Title: Finding Angel
Author: Kat Heckenbach
Genre: YA Contemporary fantasy
Finding Angel is a well-crafted and enjoyable contemporary fantasy for younger teens. I was impressed by the clean style and creative story. It’s refreshing to get away from vampires, witches and werewolves. There is magic in this story, but not witches or wizards, simply those with Talents.
Angel is a foster child with wonderful caring foster parents and a little foster brother who she loves dearly. Nevertheless, she doesn’t feel as if she really belongs with them. She was found at the age of six wandering along a nearby road with no memory of how she had got there or who her family was.
Enter Gregor, a boy with the Talent of making magical gateways that transport you where you want to go. All he needs is some wood, like a tree. He takes her to a magical island off the coast of Ireland, the place where she lived with her parents before he made a gate and pushed her through it to escape a man who wanted to steal her talent. He has been looking for her since that day, for he had no idea where his gate had taken her.
Angel is a Finder, and the man, Dawric, wanted her to find something that would make him all powerful. Gregor and Angel’s parents told everyone that Angel had died to prevent Dawric from looking for her. Now that Gregor has found her, Angel hopes to be reunited with her parents, but discovers that they are in Europe still searching for her after seven years.
What follows is an excellent story that weaves elves, dragons, a singing beetle, a family feud and scientists into a something refreshingly unpredictable, very suitable for the age group and pleasant to read.
I liked the short scenes with Dawric and the scientist set between Angel’s scenes. It gave us hints, but never the identity of the scientist, nor were we quite sure what they were up to. I would have liked to have been clearer at the end what their plan actually was, however.