You’d never expect to be thrust into another world on your seventeenth birthday. For Kira, the protagonist in Link, that is exactly what happens when what seems to be a comet falls into the lake she is swimming in. After a few days in the hospital and a few intense dreams, Kira returns home, looking forward to celebrating her birthday minus the comet. Unfortunately for Kira, the incident on her birthday isn’t going to be the last. She is now connected to another world by the light of a dying star. While it’s still living, she’ll be able to travel back and forth between her world and this other one. Kira has to make a decision before it dies: stay in the world where everyone she loves is, or stay in the world where she may be able to solve the mystery of the connection to starlight.
I really enjoyed what this novel tried to do. The idea of being linked to another world through starlight was fascinating and I liked seeing how similar and how different the worlds were. I didn’t even realize at first that the novel was even set on another world, it was so similar to Earth. The slight differences made it interesting, but unfortunately were not delved into other than the few odd sentences here and there. The bulk of the story was in the traveling between these two worlds–Kira’s, and the one put together from pieces of other worlds like a patchwork quilt. There was more world building in the world she was connected to by starlight, but it still didn’t go as deep as I would have liked it to, especially when a lot of the responsibility of world building falls on the first book of the series. Perhaps there will be more in the second book.
Although the idea is what made me pick up Link, I felt that the execution of the story overall was a little lacking. It was a little broken up, where things like relationships progressed too quickly but the plot and the secrets to be revealed were drawn out too slowly. I realized halfway through the book and a check on goodreads that this was because it was the first book in a series. At the risk of sounding like a repetitive record because this is quickly becoming something I frequently lament, I wish that the author had decided to write one book instead of a series. There just wasn’t enough of a propelling drive in Link to be the beginning of a series. Had the author written one book instead, I suspect that it would have been heavier and more interesting, because it would have been the author’s “all in” with the story.
I do like the story Summer Wier is presenting in Link, but it wasn’t a strong enough start to a series. I’m not invested enough in the heroine who does the stereotypical young adult novel thing where she falls in love with her best friend as well as the stranger that she met a scant few days ago. It’s frustrating that there can’t be a portrayal of a male and female relationship that isn’t sexual in nature, especially when you just met him. I would have received it better if the first book had set up the possibility of a relationship and ran with it in the second. Instead of focusing on the romance aspect, I wish that the focus had been on the world building and the problems of being connected to another world through the light of a dying star. Romance can come later; story building should come first. Overall, a light, quick read with small measures of science fiction and fantasy thrown in, but I would not read it again and I am not continuing the series.
I received a copy of Link from the publisher through NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. Link was published on September 29th, 2015.