After a wild finish in The Eighth Day, Jax, Riley, and Evangeline have gone into hiding, but their refuge in Pennsylvania is only temporary, because the precarious balance between the Transitioners, Kin, and Normals is tipping. In addition to helping Riley and the Crandalls search for Evangeline’s missing sister, Jax knows he must act when his best friend, Billy is kidnapped by Finn Ambrose, part of the powerful Dulac family. And feelings of conflict surface right away when Jax discovers that Finn Ambrose is his uncle and that he has family in New York. Jax is alone in this world and family is just what he wants, but this group is the enemy!
The Inquisitor’s Mark, by Dianne Salerni, is the second book in this exciting Young Adult series, which revolves around a secret eighth day called Grunsday, in which Kin, dating back to King Arthur, are trapped. The dangerous ones are imprisoned, but others move about in this secret day full of allies and adversaries. Everyone wants to know where the young Evangeline is. She’s a direct descendant of the powerful Merlin Emrys and has her own powerful talents which are key to keeping the world in a peaceful balance. Transitioners like Jax and Riley have their own special talents and can move between the normal days and Grunsday, and they do their best to hold the world together. This is a great story with a classic theme: the good guys want to keep the peace and the bad guys want the power to dominate. Many gray characters make things murky. Just like the real world, it’s complicated!
The Inquisitor’s Mark, a reference to Jax’s unique identifying tattoo and talent, is great quality writing. It’s exciting, fun, full of middler and teen points of view and just edgy enough to engage a Young Adult reader. The characters move in a dangerous world and experience the very real effects of good versus evil. I like how the author doesn’t sugar coat things – it gives her story an authentic feel, something kids want when they read.
Just like in The Eighth Day, this story moves at a great pace, with all kinds of side stories that tie into a wild finish. A lot of it takes place in a Manhattan apartment building, the Dulac headquarters with secret tunnels and holding cells, an awesome place to imagine. Good guys work with bad guys to fight against a terrifying destructive force and certain characters will surprise and step up to add to the story’s excitement. The Inquisitor’s Mark ends with lots of teasers about future power struggles, alliances and possible romances and makes me hope I won’t have to wait too long for the next book!
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