Monday, May 6, 2013

Fields of Elysium by A. B. Whelan

How can love mend a heart full of hate?

Small town girl, Molly Bennett, moves to Los Angeles where she becomes an outsider while attending Beverly Hills High School. It seems life cannot be any more dreadful. Then one day after school, something magical happens. On a secluded hike in the Hollywood Hills, Molly chases her disobedient mutt and only friend into a hidden cavern. She stumbles upon a strange glimmering gateway that transports her to Arkana, a planet that is the cradle of an advanced human race. There, teenagers navigate amazing flying vehicles, compete in perilous games for glory, and possess supernatural powers.

While Molly tries to wrap her mind around this unbelievable discovery, she meets the alluring and mysterious Victor Sorren. He is a Sentinel Apprentice, whose hatred toward people from Earth is beyond understanding. Yet every time Victor unpredictably saves Molly’s life, his heart draws closer to hers, no matter how much he tries to fight against it. It further complicates things that their growing friendship is strictly forbidden. Earth people are prohibited in Arkana, yet Molly continues to cross through the portal to Arkana to see Victor. Torn between their double lives, they go down a dangerous path, from where there is no return and multiple endings.

Fields of Elysium is a suspenseful, romantic tale full of forbidden secrets, unimaginable danger, deception, and the never-ending fight for true love.

My review:
The Elysiam field is the concept of the afterlife for humans who were related to gods in Greek mythology. I had to look that up, to know more about it, but it totally made this book make sense in a different way for me, and I just loved the way it was used to create the story in this book.

While the teens in this book were a smidge unbelievable to me--something about the way they use language makes me think of an adult trying to sound like a teen--the writing was good, the characters were developed, and the overall experience was great. Definitely recommend to my YA readers.

Here is an excerpt from Chapter 5:

“Earth?” A shock wave rippled across Weston’s face. He spun on his heels to view the majestic landscape of our grand city. His hands flew to his head and cupped his temples. “I don’t think I’m allowed to do this. The Almighty sees everything.”
“The Almighty? What are you talking about?”
“We’re prohibited from coming back. We don’t belong here.” Backing up, he tripped over a tumbleweed and landed on his butt. I squatted beside him, offering him my arm.
“I don’t understand you,” I said desperately.
With his face troubled, he looked at me, seized my arm and started to shake it. “I can’t be here! My father will kill me if he finds out about this.”
“Why? What do you know about Earth? Have you been here before?”
“Going back to Earth and mixing with earthlings is forbidden. I can lose everything just by being here.”
“Going back to Earth? Are you guys from here originally? Oh, no …” I trailed off, chewing on a nail as an idea started to develop. “It can’t be. Or maybe it can … are you living in the afterlife? I read it somewhere. I think it was in a book about ancient Greeks or something. Yeah, that’s it. The Fields of Elysium. The heaven for heroes. … Are you dead?”

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