Freewill by Elyse Draper
My rating: 4 of 5 stars
Author has provided review copy from Smashwords via We ♥ YA Books in exchange for my fair, honest, and authentic review-copy provided August 21, 2012.
Freewill is the first in the trilogy by the same name, an unusual and complex metaphysical exploration of the world “beyond” the perception of most, and the many divergent ways in which we humans are affected by it. Although it commences in early 20th century England (approx. 1920) and moves to events of 1940 during the Nazi blitz of London, for me the book really got underway with the contemporary story of eighteen-year-old Christopher Ross of Golden, Colorado, a boy who finds computers and drafting simple as pie, yet with his dyslexia struggles to read. Christopher is a solitary with a special talent: tritely put, he is a “human lie detector.” He can read what an individual is actually thinking, while he or she is speaking something else.
Lately Christopher has been mentally plagued by an entity named James, who is deceased but yet not a ghost. James is purely evil, but his mentor V is much worse. Then Christopher’s life is uprighted when another “Other,” Ellie, appears-it is she who was born in 1920, concealed from an evil society by her uncle Edward, who was himself a seer, and died in 1940, just before her eighteenth birthday. As an Empath, she has spent her life-and afterlife-helping others. Now as she discovers Christopher, she and he both fall unwillingly in love.
Author Elyse Draper has a lyrical and poetic imagination and brings the many locales to vivid reality. Her view of afterlife is also unusual, but logical (if it’s appropriate to call spirit entities a logical progression). The rollercoaster ups and downs of emotions Ellie, Christopher, and the secondary characters go through is easily comprehensible, and more than one tear will be brought to readers’ eyes. Christopher certainly is in line for becoming one of the higher pantheon of young male protagonists.
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