"Sara Ella's debut novel is a stunning journey into a fascinating new world of reflections. Intricately plotted, the story is complex, but not difficult to follow. Eliyana is a strong heroine, yet also has a vulnerable side that readers will definitely identify with.Read more...
"Sara Ella's debut novel is a stunning journey into a fascinating new world of reflections. Intricately plotted, the story is complex, but not difficult to follow. Eliyana is a strong heroine, yet also has a vulnerable side that readers will definitely identify with. The other characters are also well-developed and have many hidden secrets revealed throughout the course of the tale. Good vs. evil is the overarching theme, and it's easy to draw parallels with faith. The book is set up for further installments, and it will be fascinating to see where the author takes the characters next." --RT Book Reviews, 4 1/2 stars, TOP PICK
Library Journal Starred Review - November 2016; Debut of the Month for October 2016
With plenty of YA crossover appeal, this engaging and suspenseful debut urban fantasy features superb world-building and a tightly paced story line. Reading groups will find plenty to discuss concerning self-image, the nature of good vs. evil, and the power of the marginalized to change the world. Suggest to fans of Tosca Lee's Demon or Ted Dekker's Eyes Wide Open.
Eliyana can't bear to look at her own reflection. But what if that were only one Reflection--one world? What if another world exists where her blemish could become her strength?
Eliyana is used to the shadows. With a birthmark covering half her face, she just hopes to graduate high school unscathed. That is, until Joshua hops a fence and changes her perspective. No one, aside from her mother, has ever treated her like he does: normal. Maybe even beautiful. Because of Joshua, Eliyana finally begins to believe she could be loved.
But one night her mother doesn't come home, and that's when everything gets weird. Now Joshua is her new, and rather reluctant, legal Guardian. Add a hooded stalker and a Central Park battle to the mix and you've gone from weird to otherworldly.
Eliyana soon finds herself in a world much larger and more complicated than she's ever known. A world enslaved by a powerful and vile man. And Eliyana holds the answer to defeating him. How can an ordinary girl, a blemished girl, become a savior when she can't even save herself?
- ISBN-13: 9780718081010
- ISBN-10: 0718081013
- Publisher: Thomas Nelson
- Publish Date: October 2016
- Page Count: 384
- Reading Level: Ages 13-17
- Dimensions: 8.4 x 5.8 x 1.5 inches
- Shipping Weight: 1.05 pounds
Series: Unblemished Trilogy
Publishers Weekly® Reviews
- Reviewed in: Publishers Weekly, page .
- Review Date: 2016-11-14
- Reviewer: Staff
A high school coming-of-age tale combining dystopian magical realism, a winsome romance, and a good-versus-evil messiah plot, Ellas debut novel is an ambitiously intricate mashup of genres that never quite comes together. Eliyana Ember, a senior at the prestigious West Prep in New York City, has always been self-conscious of the birthmark on her cheek. Just weeks before her eighteenth birthday, Eliyana is left as the legal responsibility of her twenty-one-year-old next-door neighbor, Joshua, when her artist mom suddenly dies in a fire. When she makes the mistake of going to a party to combat her grief, Eliyana is kidnapped by Ky, a young man with a strange power over her, and transported to the Second Reflectiona parallel world existing within New York that seems familiar to Eliyana from her mothers paintings. The novel struggles to find its footing amidst the many forces at play: building the world of the Second Reflection, introducing the broad cast of characters, weaving together the many plot points, and keeping the romantic tensions lively. The bookis at its best in the quiet moments between battles and explanations, when Eliyana can draw herself out, stop hiding her birthmark, and become proud of what her unique feature could mean. Although her promisingly ambitious debut struggles to maintain a clear focus, Ella has created a captivating, relatable protagonist and never hesitates as she keeps thingsmoving briskly through the many twists and turns. (Oct.)