Review: Earthbound

Earthbound by Aprilynne Pike
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Eighteen-year-old Tavia is the only survivor of a plane crash that killed her parents. Grieving and lonely, she starts having strange visions; of a boy she’s never met but feels compulsively drawn to. A boy who tells her to do things she never dreamed of.

Tavia begins to suspect that secrets are being kept from her, and that her kindly aunt and uncle know more than they are letting on. Was the plane crash really an accident? Or is Tavia part of something bigger than she ever imagined?

With only her instincts and long-time crush, Benson, to rely on, Tavia must decide where her destiny lies, and who with.

Earthbound has a fantastic premise – of fallen gods who are cursed to live out their lives on Earth, incarnated through generations and forever searching for their soulmates. Tavia is one such god, an Earthbound, and when she survives a plane crash and was the only one to do so, it awakens her powers. She thinks she is picking up the pieces of her life in a town miles away from her hometown, having a friends whom she confides everything in but she is actually in hiding from a rival secret society, which wants to wreak havoc. The other society, whose protection she is in, are not that trust-worthy either and so she goes on the run with her best friend, Benson and they both fall in love with each other. While looking for her past, she realizes her soulmate is out there, and she is torn between him and Benson. The love triangle is quite intense and questions the existence of fate and destiny and all that, but Tavia has bigger fish to fry too. The fate of the world lies in her dormant memories and she has to awaken them and her full powers to take on her enemies.

The whole set up of the gods and all – that was pretty interesting and how it linked to historical events was also quite plausible. It makes for good mythology and I always love a good incarnation story. The romance, however, was quite intense – so intense that I already knew it my head that it was going to go so wrong by the end of the novel. It comes off a bit dramatic when Tavia has to decide who she wants, and the fact that her fate is conflicting with her wants. World or boyfriend? – I am pretty sure world wins in this case. So, yeah, the romance was a bit off-putting; even though they knew each other for months, they declared their feelings just a week ago, which made it too difficult to root for them when they are both so intense. I bet even the adults who came for her were rolling their eyes at it.

The ending, however, left me on a very positive note. I am not really declaring sides here, since soulmate-boy is yet to be known as a character but I feel there is going to be a lot of intensity and angst in the next book. Just, you know, save the world while you are at it, Tavia? Kidding! Tavia seems like a good character and what she is going through is quite difficult too – not to mention the whole survivor’s guilt, PTSD and thousand-lives memories. All those things can really wear a girl down but damn, she is brave and surviving. The antagonist (don’t wanna spoil who it is) seems a bit complex and I didn’t really get what Tavia ever did to screw that person up. The writing keeps the mood quite mysterious, dropping hints at certain points but also inexplicable at others. The book is entertaining as a whole, evident by the fact that I read it in one stretch on a day that I was so down.

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