Rift Healer by Kiane M. Haynes
Rating: 3 of 5 stars
Source: Received to Review
Genre: Tween fantasy
Book Description: Rift Healer is the first installment of the 'Forest Magic' series, a Young Adult Fantasy/Romance set in Central and Western Massachusetts. After a minor earthquake, the enchanted forest in Bidwell, MA, is infested with monster-spewing rifts. Gisele Westerfield's great nephew, the gifted Micah, and his distant cousin, Selena, arrive to assist. Together with Gisele's summer students, twins Haley and Lacey, they will try to heal the magical forest. Much to the consternation of the beautiful Selena, Micah identifies Haley as The One whom he'll share his future. But after witnessing a terrifying display of Micah's Gift, Haley cools to his advances and unexpectedly discovers her own Gift-- she can heal the earth. Monsters, mayhem, and teenage angst follow the small group as they confront evil in the forest and a dangerous prediction that 'one will fall'. Will they heal the rifts in time? Can they save the unicorns? And is Haley really destined to be with Micah?
My thoughts: Twins Haley and Lacey spend the summer at their Grandmothers so they can visit their father. They love their lessons with herbalist Gisele. She is their grandmother's friend and a mentor to them..
This year the summer is a little different. An earthquake has opened rifts in a magical forest that are letting out vile creatures. The rifts must be closed. Gisele is getting too old for the task and she is secretly sick, she needs help. The only help she pulls together are two young relatives. Unbeknownst to her, her students have abilities to help. The problem is that they are young and there is a bond/attraction between Micah and Haley. Haley is 14, and Micah has left a string of broken hearts behind him.
Armed with wands and magical gifts left on an alter, Gisele and her five young helpers embark on ridding the forests of the rifts and restoring the forest back to it's peaceful sanctuary. There is danger and magical creatures to be found.
My favorite part of the book is the imagination that is the foundation of the book. Kids with magical wands and powers fighting monsters and bugs. It is a great concept for a book. A plot that kids can get involved with and enjoy.
I felt like the kids acted older than their ages. The book seemed a little choppy at parts, but still the imagination made up for that. I would put the reading level somewhere between middle to tween grade. The main character is 14, almost 15. But the romance, kissing, and finding your fated mate is a little more mature for that age group.
Author Diane M. HaynesDiane has lived in Massachusetts all her life where early on, her artistic talents were fostered, though her skills as an "excellent report writer" were often noted in previous employment. On her brother Rick's birthday, November 16, 2004, seven months after his death, she woke from an amazing dream which would not fade. She outlined the dream, made a few quick notes and days later produced a 12 page short story. After deciding her story was interesting but incomplete, she began writing her first novel, using her dream as its climax. She now believes the dream to be a 'Spirit Gift,' sent by her brother. Diane continues to reside in Central MA with her husband and a very naughty Basset Hound named Basil and his new adopted sister-Basset, Ruby, both of whom cleverly wreak havoc on the Haynes' formerly well-ordered lives. She spends her time writing, reading books about writing, talking about writing, painting with watercolors, antiqueing and attempting to train a very reluctant Basil and a willing, but highly comedic Ruby.
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Read and Excerpt:
Read and Excerpt:
Grinning, Lacey changed the subject. “So, I guess you finally met your dark, handsome stranger, huh, Hayseed? And is he cute.”
“Do you think so?” Haley asked, like she hadn’t noticed, and like she could get those beautiful blue eyes out of her head.
“Well, yeah. He’s gorgeous and–”
“I’m right here you know,” Taylor said, looking at Lacey. “You might want to drool a little less in front of your own boyfriend.”
“–and he kept watching you like…like, he knew you from a long time ago,” Lacey continued, eyebrows raised. “With those eyes, those spooky light blue eyes…”
Haley noticed that too, and it thrilled her that Lacey’s observation proved her imagination wasn’t working overtime. “Have you ever seen a straighter, more elegant nose? He looks like royalty.”
“Never,” Lacey said. “And listen, you have got to tell me if that silky black hair is as soft as it looks.”
“I’m not even here, am I?” Taylor muttered, half to himself.
“I never thought I would admire a jaw line, but oh my,” Lacey gushed. “I think he shaves–”
“I shave.” Taylor’s exasperated outburst caused both girls to burst into laughter.
“Watch out for that Selena, though,” Lacey warned between giggles. “If she owned a gun, she would’ve shot you today.
“I saw that. I think she’d rather die than give us credit for saving her skinny butt,” Haley said.
“She’s really beautiful, huh?” Taylor’s observation stopped all conversation.
“What? You think she’s prettier than me?” Lacey’s face puckered, while the expression on Taylor’s face went from teasing to surprise to total mortification in mere seconds.
“No, of course not,” he blurted out.
“Why would you say that?”
“I’m sorry. I won’t ever say it again.” Taylor looked to Haley, his eyes round with dismay.
With raised eyebrows, she gave him a smile and a tiny shrug.
Glaring at a bewildered Taylor, Lacey said, “I guess she’s got a thing for Micah. ‘Course, who wouldn’t?”
Taylor heaved a huge frustrated sigh.
“Oh, for heaven’s sake,” Haley turned to him. “Lacey adores you. You know that. But this is big. I’ve never had a boyfriend before, not even close. If he likes me, and we don’t even know if he does, it would be like…” She tried for a comparison even a boy would understand. “Like, hitting a grand-slam out of Fenway Park, during your first time at bat. Do you get it now?”
“Okay, I get that. Go ahead and be girls. Let me know when you want to talk about something interesting.”