Reading level: Young Adult
Hardcover: 352 pages
Publisher: Little, Brown Young Readers
An ancient prophecy divides two sisters-
Who will prevail?
Twin sisters Lia and Alice Milthorpe have just become orphans. They have also become enemies. As they discover their roles in a prophecy that has turned generations of sisters against each other, the girls find themselves entangled in a mystery that involves a tattoo-like mark, their parents' deaths, a boy, a book, and a lifetime of secrets.
Lia and Alice don't know whom they can trust.
They just know they can't trust each other.
This book is a great return the themes of original Gothic novels. Set in the Victorian era of the late 1800s, this phophetic mystery has spellbinding characters and a breathtaking plot, with authentically written historical details.
The story centers around a set of twins - Lia and Alice Milthrope - and slowly reveals cryptic tattoos, letters, and keys all leading to a climatic prophecy that will change the girl's destiny. Lia is the "good" twin, who leads a quiet, predictable life and loves books. Alice is the "bad" twin, always setting herself apart from the other members of the family. When their father suddenly dies and leaves them and their younger brother, Henry, orphans, unusual things begin to happen and soon the phophecy is set in motion.
A mysterious tattoo-like mark appears on Lia's wrist, and she soon learns she may be the "gateway" to the end of the world. Alice begins acting secretive and it becomes apparent that the twins will be on opposing sides of the phophecy. Lia's dreams become scarily real and she realizes her soul is able to "travel" to other worlds without her body. It becomes Lia's goal to prevent Samuel (the devil) and the Souls from taking over the world, while Alice wants nothing more than for Lia to fail.
Zink has written a strong female character in Lia. Even though she is named The Gate by pure coincidence of her birth order, she only wants to do the right thing and stop the Souls from destroying the world she knows and loves. Alice is The Guardian and all her life she has prepared for the coming of the Souls and is determined to be on the winning side. Lia's relationship with Alice is vivid and conflicting and Zink shows us the dark and brooding environment of their relationship.
Zink has a talent for details and she reveals these in multiple layers and with strong supporting characters. Suspense and tension builds throughout the book and you find yourself racing to the end to see what will happen.
This is a stunning debut novel full of thrills, chills, myths, fantasy, and compelling intrigue. I think you will love the new voice this series brings and the unique point of view for an age-old end of days prophecy. I am eagerly awaiting the next book in the series.