, has responsibilities and duties to the Fellowship. He is supposed to protect Charlie from all enemies without getting personally, or emotionally involved.

I have to say that I admired Seth's strength and courage in not breaking his vows to the Fellowship, even when Charlie wants more from their friendship. I admired the fact that he was put into situations where he has to stand by and watch from a distance as others attempt to train Charlie on her abilities.

As this is the first novel in the trilogy, the ending leaves many questions to be explored in the sequels. While Between touches on Charlie's family roots, and we do get a glimpse into who her parents were, I sincerely hope that we learn more about them in the sequel, and that perhaps Charlie can get the answers she needs to go forward in this new reality she finds herself in.

I want to send a personal thanks to Megan for being so open while I asked questions via Twitter. It is that openness that goes a long way towards gaining my desire to keep reading this series until the end.

Author - Megan Whitmer
Title - Between
Published by Spencer Hill Press
Releases: July 29, 2014
Genre: Young Adult Paranormal
Format: E-book 384 pages

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