Disclaimer: This ARC copy was sent to me by the publisher, Clarion Books, via NetGalley for an honest review.
Plot: Romance, intrigue, and plenty of action are woven into a rich and suspenseful narrative in this powerful YA fantasy. The mixed-race heroine Myra is a Flickerkin and can flicker (become invisible) at will. She hasn’t cultivated or revealed this ability, since Flickerkin are persecuted as potential criminals and spies. When invisible people become tricksters and then murderers, Myra’s Flickerkin heritage becomes a deadly secret, putting her relationship with the leader’s son—and her own life—in jeopardy. Loyalties shift and difficult choices are made before Myra understands who she wants to be.
Opinion: Oh hello, HELL–O first review of 2017! Let’s start the year out with a nice review of a wonderful YA Fantasy story, complete with prejudices of people who can turn invisible and a world where segregation is number 1! WHEW! Positivity!
Having the Ability should have been fun, in another world, a child who could become invisible might play pranks on her parents, might sneak around with friends, might go ride the beasts in the dead of night. In another world, the Ability might have brought freedom and joy. But I was born in another world, I was born in the Upland, where the Ability was used as a weapon of war.
–Myra, Flicker and Mist
One night after waking from a terrible nightmare at the age of 5, unable to see herself or be seen by her family, Myra learns that she can Flicker. Years before her existence, Myra learns of a race called Flicker Men had come to the island of Upland and bred with the Lefties who reside in the Left Eye; which in turn created a sub-race called the Flickerkin. Once a war began and the Flicker Men fled, this new sub-race of the Flicker Men discovered that they had inherited the gift of being able to become invisible, or as they call it “flicker”. From then on Lefties (pale, short and curvaceous) and Flickerkin are put into the Left Eye to be “contained”, while the Plats (dark skinned, tall and thin) are to live in New Heart City as the dominant race. For a Leftie to enter New Heart City, they are subjected to taking a painful test to ensure that they do not have the Ability. Somehow, Myra’s mother was able to enter New Heart City even though she is Flickerkin. With the threat of being thrown to the Waters for judgment, Myra is forced to never flicker again. Now much older, Myra and her fellow residents of New Heart City discover a threat of Flickerkin among them. Myra must fight to keep her secret hidden, and fight to protect those around her.
I was very VERY excited to be approved for this read via Netgalley (thanks Calrion Books), mostly because I have always had a dire yearning to possess the superpower of invisibility. *Sigh*…the thought of it makes my toes tingle with giddiness! ANYWAYS, this story is stuffed and gorged with tons of interesting elements to pull any reader in. Fantasy and romance, adventure and unruly segregation…it’s all here! I was so intrigued by the world that this author created, and I loved the positive and negative elements that made up the island of Upland. The history of the Flicker Men coming to the Island was touched on, but I would have enjoyed a better understanding of who these people were. I think some flashbacks or stories about the past would have been beneficial to the story, and would have given the race of Flickerkin more depth. The elements of Plats riding beasts in a competition against others was really interesting, and I would have LOVED to have read more and more about this. Thought the reader is given a few scenes where the plats and beasts are battling it out in a race, again…I need more background and history about the competition and the importance of it.
The characters fell a little flat for me, especially that of Myra. As our main strong female lead, I needed more personality and character from her…well…character. I didn’t connect with Myra as strongly as I would have liked, especially in a story that has such a creative world as this. She felt very one-dimensional to me. Developed, but not developed in a way where there would have been tears coming down my face if her or someone she loved perished in front of her. If I am reading a story that is written in 1st person point-of-view, then I want to feel like I am inside that character’s head and seeing things through their eyes. I need to know this character as if I AM them, not as if I am looking at them and observing them.
Though I think the author could have taken this creative world a step further, I think this story still turned out to be highly enjoyable. It seems that if a fantasy story isn’t as detailed and elaborate as one like Throne of Glass or Lord of the Rings, then readers seem to push it away and deem it incomplete. I actually really enjoyed this story and what the author offered, because sometimes a book that doesn’t go on and on in detail is a nice change. I recommend this to any of you YA/Fantasy lovers out there. It is something DIFFERENT and entertaining, which is what we are all looking for anyways right? Though I have my qualms with not getting enough background on some things, it is still a book that you can get lost it and love.