Being the complete cover art whore that I am, I'm not going to lie: the first thing that made me want this book was the girl's almost white hair and the sheer shininess of the object in her hands. Then I read the synopsis and found out she had something like a superpower, and I was sold. I was pretty excited when I got the 'yay, you can read this' email from Netgalley.
Fractured Light is the story of Llona, an aura who has the ability to control light. In Llona's world, there are beings of darkness which hunt the aura's down to drink their blood, which gives the dark beings the ability to go out in the light. Or, in other worlds, a race of vampires who can only hunt these very specific people. After her parents' deaths, Llona decides not to follow the typical aura path, but instead chooses to grow up in the regular human world, blending in instead of standing out. All Llona wants is to survive to old age, not to be killed in her prime like her mother. In order to do so, she promised herself she wouldn't make friends, wouldn't stand out in any way. But when she starts to let her guard down, she makes a mistake and begins to feel...hunted. Her only hope is to try and learn to control the power she has, the same power which is to blame for her mother's death.
Fractured Light reminds me of Vampire Academy, if Vampire Academy had taken place when Rose and Lissa had been on the run from the school. Llona, as an aura, should have been placed in the special private school for training her kind. Instead she lives with her uncle, trying to blend into the real world so that the evil vampire-esque creatures can't find her. Fans of Vampore Academy will probably like Fractured Light for just that reason.
Personally, I liked the characters a lot. My favorite was May, Llona's best friend, although me going into why I loved her so much would ruin more of the story than I'm willing to. Matt was also a sweet character, and McClellon was pretty good at creating the bad characters too. I kind of wanted to backhand Mike across the room, but that was probably the point. And because of the mystery nature of the book, I can't list the villain by name, but I loved him too. Or, well, I did until he actually came out as the villain and become a crazy nutcase. But yeah, until the crazy, he was pretty cool.
The story of Fractured Light is a little slow at first, and predictable, but it's interesting. It does speed up after Llona becomes a little more open, but it doesn't get really good until later in the book. On the other hand, while it may start out kind of slow, by the end this book sets up for what will probably be a pretty cool series, if McClellan chooses to got that path. I know I'll be picking up any potential sequels, that's for damn sure.
The only real aspect that really bothered me about this book was Llona's powers. Now, don't get me wrong, they're pretty cool and all. I like the idea of a race whose sole purpose is to cause happiness and joy. That's pretty cool. But at the same time, the part of me that remembers learning about light in science classes is kind of just like...what? With light? Really?
As a side note, I would have loved if McClellan had inverted the "good is light, dark is evil" stereotype, but that's another story.
All in all, I'd say Fractured Light is a cute story. It's not likely to be your next 'omgfavoritebestbookever', but it's still enjoyable as a light read. I'd recommend it to anyone who is a fan of the paranormal YA genre, and I'd recommend it to the Vampire Academy crowd for reasons listed above. And to add to the Vampire Academy draw, let me further point out that there are a lot of aspects of the romance between Rose and Dimitri to be found in the romance in Fractured Light!
So if you're a fan of Vampire Academy, or just want to check out a new paranormal YA book, check out Fractured Light by Rachel McClellan when it comes out February 8, 2012.