Book Title: Raven
Author: Suzy Turner
“After the inexplicable disappearance of Lilly Taylor's parents, she has no choice but to move to Canada where she unravels some frightening yet intriguing family secrets... Her whole life had been based on a lie. Lilly had grown up in a loveless home with a father who she had barely ever seen and a mother who was... well, not very motherly. After they mysteriously disappear without a trace, Lilly is sent to Canada where she finds a whole new way of life. A life filled with love and people who care for her. But that's not all she discovers, Lilly also finds out that she isn't who, or what, she thinks she is. Lilly has a very special ability and it's just a matter of time before her true self starts to shine. And when it does, her life will never be the same again. Raven is a fantasy novel for children and young adults set in the beautiful province of British Columbia.”
This story is really thought-provokingly good. Good as in– makes me want to cry in frustration, happiness, sadness, elation, and sympathy-- kind of good. This book is not all rainbows and unicorns… okay, well it does have witches, were-animals, vampires, and ghosts in it… but that’s not the point. The reason Raven speaks to me so forcefully is the touch of reality Suzy Turner mixes into this paranormal novel. Lilly has so much going on emotionally from her parents disappearing, having to moving to Canada, finally experiencing a loving family, to learning horrifying secrets about her past. I really like how the story is set up from the very beginning. Turner gives some background right up front, but within the first few chapters, more elements are revealed through dialogue and the reader following Lilly’s normal routine.
One of the first things that strikes me about Raven is that the main character, Lilly Taylor, is not named, nicknamed, nor goes by “Raven”. I just assumed that Raven would be her name, and it wasn’t. Don’t worry; the title is still very fitting, just in a slightly different way. I also really like the dialogue. It never seems forced or unnatural to me, and it has a very good, constant flow.
Apart from the emotional pull, this book also has a kick-butt paranormal plotline. Raven features were-animals, witches, vampires, and spirits while weaving the magic into the story seamlessly. Some parts of the story played out like I expected, but others parts were surprising.
Raven is a really amazing book, and I cannot wait to read Book Two: December Moon.
Okay the girl on the cover completely embodies my mental picture of Lilly. She looks like a lost, scared girl who is trying to hide from the world… and that’s exactly how she started out. Looking at this picture, I can’t help but compare this Lilly to the Lilly at the end of the book, and the changes are remarkable. I think the black and white color scheme is the perfect choice for this cover, and it makes Lilly POP! (Especially her eyes!)
I give Raven 4,5 out of 5 hearts: Very Highly recommended!!
For more on Suzy Turner visit her website here: http://www.suzyturner.com/