Happy belated release day!
Thank you to HMH Kids for the advanced copy in exchange for my honest review!
TENTACLE & WING by Sarah Porter (released October 10th, 2017)
My Thoughts: 4/5 stars!
I have read a couple of Sarah Porter novels before this one, and I’d have to say I liked TENTACLE & WING the best! For a YA fantasy novel this was surprisingly complex and a great lighter suspense (geared towards middle grade).
This is set in the near future. After a genetic mishap, there are some children being born as chimeras – so they have both human and animal DNA. The story focuses on 12 year old Ada. Growing up she has always known she was different that the other kids around her. Her eyesight was so incredible, she could see through solid objects and even see in infrared which turned heat into colors. Since she can remember, her dad has always told her to keep her powers a secret from the other kids, otherwise if she was discovered as a chimera then she’d be taken away to be isolated from the normal human population. When her powers are discovered, Ada is ripped away from her home, family, and friends to go live in a facility with other chimeras, or kimes.
Considering this is a YA book that is geared towards middle school age kids I was very surprised at how complex the characters were and the subject that Porter tackled. It’s not a heavy read by any means, but having a story about learning to live with and accept people’s differences is very topical right now. Only the chimeras and normal humans aren’t dealing with race or ethnicity, they are dealing with the stigma and belief that the chimeras are contagious. It’s phenomena no one can really figure out – why were these kids born with animal DNA mixed in? Are they actually contagious?
I loved the diverse characters that Ada meets. We meet a girl with dragonfly wings who is still working on being able to fly, a boy that is mostly seal and can spend hours underwater, and then a young man that seemed to more of a chameleon than shape-shifter – he could change colors based on mood or by mimicking what he touches. Despite their physical differences, these kids felt very real and believable in their emotions and struggles.
Overall, if you want a unique YA fantasy premise with memorable characters, then this is a good one to pick up! If you typically aren’t a fan of the YA genre, then this might not be for you. I’m not one to go out of my way to pick up YA novels, but I was pleasantly surprised with TENTACLE & WING.
More YA that has surprised me!