Monday, May 4, 2015

Until the Beginning by Amy Plum

Book Summary
When Juneau's clan disappeared, she lost so much more than her friends and family. She soon discovered everything she thought she knew about her life was a lie. Her people's gifts were actually secret abilities that others wanted, desperately enough to kidnap an entire village.
Juneau and her new companion Miles's cross-country journey to find her clan has led them to a game preserve in New Mexico. Now Juneau's people are finally within reach, and she will stop at nothing to save them. But she has a target on her back too, because unbeknownst to her she is the key to unlocking everything. To rescue her people - and herself - Juneau must discover what she, and her abilities, are truly capable of.

Flo's Review
It took me a little while to get into After the End, but after I finished that book I found myself invested enough in the characters to see their story through. Until the Beginning picks up right where After the End left off, which is great because that was a cliffhanger. The theme that ran strong in this book was belief. Throughout the book, Juneau is trying to figure out what she believes. She is discovering that the life she has known up to this point has been lies...but how much of it? Everything? Was there some truth in there? Juneau's journey is one of figuring out her relationship with Whit and the Elders in her clan, knowing that they deceived her for what they felt was good reason. It was also working through everything she has been told and everything she knows and deciding what is Truth to her, through experience and feeling. She had a great arc and I was really happy with where she ended up. 

Miles's journey was belief in himself. He spends a large amount of the book admiring Juneau, and from that feeling worthless and not good enough. He feels out of place in Juneau's world, which is now also his. There is an interesting passage in the book where Miles is explaining to Juneau that it makes one seem arrogant to brag and she doesn't understand it at all. In her mind, you've got to know what your own strengths are so you know what you can contribute to help out. That makes sense and was actually pretty cool. I also felt we left Miles in a good place at the end of this book.

Unfortunately, I had a little trouble getting into this book. I felt it a little slow in the beginning, and I sadly was never fully invested in Miles and Juneau's relationship. But I did enjoy the multi-layer theme of belief,  and I did  like the way the story wrapped up.

Until the Beginning comes out tomorrow, so if you've been waiting for it, you shall wait no more! Thank you to the publisher for providing me a copy in exchange for my honest review.

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