The death of a loved one is always difficult to deal with. When you are a young adult and a parent dies, the anguish is twofold. Survivor’s guilt is often the fallout, and the pain of separation colors the fabric of your actions.
In Fading Into Magic by Vone Savan, we follow the exploits of Madeline Morgan and her friends as they try to reconcile the strange occurrences intruding into their lives. Friends forever, Maddy, Dara, Kelsey, and Casper all rely on each other for companionship and honesty. Maddy struggles with life, her mother has died, and her father, unable to deal with the pain, has buried himself in alcohol. Having always been a believer in magic, she no longer feels the same. To her, if magic truly existed, her mother would not have died. Yet there is still just that little bit of hope, hidden deep within her heart.
Her friends do their best to keep her engaged, and when Dara gets the name of a fortune teller, she convinces Maddy they must have their fortunes told. Entering the tent, they immediately feel a strange sense of magic, but brush it off. Madame Anca, the teller, has a heavy accent, and looks more like a witch with her strange claw-like hands and fingernails. Her reading of Maddy hints at a love that is soon to find her. Maddy is desperately searching for love so she is hooked immediately. Yet everything about the visit is strange. Dara scoffs at the teller, finding her to be quite strange, and Maddy agrees. Yet as she thinks about the reading, she decides she needs to know more. Visiting Madame Anca one more time, she hears the same hope of love, and that small spark of believing begins to unravel again.
The first day of school following this bizarre happenstance, the group meets two new students. Stefan and his twin sister, Catalina Varias, are handsome and mysterious. Yet when Maddy has occasion to interact with Stefan, she is captivated. She begins to wonder about the fortune she received. As Maddy and Stefan get to know one another, the feeling is reciprocated. Has love really found her? Just as she begins to believe her life will change, strange things begin to happen. Her friends begin to act oddly. Then her life and that of her friends and family are threatened by an evil willing to kill them in the name of revenge. What is happening, and how can Maddy keep them all safe?
Savan has written a tale of young love and loss. He has twisted it with bits of magic and lore. His characters are very much like the high school students of today, each with flaws and beliefs, trying to find themselves as the go through the changes that will take them to adulthood. Maddy has a pain that runs deep and Savan has done a great job of bringing to light the guilt that often comes from the death of a parent. His characterization of the different personalities is well done, and you can picture each of the characters upon their reveal.
The story is fun and yet has a taint of evil and revenge. The flow is smooth and easy to follow and the magic spells incorporated throughout the telling are fun. Written in verse with a bit of rhyme they add a touch of charm to the telling.
Fading Into Magic would be a great book for the young adult reader; it is full of characters, bits of magic, and an overall humor that adds to the dynamics. This is a light read and I found the telling to be interesting. It would make a great gift for the holidays for that YA fantasy reader on your list.