This is a light fantasy set in a world that was populated by colonists which does not let technology thrive. So some humans have evolved certain powers to protect themselves from nature. Sources can channel the energy from natural disasters (floods, tornados..) harmlessly away, but to do so they often die unless they have a Shield - someone to watch and regulate their body (heartrate, breathing) while they channel. Sources and Shields pair up in a bonding ritual which makes them paired for life - no matter if they have complementary personalities or not. Shields are typically stoic people while Sources are considered emotional and flightly. Dunleavy Mallorough (Lee) is a Shield who prayed for a steady Source, but got paired up with one of the most famous up-and-comers at the academy (Shintaro Karish). She isn't pleased and they have a rough start because of her preconceptions that he will pull her into some kind of trouble because of his "obvious" rakishness. I think that some readers will find Lee's judgemental attitude annoying, and she holds onto it for much of the book, but I think she is a stubborn person who takes a long time to change her mind. The writing in the book is good, the adventure interesting (some thought-provoking ideas on Shields and Sources which I hope get continued in following books), but it is definitely a series. I believe book 3 comes out in 2008, and book 4 is being written by the author. Fast reading and there is an underlying feeling that the two main characters are eventually going to get together although the author isn't going to let that happen until the very end of the series, which may drive some people insane.
This looked cute when I picked it up, and yup, this was indeed cute! Once I finally had a moment to sit down and do some reading I sailed right through. I liked the main characters, and I like that they are strongly their own people -- that really improved the book a lot. You get a strong sense of who they are, how they speak -- even how they move. The author uses descriptions that convey information in a fun way without bogging down the narrative, and was able to keep the storyline fast and interesting even when a few of the plot points were a little cliche.
I also liked it that the point-of-view was a little different than usual for a fantasy novel. Instead of following "the chosen/prophecied one," we're following the person everyone considers to be the side kick. Neat idea!
Good story! And now to jump right into the sequel....
I thought this was a fine first effort. I hope future books are better, I would like to visit this "world" again. ebgb