CM . . .
. Volume XXIII Number 11. . . .November 18, 2016
Finding Jade is the first novel in the “Daughters of Light” series which is set in a near-future where climate change has run rampant and made parts of the world uninhabitable. The novel introduces readers to Jasmine and her host of real-world problems. Her twin sister, Jade, was abducted five years ago and hasn’t been seen or heard from since, Jasmine’s mother is dying of complications from lupus, and Jasmine’s been suddenly transferred to a new high school. Soon her real-world problems are replaced with much stranger problems. Her new school is populated by an odd overabundance of female twins, and, while riding the subway, she suddenly finds herself transported to the Place-in-Between where she spots her missing sister but is unable to get to her. Jade soon learns the truth, that she is a Seer and that she needs to rescue her twin from the Place-in-Between, a limbo-like world full of tortured souls and demons.
Overall, Finding Jade lacks detail. Many characters are unmemorable, and others are a collection of stock stereotypes. The reader is reminded multiple times that climate change has ravaged the earth, but the book fails to demonstrate how this manifests in the day-to-day lives of the characters. Instead of being thought-provoking, this blunt approach comes across as heavy-handed. A good plot could have made up for these shortcoming, but the central conflict of the novel is poorly explained. The reader never finds out why demons have been infiltrating the world, and when the ultimate villains of the novel are revealed in the end, their motive is never satisfactorily explained. Perhaps this is simply because it is the first novel in a series, but it makes the book feel incomplete and insubstantial.
Finding Jade is a weak start to an intriguing sounding series. The novel comes across as underdeveloped and scant on detail. While not an essential part of a library collection, it’s too soon to write off the whole series based on the first book.
Tara Stieglitz is a librarian at MacEwan University in Edmonton, AB.
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