Holli is one of the Space Balrogs, a group of local Utah authors I love. I got to know Holli at LTUE this year. She is pure awesome and really really nice. I decided to check out the first book in her paranormal YA series, published with Curiosity Quills Press, and I’m excited today to review Five–Out of the Dark.
Five follows a girl named Paige and her group of friends: Alec, Seth, Halli, and the boy she grows close to named Johnathan. Displaced or run away from their homes due to their magical abilities, the children find each other one by one. They embark on adventures to explore their powers and find opportunities to use them for good by contending with goblins, demons, and other various ghoulish disturbances to humanity. This ultimately leads them to a high school with a string of unusual suicides, and a mysterious plot to take over humanity. The teens also discover a magical mentor who informs them they aren’t just any haphazard gathering of kids with magical inclinations, but the next generation of “Five” who are tasked with protecting mankind from the forces of evil.
This story is a fun adventure with plenty of fantasy action, a mystery to solve, intriguing paranormal elements, and teen romance. I enjoyed the characters. The main characters each had their own distinct personalities that created fun dynamics for the group both in battle with the supernatural and as they drew together in simple matters of everyday survival. There is an intriguing subplot in which Johnathan (Paige’s love interest) must wrestle with an evil transformation that besets him after a changeling bites him. Paige pays a heavy, heart-wrenching price at the end to free Johnathan from his curse. I also liked the dark paranormal mystery twist Holli Anderson created in her depiction of high school life.
Lovers of YA fantasy and YA paranormal are sure to enjoy this opening installment in what promises to be an entertaining series.
*If you’ve read Five and loved it, you might also be interested in my review of YA fantasy Vivatera.