Wednesday, July 16, 2014

Review: Between the Layers (The Traveler #1) by SaraJean Panek

Most fifteen year old girls are trying to figure out who they are; I’m trying to stay alive long enough to figure out what.

I’ve always been on the run. From my guilt about the things I couldn’t change, and from the voice in my head that won’t let me be normal. But yesterday Tommy and I were in a car accident on the way home from school. When I woke up, Tommy was gone, and so was the world I grew up in. Now I’m running less in a metaphorical way, and more in a “pick up the pace if you don’t want to die” way. Why? Because my eyes are blue, and I’m lost in a fantasy world where that means I’m different. It means I might not be human. It means I should already be extinct, and someone called “The Regent” is determined to make me that way.

I need to find the way home, and before I do that, I need to find Tommy. He’s only in this mess because of me. I can’t do it on my own, but it’s hard to know who to trust when everyone keeps trying to kill me.

Description taken from Goodreads 

My Review

In Between the Layers, readers are dropped into a new world with our heroine who is forced to be a symbol of hope and of restoration.

This world is absolutely terrifying.  Slavery is still in existence.  Magic is filled to the brim based on the eye color of a person.  That idea alone is just brilliant and so interesting that I want to know as much as I can about the makings of this world.  I want to know all of the history, how this world came to be.  It’s a perfectly thought out, complex world.  And the way that SaraJean Panek writes it is perfection.  I could feel and taste all the dust that I imagined was just swirling through the towns.  Everything was described in so much detail that I could see how everything was laid out.  It was magical.

As soon as I started Between the Layers I knew that I was going to be in for a wild ride.  When our main character, Sera, starts talking to the voice in her head, Reeky, and gets a response back.  I just thought, ‘Oh snap, here we go’.  In the best way possible, mind you.  Totally a good thing.

But just everything that is wrapped up in this world and how Sera got there was so awesome and mind boggling and frustrating.  And the fact that there is a lost princess, possible reincarnation, vampire like creatures that can reproduce and create terrifying things called ‘Toddlers’.  I shiver just thinking about it.

As characters go, I really did like Sera.  I enjoyed that she acted her age, 15, which is both good and bad.  Good because not many characters who are young actually act young.  For some reason they are always wise beyond their years and incredibly smart.  It was a nice change of pace and really realistic.  But, it was also bad because she’s a naïve 15 year old brat with anger issues.  She did get on my nerves sometimes and I really did want to strangle her but I also sympathized with her.  Getting thrown into a world, not knowing how you managed to get there is probably unsettling.  I’m assuming.  So, she gets a free pass.

Trage, I have to say, was definitely book boyfriend material.  He was swoon worthy, but also flawed and I loved that.  He wasn’t perfect.  He fought for what he believed in and wasn’t afraid to voice his opinions.  I just wish we knew a little bit more about him. 

The secondary characters great as well.  Even though we don’t know much about them, I feel like they were well thought out and had individual personalities that could be expanded on in future books.  My favorite definitely had to be Lynx, a weird tiger humanoid thing.  He was just spectacular.

All in all, a great intro to this new magically intriguing world and I can’t wait to see what Panek has up her sleeve for the next book(s)!
4 out of 5 hearts! 

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