Author: K.J. McPike
Xodus is the YA paranormal debut of K.J. McPike and I hope the rumours I heard of it being the first in a trilogy are true because I have not had nearly enough of Astralis and the Yavari’s.
I was fascinated by the idea of astral travel as a teen and I often picked up books simply because they dealt with astral travel and out of body experiences. I even searched out some non-fiction works trying to work out how to do it myself. In the years since that fascination has faded into the background and it’s certainly not something I attempt anymore but the subject certainly still intrigues me.
XODUS deals in an entire world built upon astral energy, of course I was intrigued. Astralis is an alternate realm with a race of beings who are very in touch with their astral energy, it is a realm that Lali Yavari and her four siblings heard stories of from their mother as young children but always believed they were just stories to entertain them.
The story centres around Lali Yavari, a 16 year old girl trying to deal with the sudden disappearance of her mother; which as the oldest basically means juggling the role herself along with her studies as her father is understandably heartbroken.
Just to make things more complicated Lali’s 16th birthday coincides with strange things starting to happen, she starts to see things that she can’t explain and discovers that she has powers that have awakened.
XODUS utilizes convincing world building to create a new race and another realm; which also allows for mixed race offspring. Semmies are the offspring of Astralii and humans, they are frowned upon by full-blooded Astralii and they seem to be relatively unknown to humans. The abilities of Semmies are unpredictable and manifest in different ways to the Astralii; which make them interesting – as specimens at least.
There is an element of budding romance but it is only a very small part of the narrative. I think it will evolve in later books and there are definite indicators of a triangle brewing.
Mystery and intrigue and major elements of XODUS because nothing is quite as it seems and trying to unravel the secrets and betrayals is quite convoluted. Lali discovers early on that there is more to her mother’s sudden departure than the scribbled two line note might indicate.
Lali is trying to navigate her newfound knowledge as she works on honing her abilities so that she can track down her mother. All while juggling her home life, school and siblings – but not friends because she had a huge fight with them and they aren’t talking to her.
McPike has written relatable characters, engaging suspense and a storyline that certainly drew me in. There were so many lies heaped upon lies that it was difficult to find any of the story predictable because you never knew what new layer was going to be uncovered next.
XODUS was sure to grab me because of the focus on astral energy but I think it will appeal to anyone with a love of the paranormal melded with everyday life. The exploration of the Semmies abilities was interesting and the gradual discovery of what they each could do.
I also love the quirky little facts hidden in stories so when Lali first heard XODUS and came to conclusions about it I got all goosebumpy; then to discover the full story of the XODUS origin was something I found quite exciting.
K.J. McPike and the Astralis novels are certainly worth keeping an eye out for. I am thrilled to have been approached to review the book and am really looking forward to discovering what comes next in the story as there are many questions left unanswered.
I devour books, vampires and supernatural creatures are my genre of choice but over the past couple of years, I have broadened my horizons considerably. In a nutshell – I love to write! I love interacting with a diverse range of artists to bring you interviews. Perhaps we were perfect before – I LOVE WORDS!