Toward a Secret Sky by New York Times bestselling author Heather Maclean is a new breed of YA novel: an intelligent adventure-quest crossed with a sweeping, forbidden love story. A mix of reality and possibility, this fast-paced thriller will appeal to fans of Stephenie Meyer and Dan Brown as it leads the reader on a breathless flight through the highlands of Scotland, the secret city under London, and history itself.
Shortly after 17-year-old Maren Hamilton is orphaned and sent to live with grandparents she’s never met in Scotland, she receives an encrypted journal from her dead mother that makes her and everyone around her a target. It confirms that her parents were employed by a secret, international organization that’s now intent on recruiting her. As Maren works to unravel the clues left behind by her mother, a murderous madness sweeps through the local population, terrorizing her small town. Maren must decide if she’ll continue her parents’ fight or stay behind to save her friends.
With the help of Gavin, an otherworldly mercenary she’s not supposed to fall in love with, and Graham, a charming aristocrat who is entranced with her, Maren races against the clock and around the country from palatial estates with twisted labyrinths to famous cathedrals with booby-trapped subterranean crypts to stay ahead of the enemy and find a cure. Along the way, she discovers the great truth of love: that laying down your life for another isn’t as hard as watching them sacrifice everything for you.
It’s kind of like a teenage romance version of the Da Vinci Code with plenty of religious symbolism and codes like Dan Brown but with the forbidden love between a human and immortal AKA Twilight.
The settings were beautifully described and made me want to hop on a plane to the UK. Through some surprisingly well developed characters you visit Scotland’s highlands and castles then head into London.
There’s plenty of action to keep your attention and puzzles to keep you intrigued.
My only complaint is that it had the requisite YA love connection but in this case the characters seemed to fall in love way too quickly.
Overall though I’d say this is a fast-paced, well-written, exciting introduction to the YA genre for teens who are growing out of Harry Potter (who am I kidding, NO ONE grows out of HP) but aren’t ready for the romance novels their mom reads.
Thank you to Netgalley for allowing me to review this book.
Buy on Amazon: http://a.co/0kMBfwY
*synopsis and pic from amazon.com