Release Date: June 23, 2015
Source: Penguin First to Read
Format: E-Book, 368 pages
Genre: YA, Fantasy, and Magic
Modern-day sisters discover deadly ancient magic in book 1 of this Falling Kingdoms spin-off series!
Worlds collide in this suspenseful, page-turning Falling Kingdoms spin-off series, which explores a whole new side of Mytica—and an even darker version of its magic.
Crystal Hatcher, Modern-day Toronto: It’s a normal afternoon in her mother’s antique bookshop when Crys witnesses the unthinkable: her little sister Becca collapses into a coma after becoming mesmerized by a mysterious book written in an unrecognizable language.
Maddox Corso, Ancient Mytica: Maddox Corso doesn’t think much of it when he spots an unfamiliar girl in his small village. Until, that is, he realizes that she is a spirit, and he is the only one who can see or hear her. Her name is Becca Hatcher, and she needs Maddox to help get her home.
Farrell Grayson, Modern-day Toronto: Rich and aimless Farrell Grayson is thrilled when the mysterious leader of the ultra-secret Hawkspear Society invites him into the fold. But when he learns exactly what he has to do to prove himself, Farrell starts to question everything he thought he knew about family, loyalty, and himself….
Fate has brought these young people together, but ancient magic threatens to rip them apart.
A Book of Spirits and Thieves is the first installment in Morgan Rhodes new series called Spirits and Thieves. Spirits and Thieves takes place in modern day Toronto, and pre-Falling Kingdoms era Mytica where Goddess's Valoria and Cleonia are still around. This is a story with plenty of surprises, mysteries, magical books, secret societies, a bit of romance, and suspense. It is a story that intertwines, switches narratives, between (4) main characters who will guide this story.
17-year old Crystal Hatcher lives in Modern-day Toronto. She loves photography, but hasn't exactly been all that happy since her father decided to choose a secret society over his family. Crystal meanders through life barely scrapping by at school. But, when Crystal opens a mysterious package from her Aunt Jackie, she watches in horror as her younger sister Becca falls into a coma. She finds herself gaining a bit of courage and strength to do whatever it takes to save Becca, including getting to know the charismatic leader, Markus King, of a secret society known as Hawkspear.
16-year old Maddox Corso lives in Ancient Mytica. He apparently has some magical abilities that nobody is supposed to have. He is able to summon spirits and can also seal them away. But, he is surprised when an unfamiliar girl, who just happens to be Becca Hatcher, shows up in spirit form asking for HIS help in returning to her home. Maddox finds himself directly in the path of the Goddess Valoria who demands his help in finding something lost, while also promising to help Becca find a way home. Maddox journey is that of going from the sheltered life, to one in which he needs to become a leader.
19-year old Farrell Grayson lives in Modern-day Toronto. Unlike Crystal, he is rich, a drunkard, a playboy, and a member of a secret society known as Hawkspear whose leader, Markus King, has been watching him hoping that he will become a member of his inner group. Among the main characters, Farrell is clearly the most conflicted, the most arrogant, and the most likely to break your heart and betray you over a shot of expensive liquor. He would even toss his younger brother Adam to the wolves if it means impressing Markus. Farrell is hard for me to like, or understand. Here is someone who has it all, and uses his society in order to claim he's doing good.
15-year old Becca Hatcher is the perfect example of a girl who is beautiful, smart, a book worm, and one that apparently has a bright future ahead of her unlike her sister Crystal. Becca has an adventure of a lifetime when the mysterious book with a mysterious language sends her spirit off to Mytica. There she finds a boy named Maddox who is nothing like anyone she's met, and eventually loses her heart to him. There's a whole lot more to be said about Becca, but I can't nor won't say anything more for fear of spoiling the surprises.
For me, the positives are Crystal and her desire to save her sister, and make up for lost time with her. I liked the mixing of the time periods and narrative switching. I liked that nothing is what it appears. I like the fact that I can still be surprised by actions of certain characters. I like that there is a hint of romance, but it doesn't infect the stories pacing by stopping and wasting time better spent on who Markus really is, and what he is doing in Toronto. I liked the world building and the fact that we are seeing a different Mytica than what what we've seen in Falling Kingdoms.
I wasn't all that happy with certain events, including the ending. Nope, won't spoil them for you. I do hope that Rhodes makes Jackie and Julia more than just faces in the crowd the next time out. I do hope that Adam doesn't get run over like road kill just so we can find out what Farrell does next. I do believe that Adam can make a valuable ally to Becca and Crystal. I would like to see more of Mytica, and not just focus on the sisters struggles with the book.
**I received this book for free from Razorbill via Penguin First Reads in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.**