My rating: 4 of 5 stars
Books like that one beginning with a T and the interminable recurrence of “kids with powers” has kind of put me off YA Fantasy recently. To be honest there’s only so much you can do with the format and a lot of it has been done better elsewhere.
But Hunting Lila actually sort of, just a little bit, managed to bring me back into the fold. There’s a curiously solid feel to this book; written by debut author Sarah Alderson (who now, a quick Google reveals, lives in Bali so I think I hate her a little bit 🙂 )
Lila is a smart, clever creation. She’s not one-dimensional but she’s full of love, bravery, passion and intelligence. I really enjoyed being able to take her journey with her. Her emotions are drawn well – and realistically – and thank god she’s not just a damsel in distress.
Alderson’s writing style is competent and pacy. It’s very swift and you rocket along with Lila’s journey, despite her not actually finding out ‘the truth’ until a good few pages in. I did lose track sometimes of who was where and what was going on but whenever this happened I managed to pick it up again fairly quickly. This was the main reason it lost a star for me. I’d have liked a bit more explicit guidance during these moments.
There are several key twists in the narrative that aren’t signposted at all (which is good). The big one left me genuinely surprised and I have to admit I like what could happen there.
And I’ll definitely keep an eye out for the sequel. Which, to be honest, is a total rarity for me and this genre.
Note: I won a copy of this directly from the Publisher via a competition on Twitter.