Posted by: Nyxks | October 15, 2007

Fatal Charm

Fatal Charm (Book 5 in the “The Seer” series)
by Linda Joy Singleton © 2007
Llewellyn Worldwide
ISBN 0-7387-1153-5
360 pages
$6.99 (U.S.) $7.50 (Canada)
Reviewed by: Mike Gleason

I love it when a series picks up right where it left off, with no time gap. It makes it easier to get back into the rhythm of the story. Of course, with Ms. Singleton’s style, that isn’t normally a problem for me. I really enjoy this series since the heroine, Sabine, is a true-to-life teen who struggles with all the usual teen angst – boyfriend, family relationships, schoolwork – with an added dimension of psychic awareness. She struggles to be accepted as “normal” while dealing with the consequences of being so “different” that she is only open to a few close friends.

There are few authors who are producing quality fiction which is “New Age” friendly, and Ms. Singleton is one of the better ones. The gods know that young readers will be able to identify with Sabine Rose, the heroine of this series, even if they aren’t psychic themselves. She suffers all the pains and uncertainties shared by teenagers in general, amplified by being “the new kid” and being sure that if anyone knew their “dark secret” they would be rejected and even more outcast. And, of course, someone accepting you is a cause of even more paranoia.

Her stories have the feel of realism about them. Her heroines (all of her major protagonists are female and empowering) don’t run around the neighborhood proclaiming their abilities. As teen girls they are more concerned with fitting in than with standing out.

Sabine’s grandmother’s illness is progressing rapidly at the start of this book. Fortunately Dominic has found the final clue to the hidden location of a remedy book which will cure her (or at least hold the illness at bay). Now all they have to do is solve the riddle, find the book, and all will be right with the world.

Oh, but wait a moment.there is still the question of the red haired girl who calls Sabine’s father “Daddy.” Will her presence cause Sabine’s mom and dad to get a divorce?

This is a well-crafted story (as are all of Ms. Singleton’s works), which works well for the age group (young adults ages 12 and up) it is aimed at. It is moderately spooky, conveys some real-life messages without being preachy, and is an enjoyable book to read. There are no great lessons to be learned, no huge surprises, just an enjoyable story with characters you can identify with and care about.

The plotline is kept relatively simple and the occult elements, although slightly dark, are not overwhelming or oppressive. Sabine is, in most ways, a typical teen facing typical teen problems, the most important of which is feeling that her problems are unique and would brand her as an outsider if anyone else were to find out about them.

The most believable part of Sabine’s life, besides an uncomfortable relationship with her mother; a confused feeling about her romantic life; and an on-going attempt to fit in with her friends; is the fact that her psychic abilities don’t provide all the answers at once. She has to work through hints, feelings, and impressions to find out who she is supposed to be helping and how she is supposed to provide that help.

As is usual with this series, there is no real resolution by the end of the book. In fact, if anything, there are more questions raised than answered.


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