It’s three days before the Naming festival, when 13-year-olds pick a trade and thereby receive a surname. Ariel — nearly 13, and insecure, but with potential — has always figured that she’d follow her mother into healing and become a Healtouch. But that’s before she and Zeke, her best friend, discover a relic from the ancient days before the Blind War: a telling dart. They have only an inkling of what a telling dart is, or even what it’s meant for (though somehow they both feel it’s for Ariel), but when two strangers — men called Finders — show up in town looking for the dart, both Ariel and Zeke know their lives are going to change. They just have no idea how, or even how much.
I’m going to refrain from revealing more detail than that, since much of the enjoyment of the book is having no idea what’s coming around the corner. There’s adventure and suspense and action and mysteries. There are “good” guys and “bad” guys, but the whole book isn’t black and white, which added to the compelling nature of the story. The best thing about the book, though, is Sensel’s world-building. It’s a cross between a fantasy and a dystopian novel; it felt like it could have been our world that fell into chaos and evolved in this particular way. The magic was mostly organic, things which conceivably evolve if everyone in the world were blinded by some biological warfare. It made it seem more plausible, which lends weight to the story.
It’s a surprisingly gripping story, one that you will not be able to put down.
Rated: Mild, for action sequences and violence.