By Cynthia Bujnicki
Pillar Beccon has never had roots. However, when a ticket comes with a connection to her mysterious mother, Pillar jumps at the chance to take it. However, what little she does not know about her history might just be her undoing as demons come sniffing around. Now it is up to Pillar to learn the secrets of her past to overcome the present.
Interesting novel. The most impressive part of the novel is Pillar and the challenges she faces in her life, in the way her coming-of-age story explores identity. Pillar is a girl who is trying to find her place in a world surrounded by people with power. Everyone around her has power, but to be mundane, to be null, especially with a mother who was not, it complicates her life and, in ways, makes her an outcast which is unfortunate. However, that is also what makes Pillar strong. Pillar faces adversity from all around her, along with demons. Pillar is a great voice for a generation that often feels ignored. She has spent her whole life being put down only to rise in the face of adversity and challenge it, and that is what makes her great, that challenge, that is what makes her shine in the novel.
The added element of this hidden power she has within her, it also makes her compelling because it is not a power she needs to define her, it is just power she happens to have, a power that was hidden from everyone around her. Moreover, that is great because it adds history to the novel, it adds context to the universe this story is being told in.
Now, the other characters in the novel, well the fact is that there are just too many. Some of them are great, but some of the dynamics between the characters, they do not get to flourish as they should have. There’s just so much story crammed into this one novel that it almost feels like two novels are trying to coexist and squeeze together. Now, that is only due to the pace of the novel and the scene dynamics. There’s just so much richness in the scenes and story that once the door opens for exploration, its shut and the reader is shoved down a hall towards another door. That is the biggest fault of the novel, this idea that so much had to be crammed into it in order for M.K. Theodoratus to tell this story and adventure of Pillar.
Despite that, however, the story is inventive and does provide readers with unique urban fantasy. It has the context to it and many great characters that make it a fun story. The story could have easily been 200 pages longer max, and it would not have dragged out the story. There’s just so much happening, and the level of detail makes the readers eager for something that doesn’t fully get explored. Pillar is continually moving in the novel and so it the reader. Roots are not forming here, but that might be intentional since Pillar is searching for roots of her own, a history of her own. So on that level, the reader can truly connect to the main character in a compelling way which is what makes the story, in the end, compelling. (★★★☆☆ | B-)