Feb 26, 2013

YA Review: Identified: The Maya Price Story by Faith A. Rice Mills

Identified: The Maya Price StoryPublished December 3rd 2012
Source: review copy from the author
My rating: 3,5 stars
Goodreads summary: Maya Price is a typical eighteen-year-old girl without many worries. Her biggest problems include getting ready to leave her hometown for college, figuring out how to avoid her ever-so-strange stepmother and trying to muddle though her feelings for her best friend, Pete. Yet, one of her last nights in her hometown, she and Pete are in a car accident. A stranger pulls Maya from the accident, leaving Pete behind, and takes her out of this world and into another dimension. Maya soon discovers that she has been taken to a dimension called Leets by a group of people that call themselves shifters. Shifters are of mixed human and onyx blood and have various abilities. These shifters are able to travel between dimensions, control the four elements (fire, earth, wind, water) and the five senses (sight, sound, smell, touch and taste). Their leader, Victoria, informs Maya that she, too, is a shifter and that she must choose to join them or risk being sought out by their greatest enemy, a shifter named Leonas. Maya joins Victoria and her ragtag group of rebel shifters at a training camp called Level One. he is teamed up with a group of seven other shifters, including a streetsmart girl named Luz, who is especially adept at controlling fire, her twin sister Espy, and a nervous boy named Lamar, who can manipulate sound better than any other shifter. Together, Maya’s team trains for the battles that will soon be inevitable. However, Maya soon learns that her purpose is not to just move the earth or send water flying into the air. There are rumors of a hidden prophecy and that the prophecy mentions Maya by name. Supposedly, the prophecy says that Maya will one day have to choose a side and will be essential in bringing her chosen ally to power...

I love stories set in alternate dimensions featuring strong female characters, and in that sense, Identified didn't disappoint. Maya was a great MC, and the rest of the cast was just as nicely developed. The relationships were well-drawn, and the friendship aspect was by far my favorite part of the story. Maya's strength and protectiveness was inspiring, Paige's pain heartbreaking, Luz had me laughing out loud with her explosive temperament.

Mills takes something familiar, such as the ability to manipulate elements and builds a unique world around it, a world at the same time beautiful and dangerous thanks to a cruel and power-greedy shifter and a prophecy that somehow involves Maya, though not necessarily for good. As the story progresses, it gets considerably darker, much to my delight because I enjoyed the action and fighting scenes.

The narrative is sometimes interrupted by journal entries, reports or letters from various characters. Consequently you get a better understanding of the events leading to the main plot, but also get glimpses of what is to come. That knowledge kept me at the edge of my seat, and though I thought I was prepared...I wasn't prepared for that.

One thing that I disliked was the prologue. I am generally not a fan of prologues where a character states that their story must be told. Eventually, yes, it is a story worth telling, but I prefer to be allowed to judge it for myself, and that it shows in the story instead of telling me upfront. I also felt it should go through another round of edits since there were quite a few misplaced commas.

There is a snippet from the sequel at the end of Identified, and holy cow, it made my heart pound more than anything I have read in quite a while.

Overall, it was nice, save for the unfortunate prologue. Trust me, that ending will leave you begging for more.

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