Monthly Gem: “Link” By Summer Wier


Title Link

Series:  The Shadow of Light, Book 1

Genre: Science Fiction

Age category: Young Adult

Release Date: September 29, 2015

Descriptive Blurb:  For seventeen-year-old Kira, there’s no better way to celebrate a birthday than being surrounded by friends and huddled beside a campfire deep in the woods. And with a birthday in the peak of summer, that includes late night swims under the stars.  Or at least, it used to.

Kira’s relaxing contemplation of the universe is interrupted when a piece of it falls, colliding with her and starting a chain of events that could unexpectedly lead to the one thing in her life that’s missing—her father.

Tossed into a pieced-together world of carnivals and gypsies, an old-fashioned farmhouse, and the alluring presence of a boy from another planet, Kira discovers she’s been transported to the center of a black hole, and there’s more to the story than science can explain. She’s now linked by starlight to the world inside the darkness. And her star is dying.

If she doesn’t return home before the star’s light disappears and her link breaks, she’ll be trapped forever. But she’s not the only one ensnared, and with time running out, she’ll have to find a way to save a part of her past and a part of her future, or risk losing everything she loves.

Dreamy, fluid, and beautiful, Link pairs the mystery of science fiction with the minor-key melody of a dark fantasy, creating a tale that is as human as it is out of this world.

My Impressions:  Oooo…Teen angst, a pining romance, daddy issues, adventure, intergalactic intrigue, BFF and birthday shopping.  The plot is packed and the better for it.  Add to that…Bouncy, fresh dialogue that’s realistically juvenile without being silly or grating (a hazard in some YA books, but not this one).  Some mature topics like parenting and abandonment issues were explored.  This made the story richer.  Kira, the heroine, had a good life but also a real life, with complex issues and multi-layered interactions with the people around her….not some bland ‘perfect’ existence.

World-Building Subtle, very subtle…but ultimately effective!  I was only very vaguely aware that I was being set up for a major reveal (which of course I won’t reveal here).  But, wow….and while I was totally shocked, after the reveal, I could see how there were some hints (subtle mind you, but hints all the same).  Good build up.  I got lost a bit in some of the astrological/scientific explanations, but it didn’t take away from the story.  Asulon, the other world, had just the right amount of…otherworldly-feel about it.  Though I had some questions…some things I was confused about…

How inhabited is Asulon?  First it appeared as though its only a few people there…3 or 4…and a small band of gypsies…(hence Evan’s loneliness) but then later there’s mention of kids and an allusion to procreation, which to me means there should be more people there.  I mean, if they can procreate and they’ve been there for years (at least 2 decades judging from the Professor’s implied age)…Wouldn’t there be folks of all ages there? And why don’t the folks interact more with Kira and Evan?  Particularly with Evan since he’s a long-time resident and probably knows everyone.  Also, what about nutrition?  Vitamins?  What happens when people get sick?  Do they get sick?  Is there a doctor?  Do people die there or is there perpetual life (eh, unless one is murdered, that is)?  How does the ecosystem work there, with only fractured pieces of things?  Also, why is there no cohesive society or social order, government, school system, commerce, everyone seemed to be doing their own thing.  So many questions…So little time.  Of course, I realize that some of these questions may answer themselves in subsequent books or when I re-read (which I will).  No worries, I just have a curious mind.

The Love Story:  A very sweet, low key romance between life-long besties turned boyfriend/girlfriend.  Sigh.  If I *had* to complain, I would say…don’t be so stingy, give us more!  But I’m sure that will happen in the next book.

Minor Beef:  Not sure I like the triangle brewing…but this is more of a personal preference thing, so I won’t gripe too much.

Extra Touch:  Kira has very realistic conflicts with her moms, friends, and boyfriend.  I love this.  The characters disagree with good reason…about logical things that make sense.  They have what I like to call ’emotional intelligence’.  If something doesn’t feel right…it usually isn’t.  And the heroine has a very good sense of this, which I found very refreshing.  I hate contrived misunderstandings and baseless arguments…thankfully, nary a one was found here.

The Verdict:  Two Thumbs up!  Good Read…Looking forward to the sequel.


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Summer WierAbout the Author:

Summer Wier grew up spending Saturdays with a maxed out library card and her nose in a book. But as much as she loved reading, and even writing, both took the back seat when it came to career choices. With her sights set on law school, corporate greatness, and even a hankering to become the first female president, she set off to conquer the world. As life would have it, though, she didn’t attend law school, nor did she become president (although, one day, your vote may be appreciated), finding her strengths, instead, in accounting and business management. After finishing her MBA, she revived her love for reading and began writing with dreams of finishing a book of her own. When Summer isn’t working, reading, or writing, she’s trying to keep up with two energetic girls and her husband, and dreaming of the mountains of Montana.



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