Title: Seeking Unseen
Author: Kat Heckenbach
Genre: YA Contemporary fantasy
Seeking Unseen is even more wonderful, unique and unpredictable than Finding Angel, the book that preceded it. Ms Heckenbach is a highly skilled and creative author who writes stories that are perfect for younger teens since they are free of the heavy violence that infects so much of our fiction.
She adds some new characters and weaves a story with the same mix of magic and mystery as in Finding Angel, but with more complex character interactions. When Angel returns to her old town to find her little foster brother, Zack, she meets Melinda, a childhood friend, and daughter of Dawic, the evil mastermind of Finding Angel. Melinda pleads with Angel to take her back to the magical island with her, and Angel, sweet girl that she is, relents and takes her with them. However, Melinda is a complex character with a tendency towards negativity, so Angel and her mother and father have their hands full trying to assimilate her into the family and life in a magical world.
The drama revolves around, Doran, a boy thief who has been released from prison after four years. He behaves strangely, and Angel’s parents, and the elven boy Kalek, don’t trust him. Distrust, however, breeds more distrust, and when Melinda takes a shine to Doran, she feels she has to hide it from the others. I can’t say too much about the story without giving away too much, just believe me when I say, that it’s a good one, and with an unexpected ending in more ways than one.
Apart from the well-crafted nature of the book, I liked that Angel’s parents were good parents. So often we see absent or poor parenting in YA books, so it was refreshing to see something more healthy and probably more realistic for a lot of kids. I also liked the way Angel handled Melinda, with intelligence and sensitivity. Also the nature of Melinda’s Talent, when it was revealed, was perfect, providing the master stroke for the superb character development that gave the story depth and meaning.
This is an excellent fantasy for teens, one with a positive theme, the transformative power that can come from truly caring for someone.