Logan Ragsdale and his younger sister, Ariana, have been marked, chosen to be unwilling participants in a war between angels and demons. Logan can sense something’s not quite right. Like an unexpected chill on a summer’s day, he can feel the unseen closing in. He’s had these feelings before and, each time, someone close to him died. He’s afraid this time it might just be Ariana. Logan’s fears are soon confirmed when he discovers their new friends aren’t human, but rather representatives from Heaven and Hell sent to Earth to ensure he and Ariana accept their roles in an ancient prophecy. Demons want Logan to open the gates of Hell. Ariana has the power to stop them, but if she chooses to side with Heaven to spare the lives of thousands of innocent people, she’ll damn her brother for eternity. Together, they must derail the biblical event if they hope to save themselves and the future of mankind…but what price are they willing to pay to keep the other safe?
Logan and his younger sister, Ariana have been on their own – completely! – for eight years. At eighteen and sixteen respectively, the two have learned to fend for themselves, trust no one, let no one get too close and, know that there is something different about them. Logan and Ariana have the ability to control others’ minds by simply suggesting they do or do not (there is no try!) something and they have identical tattoos that have been with them for most of their lives. See? They just aren’t like the other kids J
Based on past experiences, Logan and Ariana are ever wary of something or someone coming for them and taking away those they hold most dear. So far the universe has claimed their parents, their uncle and a few foster families. But, for the past two years they have been disaster- and death- free and allowed to make their way through high school and life. Just when they thought it was OK to relax just a little bit, things begin to wonky yet again the siblings become more than a little frightened for their safety. You see, a whole host of someone’s have been watching the kids and are now ready for the brother and sister to take their rightful place in world and fulfill their destiny. HA!! Seriously? The interested parties clearly haven’t been paying attention all that well since there is no way Logan and Ariana are going to be the reason Heaven and Hell start an all-out war.
Yep, Heaven and Hell want to battle it out and in order to do so, both sides need a very special set of siblings long-prophesied to set things in motion. In order to ensure that the brother and sister do their part, Heaven and Hell have sent Kira and Ben to ensure the siblings cooperation. Ben is the hottest thing in town: he is sweet, well-mannered, very well dressed and totally gorgeous. Kira is smokin’ hot with red hair, a little bit of attitude and eyes only for Logan. Though both Logan and Ariana are glad to have someone special in their lives, it doesn’t take them long to figure out that things are all kinds of weird and Ben and Kira just aren’t like the other kids either J
The Bottom Line: I am loving the start to this new series by Cherie Colyer! Challenging Destiny is full of all kinds of my favorite things: excellent plot with just the right amount of twists and turns, fantastic and totally engrossing backstories for multiple characters, lots of juicy and high drama action, magic and mayhem and, an only slightly cliffhangerish ending. For myself, the strength of this book is the characters!! Logan and Ariana have a wonderful relationship, Ben and Kira are strange and weird in the best way possible and, everyone is just a little bit naughty and a little bit nice. The ambiguity of some of the characters is really quite intriguing. But, most all, and this is something I have come to love about Colyer’s books is that she allows her teenagers to be and behave like BELIEVABLE teenagers. In truth, Colyer writes some of the strongest and most authentic teenage characters in YA fiction today and as you well know, I am a BIG fan of character-driven reads. In all, Challenging Destiny is a very fine start to a new YA+ series that has a ton of promise.