"FIVE: Out of Dark," by Holli Anderson, Curiosity Quills Press, $15.99, 267 pages (f) (ages 12 and up)
"Five: Out of Dark" by Utah author Holli Anderson is a magical, fantastical debut.
When Paige, the story's main character, discovers she has special, magical abilities, she is forced to leave her family and finds herself in the Seattle underground. Johnathan finds her and shares that he has the same supernatural powers. Slowly, other teenagers, Alec, Halli and Seth, join them and they decide to use their power to fight evil forces in the world. Each person has slightly different abilities and only by working together can they defeat the powers of evil.
When Johnathan is attacked by a werewolf creature, he starts changing on every full moon. While the group has a short-lived solution, Paige vows to save him permanently.
From the first pages of the story, Anderson sucks the reader in with conflict and turmoil. The characters live in a constant battle for their lives. For a moment, the story slows down, but soon picks up once all the characters are together, and there is no shortage of demons, ogres and imps to keep the story moving.
The characters were all different from each other, in background and personality, but they complement each other nicely and leave room for the reader to find a character to relate to.
Anderson writes like the reader is seeing a movie, describing things just how a viewer would see them on screen. She excels at writing action scenes, and as a former nurse, describes injuries and guts with the best of them.
Anderson paints a picture of Seattle that is so realistic, it's easy to believe that the happenings in the book are true, too. Because the setting feels so real, it's necessary to be forgiving as certain unbelievable events, even for fantasy, happen. Black writes her way out of some of them using items such as cloaking devices, but leaves room for more explanation on others.
The ending was surprising, but in a good way, and leaves a desire to know more about the fate of the characters, the Five Out of the Dark, in the Seattle Underground.
"Five" has no foul language, but there are mild fighting scenes. She describes the injuries clinically and they aren't excessively gory.
If you go ...
What: Holli Anderson book signing
When: Saturday, Oct. 5, 2 p.m.
Where: The King's English, 1511 S. 1500 East, Salt Lake City
Note: Places in the signing line are reserved for those who purchase a copy of "Five" from the King's English.