This is my first ever audio book and I found the experience quite strange. Whilst I was busy doing chores, I could listen to it fine but when I just sat still – my mind wandered. I’m not saying I didn’t like it – I did – I just feel that I didn’t take things in as much as I would have by reading the book myself and my mind wandering is not a good thing because it goes off subject and takes my thoughts elsewhere, in fact I felt like it was a massive ‘story time’ period.
I liked Ivy, I liked her uniqueness and her willingness to follow what she believed in. I felt for her when we find out how she had grown up and that her father wasn’t there for her emotionally or physically and at 15, that had to hurt her and you could definitely feel the chasm between them where she felt unloved and rejected. It wasn’t surprising the lengths that she went to, to track down a new member of her family, especially when she thought none existed. I adored her connection to Nimiki Bluff, I love anything to do with American Indian folklore and mysticism so this was guaranteed to spark my interest and that’s before a family curse is brought into play which made the story all the more appealing. As the story unfolds, Ivy blossoms and gains confidence when the people accept her, giving her faith in herself also and making her feel less of a freak which is a massive thing for her because where she is from, she is bullied for being different.
There are three boys that she ends up being connected to – Cal, Gabe & Dan – who are friends already but not all will take her joining the group well. Cal is the first person she meets on her journey and she feels a connection to him immediately, it’s only when she starts school that she sees him again and they form an instant friendship that is easy for both of them. Gabe is her grandfather’s neighbour and is apparently very close to the man but Ivy doesn’t take too kindly to the fact that her Grandfather makes Gabe obligated to keep her safe, she doesn’t want anyone to have to be forced to look out for her and although she feels a connection to him, it could get complicated so she chooses to keep him at arms-length. Dan is the only one who is hostile to Ivy, he takes an instant dislike to her and that doesn’t really change until we find out his reasons and Ivy proves herself to him but saying that, I will be interested to see how their relationship dynamic changes following the conclusion of this book. Any one of these could be a potential love interest for Ivy, she isn’t a one to just jump into something and is very level headed so it will be nice to see how the relationships develop with all of these and how the curse will affect how she is with them all – because to love one of them is potentially a death sentence.
I enjoyed the storyline very much, in the beginning we have Ivy just arriving in Galena trying to make it to Nimiki Bluff to meet the Grandfather she never knew she had. Upon arriving, it doesn’t take long for her true identity to be revealed and I thought it opened the book up beautifully because here we have a relative that has been kept a secret from Ivy, living in a mysterious place filled with legend and you also know that there is a reason that Ivy’s father kept this from her so that sparks the curiosity straight away plus the initial meeting is always tense and helps connect to the characters involved. After getting the lowdown on the stories of the bluff, one in particular resonates with Ivy and her Grandfather, that of the Thunderbird clan and it’s whilst visiting the mounds of said clan, Walter was struck by lightning and left in a coma, leaving Ivy lost and needing to work out a way to bring him back – so she turns to the boys - needless to say, the legends and folklore of the bluff come into play and I mentioned how I love this type of thing. This is definitely a getting to know you book and is very character driven because nearly all of the relationships formed are fresh and new and with the ones already established, it’s about rebuilding them but it sets a great foundation of what will follow, not just character wise either but what will transpire following the dramatic ending because I have a feeling that it will affect all of those involved on a different level and it’s only just begun. I haven’t really touched upon the curse because it is also in its early stages and isn’t as much of an impact to our characters…. Yet! But it will be and I look forward to seeing it come into play. This is a great start to the series though, a series with the potential to be awesome. 4*s