by Jacquelyn Wheeler
pub: Sept 2009
Ashlyn Woods just transferred to one of the most beautiful campuses on the west coast, where she can't wait to start her life over as a normal college student. But her plans take an unexpected turn when she discovers that she is a Soterian: a person who develops amazing powers when the balance of good and evil shifts too far in evil's favor.
Soon she and the other Soterians are studying martial arts and learning to use their powers to prevent California from being plunged into chaos. But they quickly discover that they're up against a much more dangerous enemy than they anticipated. And when Ashlyn meets Kai, a devastatingly gorgeous guitar player, she realizes she must sacrifice more than she ever imagined.
Lots of action makes Rising Shadow a fun read. Ashlyn is just trying to get her bearings at her new college in Santa Barbara, CA. when she develops the ability to fly. Crazy but true since she is a Soterian, a person who’s abilities develop when the balance of good and evil goes in evil’s favor.
The story centers around a California political race and when the winner is announced under suspicious voting conditions, Ashlyn’s powers come to life. She isn’t alone. Several other college kids have super powers too and with the help of a professor from the college, they start training.
That’s when the story starts to shine. The beginning covers a lot of Ashlyn moving from Northern California to Southern California and getting situated at school. I could have done without that and been happier starting closer to when she develops her powers and gets together with the other super heroes.
There is also a lot of detail that bogged the story down for me but overall Wheeler does very well with a creative premise.
The group has to uncover the evil plot and determine how to overcome the bad guy. I did enjoy the interesting twist at the end. Wheeler gets you going one way and then surprises you.
Ashlyn and her group are interesting folk and their relationships come through as real especially with her friends and comrades. She does meet a hot guy in the beginning and they click quickly but he moves away.
They manage to fuel their long-distance romance and he comes back. He’s a sweet guy – no bad boy here but it’s easy to see why Ashlyn likes him and his acceptance of Ashlyn’s weirdness shows a surprising level of maturity.
Rising Shadow has great action, super heroes, political intrigue and suspense. It’s a good choice for those who like an entertaining thriller.You can check out the Soterians website for more info.