At fourteen, Blue Dubois has little confidence that stability will come her way and become her new reality. She lost her family to fire nearly five years ago and has cycled through a plethora of foster families and placements since. When she arrives at the O’Day’s, she assumes it’ll be no different from the rest. Her new bedroom is a distance from the others; she stares out her window day-after-day, her mind in a universe of its own, only swayed by diversions like the boy named Will she catches looking up at her. He sends a message with his eyes, one only she can read. She’s never known anyone outside her family whose a vox like her, someone who can hear others’ thoughts; it’s an extraordinary gift. They form a friendship in which Blue finds treasures she once lost long ago – a sense of safety and comfort.
While visiting a nearby park, Blue hears the chiss (thoughts) of a local drug dealer. She vows to capture a deal on camera, so he’ll serve the justice he deserves. Her attempt, in the darkness of night, goes terribly wrong. She’s held against her will for hours and is injected with a lethal dose of heroin. Will miraculously hears her chiss, locates her, and saves Blue’s life. However, the perpetrator flees, escaping the outcome for which she so emphatically fought.
Not Alone is the first of the trilogy of Vox Oculis novels. It’s a creative masterpiece that touches on a variety of human emotions. Blue’s confined in colossal grief, mistrust, and anger, certain she’ll never let anyone break through the layers of protection she’s worked so diligently to build. However, when she meets Will, her web of defense begins to unravel, one section at a time, allowing glimmers of light to reach her. She and Will are foils in a sense. She’s a rule-breaker who prefers solitude; while he’s a conformist who enjoys the company of others. They share one powerful commonality, though; they’re both voxes that trumps all else.
The author’s ingenuity in masterminding this genetic trait upon which much of his narrative is crafted is truly brilliant. It adds depth to those who possess it and greatly enhances the overall storyline. Though this book is intended for young adults and is certainly suitable for that population, a few adaptions would make it ideal for pre-teens and teens as well. They’d be intrigued by the content and would find the diverse cast of characters highly relatable. All who read it will be enthralled by the twists and turns that ensue and will wait with arms wide open for its sequel to be published.
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