What it is: Order of Seven by Beth Teliho is a young adult novel that combines supernatural and realistic elements to tell the story of Devi Bennett, who must discover her roots to figure out a family secret.
What I liked about it: Teliho’s writing is excellent, and she draws the reader in with a voice that feels human but still weaves the story. The characters are likably flawed and have a natural quirkiness that make them interesting but accessible. For stories that can fall into a “magical realism” genre I tend to have a hard time suspending my disbelief, but Devi and her friends are people first, mystical second. The novel is clearly well-researched and kept me on my toes of finding out what was next. I also tend not to like epilogues, but Teliho’s one-page extension of the story is a perfect cliffhanger and leaves plenty to the imagination.
What I didn’t like about it: There’s such a narrow focus on the plot that I actually wanted more characterization (a rarity for me). I wanted to know more about Devi & Nodin’s adoptive parents and more about the group’s plans for their futures. Also, a few instances of dialogue feeling dramatic and unnatural broke up Teliho’s usual ability to write in a voice that is true to how teenagers talk.
Memorable quote: “Hundreds of times, I’ve woken up with a scream in my throat and a name on my lips. The dream is always the same. Pounding drums. A tribe surrounding a fire. A night that starts as a celebration but ends in panic and chaos.”
Overall rating: 4/5 stars.
Challenge satisfied: #4, read a book published by an indie press.
Additional notes: I promoted Order of Seven back before its release date and before I’d even read the story because I so strongly believe in Beth’s writing (I know her from her blog!). Now that I’ve actually experienced the book, I’m still just as satisfied with my decision to use my blog as a platform to help her out.
ALSO Beth is currently running a sale on Order of Seven! Now through this Friday, 8/28, you can get the Kindle version for $0.99–she is basically giving her book away to you. Go buy it now!
An affiliate link is used in this post. All opinions in this review are my own and are not influenced by the affiliate.