Blue Sun by Tracy Abrey, paperback novel, 360 pages, published by CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform in 2013.
When Genny Hazard’s scientist father is offered his own lab on the tiny Isle of Man, she has no choice but to leave everything she knows and go with him. With her American accent she is sure to garner some attention at her new school and around town, but Genny never expected to attract the attention of the hot school swim star, Ken. Nor did she expect to be followed by people sporting a peculiar tattoo on their necks. Genny is extremely smart, and believes strongly in science and logic, but the island is swathed in legends and myths. At first Genny scoffs at such nonsense, but soon she will have to re-examine everything she’s ever known, altering her life as she knows it.
Blue Sun is a captivating young adult fantasy. It was fairly quick paced and each chapter left me wanting to read the next. I found it interesting and a little different. It’s not just another apocalyptic teen novel, it begins the story well before any disaster can befall the island community where the book is set, so it’s more of a pre-apocalypse novel. We get to know the characters as they are before they have to re-adjust to a new world, which I liked. Elements so often seen in young adult fiction, such as girl meets boy, new school, parent issues, are there, but the story goes deeper than that, as the mysteries of the island are uncovered.
The story is set on the Isle of Man in the Irish sea. The author has obviously put a lot of research into the island’s history, culture and myths, which created a very realistic scene. There are some references to Manx culture and language, though it didn’t make it difficult to read and there is a list of translations at the back of the book. The mythic elements that are so much a part of Ken and his family really clash with the science of Genny and her father. This collision of ideas and beliefs was interesting and cleverly constructed. Swaying Genny into believing occurrences outside of the scientific realm was a difficult process, but one which needed to occur.
There were a few moments of cheesy romance, but it wasn’t forced. I was even glad that Genny got to experience young love, as she certainly wasn’t getting much affection from her father. She is quite independent, almost defiantly so, but she has to be that way to cope with her mother gone, and her father pulling away form her. She’s a good, strong character, and I liked her. Genny will never really be “normal”, but her path of self-discovery from brilliant loner to an integral part of her new community made her seem more like the teenager she is, despite her apparent destiny. The other main character, Ken, is also complicated, yet charming and lovable. Despite his popularity, and his swim star status, he is neither a dumb jock, nor a prig, he is actually just a nice guy. His family is a little odd, especially his mum, with her hippyish clothing and occult crystal store. I can even smell the incense wafting through the beaded curtains… I thought all of the characters were well developed and described.
The ending was a set up for the sequel, so I felt a little deflated when I finished. I just wanted to keep reading about Genny and Ken and the Isle of Man. Luckily for me, the next book in the series, Dark Waters, is now available!
Blue Sun is the first installment in the Blue Sun series from Tracy Abrey, and is suitable for high school students and up.
*I received this book from the author, who asked me for an honest review of this book. I did not receive any other remuneration, and the review is composed entirely of my own opinions.