At only seventeen, Ella Barnes is shot and killed for an unknown reason. She is shocked when she wakes up in a different world, a world of witches. Ella has to learn to adapt to a new body, new life and new world, surrounded by new people. As Ella gets to know Raena, the world of the witches and its people, she realizes they aren’t the perfect creatures they believe themselves to be, and she’s not the type of person to stand around and twiddle her thumbs. Will Ella succeed in changing the mindset of the people? Or will she be doomed to die another cold and tragic death because of her rebellion?
Blurb and cover from Goodreads
5 out of 5 stars
I’ve said it before, I’ll say it again—dystopia and I have a bad history. Suzanne Collins broke my heart and I haven’t been especially drawn to any dystopias since forcing myself to read about Katniss. That being said, this is nothing like any of those or really anything I’ve read in a long time. It was centered much more around mercy, forgiveness, and justice than other titles in my literary diet have been lately and it was refreshing. In fact, the messages Ms. Deann conveys greatly remind me of those in Madeleine L’Engle’s Time Quintet, which is one of my favorite series of all time and is the only one I have ever read twice. (Even if I have a much less pacifist view than either author promotes, I can appreciate non-violence.)
This story was inspired by the theme from the DiCaprio thriller, Inception—“When we die, we wake up.” It was a new and fascinating storyline and I found it to be original with sweet romance, a shot of mystery, and an adequate dose of suspense. It moved along very quickly for being 400+ pages, not lagging yet not quite reaching the pace intensity of a thriller or adventure novel. I really had no idea how it would end, but thought the conclusion was satisfying and gratifying. There is this one part where the main character talks about the American Civil War and I kind of got mad because it WAS NOT about slavery, but that’s a history lesson for another time.
This story is told in first person present tense from the perspective of Ella Barnes/Sunlight Reflecting Off The Moon (Sunlight). I thought she was a relatable, engaging MC and it was made easy to relate to her as she tried to adjust to her new life, new planet, new family, and even new body.
Kindness is Sunlight’s soulmate and intended and their romance was adorable, sweet, and yet you could see that they had a strong and fireproof love that would get them through the tough times. Kindness was an astute diplomat and unwavering activist and I thought their determination in their fight against slavery was admirable.
My favorite characters were Tuck and Sea-Anna. Tuck was such a sensible and caring persona and he made me think of a cuddly little tiger cub that you just want to hug like a teddy bear. Both he and Kindess really reminded me of Maggie Streitvfer’s Sam Roth and I think he’s just one of the sweetest love interests ever.
Sea-Anna was timid, small, and easily frightened, but she was stronger than she thought and had a good heart and I wanted to put her some place safe and keep her away from all the villains who didn’t seem to care that she and the others had feelings, hearts, dreams, and fears. Together they made the cutest couple ever and I found it impossible not to smile when they were being sweet. Tuck and Sea-Anna are the MC’s for the second book, World of the Beasts, and I’m excited because I just adore them!
This book will appeal to fans of dystopia, fantasy, and maybe even sweet, clean paranormal romance. It certainly appealed to me and I look forward to the next in this series!