Gaia's Secret (A Pandoran Novel, Book #1)
Eighteen-year old Daria Jones feels trapped in the cow-strewn suburbs of Fresno, California. And with a dad so overprotective he’s installed video and thermal surveillance down the street, she doesn’t get out much. Until the night he disappears. Following the trail of notes he left, Daria gathers three things: someone’s after her, her dad’s gone to another world on a cryptic mission, and the only one left to trust is her ex-best friend, Alex.
After a heart-wrenching break and three years of silence, Alex is the last person she wants to see. But the more she learns about her dad’s absence, the more she realizes she must go to that other world to find him. Even if it means trusting the guy she hates. She agrees to follow Alex through the nearest of seven portals—the heart of Yosemite National Park. But finding her dad in a magical world isn’t easy with a brigade of dark sorcerers chasing her trail.
Amidst a world of diabolical creatures, ancient magic, and bizarrely intuitive vegetation, Daria discovers the truth of her past. But unless she conquers the dark force that’s hunting her, Daria will never see her dad again. And if the dark force gets its way, the world as she knows it will never be the same.
This is the first time in a long while that I've felt such a strong connection to characters in a book. It brought me back to the first young adult fantasy books that I discovered as a teen and I loved every minute of the story. It caused distractions in the rest of my life causing it impossible to complete regular tasks such as cooking and cleaning until I finished reading the story.
Having said that, there were times when I was very frustrated with the writing. Kloss had a tendency to repeat words and phrases within small areas which detracted from the pure awesomeness of the story. I'm hopeful that this editing problem will be fixed in future books. Especially since I now need to purchase all of them in order to find out what happens next with Daria and Alex.
I'm so excited to have discovered this author and I can't wait to read more.