YA Friday! Today I am reviewing a YA paranormal called Discern by Andrea Pearson.
Nicole is an Arete, a fourth child with magical powers, unfortunately she can't figure out her focus object to release her powers. She is hoping that her studies at Katon University will reveal them. She loves her Arete classes and is very interested in the history of the Aretes. She doesn't love her apartment, which fills with spiders nightly and was the scene of several disappearances. And then there is the book that keeps following her around.
Nicole jumps at the chance to go on a research project with her professor, and the hottest guy in school, who just happens to be able to control his magic and then some. But, things are not what they seem in the caverns of Arches National Park, and very old magic is leaking into the world. If Nicole can't learn to release her magic, her entire expedition might die.
This is a well written paranormal that touches the very top ages of the YA market. It is an exciting adventure, and one of my favorites, where the main character doesn't know their own potential. Nicole is a wonderful character. She is desperately seeking to understand her Arete powers and their history, and though worried, she is strong and brave. She faces her fears and works on her problems. She finds help when necessary, and she sleeps with hundreds of spiders in her bedroom! Yikes! Those parts of the story creeped me out. The author does a great job with the visuals.
There is a slight bit of romance, which I'm sure will develop throughout the series. The plot is solid, and draws you deeply into the story. As a reader I couldn't help but wonder at why Nicole's magic was blocked, and as she discovers more, I couldn't put the book down. The villains of the story are unique monsters that really had me thinking. They hint at a deeper plot point coming down the line, and the question of the "following" book is high on the list of things I want to know. Things do get a bit gruesome, but not so bad that it will leave the reader stressed. Plus, the deaths really added to the tension and feel of the story. It makes the bad guys seem so much more wrong and scary.
I really enjoyed this one. 5 Stars!