This young adult novel is a complicated, addictive ride that ends with a doozy of a twist.
It’s usually a good sign when I read the first 30 pages of a book one day and devour the following 300 pages the next. Such was the case with Earthbound, Aprilynne Pike’s superb new young adult novel. It’s a complicated, intoxicating, and surprising ride that I literally couldn’t put down until I read it all.
The key word here is complicated. Summarizing the intricate plot without (a) revealing huge spoilers or (b) writing 4,000 words would be a challenge, as every detail is significant. No one likes the phrase “You’ll just have to read the book to see how it ends,” but now I know why it’s said.
As the sole survivor of a plane crash that killed her parents and 254 other passengers, Tavia Michaels is headline news around the country. To avoid the media, she decamps to Portsmouth, N.H., to live with distant relatives and undergo therapy for mental trauma and a shattered leg. Haunted by guilt and vivid nightmares, she’s just trying to keep her head above water.
After a few months, Tavia begins to see glowing triangles around town, people randomly vanishing, and a mysterious hunk named Quinn to whom she feels an intense, inexplicable attraction. She also discovers that she can create matter out of thin air. Worried that she’s hallucinating, she confides in her psychotherapist and her one friend, a library nerd named Benson who knows about the crash. Benson is a wonderful guy: smart, easygoing, and a great counterbalance for her (secret crush alert!).
The good news is that Tavia isn’t hallucinating. The bad news is that her admission sets off a chain of events with lethal consequences, putting her up against a millennia-old secret and unimaginable danger.
When she overhears her aunt and uncle saying that she might be killed within days – and fearing that they’re the killers – Tavia and Benson flee to Maine on a tip from Quinn to dig up as much information as they can. There they uncover ancient warring brotherhoods, the reason for Quinn and Tavia’s powerful connection, and a ticking time bomb of destiny, history, and forces beyond their control.