Before I review Earthbound, let me just say that I absolutely adored Aprilynne Pike’s Wings series, and I’m always afraid I’m not going to like the new, when I loved the old. Wings was something that I picked up a few years ago expecting a cute, fun, light read, and I found myself surprised by its complexity and world building. My feelings for Earthbound were thankfully the same. I’m not sure how Pike is able to seamlessly create an entire paranormal world with a complex mythology, while keeping the story straightforward, understandable and simple in its delivery. She amazes me, this book amazed me, and you should read it.
Tavia Michaels shouldn’t be alive. She was the only survivor of a plane crash that killed hundreds, including her parents. Now living far away from everything she ever knew, and trying desperately to recover physically and mentally from the damage done in the crash, Tavia questions just how damaged she is when she starts seeing things. Buildings appear and disappear, symbols start popping up everywhere, and Quinn, a guy she swears she has never met, yet feels she has known forever, keepsshowing up, seemingly with answers to her questions. Along with her more than just a friend, friend Benson by her side, Tavia is driven to figure out how and why she was the only crash survivor, and what the things she keep seeing mean, before the answer finds her.
Pike is extraordinary good at creating a world and mythology, that may not be familiar, but that is instantly believable. The answer to what happened to Tavia, or who Tavia is, is too much of a spoiler to even hint at, but the mystery is well worth taking the time to figure out. At times, once the reader is pretty much aware of who/what all of the game players are, some links and associations to major past events are too far reaching and ambitious for me, but the world-building itself never breaks, and never becomes less believable. Much of the novel is wrapped around a love triangle between Tavia, Quinn and Benson but I believe Pike has very pointedly made this first part of Tavia’s story about so much more. The triangle is there, but it’s not the driving force. The mythology and the presentation of the mystery surrounding the mythology, is definitely my favorite part of the novel, and deservedly takes center stage.
Full of plot-twists, hidden identities, romance, and an entirely unique supernatural setting, Earthbound is a must read for Paranormal/ Fantasy and Romance readers. Once you start, you will have a hard time putting the book down until you’re done. While some questions are answered and parts of the mystery are solved, many more questions and mysteries are formed before the novel ends. I can’t wait to see what happens in the second novel of the series.
** I received an advanced copy of this novel from the publisher to read and honestly review. I was in no way compensated.