Thursday, January 21, 2016

The Killing Jar by Jennifer Bosworth

Kenna lives in fear. Fear of touching those around her and causing them harm. It's happened before - when she was just a little kid she killed the neighbors' son. He wasn't innocent, but Kenna knows that no one can ever know the truth about what happened.

But when Kenna returns home one night to find her mother and sister on the edge of death, the restraint she's tried to build for so long breaks. Afraid of what will come next, Kenna's mother brings the teen to the very last place she'd ever expected.

Everyone knows about Eclipse, the nearby community of hippie shut ins. But no one knows that Kenna's own grandmother is their leader. As soon as she arrives, Kenna realizes Eclipse is more than just free love and living off the land. It's a piece of her own heritage. For the first time in her life Kenna isn't worried about her strange power. She isn't worried about anything at all. But even though the utopian-esque community has welcomed her with pretty open arms, there's still something that doesn't quite feel right. And as Kenna learns more about her ability and the people of Eclipse, she wonders if this is truly where she belongs after all.

There's a turning point in The Killing Jar. A point where the story goes from pretty good to pretty awesome. But I feel like I can't point it out or everyone else will miss out on the fabulousness!

I'll hedge as best I can.

So Kenna has the power to suck people's lives from them with nothing more than a touch. Actually, even less than that, as we find out when she gets home from the Folk Yeah! festival. And her ability manifested right around the time she realized the neighbor boy was a psychopath. Not that that's any excuse for what she did, but she was just a child.

Her mother warned her never to use the power again, forcing Kenna to become somewhat withdrawn from everyone around her. How can she be close to anyone when she's constantly afraid of touching them and killing them?

But it turns out her mom knows more about Kenna's power than she's ever revealed, which leaves the teen feeling understandably upset. Eclipse offers her the chance to finally understand and maybe even control this strange ability. What's more, she finds out that the people of Eclipse are immune to her powers! But she also finds out that to stay in Eclipse she has to give up her outside life including her best friend, possibly boyfriend, and her own twin sister.

But it's when she starts to find out the truth about Eclipse and it's followers' power that the book gets SUPERFABULOUSAWESOME! Seriously, the mythology Jennifer Bosworth pulls from for her big reveal is really cool. I started this in the airport and totally expected to sleep through most of the plane ride but ended up awake and on the edge of my seat the whole time.

Folklore, mythology, urban legend... it's all great fodder for fiction and I (along with LOTS of others) gobble it up. The basis for The Killing Jar was one that I know I've seen just one other time but haven't actually read before. So it was unexpected, to say the least. Bosworth adds her own twist but the even crazier thing about this particular piece of legend is that it is indeed based in fact! Yep, you can go ahead and Google it right around the same time our heroine does and find out for yourself. Again, Bosworth does put her own stamp on it. Her creation is purely her own as far as I can tell, but that only makes it that much more fun.

The characters here are excellently established and the pacing is fast. If you're into paranormal reads and are looking for something a little different from the norm this is definitely one I'd recommend. You won't regret it! (And if you happen to need a good airplane read, this one's tried and tested!)

Rating: 4/5


Jennifer | Book Den said...

Great airplane ride!!

Literary Feline said...

I like the sound of this one! Urban legend and folklore. Eclipse. I am glad you you enjoyed this one, Becky.