Series: SYNSK #1
Published by Clean Teen Publishing on April 1st, 2014
Genres: Historical Fiction, Paranormal, Young Adult
Source: Blog Tour
My content rating: YA (Nothing more than kissing; Some wartime violence shown)
A girl with a telepathic gift finds a boy clinging to his last hope during the war-torn climate of Europe, 1940.
At fifteen, Kit Cavendish is one the oldest evacuees to escape London at the start of the Second World War due to a long term illness that sees her stuck in a wheelchair most of the time. But Kit has an extraordinary psychic power: she can put herself into the minds of others, see through their eyes, feel their emotions, even talk to them – though she dares not speak out for fear of her secret ability being exposed.
As Kit settles into her new life in the North Wales village of Bryn Eira Bach, solitude and curiosity encourage her to gain better control of her gift. Until one day her search for information on the developing war leads her to the mind of Henri, a seventeen-year-old Norwegian boy witnessing the German occupation of his beloved city, Oslo. As Henri discovers more about the English girl occupying his mind, the psychic and emotional bonds between them strengthen and Kit guides him through an oppressive and dangerous time.
There are secrets to be uncovered, both at home and abroad, and it’s up to Kit and Henri to come together and fight their own battles in the depths of the world’s greatest war.
- A few small moments. I honestly had a hard time coming up with negatives for this book. But there were a few small moments when I found myself wondering why Kit didn’t just use her powers in a certain way to help someone who needed her. At one particular point, I found myself thinking, “Well, why didn’t Kit just…” (something she had already done once, which I don’t want to spoil). In the moment, though, I could see that things might just be too hectic or go too fast for her to think of that, but she didn’t seem to even wonder about it afterward – and the thing that I’m thinking of may not have even worked, but I would have liked to have seen her try, since we had seen earlier in the book that she could help out in this way. (Okay, done being cryptic now – it’s so hard not to spoil things!)
- The setting. Like I said, I loved that this book was set during WWII. There were a few somewhat intense war scenes that had me at the edge of my seat, but there weren’t too many battle scenes (which was good for me – they just aren’t my favorite). The war was really more of a backdrop to the true story – Kit’s journey toward overcoming the debilitating illness that ruled her life. Which brings me to my next point…
- Kit’s illness. Kit had severe juvenile arthritis which was very painful and made it impossible for her to lead the “normal” life she craved. She was confined to a wheelchair because her joints were just not strong enough to hold her weight and she would wake up every morning in pain. Not only was this illness physically difficult, but it made Kit feel like a burden – like she didn’t really have a place in the world. She longed to have normal teenage experiences, but that goal seemed impossible to her. When Kit got to Wales, she was sent to a new doctor who pushed her to walk. At first, Kit was bitter and resentful toward him (it didn’t help that he didn’t have the best bedside manner), but she gradually started to see that she might be able to do more than she had ever given herself credit for. And she also came to realize that she had worth separate from and despite her physical limitations. Her journey is inspirational (and made even more so when you read the author’s notes at the end of the book that talk about her own struggle with a painful illness).
- Kit’s powers. LOVED the paranormal element to this book. Kit is able to project her consciousness into another person’s body – not controlling them, but experiencing the world through their eyes. She sees what they see and feels what they feel. She can also speak to that person in their head – which is how she meets Henri. These powers come in very handy and help Kit find meaning and purpose to her life that she’d never thought she’d have.
- The romance. I absolutely loved Kit and Henri together. Their bond starts out as friendship and turns into something more slowly, which I definitely appreciated. There are some incredibly sweet moments between these two – I honestly just couldn’t get enough of them together. Of course, because of the war, there was a lot of tension too – I was never sure if there would be a happy ending for the couple because there was a constant element of danger and the stakes were very high. I was desperate for an HEA for this couple, though!
- The secondary characters. Not only did this book have amazing main characters, but there were a plethora of fantastic secondary characters with their own rich storylines (all of which blended seamlessly with Kit’s story). There were no cardboard cut-outs in this book. Every character had a story – a history – and they each had their own unique personality. There’s Mam, the warm and loving woman who took Kit and her younger brother Leighton in. Then there’s Mam’s lively three-year-old daughter Nessa and her ornery adult daughter Blod. Add in Bickerstaff, the local doctor, the rest of Mam’s family and Kit’s mom and you have a fantastic cast of characters – seriously, each one of these characters plays a pivotal part in the story and is fleshed out in a way that you seldom see with secondary characters. I loved it!
About the Author
Born in South Wales to Raymond and Jennifer Finn, Kimberley Charlotte Elisabeth Finn (known to readers as K.C., otherwise it’d be too much of a mouthful) was one of those corny little kids who always wanted to be a writer. She was also incredibly stubborn, and so has finally achieved that dream in 2013 with the release of her first three novellas in the four-part Caecilius Rex saga, the time travel adventure The Secret Star and her new urban fantasy epic The Book Of Shade.
As a sufferer with the medical condition M.E./C.F.S., Kim works part time as a private tutor and a teacher of creative writing, devoting the remainder of her time to writing novels and studying for an MA in Education and Linguistics.