As Charlotte steps through the gate, she has a strong feeling that nothing will ever be the same again.
Moving back to South Carolina after three years away, Charlotte knows she’s going to have to face people from her past and adjust to a new high school, but she’s completely unprepared for what else waits for her in Charleston.
Drawn through an old garden gate, Charlotte discovers a hidden world where she meets Calvin, a boy to whom she is inexplicably attracted. As Charlotte is pulled deeper into this hidden world, it’s up to her older brother Kevin to rescue her. No matter how hard Kevin tries, the rescue depends upon Charlotte fighting her intense feelings for Calvin while mastering a set of abilities that she has only just discovered she possesses.
For me, Beckoning Light fell in the middle of liking it and not liking it. I will admit I was drawn in from the first chapter and I remained glued to the story as it moved along at a brisk pace. Ivy wrote a unique fantasy that keeps the reading wanting to learn more the world she created. However, there were parts to the story that rubbed me the wrong way and I didn’t feel the story was developed enough.
As stated in the summary, Charlotte and her brother Kevin have moved back to South Carolina to live with their uncle Monty. Charlotte is not the social type like her brother is but despite her lack of social skills, she managed the catch the attention of boy at her school. Subtly he leads her to open the locked gate in her backyard and upon opening Charlotte finds herself in a new realm. Beyond the gate, Charlotte discovers love, adventure, and that she belongs in this realm more than she belongs in our realm. The world Charlotte discovers is beautiful but dying and only she has the ability to save it.
From the description Beckoning Light is intriguing and you honestly want to keep reading to find out what’s going on in this new realm. I commend the author’s creativity. The story moves quickly and while I appreciated the pace, I think the story lacked of details and development. Throughout the book I kept thinking, “if only this part was expanded on this scene could be really cool.” I think of Ivy’s biggest mistakes was having Charlotte and Calvin fall instantly in love. I get how their relationship was supposed to demonstrate the power that Charlotte had in that realm but it didn’t do anything to help the story in my mind. I never like insta-love/obsessive relationships. All relationships should be developed.
There is one character that I liked a lot and wished the author wrote more about. In the other realm there is a team of warriors that Monty, Kevin, and Liam join up with when searching for Charlotte. One of these warriors is Samantha and she is a super tough chick but her character developments ends there. I would hope we would learn more about her in the next book but I wished we could have seen her action more in this book.
In addition the Calvin, there are two other guys that the author distinctly comments on their romantic interest in Charlotte. So on top of insta-love we have two more boys who like Charlotte, which I know is a common thing in YA these days but it was a little much for me. With one of the guys, Kevin’s friend Liam, we are told how he finds Charlotte beautiful and he looks out for a lot and then the romantic interest in her dropped. Maybe something is coming in the next book but I was left wondering why the author even put that part in there in the first place.
I feel like I’m being a little harsh in this review but I feel like if the book and characters were developed more and some of the insta-love was taken out Beckoning Light would be a really cool story. I would see fantasy fans eating up the story. Beckoning Light has potential but it just needs a little more polish.
Thank you to the author for providing me with a copy of her novel in exchange for an honest review.