Kayla and her mother, who goes by Moonbeam these days, are in hiding. They have been for eight years now, moving frequently, changing their names, trying to keep a low profile. Because Kayla’s dad killed Kayla’s sister, Amanda, trying to get at her magical powers. And now (they presume), he’s after Kayla’s.
They’re settled into Santa Barbara as much as they can be. Kayla has a fantastic best friend and sidekick, Selena. The one condition of this relative normalcy is that Moonbeam forbids Kayla to use her powers. She’s afraid her father will track them down. Kayla, being the typical teenager, ignores her mother, using her powers to steal small items to help keep her mom afloat. One day, however, someone does find her. His name is Daniel, and he knows about her and her powers. And he needs her help to rescue his mom.
What Daniel starts is an epic quest to find not only Daniel’s mother, but Kayla’s past. And not everything is as it seems.
I adore Sarah Beth Durst’s writing and world-building. I loved Kayla for her strength as well as for her insecurities. I was often annoyed with Moonbeam and her “I know better, trust me, it’s for your protection” routine, but in the end, she was someone worth cheering for as well. I loved the relationship between Kayla and Selena, and how Selena’s problems at home made her more complex than just the traditional “sidekick” character. And I love the way Durst used the magic — both Kayla’s telekinesis and Daniel’s transporting — to forward the story; the quest couldn’t have happened without their powers, rather than them just being incidental to the whole story.
In short: a fantastic fantasy.
Rated: Mild for some mild swearing and horrible parenting.