Tuesday, 26 November 2013

Scion of the Sun - Nicola Marsh

Scion of the Sun (Solar Snatchers #1) - Nicola Marsh
ISBN - 9780988340923
Publisher - Month9Books
Release date - November 5th 2013
Find - Goodreads/AmazonUS/AmazonUK/Barnes & Noble/Kobo

'When she least expects it, sixteen-year-old Holly Burton’s unremarkable life is shaken to the core. A vision of the mother Holly never knew leaves her questioning everything she believes.

Eager for answers, Holly enrolls at a boarding school for highly gifted students in Wolfebane, New Hampshire. But Holly's complicated life worsens when she accidentally transports to a parallel existence where she's confronted by a dark and ancient evil.

With the help of Joss, a sexy alpha warrior sworn to protect her, and her new BFF, the equally swoon-worthy Quinn, Holly faces her fears and an unlikely adversary in a showdown that is worse than anything she could’ve possibly imagined …' 

Two things made me want to read Scion of the Sun - the beautiful cover and the chance to read a story using mythology involving druidry, rarely, if ever seen! Most books involving a mythological slant tend to stick to the same pantheons (Greek, Roman, Egyptian and, more recently, Norse) so I was intrigued from the start. Our main character is Holly who has what can only be called visions and is about to start at a new school after her gran has a stroke, brought on by something Holly tells her about what she saw. This isn't just any school though. This is the Clique of of Unique Luminary Telepathies or C.U.L.T. for short, for students who have abilities that would necessarily be found in a regular school program and for those who have an in interest in this area. Holly has spent most of her life feeling like an outsider, not helped by the fact that her mother abandoned her when she was a baby and that she's never really had any close friends. Once there Holly discovers that she's not as unimportant as she'd like to believe and that she has a very important role to fulfil. 

I thoroughly enjoyed Scion of the Sun, not least because Holly was by far one of the better teenage main characters I've read in a while. She was funny, sarcastic and not willing to put up with any rubbish but still finding it difficult to believe that she was actually worth other people's time and attention. Going from no friends to finding both Quinn and Raven at C.U.L.T. and then the people she meets in Eiros (members of the Sorority of the Sun), including Joss, a warrior sworn to protect her she suddenly finds herself surrounded by an amazing array of supporting characters. My main worries once Joss and Quinn were introduced were the inevitable love triangle and even worse, insta-love, both of which are quite major non-no's for me. On the love triangle front though it wasn't quite a triangle. Although Holly has feelings for both boys she's drawn to them in different ways, Joss for being her sworn protector but still allowing her to do things and Quinn for being completely normal. The only downside I could see was that he is related to the school principal, Brigit, who seems to be far too interested in what Holly is going through. By the end of the book I still couldn't work out whether this interest was for good or bad reasons, I want to think good as Brigit is a friend of Holly's gran. 

I loved all the detail of the Celtic/Druidic mythology, such as the Solstices and other pagan holidays like Beltane which is apparently a big deal in Eiros. Ms Marsh has done some fantastic research and there was so much information throughout the book which helped to lend a really authentic touch to the storyline. I liked having the story split between the two settings as well, getting to know Holly at school in familiar surroundings and then being transported to Eiros which appeared to be both familiar and alien at the same time. All of these elements kept me turning the pages until an indecent time in the early morning, between the writing and the actual story it was hard to put down until you actually knew how the book ended. There were a couple of minor blips, in my opinion anyway, which knocked Scion of the Sun down from five clocks to four clocks. The first was that I guessed almost at the beginning what one of the twists was going to be and I had to stop myself from checking out the last few pages to see if I was correct, another was that whilst the storyline moved along at a really good pace the ending felt kind of odd to me. Having been introduced to the bad guy Cadifor and having him built up as this terrifying character out to murder anyone who gets in his way it seemed almost as if he gave up, and where I thought everything was leading up to a fight between good and evil, resolving a situation with Holly's mother, I felt like the book just stopped. It's the first book in a series so I know it had to end somewhere, I was just expecting a bit more action. However I'm sufficiently fascinated by the story to ignore that and start the wait for book two which I'm hoping isn't too long in coming.

A great read if you have any interest in fantasy and/or mythology (Druidic/Celtic or otherwise) and definitely worth picking up if you want to read something a little bit different.

Many thanks to Month9Books for providing me with a copy of  Scion of the Sun and to Chapter by Chapter for hosting this fabulous blog tour!

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