by Lanie Bross
Delacorte Press, $17.99 hardcover, ISBN-10 0385742827, February 2014
One moment. One foolish desire. One mistake. And Corinthe lost everything. She fell from her tranquil life in Pyralis Terra and found herself exiled to the human world. Her punishment? To make sure people’s fates unfold according to plan. Now, years later, Corinthe has one last assignment: kill Lucas Kaller. His death will be her ticket home. But for the first time, Corinthe feels a tingle of doubt. It begins as a lump in her throat, then grows toward her heart, and suddenly she feels like she’s falling all over again—this time for a boy she knows she can never have. Because it is written: one of them must live, and one of them must die. In a universe where every moment, every second, every fate has already been decided, where does love fit in?
Valentine’s Day is nearly upon us, and perhaps its influence might lead readers to overlook the instalove and somewhat overblown romance in this otherwise somewhat-interesting fantasy.
Corinthe used to be a Fate, one of many who tended the marbles that contained the future. Then she made a very, very small mistake and got banished to the human world, where she must make sure murky marbles (uncertain futures) come to pass. Even if that means, oh, say, running a car off the road so the driver will die. Since Corinthe’s never been human and has zero concept of morals or compassion, that’s fine by her. She just wants to earn a ticket back home to life as a Fate. As you can imagine, Corinthe isn’t the most sympathetic heroine. When she’s told she can earn her way back if she completes one final task, killing Lucas Kaller, Corinthe finally balks, mostly because he’s pretty cute. Still, she really wants to go home, so…
Lucas Kaller has it hard: dead mom, distant dad, junkie sister. His amazing girlfriend turns out to be less than faithful. Then he meets beautiful Corinthe and briefly hopes for something better. Until she comes at him with a knife. Sweet girl!
Soon, Lucas and Corinthe are both pulled into the magical dimensions of her origin, where they alternately work together and distrust each other to save the life of Lucas’s sister, who’s also gotten sucked in.
Although the title and plot might make you think of a Greek-mythology inspired story, Fates is more Wonderland than Olympus, complete with huge, dangerous flora. The fantasy elements, while somewhat sprawling and confusing, definitely carry more appeal than the love story, which felt contrived and based more on physical attraction than compatibility. It ends on a cliffhanger, so prepare to invest in the entire series if you purchase the first book.
Recommend to: Diehard YA fantasy romance fans.
To buy or not to buy: Additional purchase.