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Book Reviews
July 5, 2010 posted by Christina

Rhodon – Elise K. Ackers

“Ruby has always been an outcast. The least loved daughter and the school freak, Ruby’s future is a bleak one. Until one day the strange but endearing Finn Gallagher tell her that she was selected for a special program. A program that would have changed her life and made her dreams come true.
Except that it got cancelled. Because Finn accidentally ruined it. Consumed with guilt, Finn tell her his biggest secret: he’s from another world. Determined to give Ruby and adventure, Finn takes her into Rhodon, a world that exists parallel to her own. Rhodon is an extraordinary place where no one is a freak, where the sky is pink and the people are special.
Inexplicably, Ruby discovers that she has abilities just like the people in this new world, and for the first time in her life she belongs. She makes friends and Finn’s family treats her as one of their own.
But there is a cost: if she stays she risks the lives of the people that have come to care for her, because Ruby’s unique powers have attracted the interest of people that would stop at nothing to control her.”

Rhodon is the first book in the The Rhodon Saga and the debut novel from Australian author Elise K. Ackers. The story follows fifteen year old Ruby Masters as she struggles through her day to day life. Not only is she a social outcast, her own adoptive family barely tolerate her. On the last day of school before summer break she meets Finn Gallagher, a strange but kind boy who seems intent on following her around.

But Finn was sent by the Dream Weavers, an organization that, backed by sponsors, creates life changing opportunities for selected people of Kyanos (or our world as we know it). He’s been sent to retrieve Ruby to start her on a program that will make all her dreams come true, however, things become complicated when Finn messes up the plan and Ruby’s program becomes scrapped. Wracked with guilt at leaving Ruby to return to her sad life Finn shares his secret, he’s from a parallel world called Rhodon and to make up for ruining her world, he’s going to smuggle her into his.

Once they make it through to the other side Ruby changes from the square peg trying to fit into the circle that she was in her world to someone that might actually belong. It soon appears that not only does she fit in but Ruby has extraordinary powers – ones that could get her and her surrogate family into a lot of trouble.

Rhodon was a big surprise to me, since the cover and summary don’t do the story justice. It was an engaging and captivating read that’s like a sci-fi version of Harry Potter. It’s a story about love, identity and belonging on many levels and really shows the importance of human connection – both emotionally and physically, where even holding hands is deep and powerful. As well as this, Rhodon definitely has plenty of adventure, especially when Ruby starts to embrace her powers, and fights back against people who’ll want to use them against her will.

Emotions were shown in a unique way – not just expressed by the characters but in Rhodon emotions were visible through color, which lay all your emotions on the table and in some ways, can be used against you. How can you be deceptive when your thoughts are shown on the ink you write with?

The Gallagher family were really beautiful characters, displaying the depth of love, family and togetherness in the best way possible. Finn’s family and Ruby’s family are in harsh contrast to each other and further emphasize just how incompatible she was with her world. Ruby was a great character, and praise goes to Ackers for giving the main character such a natural and believable train of thought, where not only was it realistic but the reader was coming to the same conclusions at the same time as Ruby.  A special mention has to go to Olive though – for a bunny, she’s got a lot of guts.

I’m eagerly anticipating the next installment of this series.

Pages: 306
Publication Date:  Late 2010
Rating:: ★★★★☆

Teaser quote: Ruby bit her lip. Her insides felt cold and her stomach heavy. “This is big, isn’t it?”
Finn nodded. “This is bigger than all of us.”

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