Genre YA Science Fiction Publisher Little, Brown & Company Year Published 2007 Review Posted on 1/2/2008 Reviewer Rating
9 out of 10
Betwixt, by Tara Bray Smith
Reviewed by Jennifer Hairfield
If you've read this book, why not
Betwixt is a unique story that gives the reader twists and turns. The three main characters, Morgan D'Amici, Ondine Mason, and Nix Saint-Michael are very different people with very different backgrounds. Morgan is a poorer girl who works hard for everything and tries to be and look perfect, even though she's very cold towards others. Ondine is a rich black girl who, when she stares at art it tends to come to life in front of her eyes. Nix, on the other hand, is a runaway from Alaska who sees halos of light around people who are going to die, the brighter the light, the less time they have. In this story he's what is called a 'ringer.'
Through different circumstances these three kids' lives twist and turn together. It's amazing how they meet and get together. At a wild party in the mountains of Portland, they finally realize who they really are and why they found each other.
This novel is full of adventure that will keep the reader entertained. This author has done things with the novel that I haven't seen before -- the idea of using the human body as a host is not a new concept, but the supernatural creature that is housed within it is. At the time for the creature to cross to their realm, Novola, the trauma to the body is very slight and the human goes on with their life as nothing ever happened, they lose all memory of it. Also, the author uses the idea of today's technology going forward in leaps and bounds, by integrating human genetics with the creatures' DNA trying to make a stronger creature, and Ondine is the result.
These ideas intensify the story line and make it even more entertaining for the reader. The author does a great job at descriptions but could have beefed up the relationships some more. It feels that these kids are thrown together and forced to rely on each other without any real connection. Being a debut novel for young adults, the relationships need to be shown better along with their emotional range. Overall, I enjoyed it quite a bit. I look forward to her next young adult novel.