Friday, June 17, 2011
Once Every Never (ARC) by Lesley Livingston
Once Every Never:
Clarinet Reid is a pretty typical teenager. On the surface. She’s smart, but a bit of slacker; outgoing, but just a little insecure; not exactly a mischief-maker… but trouble tends to find her wherever she goes. Also? She unwittingly carries a centuries-old Druid Blood Curse running through her veins.
Now, with a single thoughtless act, what started off as the Summer Vacation in Dullsville suddenly spirals into a deadly race to find a stolen artifact, avert an explosive catastrophe, save a Celtic warrior princess, right a dreadful wrong that happened centuries before Clare was even born, and if there’s still time—literally—maybe even get a date.
This is the kind of adventure that happens to a girl once every… never.
In this stand-alone novel (see the second paragraph in this post) by Lesley Livingston, mystery, time travel and just a hint of romance fill these pages, and it's a very distinct change from her debut Wondrous Strange trilogy. The first quarter of this book contains a lot of world building, which created a very slow pace for me, but the action does eventually pick up and I became engrossed in the story. The only negative thing I found was that Clare's character could be, at times, a little immature. But I truly enjoyed Lesley's creative use of history and the Iceni tribe.
Clare has come to spend the summer in London with her aunt, Maggie, because of some trouble she got into at home, and her best friend Alice (Al) joins her on the trip. Strange things begin happening to Clare when she accidentally touches an ancient artifact in the British Museum, and she finds herself bouncing between the present and the archaic past. In hopes of solving the mystery of how and why Clare has this ability, they turn to Al's cousin, Milo, who is academically gifted. Someone from Maggie's past knows about Clare, and wants to use her ability to time travel for his own gains. For years Milo has hid his attraction to Clare, but now that she is in danger, he finds himself unable to continue. But Clare is confused by her feelings for the young warrior, Connal, in the past and her feelings for Milo in the present. The trio finally admits that they are in way over their heads and concede to telling Maggie the truth, and the deeper they become involved in the world of the past, the more trouble awaits them in the present.