Thursday, October 01, 2009


Betwixt by Tara Bray Smith

For three teenagers, dark mystery has always lurked at the corner of the eyes and the edge of sleep. Beautiful Morgan D'Amici wakes in her trailer park home with dirt and blood under her fingernails. Paintings come alive under Ondine Mason's violet-eyed gaze. Haunted runaway Nix Saint-Michael sees halos of light around people about to die.

At a secret summer rave in the woods, the three teenagers learn of their true, changeling nature and their uncertain, intertwined destinies. Riveting, unflinching, beautiful, Betwixt shows a magic as complex and challenging as any ordinary reality.

I have mixed feelings about Betwixt. The novel is dark and compelling and definitely reads like it could be the first book in a series (the first book in a really good series), but pacing was problematic. It starts out slow, takes an extremely long time to get readers oriented to its world (this, I think, is supposed to mirror the experience of the protagonists' awakening), but then the ending is rushed, so rushed that it's forgettable. I finished reading Betwixt over the weekend, but just yesterday I was questioning whether I had actually finished the book. I had to go back an reread the last few chapters last night.

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