In the year 2015 After Deva, a group of 15-year-olds attend The Welcoming Ceremony, during which they will each discover their own divine power. When rescued orphan Keana Milfort, a foreigner to Paradis, fails to receive her badge from the Lumen Academy, she fears that she is doomed to a life of hard labor as a Regular. Feuding clans, each gifted with their own unique abilities, set out to use both Keana and her biological mother, Stella, in their plans against one another. Under the looming shadow of rising conflict, Keana and her gifted friends set out in search for The Spirit Seal – the source of unlimited power to those wear it- before it can be used for evil purposes.
P.J. Maia’s THE MISSING SPIRIT primarily focuses on showcasing character development and dialogue instead of elaborate setting descriptions or historical exposition. His opening scene provides the right combination of action, intrigue, and heart to entice readers and his use of poetic phrases like, “His words traveled over the air, shimmering inside the wavelengths of their dormant intimacy,” clearly distinguish the telepathically shared thoughts shared between the characters from the regular, minimal narrative.
Maia captures the awkward romantic moments between feminist Keana and her overprotective Windmaker cousin, Jaime, in a realistic manner. While many of the main characters are still coming-of-age, they display values and morals well beyond their years. This is especially true in Keana’s relationship with her adoptive parents and grandmother, as well as Flora, a former childhood acquaintance and heiress to the Wise throne, whom she aids when her divination process goes wrong.
Maia’s writing style and short chapters allow the reader to easily transition between its various characters and otherworldly settings and THE MISSING SPIRIT greatly benefits from its inclusion of a reference index which assists readers in understanding and retaining the complex terminology, settings, and characters’ relationships mentioned throughout the novel.
With THE MISSING SPIRIT, P. J. Maia successfully sets up the foundation for a potential new series sure to please readers who enjoy likable characters, new worlds, and intricately woven plot lines.
~Erin Coughlin for IndieReader