ADA, LEGEND OF A HEALER
Paranormal Young Adult
House of Lore Publishing
Received from publisher for review
Ada has been bouncing from foster home to foster home ever since her Aunt Jessie gave up guardianship years ago. It seems each home is worse than the one before, so Ada does her best to get herself removed from them and placed somewhere new.
Now that she's fifteen however, placing her is more difficult and her social worker Gretchen is frantic to get in touch with Jessie to come and get her. When she finally does, Ada's not so sure being with her Aunt Jessie, in reality her mom's friend not her sister, is any better than being in the system.
Jessie helps Ada understand that she has the gift of healing, dragging her from one case to the next demonstrating how a simple touch can cure any manner of illness or injury. It turns out this is a dangerous gift to have however, and some very important people want to keep Jessie, and now Ada, as their own personal healers. Forced to separate, Ada goes to Paris in search of her long lost mother, but her gift is not an easy one to keep off the radar and those who are after her will stop at nothing to harness her power.
Though its cover might initially cause readers to balk at the nearly indecipherable and chaotic image, the story that lies in wait is simplistic in the best possible way, progressing swiftly and easily and entertaining us with every page. In the beginning as we are introduced to Ada's healing gift, we quietly chastise her for her attitude and unwillingness to help those so clearly in need as Jessie does. As the story moves forward though we begin to feel how much of a burden such a gift can truly be, questioning ourselves instead of Ada and wondering how we would deal with the weight of deciding between life and death, pain and relief, and misery and euphoria for strangers and friends alike. We quickly come to realize the predicament Ada is in, and our yearning for her gift coupled with our rejection of the responsibility that accompanies it makes for an emotionally enthralling read.
Connecting to Ada in the beginning is a bit of a challenge in and of itself, her seeming disdain for people in general understandable given her experience in the foster care system, but her icy quips and finely honed instincts telling her to push everyone away have the desired effect. It doesn't take long for us to become extremely involved in her life as she goes on the run though, willing the displays of strength we've seen from her thus far to carry her through and help her find a permanent home and family. The more she uses her gift, the more protective of her we become, shifting our disapproval regarding its use from Ada to those around her who risk her exposure and capture by repeatedly asking for assistance. We then have to physically shake ourselves for that reaction, knowing if we were suffering we would seek out any help possible as well. Thus, we as readers see Ada's gift through a variety of different filters, instinctively reacting to each one and learning about a different aspect of humanity through every new instance.
Beautifully blended into the turmoil surrounding Ada's healing ability is a sweet relationship with Daniel, a young man she meets in Paris who helps her learn to defend herself and perfect the art of escape. With each interaction we hope for Ada to find a haven with Daniel, awed by the lessons he gives her in expertly traversing the streets of Paris, and intrigued by the subtle quality to their increasing affection for one another. Though a taste of romance is present, the flavor of the overall story is not consumed by it, and we are continually swept from event to event as Ada searches for answers.
Ada, Legend of a Healer is a pleasantly surprising read, absorbing us into its pages quickly and refusing to relinquish us until the very action-packed end. This story isn't one to linger in one place too long, keeping us constantly on the move with Ada which, while keeping us glued to the pages, can also at times make us feel like we are playing catch-up as we attempt to chase after Ada before she gets too far out of our grasp. Additionally, this tale does end a touch abruptly, kicking us out mid-adventure but leaving us very much looking forward to meeting back up with Ada and Daniel again.