Spoiler-Free Review: Evading The Dark by E.M. Rinaldi
Evading The Dark (The Cross Chronicles #1) by E.M. Rinaldi
Genre(s) - YA Paranormal, Fantasy
Synopsis: High school sucks. It doesn’t matter who you ask; jock, cheerleader, computer nerd, or band geek, they will all say the same thing: It’s a nightmare. But Casey is still wondering how she got the short end of the stick. Just a Sophomore at the prestigious Luthos Academy for Magical Beings, Casey already knows more about heartache and fear than any almost-sixteen-year-old should. Orphaned and left to be raised by the Academy, she spends her days training to become a Guardian, but that dream is looking dimmer with every day that passes. Unlike the wand-waving heroines in all her favorite books, Witches in her world don’t cast spells, they are born wielding the power of nature: water, fire, earth, or air; powers Casey never developed. She’ll be lucky if they even allow her to take her final exams.
She is top of her training class, but that doesn’t keep her from being looked down upon by every other being at her school. All Casey wants is to be given a chance, instead she finds the only life she’s ever known targeted by an unfathomable evil. Thrust into the center of an age-old prophecy, a war is coming with Casey at the reins.
Will relying on her hard earned training be enough for her to make it out alive?
*I was sent a copy of this book in trade of an honest review. All opinions are honest and my own* Thanks to the author for providing me with a copy!
I was hesitant about reviewing this book. I've always leaned more towards Contemporaries as I have a kind of hit or miss relationship with paranormal and fantasy books/series. I decided to bite the bullet and agree to reading and reviewing this one though and I'm so glad I did.
Straight away you're thrown into the story, following Casey, who has ended up at the Luthos Academy, despite her lack of powers. You see a key moment of her childhood, before the academy, and then it switches to her as a teenager. I was surprised about how quickly you begin to pick up information and learn about Casey in the story, but it was a good thing as it makes the story so much easier to get into.
I knew from the start I was going to like Casey. She's kind of a misfit at the academy. Due to her not yet discovering her powers or talent, her fellow students exclude her and she goes through some terrible bullying from one student in particular. Despite all this, she has her best friend Cedric beside her and her teacher and I guess carer, Eli to look over her. She's getting through the best she can but nothing ever seems to go that great for her.
Across the country, other academies are faced with an emergency when students begin to disappear, creating fear in the Luthos academy. This is where Casey's story starts, I guess.
I said above, but with Evading The Dark, you're pretty much thrown straight into the story and I loved this. Within those first couple of pages you get a glimpse of who Casey is and get a real grasp for the story. From that point I couldn't stop reading.
With previous fantasy/paranormal books that I've read, I normally struggle to get into the story. mainly due to the writing style. It was the exact opposite for me with Evading the Dark. Rinaldi's writing reads so easily and you get swept along and only realise how much time has passed when you manage to break yourself away from Casey and the Academy, which I'm warning you now is quite difficult to do once you really get into the story.
Just like with some other popular fantasy series, it does feature a magic school/academy and I was expecting it to stick to some of the tropes and ideas that go along with this, but the Academy is pretty different. It's so much easier to understand and relate to I guess. It's like a normal high school with the way the students communicate with each other and the relationships etc. I'm glad Rinaldi included Casey and her being bullied into the story because not only does it show a vulnerable side to Casey, but it's also relatable for so many young teens.
Evading The Dark is also completely full of twists and turns. When I started the story, I could never predict the way it would end. Once I was into the story, it was so easy to be swept along and I loved being so wrapped up in what was happening that I kind of forgot about the real world around me. I haven't had that from a book in quite a while and loved getting the escapism that I needed.
I did find one or two scenes a bit cringy, surrounding a relationship that develops in the story, but other than that I can't really fault it. I loved the characters (especially Falon and Casey), the pacing, the story, the writing, so basically everything about the book.
Overall, I loved Evading The Dark and definitely need to get my hands on the sequel to satisfy my need for more of this world, especially after that cliffhanger. It's definitely opened my eyes to maybe trying more paranormal and fantasy in the future (leave recommendations below). I'd definitely recommend giving this series a go. It'd especially be good if you're reading paranormal or fantasy for the first time as it is really easy to get into.
Rate - 4.5/5
GR - https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/26781995-evading-the-dark?ac=1&from_search=true
BD - https://www.bookdepository.com/Evading-Dark-E-M-Rinaldi/9781987699999?ref=grid-view&qid=1533760877099&sr=1-1
Hello and welcome to SprinkleOfBooks! I'm Beth and on this blog I share a mix of all my bookish thoughts through reviews, book tours and hauls. Have fun!