Review: The Vision by Jen Nadol

 

Title: The Vision

Author: Jen Nadol

Publisher: Bloomsbury USA Childrens

ISBN: 978-1599905976

 

May Contain Spoilers

From Amazon:

Cassie Renfield knows the mark tells her when someone is going to die and that she can intervene and attempt to change fate.  But she still doesn’t understand the consequences, especially whether saving one life dooms another.  With no family left to offer guidance, Cassie goes in search of others like her.  But when she meets Demetria, a troubled girl who seems to have the power of the Fates, Cassie finds the truth isn’t at all what she expected.  And then there’s her heady new romance with bad boy Zander.  Dating him has much graver repercussions than Cassie could ever have imagined, forcing her to make choices that cut to the essence of who she is and what she believes. 

Jen Nadol offers readers a romance with big stakes and an ethical dilemma with no easy answers in this riveting sequel to The Mark. Paranormal fans who love the psychological thrill of Lisa McMann’s bestselling Wake trilogy will flock to this series.

Review:

When I heard there would be a follow-up to Jen Nadol’s The Mark, I started counting down the days until I could read it.  I loved the first book, and I couldn’t put it down until I turned the last page.  I was a little apprehensive about whether the magic of Cassie’s moral dilemma would fuel another book, but I shouldn’t have worried.  This is another winner if you enjoy character driven books or stories where the main focus is on the protagonist trying to figure out one thing that is virtually impossible – their purpose in life.

Cassie has moved to Bellevue, near Chicago, and she is sharing an apartment with Petra.  She has left her small hometown behind, again, because she feels she needs a larger concentration of people surrounding her before she can puzzle through the mystery of the marks she can see.  She works at a funeral home, and at first, her fascination with death is more than a bit morbid.  It is down right disconcerting.  Given her ability to see when someone is about to die, though, Cassie’s actions make perfect sense.  How else does one understand death than by working with the dead and the people who mourn them?

I love the central theme of the series.  Cassie can tell when someone is going to die, within a 24 hour time span.  She has learned that she can change their fate and save them.  But she suspects that in doing so, she is trading their death for someone else’s.  Is it really her place to sacrifice one life for another? Is she just being selfish when she wants to save someone and warn them about the mark?  Just because she can change their fate, should she?  This is the question that keeps me going back to this series.  Cassie is struggling to accept the ethical and moral ramifications of her power, without any outside help.  She can’t exactly run around and tell people about her ability – that would freak them out and make her look like she should be locked up in a loony bin.  It’s not surprising that her mother cracked under the pressure of her powers, and there were times when I thought that Cassie would, too.

When Cassie meets another person with knowledge of the mark, she thinks she’s found someone she can trust, someone who will help her figure everything out.  Nope, that’s not how things work out.  How frustrating!  To finally find someone who knows about her powers, but can’t understand her reluctance to use them.  Someone who becomes infuriated with her for refusing to accept her role in the game of life and death.  Wow!  There was so much tension with this plot thread!  It made me even more upset with Cassie’s grandmother.  How could she keep everything a secret from Cassie?  That was like turning a lamb out with a pride of lions.  Cassie is totally unprepared to face the reality of her life, and I place most of the blame for that firmly at her grandmother’s feet.

I loved this book, and can hardly wait for Jen Nadol’s next outing.  The Vision has it all; drama, romance, suspense.  Most importantly, it has a protagonist who you can’t help but cheer for.  No teenager should have to make the kinds of decisions that Cassie is forced to.  She shouldn’t have to bear the burden of life and death, especially when she still doesn’t understand the ramifications of all of her actions.  If she saves this person, will he turn into a serial killer?  Or will he discover the cure to cancer?  How could anybody make that decision, let alone a high school student?

Grade: A-

Review copy provided by publisher