His mouth was right next to her ear, and his warm breath feathered her cheek. When he leaned sideways, her nose and mouth brushed across his cheek and neck. Aftershave and sweat made her mind scatter. His arm still wrapped around her, felt too intimate. How had she gotten into this situation with a boy she despised? At least she wanted to despise him. (Sandra’s POV; page 87)
Book III continues the tale of siblings Sandra & Polar, Source, and Mystic, where fantasy, paranormal, and loads of SUPER skills prevail. Not to mention tension between natural-born heroes and villains. (Now don’t take those two words for their meaning at face value.)
The question of “hero or villain” resonates yet again throughout as this tale moves forward. Of course both relate to this story world specifically. But they also point to a deeper meaning of who these characters choose to be among their friends and families and how they’ll choose to behave around those closest to them. Questions we can all ponder from time to time.
The book opens with a gut-wrenching reminder of how book II ended. Jeff Mean (main character from the first two books) is missing. It’s the aftermath and results with hints of more problems to come. So no worries if you haven’t read the first two books yet. There’s more than enough explanation, emotion, and conflict to keep you reading.
At the onset, the story continues with the Super community balanced – meaning, despite genetically leaning toward good or evil all teens are taught about the other side where before they were one or the other. This creates a catastrophic cause and effect, changing the world itself – crime is up and people tend to be more causal about things both good and bad. The saying Life is a tapestry and all are important threads applies here. No one is taking ownership for who they are, thus their world is falling apart.
I liked how the story unfolds through both Jeff and his sister Sandra’s eyes. It brings the love and care of family even more so to the forefront. The writing is clear and flows easily from one thought to the next. The dialog is sweet, real, and snarky at times. And even though the world is based on Supers, they still undergo the same petty high school issues as the normal kids – jealousy, gossip, and mischief. There’s some humorous scenes of unwanted attraction and over-the-top desires, but because their world is balanced there’s no stopping them. Or is there?
Then the story reveals there’s more going on with Jeff, which was pretty obvious but still masked enough to make the reader wonder. His powers are evolving and in dangerous ways. As much as Sandra wants to remain neutral (she loves her brother), she might not have a choice once she discovers being Jeff’s sister could play a huge part in righting the wrong of the balancing. And let’s just say that by the climax one character’s internal growth is epic. But it’s not who you think it is.