Tuesday, September 25, 2012

SUNNY: BOOK REVIEW "Daybreak" by Ellen Connor


We still have a world in chaos after the Change. There are people who are infused with magic and shapeshifting skinwalkers that can change into a variety of animals - lions, baboons, crows, and even a marmot. People, for the most part, still do not live in organized societies except for the group led by O’Malley and one by Arturi. Whereas O’Malley is the group representing the worst part of humanity - criminal dealings in kidnapping and sexual exploitation of women and children, hoarding of resources, Arturi’s group symbolizes the best - different kinds of people (including skinwalkers and those with magic) living in harmony, peacefully. But as Edmund Burke is attributed as saying, “All that is necessary for the triumph of evil is that good men do nothing.” It is Pen’s calling to rally Arturi’s people to defeat O’Malley.

I loved this book but for completely different reasons than the others in the series. The context is the same but the trilogy seems to move from dark to light. The tone of the first book is gritty, terrifying and desperate. This story takes place 12 years later. And there is more stability in the world. The demon dogs are no longer an ever-present threat. The greatest threat is from other people. Although the world is still dark, there a moment of light and hope.

This is the story about how people are transformed and survive The Change. The spotlight of the story is the relationship between Pen and Tru. It’s a love story. They know each other as kids, but they are wholly different adults.

Penny (Pen) was 9 years old at the end of the first book. Since then, she is using her magic to try and help heal people, give them a sense of hope and although she is uncomfortable, she is an icon they call the Orchid. Being that icon is a safe place to hide; where she can act the part of heroine, but not really have to engage with people. She can give her life without having any personal connection to any one person. Tru left Mason and Jenna to find his place in the world where he finds love, tragedy, and a cool little ability to shift into a Lion. The tragedy he has experienced has marred his soul and he is unwilling to take a chance again, so he wanders through life mostly as lion rarely transforming back. They both struggle with getting too close.

Pen and Tru’s relationship is not always straightforward. There are a few twists and turns that keeps this story interesting. Pen’s proclivity to hide behind her “hero” status is adds an interesting layer to the dilemma.

This is a story you want to read if you want to know “what happened to the others.” If you are looking for the conclusion of the trilogy and want the HEA, you will not be disappointed.

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