When the bullet pierced her father’s heart and he crumpled to the floor of his convenience store, it changed Janey Santiago’s life forever. At first she wasn’t even sure if she was alive or dead as she watched a strange blue light shift from his body to hers. In his final moments he handed Janey his mask, confirming her suspicions that he was indeed the vigilante fighting the local cartels.
Janey felt a surge of energy and knew it was her time to carry on her father’s work. With the guidance of Augusto—her father’s mysterious, young right-hand man—and enigmatic parallels from her favorite comic book series, Janey must learn how to use her mysterious new abilities to fight back against the gangsters that killed her father and threaten to overtake her town.
This is the first in a series—The Thunderbird Chronicles.
Reviewed by: Sandra
Rating: 3 stars
Review: 17-year old Janey lives in two worlds: the world of her comics and the real world. And danger lurks in both. Living on the U.S./Mexican border can be quite frightening with all political rage and warring cartels. How can you live constantly standing by and dropping ground at the sound of firing bullets? Janey lived in fear, but she also had hope that Zarco and Zara would stop the bad guys and save the world. But this wasn’t a comic book. Or…was it? The talk on the news reports a masked vigilante resembling the hero of her comics. To Janey, the vigilante was brave and smart; to everyone else, he was an old fool bound to get himself killed. Could the vigilante really be Janey’s father, like in the comics?
The book kicked off with a compelling start. Gangs are fighting over the town. You don’t feel safe walking the streets and you don’t know who to trust. But it would seem that there is some nefarious force of goodness out there. Janey’s father is like Batman. How cool is that! Soon, Janey realizes that she has become a Walker of Two Worlds. What?! Suddenly, she is bestowed by a mystical force of power, knowledge, love, and confidence. Now she must finish what her father started.
A quick read from start to finish, story has a combination of mystery, fantasy and adventure. It jostles a hope that the masked avenger is real and safely at your side. Janey possesses a quiet strength and a fierce determination. She’s courageous, smart, and a quick-study.
My only quibble was that Janey was not an active fighter. I guess I was expecting more Buffy, vampire slayer, rather than Sitting Red Bull, dream weaver. I guess that was to be expected since this is the first in the series, which introduces Janey as she discovers these powers that she doesn’t understand. The first book basically explains the origin of the story, which is mostly passive, and I hear Janey becomes more active and settles more into her powers as the series continues.
Dreams seem to play an important role in the book. My excitement kind of wore off with the lack of fight scenes. I mean, I was expecting a final showdown with the gangsters. Additionally, there was some confusion between all the realm-hopping. One minute, Janey was in the cemetery looking at her dad's tombstone, and, the next, she's with Augusto in the mountains. Weird.
It started off fast-paced with an interesting premise, but then it slowed down dramatically midway.
Overall, I felt the story was much more subdued than I originally thought and it could’ve definitely been more exciting. But it was an okay read and suitable kick-off to the series.