The only thing scarier than finding out you have Earth-shaking superpowers... is finding out you aren't the only one.
Nobody looks twice at Joan Messi when she walks down the hall at school... and she does everything she can to keep it that way. You can’t afford friends or attention when you’re keeping a secret as big as hers. Unbeknownst to her teachers and classmates, Joan’s over-sized sweatshirt and antisocial behavior conceal power that defies the laws of reality.
FEAR has kept it hidden.
PASSION has kept it alive.
DISASTER will set it loose.
Joan is at her happiest when she uses her powers—stirring air currents, creating fire, and levitating metal objects—but she learned at a young age that no one in her small-minded suburban neighborhood was prepared to accept her abilities. Since that painful revelation, she has hidden her powers, isolating herself from others, even keeping her own parents at a distance.
However, all that changes when a boy named Daniel Thundyil transfers to her school and she begins to suspect that he is concealing powers of his own. Burning with curiosity and desperate to end her loneliness, Joan makes it her mission to get to the bottom of this boy's secrets. What she uncovers is hard to believe, even for someone as strange as she is: Daniel and his father are crime-fighters from a parallel dimension of super-powered beings, and they have come to her town in search of nameless criminal so powerful his presence threatens all life on Earth.
In these inter-dimensional travelers, Joan finds a hope she never thought possible: that she could belong somewhere. But storm clouds are gathering over the rooftops of suburbia, and Joan realizes that the closer she gets to her newfound friends, the closer she gets to a danger too terrible to contemplate. Now, the most powerful girl on Earth faces a choice: will she retreat back to the safety of her life in hiding or brave the storm for a chance at truth and friendship?
I believe this is the debut novel for the author, M.L. Wang, and as such it is a superb endeavor. The story starts out a bit slow, but soon picks up momentum and continues fairly nonstop throughout the remainder of the book. Not a lot actually happens in this volume, but there is a ton of world-building. Basically, one assumes, things are being set-up for the real action to occur in subsequent tomes.
Some of the things that I disliked about this book are those that occur in many other stories also, most notable of which is endangering children. The premise is usually that the good guys don't want to put the children in danger by associating with them. When in fact, the kids are already in danger, and are basically just being abandoned. After the playground scene in particular, when Joan is made to walk home by herself, I found extremely disconcerting. Not only is the regular world potentially dangerous for a girl her age alone at night, but there are obviously more powerful malevolent forces at work.
Then there is the total inconsistency of Daniel being absent from school for two months near the end of the book, but him and Joan having to attend a part day of school so that no one suspects they are planning to leave for good. That I found completely annoying.
And the cliff-hanger ending did not endear the story to me at all.
Overall, however, the storyline here is very compelling, the characters are interesting, the world-building is solid, and the writing is quite good. There are a lot of questions raised though, and not a lot of answers. Again, you get the impression that there is a lot of stuff to come. I plan to read the remainder of the series once it is available, and hope that much more will be revealed and explained in subsequent volumes.
I received a free copy of this title from the author, and have willingly provided an honest review.
BOOKS IN THE THEONITE SERIES:
Theonite Book I: Planet Adyn
Theonite Book II: Orbit
Theonite Book III: (Title TBA)
The Sword of Kaigen (A Theonite War Story) (Coming Feb 2019)
The Theonite Series is a YA fantasy/science fiction blend perfect for anyone who loves superheroes, afrofuturism, magical powers, mysterious worlds, and heart-pumping suspense. Fans of Tomi Adeyemi, Leigh Bardugo, and Rick Riordan will adore this heartfelt journey through a girl's exploration of her supernatural powers and her encounter with an alternate reality.