Genre: It felt like a YA paranormal one to my husband, but I'm not sure exactly how it's being marketed.
From: The author
I accepted this review copy awhile back and promptly put it right there on the top of the stack with grand intentions of getting to it sooner than later. However when my husband, Mr. Stuey, recently finished a book and started rummaging through my stacks looking for the next great read, he happened upon this one, picked it up and once again beat me to it! This seems to be happening more and more these days. I'm reading all the read alongs I've committed to and all the library books I can't resist and the book club books, etc, while meanwhile he is enjoying all my review books. Many of them he hasn't written a review for quite yet, but this time he sat down and did one for me right away.
Here's what he has to say:
I just finished reading Marysvale, a young adult book by Jared Southwick. When I plopped the book back on the book shelf, my wife asked if I was done. When I said, “Yes”, she responded, “Wow, that was the fastest you have read anything lately.” Well, the reasons for that were, first, I really liked the book and, second, it is an easy read that lends itself to quickly turning the pages. It was just FUN.
The story is about John and his trusty horse Smoke. Both are thrown out into the back country and run headlong into the dreaded Brean, a race of vicious monsters that inhabit the forest. John has a special power that allows him glimpses into people's soul, and wicked people want to take advantage of this gift for evil purposes. Along the journey through the forest, and finally to the city of Marysvale, John meets new and old friends. It is a struggle to get into Marysvale and then even a larger struggle to get out again.
I felt very close to John, Smoke and the other characters that joined him, so when the Marysvale leaders treated them poorly I found myself really hating them. At times, I thought the evil men were actually scarier than the Brean monsters.
The book contained elements of mystery, action, cowboy western, magic, demons, Indiana Jones, and even a light romance. I am looking forward to the next installment of the Marysvale series, Alyth, which should be available in Fall of 2011.
I would recommend the book for children 9 and older. Younger kids may find it a bit too scary. I enjoyed the book at 45, so it would be great for young teenagers and really anyone who likes young adult fiction.
If you want a gift for a young teenager in your life, or if you are looking for a quick fun read, give Marysvale a try.
For more about the author, Jared Southwick, check out his website here.
I am really looking forward to my turn at this book and to perhaps discover yet another favorite Utah author!