Format: Paperback, 350 pages
Release Date: October 1, 2019
Publisher: Entangled: Teen
Genre: Young Adult / Romance / Paranormal / Contemporary
From the author of Kiss of the Royal comes another fast-paced, funny, and romantic read, this time taking inspiration from unique and not-often-seen mythology.
Nestled deep within the Smoky Mountains is a world that exists beyond the physical plane...
Briony wasn’t supposed to come back.
Years ago, Alder went to extremes to protect her by blocking everything she knew of Firefly Valley from her memory—including their friendship. Seeing her now, a strong-willed young woman determined to find the truth behind her mother’s disappearance, makes keeping his secret from her painful.
But if he doesn’t he might lose Briony to the same deadly fate.
Alder won’t leave her to meet this task on her own, though, not when he is the reason she can’t remember what’s at stake. As a nature spirit, flora and fauna bend to his will. But it will take more than a few tricks to stand up against powerful gods. No matter the cost, Briony resolves to rescue her mother, and Alder resolves to do whatever he must to keep Briony safe.
Glow of the Fireflies is the story of 16-year old Briony Redwrell. 6 years ago, an unexplained fire left Briony with amnesia & scars on her back. Shortly after, her mother disappeared without a trace, and her father moved them to Knoxville to start over. When her maternal grandmother needs a caretaker, she is tasked by her father with returning to the Smoky Mountains to take care of her over the summer. Curiously, Briony is joined on her trip by her swimming best friend Isabelle Jennison who refuses to be left behind.
Good thing too. Isabelle is truly a fun character and it would have been sad to have left her behind. Upon arrival with Isabelle, Briony is drawn to her former home which is about to be bulldozed hoping to uncover hidden memories and information as to where her mother disappeared. It is here she meets Alder. As Briony explores this magical valley with Alder, she comes across shocking and alarming news. Alder was her childhood friend but doesn't seem at all eager to renew their friendship. In fact, he's eager for her to go away. Briony could care less what Alder says.
In order to save her mom, Briony will have to piece her past together and finally accept the person she has always been. She demands answers, and nobody is going to stand in her way. Her Valley holds energy that allows spirits to dwell here. Earth, Fire, Water, and Air elementals stand watch at gates between this world and the next. And, to top it off, she might actually find answers as to what really happened to her mother. All she has to do is find (4) keys, unlock each gate, and deal with the curiosities surrounding not only Alder, but an emissary that holds even more mysteries and suspense.
In all seriousness, this could easily be a (4) star rating for me. I loved the setting. It's very realistic. I loved that the romance didn't overshadow the mystery about what really happened to Briony, her mother, and Briony's connection to Alder and the Valley. Alder is an interesting character, but it appeared as though he was trying to carry the world on his shoulders for sins he committed in the past. The star of this book may very well be Izzie. While Briony displays tons of bravery throughout her journey, Izzie is the stoic best friend who doesn't scream and run back home the first signs of trouble. She stays in the thick of things and even helps when danger threatens the Valley.