On a scale of 1 to 10, I would give Alora a solid 9, if you are the intended audience for this book. If you are not the intended audience for this book – in other words a middle-aged man like me – then this is not the book for you, but I would still give it a 9. Why? Well, if you think about it, there is always that niece you have a difficult time buying gifts for when Christmas or her birthday comes around. With this book, you now have the perfect gift because she would be the intended audience. In which case, you would give this book a 9 too because of all the joy you brought to the loved one you gave it to.
Alora is the story of a teenage romance between August, a boy struggling to come to terms with his parents recent divorce, and Alora, an Anmortal. Anmortals have lived in this world for many years, isolated from human contact and never growing older than the age of sixteen. They live in harmony with nature, and only have contact with others when they have found their Anmortal soul mate. Alora has not found hers, but she still lives contently in the forests of Michigan. During the summer months she appears as a sixteen year old girl, but as soon as the first snow falls, she transforms into a white wolf with majestic wings that allows her to soar through the air. During one of the summers, she meets August while he is visiting his father and romance blossoms as they get to know each other better. Everything is starting to look great, but there is a danger that lurks in the Anmortals’ world, the Windcomer. The Windcomer is a mechanical beast whose whole purpose in life is to hunt all the Anmortals to extinction. Can love grow when this danger is just around the corner?
Even though the heart of this story is a love story, it is not sentimental or sappy. Young women will love the honesty that Megan Linski portrays in this relationship and will be able to relate to the many twists and turns that it takes. Linski also introduces a wonderful theme of mankind’s influence on nature, and how it affects all living creatures. It gives depth to this story, and provides some literary merit. She also gives the story enough action to make it exciting that even young men might find some enjoyment within the pages.
The real strength of Megan Linski’s writing is her prose. Her words create a dreamlike atmosphere that make you feel as if you are walking through a surreal landscape. When you finish the last words of the book, you feel as if you have just woken up from the most wonderful respite that you wish to return to as soon as possible. The only real problem I had was early on when she spent a lot of time describing the looks of the characters and the clothes they were wearing. It felt a little unnatural and maybe if she had sprinkled these descriptions throughout the course of the book, it wouldn’t have been so jarring to the reader. But once again, this complaint is coming from a middle-aged man who doesn’t care much for fashion. This complaint will probably not come from the intended audience due to the fact that this might be something that they care about more. After I got into the story, this small distraction didn’t bother me anymore, and I lost myself in the adventure that Megan Linski had created.
For the most part, if you are woman, no matter your age, you will love the story that Megan Linski has created. Even if you are not a woman, there is still a lot that you can get out of this story. I was surprised at myself at how much I enjoyed it. It has the potential to become a modern day young adult classic, one that many people will talk about for years to come.