Series: Ignite the Shadows #1
Published by Harper Voyager on October 22nd 2015
Genres: Young Adult, Science Fiction
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Sixteen-year-old Marci Guerrero is one of the best teen hackers in Seattle. However, she’d give up all her talents to know she isn’t crazy.
Marci feels possessed by what she perceives as shadowy spectres that take control of her body and make her do crazy things. While spying on the clandestine group known as IgNiTe, she’s confronted by the leader, James McCray. His presence stirs the spectres inside her brain into a maddening frenzy. Her symptoms and ability to control them don’t go unnoticed by James, who soon recruits her and shows her the awful truth.
Half of the world’s population is infected by sentient parasites. They bind themselves to the human brain and replace the pathways for all thoughts and actions. The creatures then morph their hosts into grotesque monsters with extraordinary strengths. Winged, clawed, fanged half-humans become living nightmares. Now Marci wishes she was crazy, because the truth is worse.
Marci is a high school student by day and hacker by night, but from a young age, she has had strange attacks from her ‘shadows’. When she discovers the group IgNiTe, they explain that she’s not alone with these attacks, and that the shadows are in fact an insidious threat from a parasitic invader. On top of that, Marci’s long lost twin brother, Luke, has suddenly come back into her life and seems to be shunting her out of her own home.
Those infected with the Eklyptor parasites eventually become monsters, but those who are able to resist are able to develop and hone special abilities – basically super powers. It’s a really neat concept, and I enjoyed Marci discovering her talent.
Marci is one of those strong-willed young protagonists who says exactly what she thinks and isn’t afraid to get on with the dirty work. There’s a cute best-friend romance that develops through the book, but overall it’s fairly light on the romance and full of action and mystery.
Ignite the Shadows is the first in a trilogy, so it’s mostly world-building and setting up for future action. Marci learns all about the IgNiTe organisation (although she does not learn why they like to abuse capitalisation), and the conflict within their world.
In this strange underworld populated by Eklyptors, who can you really trust? I was never really sure whether any of the characters were trustworthy, even Marci at times! I found Ignite the Shadows a gripping read, and the sequel, Eclipse the Flame, is already available, so get reading!
Read this book if you love a fast-paced sci-fi story with plenty of action and some creepy parasites. It’s a bit like The Matrix meets Lady Helen (tentacles!).